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If you fly (or used to fly, prior to the pandemic hitting) American Airlines (AA) regularly for business, there are several ways you can add more value to your travels. There are two different American Airlines business credit card options that have companion certificates, earn miles on common purchases, and come with perks like free checked bags and preferred boarding. Both cards seem almost identical at first glance but are different in several regards. Let’s take a closer look to find the best American Airlines business credit card for you.
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Finding the Best American Airlines Business Credit Cards
The two options available to business owners are:
- AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
As you can see, one card is offered by Barclays while the other is offered by Citi. Both options come with loads of perks such as business-specific spending bonuses, companion certificates, and free checked bags. However, if neither option is a good fit, there are a few other business cards you may want to consider (more on that later).
You can also find the best personal American Airlines credit cards here.
AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard
The information for the AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard® has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard® is probably the better option as it offers slightly better benefits. Barclays offers this card as part of its Aviator card family from the days of US Airways. These cards now earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles on all purchases.
Here are the card perks you will enjoy the most:
- Earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 2x miles at office supply, telecom, and car rental purchases
- Non-bonus purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent
- Companion certificate good for 1 guest at $99 after $30,000 in annual eligible card purchases
- $3,000 elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) after spending $25,000 in a calendar year
- First checked bag is free and priority board for up to 4 companions
- 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchase savings on American Airlines operated flights
The annual fee is $95 but there are no foreign transaction fees.
New card members can earn a signup bonus of up to 75,000 miles. Earn the first 65,000 miles by spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. You can earn the final 10,000 miles by making a purchase on an employee card.
Cardholders can also earn a 5% mileage bonus earned every year after your account anniversary date (based on the total number of miles earned using your card).
How This Card Can Add Value
Earning 2 miles on select business purchases is a nice touch. However, the annual 5% mileage bonus can be a great bonus. For instance, earning 50,000 miles in a year gives you 2,500 bonus miles.
If you’re a heavy spender, the EQDs bonus can help you earn AAdvantage Gold loyalty status. When you have a shot at earning American Airlines elite status, this can be the better card. The companion certificate and free checked bags also reduce the costs of companion travel.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
The information for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Your second American Airlines business credit card option is the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. This card doesn’t have as many ongoing perks as the Aviator Business but it’s a solid contender. It’s possible to earn a larger signup bonus, for instance.
- Earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 2x miles for telecommunications, cable and satellite providers, car rentals, and at gas stations (1x miles for everything else)
- 25% savings on in-flight WiFi purchases
- First checked bag free for you and up to 4 companions
- Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 companions
- $99 Companion certificate after $30,000 in annual card purchases and card membership is renewed
The annual fee is $0 for the first year and then $99. There is no foreign transaction fee.
New cardmembers can earn a signup bonus of 65,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 4 months.
One overlapping benefit between both cards is the American Airlines companion certificate. One companion flies for $99 plus fees and taxes (between $21.60 and $43.20) on a domestic main cabin ticket.
Another overlapping perk is a free first checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to 4 companions. These benefits help make traveling with multiple people less stressful and slightly more affordable.
How This Card Can Add Value
This CitiBusiness card doesn’t offer an annual 5% bonus and the 2x bonus categories vary slightly (though the gas station bonus category can be useful). If the double bonus categories are better than the 5% annual bonus, this can be the better option. This card would be a great compliment to the Citi American Airlines personal cards.
Note that you will need an excellent credit score for this card.
When to Pick the AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
The AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard® is the better fit in these cases:
- Want the 5% annual purchase rewards bonus
- Can spend $25,000 to earn $3,000 EQDs
- Prefer 25% in-flight savings on food and beverage
- Signup bonus only has a $1,000 minimum spend
Both American Airlines’ business credit cards are a World Mastercard, so the card issuer won’t necessarily factor into your decision.
When to Pick the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is the better business credit card when:
- 2x bonus categories are a better fit than the Aviator Business Mastercard
- Get 25% in-flight savings on WiFi
- No annual fee for the first year
Both cards offer similar free checked bags and priority boarding benefits for you and up to 4 companions. The spending requirement for the annual $99 companion certificate is similar to the Business Aviator.
