Credit card offers come out with occasional huge bonuses. In the past, we have seen the American Express Platinum 100K for the personal card (the latest was last January) and other cards that have reached close to that level as well. One of those cards was the Citi AAdvantage card that had an offer of 75,000 points. However, the trend as of late seems to be that the large offers are more rare and when they are offered, they require a large amount of spend. So we enter 2014…
The first large offer of 2014 was for the Citi Executive AAdvantage card – and for 100,000 AA miles! Yes, the spend requirement is high ($10,000 in 3 months), but with Bluebird/Vanilla, that is not a problem at all. When I wrote about this amazing offer, I mentioned that I was not going to go for this offer because of the up-front annual fee of $450. I have done it in the past with American Express and their Platinum offers, but there are real ways to get that money back ($200 annual airline reimbursements and $100 Global Entry). With this offer, there was a $200 statement credit, but it appeared that was only for AA purchases. Since I do not fly AA often, I did not anticipate a situation where I was going to be purchasing anything from AA, so I decided to pass.
application link – Citi Executive AAdvantage Mastercard 100,000 American Airline miles after spending $10,000 in 3 months (I do not receive a commission for this card)
Fast Forward 6 Weeks
However, reports started coming out that the $200 statement credit was for any purchases made with the card! So, the $450 annual fee was effectively reduced to a $250 annual, thanks to the statement credit that is applied against the first $200 spent. 100,000 AA miles for $250? Yes, please! So, I went ahead last week and applied for the card. To see a post about this Saturday, read this from Gary.
I was put into the pending status and called the number listed (800-695-5171) with my reference number to talk to a representative (btw, thank you, Citi, for making that option so publicly available – looking at you, Chase!). I called and answered a few questions before being told that they were going to have to do some further processing on it before giving me an answer. They gave me the reference number again and a website to check it against (which was wrong, btw – the correct one is this one here).
The next day, when I was checking the status, I had a chat window pop up saying that they needed to check some other information. I proceeded to chat with the agent and was quickly approved! So, card should be on the way and the spending will commence this week! Counting the 10,000 miles that I will get for the required spending, I will pick up 110,000 AA miles.
What To Do With The New 110,000 Miles?
What can be done with that hefty amount of miles? First of all, we have the “new” American Airlines taking another step on March 31st when US Airways officially joins the Oneworld Alliance. Not a lot has been said about what changes will be made (beyond the obvious ones, such as being able to use British Airways Avios on US Airway flights) so we do not know at what point the award calendar will make a shift to join the the likes of Delta and United. In the meantime, AA miles can still be used on a variety of partners for some incredible travel (I just used them for my Etihad Airways flight to Abu Dhabi, as well as using them for Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas). I mean, you can get two one-way tickets in business class on Cathay Pacific to anywhere in Asia for 55,000 miles each (50,000 each for travel to Japan, Mongolia, or Korea)! Or, you can get one round-trip of that same type of trip.
In addition, you can also book flights to Europe during the off-peak time of October 15 – May 15 for 40,000 miles round-trip. With this offer (and the required spend), you will be just shy of 3 round-trip tickets to Europe from the US! On our part, we are considering using ours for a little family vacation later in the year to Iceland with Air Berlin – 100,000 miles is enough for all of us to fly to Iceland from Greece on what would otherwise be a $750 ticket per person!
There are a lot of options available. The first step is to take the plunge and just apply. Yes, you will still be paying the net $250 annual fee, but if you have any travel you would have to do otherwise (or were considering otherwise), that is an amazing value for the amount of travel you are getting.
Are you considering this card? Scott at HackMyTrip suggests that the bonus offer may end on March 15th. It would not surprise me. It has been around for a while now and many have gotten in on it. In addition to all of those miles, you also get free access to the Admirals Club – another great benefit of this card! So, what do you think?