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American Airlines has launched a new no annual fee rewards credit card. This new product rolled out July 22, 2018, for new cardholders and can earn a 10,000-point signup bonus. Current AAdvantage Bronze Card owners will automatically have their accounts upgraded and begin earning significantly more rewards.
This new no annual fee credit card arrives shortly after the recent upgrades to the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select that let you earn bonus points on more purchases. Now you also have a few more opportunities to save money when you fly.
Earn 10,000 Points and a $50 Statement Credit
New cardmembers will earn 10,000 points and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 in the first three months. This bonus offer is on par with the other airline credit cards without an annual fee.
American Airlines award flights start at 7,500 miles. With the bonus, a free one-way domestic flight within the continental U.S. and Canada is possible!
Earn Up To 2x Miles on Every Purchase
An increasingly common perk for airlines rewards credit cards is to also offer bonus points on non-airline spending. The MileUp credit card is no exception. You will earn unlimited 2x points on American Airlines and grocery purchases.
All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
Enjoy a 25% Savings on In-Flight Purchases
Like the other American Airlines credit cards with an annual fee, you’ll now receive a 25% statement credit for your in-flight purchases.
Upgrading from the AAdvantage Bronze Card
If you currently own the American Airlines AAdvantage Bronze Card, you only need to wait for your new card to arrive in the mail. Instead of earning 1 mile per $2 spent (0.5 miles per $1), you will either earn 1 or 2 miles for each dollar spent.
Citi will send new MileUp Credit Cards to Bronze cardholders when their current card expires. Even if you don’t get a new card in the mail right now, you will begin earning the 2x bonus points on July 22, 2018, when the MileUp Credit Card opens to the public.
American Airlines MileUp Credit Card Vs. Delta and United No Annual Fee Credit Cards
The major domestic carriers have all placed a larger emphasis on offer rewards cards without an annual fee. In the last year, travelers have seen the United TravelBank and Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express launch.
The new MileUp Card is competitive with either card. You can earn up to two points on every purchase and receive a statement credit on in-flight purchases.
If you only fly once or twice a year, these cards can help you earn enough points to book an award flight. Plus, your American Airlines points balance never expires as long as you own the MileUp Credit Card.
Apply for the MileUp Credit Card or the AAdvantage Platinum Select?
The real $99 question is if you should apply for the American Airlines MileUp credit card or pay the $99 annual fee to get the AAdvantage Platinum Select instead. Airlines have ramped up their efforts of offering rewards cards without an annual fee to win over debit card and cash rewards spenders.
The MileUp credit card can be a good option if you want to own American Airlines rewards miles, but paying an annual fee can be more advantageous. You will actually save money by going with the Platinum Select because you can enjoy these complimentary benefits:
- First checked bag is free for you and up to four travel companions
- $100 American Airlines credit after spending $20,000 a card year
- Citi waives the annual fee for the first year
You will also earn double points on more purchases with the Platinum Select:
- American Airlines purchases
- Gas stations
All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.
When to Apply for the MileUp Credit Card
The MileUp credit card can be the better option in these instances:
- Spend more on groceries than gas and restaurants
- Won’t spend at least $20,000 annually
- Don’t check a bag when flying American
- Ensure your points never expire
Because the MileUp credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee, this card can either be a good primary or secondary card.
When to Apply for the Platinum Select
Rightfully so, the Platinum Select offers more benefits because it commands a reasonable $99 fee. It is the better option in these instances:
- Spend at least $20,000 annually for the $100 flight credit
- Check a bag at least four times ($25 per bag)
- Earn more bonus points from gas stations and restaurants than grocery stores
You might be surprised how quickly the savings add up if you check a bag regularly or you can earn the $100 flight credit. Because of the free checked bag for five people, you can easily pay the annual fee with a single one-way trip. Generally, if you want a good credit card for international travel you will have to pay an annual fee.
Best American Airlines Award Flight Redemption Options
Now that you’ll have a few extra AAdvantage miles in your pocket, you can try to use your points for one of the following award routes. American Airlines charges a fixed amount so you can easily calculate how many points you need to fly when you fly in the off-season or peak season.
Fly Domestically for 7,500 Miles
You can begin redeeming your miles at 7,500 points for a short-haul flight within the United States that’s 500 miles or less. Longer flights within the continental U.S. and Canada cost 12,500 miles each way.
Fly to Europe for 22,500 Miles Each Way
Another redemption option to consider is flying to Europe. You can also book partner flights with a OneWorld alliance member and pay 22,500 (off-peak) or 30,000 miles (peak) for a one-way economy flight to Europe. To avoid fuel surcharges, don’t fly British Airways for your long-haul flights.
You can also upgrade your flight experience and fly business class to Europe for 57,500 miles each way too.
Take a Transcontinental Flight in Business Class
If you need to fly across the United States and want to do it in business class, you should try flying from New York to either San Francisco or Los Angeles. American uses a three-cabin aircraft for this route. You can enjoy a lie-flat seat that you can usually only access on international flights.
Summary of the MileUp Credit Card
Occasional American Airlines flyers will benefit greatly from the new MileUp Credit Card. It’s a tremendous upgrade from the current AAdvantage Bronze Card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. If you plan on checking bags or using the card for your daily spending, you may still be better off going with the recently upgraded Platinum Select Card instead.
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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.