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“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Associate Editor Brendan Dorsey.
The rumor mill has been stirring over the last few weeks with questions about Citi scaling back key benefits to some of its credit cards. While most of the changes have been on the protection coverages, one of the other perks which TPG commenters thought might have disappeared is specific to the issuer’s American Airlines co-brand portfolio…
The link to the Citi web page lists various travel benefits, but does not mention the 10% Miles Back on award redemptions for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum. Should I assume this is no longer a benefit of the card?*TPG Reader Dallas
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers several perks specific to travel on American, like free checked bags on AA flights, preferred boarding and 25% off eligible in-flight purchases like food and beverage. But one of the most valuable benefits, at least for points hoarders, is the 10% miles rebate on all redeemed AAdvantage miles. The rebate deposits 10% of your redeemed American miles back into your AAdvantage account, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year.
As Dallas noted, for a while this benefit seemed to have disappeared from the AAdvantage Platinum’s terms and conditions. But fortunately there’s good news: we’ve confirmed with Citibank that the perk hasn’t gone anywhere, and continues to be one of the card’s benefits.
It’s pretty easy to use and deposit the miles right back into your account after you’ve redeemed them. I received my rebate right after I redeemed my miles to fly American’s Oneworld partner, Royal Jordanian, in business class last summer.
If you take full advantage of the rebate, that means you could be getting back up to $140 a year in value, according to TPG’s most recent point valuations. That more than covers the card’s $99 annual fee.
You can save even more miles if you take advantage of American’s reduced mileage awards, which offer eligible cardholders access to discounted routes. Traveling during off-peak times to certain destinations can stretch your miles even further.
Note that the 10% rebate is specific to the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and doesn’t apply to the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard. Barclays also offers two cards with the 10% mileage rebate: the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard and the AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard. However, if you hold multiple AA cards from both Citi and Barclays, you won’t be able to double dip.
Right now the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum is offering up to 50,000 bonus miles: 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of account opening and 10,000 miles after spending $6,000 total in the first twelve months. While the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard is offering an increased 70,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first 4 months of account opening. The annual fee is waived on both cards for the first year, so it’s a great time to pick up some AAdvantage miles, and get up to 10,000 of them back with the personal card as well.
*The question has been edited for brevity.