Earning another American Airlines card sign-up bonus: What you need to know

May 14, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest offers and information. Citi is offering an extra three months to meet minimum spend requirements due to COVID-19 for new card applications through May 31, 2020. Citi is a TPG advertising partner. 

Each card issuer has its own set of restrictions when it comes to application approvals and welcome bonus eligibility. They include the number of cards you can apply for, the timing of applications, and how often you can earn a welcome bonus. With Citi offering a substantial 65,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first four months of account opening for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select®  Mastercard®, those of you who have had the card in the past may be wondering whether you’re eligible for a second bonus.

Whether you’re going all-in to attain Million Miler status via credit card spending, or simply considering adding another American Airlines card to your arsenal, there are important restrictions to be aware of.

Let’s take a closer look at the AAdvantage co-branded cards and some of your options to ensure you’re eligible for another sign-up bonus.

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American Admirals Club DFW (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)
American Admirals Club DFW (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

In This Post

AAdvantage credit cards

Let’s start with the lineup of card options. There are currently six AAdvantage credit cards available to new applicants – four are issued by Citi and two by Barclays. Their sign-up bonuses range from 10,000 – 70,000 miles, depending on the type of card you’re applying for (personal vs. business vs. no-fee).

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

Credit card Welcome bonus Annual fee Welcome bonus value
(based on TPG Valuations)
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

 

10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening $0 $140
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard 60,000 miles after you make a purchase and pay the annual fee within the first 90 days of card opening $99 $840
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

 

50,000 miles after you spend $2,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening $99 $840
AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles when an employee card is used for a purchase $95 $1,050 (including the additional 10,000 miles)
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® 65,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first four months of account opening $99 (waived the first 12 months) $910
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening $450 $700

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card, Citi AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Aviator Red, AAdvantage Aviator Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Reviews of these cards:

Citi/AAdvantage card application restrictions

When it comes to earning sign-up bonuses on the AAdvantage cards, it’s important to know that Citi changed the rules in 2019. If you’ve earned an AAdvantage bonus on a specific Citi/AAdvantage card, you won’t be eligible to earn the bonus again for another 48 months.

Here is the fine print under the card application link for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive account in the past 48 months.

The terms apply for each individual card, as opposed to the entire Citi/AAdvantage card family. That means if you applied for a Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard recently, you do not need to wait 48 months to apply for a Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

An important distinction that you should be aware of is the 48-month waiting period starts when you “receive a new account bonus” for a specific Citi/AAdvantage card. That is not the same as when you were “approved for the card,” “received the card,” “activated a card” and other common phrases you might see from an issuer. In this case, semantics matter because the bonus that posts to your AAdvantage account may post several months after you were actually approved for the card itself.

Related reading: Choosing the best card for American Airlines flyers

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator card application restrictions

Barclays is a bit vaguer than Citi when it comes to sign-up bonus restrictions on the AAdvantage cards. Based on our data points, if you’ve closed a card, you generally have to wait six months to be eligible for the welcome offer again. However, some application pages, like the one on the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, state the following:

“You may not be eligible for this offer if you currently have or previously had an account with us in this program.” 

In this case, the “may not” in this sentence means there is the potential that you could be approved for a new card as a previous cardholder, meet the minimum spending requirement, and still miss out on the sign-up bonus. Again, your mileage may vary, particularly with Barclays.

Related reading: The many flavors of Barclays’ AAdvantage Aviator credit cards

Bottom line

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Citi and Barclays both have distinct rules when it comes to application approvals and sign-up bonus eligibility for the AAdvantage credit cards. While Citi is less vague with restrictions, it also imposes a lengthy waiting period of at least 48 months before you’re able to receive another welcome bonus. Barclays’ rules are a lot more subjective, giving the company more power to deny approval or a bonus should it consider your application unworthy.

In any case, if you’re approved and eligible for a welcome bonus, make sure you are able to complete minimum spending requirements within the time period allotted. Thankfully, Citi is offering an extra three months to meet minimum spend requirements due to COVID-19 for new card applications through May 31, 2020.

Whether you’re looking to spend your way to Million Miler status or just want to add another American AAdvantage card to your wallet for daily spending, keep these rules top-of-mind. You don’t want to waste a hard pull on your credit or have the unpleasant surprise of being denied a welcome bonus after meeting a card’s spending requirement.

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Featured photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy.

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

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

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.