Will I Earn a Bonus for Upgrading to Citi Executive Card?

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

TPG reader Marty tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy “Does American Airlines ever give mile bonuses to upgrade your existing credit card from Platinum Select AAdvantage to Citi Executive AAdvantage?”

The Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card is one of the most lucrative deals out there. This year alone, I’ve gotten two different Citi AAdvantage cards; both are still open, and I’ve gotten 100,000 miles in bonuses on each. Sadly, those 100,000 mile offers are no longer available, having first gone down to 75,000 miles and now down to 60,000 miles. Sometimes on or the Citi website they’ll offer only 30,000 miles for this card, or even zero. The bottom line is that these offers come and go, and you have to snap them up quickly in order to get the best deals.

TPG reader Marty tweeted me to ask if American or Citi gives bonuses to upgrade an existing AA card (such as the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card) to the Citi Executive AAdvantage card. I’ve actually never tried to upgrade from a lower level existing AAdvantage card, but my guess is that the bonus you might get for upgrading wouldn’t be as high as what you’d get as a new applicant. A lot of those offers for 60,000 miles and up were targeted to people in lounges (like Amex Platinum cardholders who were going to be losing access) as a lucrative incentive to new customers.

Usually upgrade bonuses are not nearly as lucrative as new applicant bonuses. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Usually upgrade bonuses are not nearly as lucrative as new applicant bonuses. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

So for existing cardholders, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for them to throw a substantial bonus at you, because frankly, they’ve already got you as a customer. They also know that once people have credit cards, they don’t really want to cancel and re-open a new one.

So, you can always call and find out, but I’d bet what you might get for upgrading won’t compare to a new applicant bonus. I would love to hear what experiences other people have had getting upgrade offers, so please share in the comments section below, and Marty, let us know how your attempt to upgrade pans out.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Maximize your rewards, points and cash back. Get a Personalized Recommendation Now