Here’s How to Earn 40,000 American Airlines Miles for Opening a Citibank Account
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Citi is a TPG Advertising Partner.
While most TPG readers are well aware of Citi’s credit card agreement with American Airlines, the banking side of Citi also has a partnership with AA. Over the past few years, Citibank has periodically offered bonus AA miles for opening a bank account — and one of these offers is available for the next few weeks.
Now through July 31, eligible AAdvantage members can earn 40,000 bonus American Airlines miles for opening select new Citibank accounts and meeting the funding requirements. Let’s break down those requirements one by one.
Funding requirements: Those funding requirements are going to probably be the sticking point for most. In order to get the bonus, you’ll have to deposit at least $15,000 in “new-to-bank funds” — that is, not transferred from an existing Citibank account — within the first 30 days after opening the checking account. These funds must be maintained for at least 60 calendar days for the bonus to be earned.
Unfortunately for those looking to earn extra points, there isn’t a credit card funding option for these accounts. The $15,000+ must be transferred in by “ACH, Direct Deposit, cash, and/or via checks or wires from non-Citi institutions.”
Timing: As noted above, you must maintain at least $15,000 in the account for a minimum of 60 days, and once you’ve met this final requirement, the bonus will post to your AAdvantage account within 90 days. So this may not be a great option if you have an immediate, pressing concern for American miles, but it could make sense if you’re thinking of booking a trip into 2020.
Eligible accounts: The accounts eligible for this offer are either “Citibank Account Package” standard checking or interest checking account. Both of these account options require a combined average monthly balance of $10,000+ in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts to avoid a $25 per month fee.
The rate for the interest checking account isn’t disclosed anywhere on the offer page or the form to open the account, but I was able to find it on the Citi current rates page. And, it’s only an interest-bearing account in the technical sense. The account earns a miserable 0.01% APY.
While it might not be a great place to store your money for the long-term, you’ll get a solid amount of “interest” up front in the form of the sign-up bonus.
At TPG’s current valuation of 1.4 cents per AA mile, the 40,000-mile bonus is worth approximately $560. That’s not a bad return for parking $15,000 in funds for two months. However, note that the value of these awarded miles will be reported to the IRS as taxable interest on a Form 1099-INT. Citi doesn’t state in the terms and conditions what valuation will be used for calculating the taxable amount.
Eligible AAdvantage members: If you’re sold on taking advantage of this offer, double-check to be sure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
Only “new-to-Citibank customers” — which is defined as consumers who aren’t “current owners of a Citibank consumer checking account or have been an owner on a Citibank consumer checking account within the last 180 calendar days before enrollment” — are eligible for the bonus. You’ll also need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid taxpayer identification number and have an AAdvantage account opened in your name.
Other options: If you’re ineligible, can’t move the required deposit or would rather avoid any interest, consider adding a new American cobranded card to your wallet for an even bigger infusion of AAdvantage miles. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, while the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® will award new cardholders with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Featured image by Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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