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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

American Airlines and Citi just announced a trio of changes to its credit card profile. Most notably, Citi’s launching a solid co-branded credit card. Meanwhile, it’s phasing out another and adding benefits to a third.

New AAdvantage MileUp Card

Launching on July 22, this brand-new credit card packs a surprising punch for having no annual fee. New cardholders will earn 10,000 bonus AAdvantage miles and get a $50 statement credit for spending $500 within the first three months — earning this card an immediate spot on our list of best airline credit cards with a low spending requirement.

The good news doesn’t end there. Here’s the card’s earning structure, with the return on your spending based on TPG’s valuation of AA miles:

  • 2x miles on American Airlines purchases: 2.8% return — great for a no annual fee card
  • 2x miles on grocery store purchases: 2.8% return — great for a no annual fee card
  • 1x miles on other purchases: 1.4% return — not bad for a no annual fee card

Enhancement and Phaseout of Citi/AAdvantage Bronze

Current Citi/AAdvantage Bronze cardholders received an email this morning with good news: The earnings on their credit card are going to double for everyday purchases and quadruple for AA and grocery store purchases. On July 22, Bronze cardholders will automatically be converted to the earning structure of the new MileUp card.

Effective July 22 Citi/AAdvantage Bronze AAdvantage MileUp Difference
AA Purchases 1 mile per $2 2 miles per $1 4x
Grocery Stores 1 mile per $2 2 miles per $1 4x
Other Purchase 1 mile per $2 1 mile per $1 2x

Then, when their current Citi/AAdvantage Bronze card expires, cardholders will receive the new AAdvantage MileUp card in the mail.

Enhancements to CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select cardholders also woke up to an email with good news. The card is adding 2x spending bonus categories for “cable and satellite service purchases” as well as a 25% discount for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases. These new benefits also go into effect on July 22. At that time, the CitiBusiness Platinum Select will earn 2x miles on purchases at “certain telecommunications merchants, car rental merchants, cable and satellite providers and at gas stations.”

So that you know which auto-payments to switch over, Citi is defining cable and satellite providers as:

merchants that provide the connection and ongoing delivery of television, internet (computer network, information services, email, website hosting services) telephone and radio programming via cable or satellite on a subscription or fee basis.

And the terms and conditions for the 25% Wi-Fi savings confirms that all three of AA’s Wi-Fi providers (Gogo, Viasat, or Panasonic) are included. However, you won’t be able to get this discount for Wi-Fi purchases on all airlines; you must be flying on an American Airlines aircraft to get the discount.

Bottom Line

After a round of credit card benefit devaluations, we are seeing an interesting uptick in credit card earning options. Citi/AA enhanced the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard to add 2x spending on restaurants and gas stations. Chase/United (re)launched the United Explorer Card with 2x miles on dining and hotels. And the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express added Marriott Silver status, 15 elite night credits and a free annual night award.

What seems strangely absent from these Citi/AA announcements is any negative changes to these cards. While the SPG Amex needed to up its benefits to counter the drop in earnings from 1x Starpoint (3x Marriott points) to 2x Marriott points, Citi/AA cards were middle-of-the-road for airline co-branded cards. So, these benefits are a very pleasant surprise

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