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

by on August 31, 2014 · 5 comments

in Aadvantage, American, Citi, Credit Cards, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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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 [email protected]

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Nick DeSantis

    I have an AA account but until recently didn’t have any cards with them. I was recently emailed an offer for new members to apply for the AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard and receive 50,000 points and 2 one time passes to Admirals Lounge after spending $3,000 in 3 months. I figured thats pretty solid considering the Executive card offered twice as much but for more then 3x the amount of required spend. (100,000 points for $10,000) Not to mention the Admirals Passes were icing on the cake.

    I’m excited to say I’m waiting for my card to arrive and I’m stoked to stock up on some AA miles.

  • Peter Fader

    How about current US Airways MasterCard holders? Any thoughts about whether we’re better off applying for the AA Executive card as a new card instead of waiting to be automatically switched over sometime next year?

  • amy

    how did you get 2 executive cards with the 100,00 mile bonus each, esp w/o closing one account?

  • Cara

    Two years ago, when I had a Citi Aadvantage Gold, the phone rep from Citi was trying to upgrade my card to the platinumversion and was touting the benefits I would get for upgrading (free checked-in luggage, priority boarding, etc.). I asked if I could get the bonus miles for upgrading which at that time was going for 50K. The agent said ‘no’, so I politely declined the upgrade and went online and did the 2-browser trick.

  • ARSintel

    Just a quick update regarding the 100,000 its for $10K. In April of this year I contacted AA directly and asked if the offer was still available. The rep stated it was available and transferred me to an AAdvantage Citibank rep. You have to call AA and have them transfer you. When I first thought about joining I called AA and talked to Citibank. When I decided to get the card I tried contacting Citibank directly and they stated that the offer no longer existed.You cannot access these “special” reps by calling Citibank directly. I called AA again and they transferred me and voila I was given the offer of 100K for $10K and decided to grab it while it was still available. Regarding having multiple cards with this offer per Citibank and the AA reps that isn’t possible Not sure how people are doing it but good for you. I hope this helps.

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