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You will no longer earn American miles through this bank partnership

June 08, 2020
4 min read
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Like any airline, American offers its AAdvantage members a variety of ways to earn miles without flying. In addition to co-branded credit cards, online shopping portals, and dining rewards programs, AA offers mileage-earning bank accounts. One of those bank partnerships will soon be discontinued, but it's not all sour grapes because there are better alternatives.

In a letter sent to its members, BankDirect shared that it will be discontinuing its partnership with American Airlines on Aug. 31, 2020. Members are being offered a sign-up bonus of 5,000 AAdvantage miles (worth $70 based on TPG valuations) to switch to a Bask Savings Account by Aug. 31, 2020, and deposit at least $5,000. Those who don't switch will automatically have their BankDirect accounts converted into BankDirect interest-bearing accounts on Sept. 1, 2020. Customers also have the option to can close the account by calling customer service.

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BankDirect vs Bask Bank

BankDirect offered three types of mileage-earning accounts: Mileage Checking with Interest, Mileage Money Market Account (MMA) and Mileage Certificate of Deposit (CD). Each of these accounts offered a different earning structure with the potential to earn thousands of miles each year for saving with the online bank. But you can do much better now with a savings account offered by Bask Bank.

Launched in January 2020, Bask Bank is an online bank that offers savings accounts that earns AAdvantage miles instead of interest. Members earn one AAdvantage mile for every dollar deposited and there's no limit to the number of miles you can earn annually. That equates to a 1.4% return, based on TPG’s latest valuations.

There are no fees associated with Bask Savings Accounts, which is an improvement over BankDirect, which did have fees. There is also no minimum funding amount required in order to open an account. Like BankDirect, it's run by Texas Capital Bank, N.A., which boasts a 20-year relationship with the airline and is a member of the FDIC.

Related: Introducing Bask Bank, a new way to earn miles

Bonus opportunities

As previously mentioned, BankDirect customer are being offered 5,000 bonus miles for switching to a Bask Savings Account by Aug. 31, 2020 and depositing at least $5,000. This is the same as Bask Bank's publicly available offer, except that offer is only valid through June 30, 2020.

There are some other valuable bonus opportunities available as well, especially if you tend to carry a high balance and are ready to open your account before the end of the month. First, you can earn an easy 1,000 bonus miles by completing the Bask Bank online feedback survey by June 30, 2020. Second, you can earn extra miles for maintaining certain balance levels.

Savers who maintain a $25,000 balance for 12 consecutive months within the first 14 months of opening an account earn 10,000 bonus miles. That moves up to 20,000 bonus miles for maintaining a $50,000 balance for 12 consecutive months and 40,000 bonus miles for maintaining a $100,000 balance.

Bottom line

The discontinuation of BankDirect isn't much of a bummer, since there is an improved alternative. Bask Bank offers better earning potential, superior technology and doesn't have any fees. It's a nice supplement your travel rewards credit cards even if you weren't previously a BankDirect customer.

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Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
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  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees