Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Citi Tweaks Rules for Earning EQM Bonus on the AAdvantage 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.

American Airlines recently reorganized its credit card agreements, signing on with both Citi and Barclaycard. This hopefully will prove to be great for customers, as the two banks compete for the same market with high sign-up bonuses and excellent perks.

For those looking for a fast-track to elite status, the options for making progress through credit card spend have been a bit slim so far. Once the American-branded Barclaycard options are released in 2017, five cards will allow some spending-based bonus for elite status:

In addition to an Admirals Club membership, the Citi Executive card also allows you to spend your way toward elite status.
In addition to offering Admirals Club membership, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard card allows you to spend your way toward elite status

As you can see, there’s only one card that allows you to avoid “butt in seat” EQMs: the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard. For those who want to avoid flying 10,000 miles of American Airlines economy tickets (or 20,000 miles in economy on partner tickets or 5,000 miles of AA business/first tickets), it’s going to be important to know the terms of how this bonus works.

Citi just announced a minor (but important) change to which purchases will be eligible for the American Airlines 10,000-EQM bonus in 2017. Currently, purchases that post on the January-December statements count toward this spending goal. However, for the 2017 bonus, qualifying spending will be based on the calendar year:

As a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive cardmember, you currently earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after spending $40,000 in eligible purchases that post to your January through December billing statements.

Effective January 1, 2017, the qualification period for earning EQMs will change and will be based on eligible purchases that post to your account during a calendar year, from January 1st to December 31st.

Planning on getting a jump start on your 2017 spending by paying your taxes? You better wait until 2017.
Planning on getting a jump start on your 2017 spending threshold by pre-paying your taxes? You better wait until 2017. Image courtesy of Stephen Ehlers via Getty Images.

Say you were planning on paying estimated taxes or making year-end charitable contributions with your Citi/AAdvantage Executive card in 2016 after your December 2016 statement closes. Before this change, this spend would count toward the next year’s spending threshold. This year, this spending won’t count toward either the 2016 or the 2017 spending threshold.

Bottom Line

This change is likely minor for most cardholders, but it can have a major impact for those hoping to get a jump start on 2017’s spending threshold with 2016 year-end spending. You might want to ice your Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard once your December statement closes and pick it back up in January.

H/T: One Mile At A Time

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

Apply Now
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Admirals Club® membership for you with guest privileges*
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.49% (Variable) $450 0% Excellent Credit