American Airlines Ending 10% Mileage Rebate for Card Holders

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American Airlines has announced that it will be ending the 10% rebate on redeemed miles for its co-branded credit card holders. The change affects cards issued by Barclays and Citi, and will be effective on May 1, 2019.

Summary of the Changes

Currently, eligible cardholders can receive a 10% rebate on redeemed miles, up to a maximum of 10,000 miles rebated every year regardless of the number of eligible cards you hold. The rebate applies to all redemptions, including partner awards.

Cards Affected by the Change

The following cards will no longer receive a 10% rebate on redeemed miles:

Should I Close My Account?

If you have the AA Platinum Select, you should be aware that Citi has a somewhat unique rule to determine eligibility for a welcome bonus on a new account. Citi cards are grouped into “families” according to what type of points they earn.  For each family of cards, you can't earn a new signup bonus if you've opened or closed a card in the same family in the last 24 months. That means if you close your AA Platinum Select card because of this devaluation, you won't be able to earn a signup bonus on a new, personal Citi card that earns American AAdvantage miles for two years.

However, as long as it has been more than 24 months since you opened the AA Platinum Select, you should be eligible for a Citi American Airlines co-brand card right now. In other words, before you close a card, think hard about whether you want to open a different American card—like the AA Executive Card—before you reset the 24-month clock. Barclays doesn't have a similar rule, so if you decide it isn't worth keeping your Aviator Red or Silver card, there shouldn't be an adverse effect on your eligibility for other cards unless the rules change.

You can learn more by checking out our complete guide to credit card application rules.

Our Take

The move is disappointing and represents a big hit to the value of holding any of the affected cards. Each of these cards will still offer a free checked bag for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same U.S. domestic itinerary. The cards also offer priority boarding with group five, which is the first group to board after AAdvantage elites and those who purchased Priority boarding. For some, these perks may be enough to hang on to the card. But for many, the 10% rebate was likely the last thing standing in the way of closing their accounts.

If your annual fee isn’t coming up for a while, it's certainly worth waiting to see if an exodus of cardmembers triggers some sort of new benefit from Citi and Barclays, but we won’t be holding our breath.

Source: Frequent Miler

American Airlines Ending 10% Mileage Rebate for Card Holders
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Comments

  • Citi Bank is one of the most dishonest I have ever done business with.

    Had Citi AA card for 7 years
    Had Citi Prestige Card for 2 years

    After fights over non-successful benefits with Citi Prestige I canceled both cards.
    Plan to never do business with Ciit again, ever.
    Chase Saphire Reserve is now my preferred travel card and I miss the Citi AA 10% off but not with a bank like citi!

  • Citi Bank is a BAD credit it card division.
    Currently still have Citi Bank checking account who are reasonable.

    Previously had Citi AA and Citi Prestige cards.
    Problems with getting benefits with Citi Prestige so I canceled BOTH.

    Never again will have a Citi Bank credit card.

  • I can’t say I ever found these cards particularly compelling in the first place, but with this, there is even more reason not to waste a hard pull.

    • Exactly. It’s a big downgrade to a card that isn’t as good as others. It went from usable to very, very limited.

    • I certainly don’t find any airline card worth it. Maybe if there was a $100 AF and it got you the lowest tier status with the airline but the points are a joke. Often 2 miles for direct bookings and a mile for everything else? Heck no.

  • Shucks, I’m not quite ready to use this.

  • Sigh..
    yet another company taking away perks and value from their program

  • This was a great benefit. I wish I knew about it sooner to take advantage of it.

  • My card comes up for renewal in December so I will wait and see. I would like Citi to add a free checked bag on basic economy flights to Europe.

  • Marlin Seevers says:

    Thank you for alerting us to this change. That 10% rebate was a nice feature, while it lasted.

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    I was a big fan of Barclay Bank, but they lost me when they gutted the Arrival+ card. I have two other cards with them that are now closed. Not a fan right now.

  • Ugh, yeah this is very disappointing and could easily offer a good chunk of value (10% obviously) back.

  • It’s yet another devaluation and another huge disappointment. I opened my card in 1987, making it the oldest open account on my credit report which is a plus. It’s the only reason I won’t cancel the card especially since Citibank waives my annual fee. But I rarely use it anymore, putting a small charge on there every few months just to keep it active.

    • Yes, never cancel it, if they’re willing to waive the annual fee. Wish I would have learned this credit advice much earlier in life.

  • Ugh, just one more reason to move on from AA.

  • Justin Ungerboeck says:

    This is a bit of a bummer to hear. I was actually considering signing up for this card.

  • One of the few AA benefits of the Red card I use since almost always flying AA only on award flights. So that and free bag. Might be time to cancel.

  • This is a real bummer, but not surprised to see it go.

  • Barclays is simultaneously ending the annual 10k points for (legacy US Airways) Aviator cardholders. The loos of these 2 benefits means our household won’t be keeping our Aviators after next year.

  • Managed to snag two awards to Seoul, so 10% back on each. Will miss that perk…..

  • Must agree, it is a disappointment. While not the only factor, was a major factor in my applying for the Citibank Mastercard. Unfortunately, I’m not ready to take advantage of this perk, before it expires.

  • I’m cancelling my AA cards… not worth keeping them anymore

  • Patrick B. says:

    Maybe i missed it, but what was the reason they gave for ending that program? What it planned from the beginning, or was there some kind of falling-out between AA and those particular financial institutions?

