American Airlines Credit Card Comparison: Which One Is Right for You?

See which AAdvantage credit card might work for you.

American Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines, operating over 1,500 aircraft and filling the sky with roughly 6,700 flights a day. American Airlines and Citibank, another big force in its respective market, issued their first credit card together in 1987.

Read on for a review of some of the airline credit cards these two industry giants offer their customers.

American Airlines Credit Cards Review

American Airlines gives customers the option of several credit cards that connect with the American Airlines AAdvantage program. Members earn miles by flying American, or a participating partner, which can then be redeemed for more flights, seat upgrades or hotel and rental car reservations.

American Airlines Credit Cards
Card NameAnnual FeesBonusesMileage RewardsAPR
Executive World
Elite Card
$450Admirals Club access, Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee creditEarn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $7,500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening17.49%-25.49%
Platinum Select World Elite Card$99, waived for the first 12 monthsFirst checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights, along with preferred boarding and no foreign transaction fees on purchasesEarn 2 miles for every $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations and eligible American Airlines purchases17.74%-25.74%
AAdvantage Gold Mastercard$50Save 25 percent on in-flight food and beverage purchasesEarn 1 mile for every $1 you spend on all purchases0%-29%
AAdvantage MileUp CardN/ASave 25 percent on in-flight food and beverage purchasesEarn 2 miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores and eligible American Airlines purchases, earn 1 mile for every $1 spent elsewhere17.74%-25.74%
CitiBusiness Platinum Select Card$99, waived for the first 12 monthsFirst checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights, along with preferred boarding and a 25 percent discount on in-flight WiFiEarn 2 miles for every $1 spent on select business categories and eligible American Airlines purchases, earn 1 mile for every $1 spent elsewhere17.49%-25.49%
All information accurate as of Aug. 10, 2018

Which Should You Get? Best Travel Credit Cards

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card

This AAdvantage credit card gives customers the opportunity to earn 75,000 bonus miles if they spend $7,500 within the first three months of opening an account. Another bonus lets customers earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles after making $40,000 in purchases within the year. Cardholders can also tap into useful travel benefits such as access to the Admirals Club. The card comes with a high annual fee of $450.

Advantages: High mileage bonuses, travel benefits, TSA Precheck/Global Entry application fee reimbursement
Disadvantages: Costly annual fee
Who is this card good for? Wealthy jet-setters looking to maximize their travel experience, those who travel frequently who would benefit from the bonus miles and offset costs from the bonuses

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Card

The Platinum Select card gives customers the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus miles if they purchase $2,500 within the first three months of opening an account. They can further earn more miles by spending money at restaurants, on gas or on eligible American Airlines purchases, at a rate of 2 miles for every $1 spent. The card does cost $99 a year to maintain, but the fee is waived for the first year after opening the account. Read a complete review of the Platinum Select World Elite card here.

Advantages: More affordable mileage bonus than Executive World Elite Credit Card, annual fee waived for the first year
Disadvantages: $99 annual fee after the first year
Who is this card good for? Frequent travelers

Try It: How I Use Travel Points to Book (Almost) Free Flights

Citi AAdvantage Gold Mastercard

This card earns miles on all purchases, but without any bonus rate. However, you can still save 25 percent on in-flight food and beverages purchased on American Airlines flights.

Advantages: Potentially the lowest APR on this list, save on in-flight purchases
Disadvantages: No bonus mileage
Who is this card good for? People who travel infrequently but want some perks when they do

AAdvantage MileUp Card

The MileUp card comes with the easiest to achieve bonus: You can earn 10,000 American Airline bonus miles plus a $50 statement credit after spending $500 within the first three months of opening the account. This card comes with no annual fee.

Advantages: More achievable bonus than other cards, potential credit statement, no annual fee
Disadvantages: Mileage bonus is far less than other cards listed
Who is this card good for? People looking to invest in a travel credit card without the costly requirements for travel bonuses

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CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

Business owners should note that the yearly fee of $99 is waived for the first 12 months, unless they’re looking for something with a cheaper annual bill. Customers also get a chance to earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first four months of opening the account. No foreign transaction fees give you an edge when eyeing international expansion.

Advantages: 70,000 bonus miles, annual fee waived for first year, no foreign transaction fees
Disadvantages: $4,000 required for bonus mileage, might not benefit new business owners
Who is this card good for? Business owners looking to expand their networks at a reasonable cost

The Bottom Line on American Airlines Credit Cards

Which is the best American Airlines credit card? That depends on your financial situation. All of American Airlines’ cards are geared toward maximizing the travel experience, whether by earning miles or receiving discounts on travel expenses. As you compare credit cards, note the differences in qualifying purchases for bonuses. Whether those bonuses are achievable depends on your budget, and for some prospective cardholders that might mean it’s too risky to chase miles at the expense of their credit limit. Most of the cards come with annual fees, with the AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card carrying the heftiest fee at $450. Each AAdvantage card, regardless of how many benefits it carries, comes with the purchasing power of earning miles, with some rates doubled depending on the type of purchase.

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GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.