Unless you can spend enough to earn the $3,000 EQDs, this card is a good option if you prefer the different perks this card offers. Not earning 5% bonus purchase rewards is possibly the largest downside for choosing this version over the Aviator Business Mastercard.
Other Business Credit Cards to Consider
Either co-brand American Airlines business credit card is the best way to earn American Airlines on every business purchase. However, you may get more mileage from one of these cards.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the most luxurious option for frequent flyers. Benefits include:
- Earn 5x Membership Rewards on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com
- Get 35% points back on select award flight redemptions (up to 500,000 back per year)
- 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
- American Express Global Lounge Collection
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cardholders can also earn 1.5x Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else. Cap applies.
Additionally, unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases with your Card, including up to $400 with Dell Technologies (up to $200 semi-annually), up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe, and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases. Enrollment required.
Plus, get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline. Other airport benefits include a $179 annual CLEAR® credit when you use your Card to enroll in CLEAR® membership and access to more than 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting with The American Express Global Lounge Collection®.
This is also one of the best metal cards to own. You won’t be able to transfer your points to American Airlines, but you can book award flights on AmexTravel. You can see read more about this is in our Amex Business Platinum Card review.
An indirect way to redeem Membership Rewards for American Airlines award flights is to first transfer them to British Airways and book a partner flight.
New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, 0% Intro APR for 12 months from the date of the account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time. After that, your APR will be 14.24% to 22.24% based on your credit worthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
This card does have an annual fee of $595 ($695 if the application is received on or after 1/13/2022; See Rates & Fees).
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is another flexible travel rewards card with these benefits:
- Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on travel, shipping purchases, online advertising, phone, cable, and internet services (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases)
- Points are worth 25% more when booking award travel
- 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
You also have the opportunity to earn a 100,000-point signup bonus after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up to $1,250 in award travel.
Related: Ink Business Preferred Card Review
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business makes it easy to earn and redeem rewards miles. All purchases earn 2x miles. You can redeem your miles for travel statement credits, booking upcoming travel, or transfer to airline partners.
One additional benefit you can enjoy is a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit of up to $100. The annual fee is $0 for the first year and then $95.
Learn more: Business Credit Cards
Both of the American Airlines business credit cards offer similar purchase rewards and additional benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding, and a companion certificate. Choosing the one that best fits your spending habits will be your best option.
What is the best American Airlines business credit card?
Both Citi and Barclays offer an American Airlines business credit card. Each card provides these similar benefits:
- Earn up to 2 AAdvantage miles on purchases
- Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 companions
- Priority boarding for up to 4 companions
- $99 companion certificate after $30,000 in annual card purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
There are a few small differences between the AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard® and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. Each card has slightly different 2x purchase rewards categories, 25% in-flight savings, and a signup bonus. However, the AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard has a $95 annual fee while the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum has an annual fee of $99.
You should consider applying for the AAdvantage Aviator Business Credit Card first. You get a 5% year-end purchase rewards bonus and you have the chance to earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars when you spend $25,000 in a year.
What credit cards does American Airlines partner with?
American Airlines has co-brand credit card relationships with Barclays and Citi. Both banks offer personal and small business credit cards.
No credit card lets you transfer credit card points directly to your AAdvantage loyalty account. There is a backdoor way to book American Airlines award flights with airline partners. You can transfer your miles to British Airways and use Avios to fly American Airlines.
British Airways is a 1:1 airline transfer partner for these credit card programs:
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Citi ThankYou
What credit score do I need for an American Express business credit card?
You will have the best approval odds for an American Express business credit card with a personal credit score above 700. A score in the high or mid-600s may also qualify but might require manual review.
These cards have a personal guarantee which is why your personal credit score comes into play. Having a high business income or strong business credit score may help your approval odds.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 Finding the Best American Airlines Business Credit Cards
- 2 AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard
- 3 CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
- 4 When to Pick the AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
- 5 When to Pick the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select
- 6 Other Business Credit Cards to Consider
- 7 Summary
- 8 FAQs