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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
It isn’t abnormal for credit card companies to offer lucrative targeted offers for certain credit card products. Credit card bonuses cost money and the marketing teams at credit card companies want to stretch their budgets are far as possible to get as many new lucrative customers as possible. So instead of making the juiciest offers public, they try to target the people they want the most. Usually this happens by direct mail or by tools like the Card Match tool online, but recently we saw a different sort of targeting from Citi and American Airlines.
In January, Citi and AA teamed up to boost the sign-up bonus on the Citi Executive AAdvantage card to 100,000 miles (up from 0-60,000 miles offered on Citi.com prior) for those who visited the Admirals Club lounge. I believe they did this as a way to tempt American Express Platinum cardholders who used to have access to the lounge pre-March 22, 2014. So, they didn’t want to offer any new applicant the amazing offer of 100,000 miles, but more to poach Amex Platinum cardholders from Amex.
I picked up one of these cards and blogged about this offer back in January. At the time, I already had an existing Executive AAdvantage card that I got the previous August, however I applied for a new one and confirmed that I indeed was eligible for the bonus and got the 100,000 mile payday. Score!
It was peculiar that Citi allowed you to get the same bonus on the same card within a relatively short amount of time, so I recently went for a third Executive AAdvantage card and got approved, albeit with a smaller line of credit, and I’m currently spending my way to my second 100,000 mile bounty this year.
However, shortly after I wrote my last post, the landing page for this offer disappeared and it seemed as if Citi had pulled the offer. However, several TPG readers sent me information that there seemed to be an unofficial link still around, though I always hesitate to post links that I can’t guarantee will work. However, fellow blogger FrequentMiler (who I trust) applied and confirmed that it was for the same 100,000 mile offer with $200 in statement credits. This will likely not last long, so if you’ve got an appetite for risk (I cannot guarantee what the offer is because the landing page doesn’t have details), it could be worthwhile to get in while the getting is good.
The spend on the card is steep at $10,000 within 3 months, but if you can swing it, I think banking 100,000 AA miles (which I value at 1.7 cents a piece, so $1,700 in value for a cost of $250 is amazing in my opinion).
Since the spend on this card is high, it might make sense to apply for other cards with low minimum spend thresholds. The other one that makes sense to team up with this is the Barclaycard US Airways Premier World MasterCard that gives 40,000 miles after the first purchase ($89 annual fee). US Airways miles will merge into AA miles in 2015, so with the spend from the AA card and the sign-up form the US card, you’re looking at a healthy 150,000 mile bump in your AA account (if you don’t use them before the programs merge!).