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Do you fly American Airlines (AA) regularly for business? There are two different American Airlines business credit card options. 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.

best AA business credit card
Citi and Barclays offer some of the best AA business credit card options. Photo by Ross Sokolovski on Unsplash

Finding the Best American Airlines Business Credit Cards

The two options available to business owners are:

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).

Related Article: Best Small Business Credit Cards

You can also find the best personal American Airlines credit cards here.

AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard

The AAdvantage® Aviator® 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
  • 5% mileage bonus on all miles earned during a card anniversary year
  • 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
  • No foreign transaction fee

The annual fee is $95 starting the first year. New cardmembers 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.

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

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
  • No foreign transaction fee

The annual fee is $0 for the first year and then $99. 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.

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® 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
  • Earn 1.5x points on purchases larger than $5,000, up to one million bonus points annually
  • 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 get up to $200 airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits) at one qualifying airline annually for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card. Also, cardholders can take advantage of the Pay Over Time Option, a flexible payment option to help manage cash for purchases of $100 or more.

Another business perk you may appreciate is a Dell Small Business statement credit. To get the credit, cardholders must enroll to get up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits (cardholders get up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. Dell purchases – terms apply).

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.

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. The annual fee is $595 (See Rates & Fees). 

Learn more: American Express Business Gold Review

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 information for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business makes it easy to earn and redeem rewards miles. All purchases earn 2x miles (hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel can earn 5x 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: Spark Business Cards Approval Odds

Summary of Business Credit Card for American Airlines Flyers

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.

FAQs

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® 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.

Josh Patoka
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