Guest Blog Post: 23,500 American Miles for Opening a Citibank Checking Account

Jun 18, 2011

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On Monday May 2, 2011 I announced that I will be featuring guest blog posts from some of the greatest minds in the frequent flyer world. For the first post, I introduced Joshua Pickles, also known as Mr. Pickles. In the frequent flyer community Mr. Pickles is known for his ability to analyze opportunities and push the boundaries on what is possible when it comes to earning miles and points. Last time Mr. Pickles discussed how to use BigCrumbs to meet minimum credit card spend to accelerate the accrual of the miles from the Chase British Airways 100K mile credit card offer that ended on May 6, 2011. Today, Mr. Pickles returns to tell you how you can earn an easy 23,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. You can follow Mr. Pickles on Twitter at @TheMrPickles.

The Quest for AA miles

Those of you who “know” me from Flyertalk and Milepoint know that I love to earn American Airlines Advantage points any way I can; ordering coins from the US Mint, opening checking accounts, buying diamond engagement rings, funding bank savings accounts with Citibank credit cards (dead now), even opening brokerage accounts.  So far I have earned 2,852,393 American Airlines AAdvantage miles without ever flying on an American Airlines plane.  Today I want to share with you a targeted offer from Citibank for loyal AAdvantage credit card holders. I know you are all loyal!

The Deal

  1. Open a regular Citibank checking account and get 10,000 AA miles, open a Citigold checking account and get 23,500 AA miles (no dollar amount stated, and gold accounts are free for the first 2 months, longer if you meet requirements).
  2. Mention offer code: C26X, offer expires 7/31/11.
  3. Apply online at or by phone at 1-866-914-5409 or in person at a branch.
  4. For either offer, within 45 days set up either: One or more direct deposits OR two or more electronic bill payments, and continue for at least two months.
  5. EFT to another account will not count per the terms and conditions, which are subject to change at any time.
  6. I had my payroll department add an additional direct deposit for only $10 per pay period to meet the requirement.
  7. Keep the account open for at least two months, but miles post 90 days after the statement closes after meeting requirements, so I would keep it open until the miles post.
  8. You must be at least 18 years old or older.
  9. The bonus will be reported to the IRS on a 1099-Misc as required by applicable law (has not happened to me ever but YMMV).
  10. I would suggest against opening joint accounts. For a couple, each of you can earn by opening your own account.
  11. This offer is not valid for existing Citibank checking customers.
  12. Make sure you document your steps and keep a printout of screen shots if you apply online – Citibank is notorious for failing to give miles.
  13. Disclaimer – I do not get any commissions if you open a checking account.

Service fees for Citigold accounts

Per the Citibank website:

Open your Citigold interest checking account with a $500 minimum deposit8. There’s no monthly service fee for the first two statement cycles. After that, we’ll continue to waive the monthly service fee if the combined average balance of your eligible linked accounts is:

  • $50,000 or more for all linked deposit and retirement accounts
  • $100,000 or more across all your linked Citi accounts, excluding a first mortgage with Citibank
  • $250,000 or more if your Citibank first mortgage is included in the total relationship.

Otherwise, a $30 monthly service fee will apply.

In Summary
This is an easy way to earn 23,500 miles and a great way to top off an AAdvantage account for those of you who earned the 75,000 mile bonus a few months ago for opening the AAdvantage credit cards. Citibank frequently has these offers so as soon as my miles post I close my account so I can take advantage of the offer next time it comes around. American AAdvantage miles can be used on OneWorld carriers, Alaska Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui.

About Me

“mrpickles” has been writing on the forum since 2009 and more recently on the forum telling stories of earning huge amounts of frequent flyer miles in a short period of time. Primarily focusing on American Airlines AAdvantage miles mrpickles found notoriety in December 2009 when The Wall Street Journal wrote a front page article which featured a story that hinted about how mrpickles earned American Airlines lifetime Platinum status without ever stepping on an American Airlines flight. More recently he was featured as one of the Legends of Flyertalk at the Chicago Seminar 2010, a gathering of over 500 frequent flyers learning the tricks of the trade. mrpickles currently holds over 5.8 million miles and points spread over several programs and this year has top tier status with United, Air France, Continental, and Lifetime Gold status on American Airlines as well as Starwood  SPG Platinum and Hilton Diamond status. You can follow Mr. Pickles on Twitter at @TheMrPickles or on The Mr Pickles blog.

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WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
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  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
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Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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