    • I never saw a reason given either… although, at least on the Barclay’s side, it was spun as being just a trade-off for the “enhancements” being made to the card: access to the Flight Cents program, $25 annual WiFi credit, and $99 Companion cert after $20k spend annually.
      In any event, seems to me, and not just in this case, that *passive benefits* such as this automatic reimbursement of 10% on redeemed miles often present as the lowest-hanging fruit when programs look at belt-tightening.

  • I am hanging on to my Barclay. I need to get the priority boarding and baggage for my family.
    I do prefer Barclay over Citi. I’ve had less issues with Barclay. I have been eyeing the Citi card to get another bonus of AA miles though.
    Am I safe to assume if I went for the AA card with Citi that had a large bonus I couldn’t go and get the MileUp card and get the bonus unless it’s been 2yrs in between each card?

  • Buying miles in bulk for the defacto consolidator fare business class ticket with your FFP membership is the way to go nowadays.

  • This was one of the biggest benefits I got with the card. I may decide to get rid of it.

  • I justify the AF with the ten percent rebate. I can no longer justify the AF.

  • With so much competition and the Max scandal why would they take this away?

  • Certainly disappointing, but I wouldn’t think it would keep anyone from SIGNING UP for the card…..they just won’t keep it!

  • Wow, this is a huge disappointment! This was an awesome benefit of these cards.

  • Gosh. This one is a bummer. I saved a good amount of miles due to this 10% discount.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I like some of the other perks offered, like bag checking.

  • I’m sorry to hear this! It was a great perk.

  • Bill from Maine says:

    Just opened a Citi and Barclay card for this benefit alone. I’ll hold unto them until AF comes due and cancel. Not much bones to either of these cards anymore.

  • This is a really critical blow for me.
    It’ll discourage me from collecting AA miles for sure.

  • bummer!! I liked that little 10% bump. It was a nice extra perk.

  • May be time to cancel the Barclay card I have.

  • It is a shame AA or the banks are essentially devaluing AA FF Miles in my estimation, by almost 10 percent. Good bye AA.

  • When they announced the end of this benefit, I got rid of both my Citi and Barclay cards. The other perks are just not worth the annual fees for me.

  • Yikes! If I hadn’t cancelled my card last year, I would certainly cancel it now!

  • I also enjoyed the 10% back. Already cycled both over time. I guess AA had this planned for a while. I believe it was capped at 10k

  • Bummer. That plus bags were really the beat things about holding the card.

  • With the loss of this perk as well as the EQD decrease it is probably time to cancel my Aviator card.

  • Takeaways seem commonplace anymore. Thanks for letting us know about them quickly so we can make informed decisions.

  • No reason to hold this card now unless you always frequently fly AA and check enough bags throughout the year to make up the fee.

  • I was considering getting the credit card, not sure if it’s worth it if they’re removing good benefits like this. Any thoughts?

  • Luciano Stinchi says:

    I dont remember the last time I read a post with a new perk or any good news

  • 10% rebate was the only thing that set this card apart, too bad.

  • This is very disappointing and a big devaluation. I have had the Citi AA Platinum card for years, little reason to keep it and the fee, can product change to Citi AA no fee card.

  • Did this bonus ever apply to the AAdvantage MileUp card?

    • No, the card only offers 2 miles per dollar on groceries and AA purchases. No fee. Personally, the Citicashback card seems to be the way to go. Thoughts?

  • Slowly benefits of frequent flyer schemes are being eroded across the board. I wonder how many years we have left before they aren’t worth bothering with at all.

  • I’ve noticed recently that AA awards are fluctuating a lot more in price, even though supposedly they don’t have a revenue-based award chart. I think it’s a bad sign of things to come.

  • Well, onto goodbye American. Onto Jetblue for me.

  • Jerry Van Allen says:

    If the reservation is made before May 1st but the flight is after May 1st would I still get the rebate?

  • I wish they would introduce a card that earned credits towards status based on expenditure. I know that there have been some very limited offers.

  • Disappointing to see benefits being removed, but unfortunately it seems to be a trend. Perhaps they will bring it back as incentive someday.

  • Frustrating to see awards and perks being discontinued! A disturbing trend in many cards. I hope it might be re instated, fingers crossed.

  • Good while it lasted.

  • one less reason to hold onto these cards…

  • Really sucky. Basically devalues your miles by 10% unless you cough up for a more expensive card you might not need.

  • Always changing…

  • charles janay says:

    JetBlue still rebates 10% for cardholders.

  • This is reducing benefits at it’s finest.

  • Thanks for the reminder on this. I still have 5K left to use on one account.

  • Thanks for the reminder. I just closed my citi platinum card.

  • Sad, a decent perk of the AA card.

  • More devaluing. I’m shocked. /sarcasm

  • Seems we are always losing perks instead of getting them!

  • Thanks for this post. Makes Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard less valuable. Still they have good partnerships for international economy travel.

  • This card really doesn’t work for me anymore. I don’t get enough AA miles organically and have better places to put most spend.

  • Well, that’s disappointing!

  • Now THIS is a benefit I’ll miss. Too bad…

  • I’m really disappointed by this. I choose the Citi Platinum card for my parents specifically for this benefit (they have a significant amount of miles to burn). I think I’ll cancel their card and change it to the DL Platinum, which offers a BOGO RT and is only $100 more (per year).

  • It seems as though more and more companies take away benefits daily. Very disappointing.

  • Anyone have any success in getting some points or other perk by calling to cancel in light of this news? Thanks!

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