Skip to content

You will no longer earn American miles through this bank partnership

June 08, 2020
4 min read
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

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.

Related video:

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

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees