CitiBusiness/Aadvantage World Mastercard Review

The CitiBusiness / Aadvantage World Mastercard has decent rewards (though not fantastic), but its real strength to me is the sign-up bonus of 30K miles.  At $0.0136 per mile (which is our latest estimate of the value of 1 Aadvantage mile), that sign-up bonus is worth about $400.

Like we say for all airline and hotel loyalty cards, while the value of the rewards you earn is important, it may very well take a back seat to your own brand and experience preferences.  If you’re a big fan of American Airlines, or find their routes convenient, then one of the Aadvantage loyalty cards may have a better chance of working for you.

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Summary Of Benefits Of CitiBusiness/Aadvantage Credit Card

  • First bag checked free for you and up to 4 other travel companions
  • Priority boarding with Group 1 privileges.
  • Sign-up bonus: 30,000 American Airlines aadvantage miles after making $1,000 in purchases within first 3 months of card membership.
  • Bonus points:
    • Earn 2 aadvantage miles for every dollar of eligible American Airlines purchases, as well as at certain office supply, telecommunications and and car rental companies.
    • You’ll earn 1 aadvantage mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Receive a $99 companion certificate for domestic (US) travel when you make $30,000 or more in purchases in a given cardmember year.  Note that you will also have to pay ticket fees of $21.60 to $43.20.  The certificate is valid for 1 year from issue.
    • Points bonus: each cardmember year, you’ll receive a 5% American Airlines mileage bonus on all eligible purchases made during the prior cardmember year.
    • Get 25% savings on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases when you make the purchases with your aadvantage credit card.
    • Annual fee of $95, waived for the first year.

More on the $99 Companion Certificate

If you are able to hit the $30K spent target for the cardmember year, then you’ll earn this nice little sweetener.  It’s reasonable to assume that a domestic (US) flight might price in around $350 or so on average, which makes this certificate worth between $200 and $250 (let’s split the difference and call it $225).

Quick Thought on the 5% Aadvantage Annual Bonus

This bonus is really nothing to get too excited about.  A 5% bonus on eligble won’t really put much money in your pocket.  Let’s say you spent $15K in a given year, of which $5K is on purchases qualifying for 2 Aadvantage points.  Your total points earned would be 10,000 ($10K spend @1 point per dollar) plus another 10,000 ($5K spend @ 2 points per dollar), for a total of 20,000 points.  A 5% bonus would amount to another 1,000 points, which at $0.0136 per mile, works out to around $13 extra bucks.  Not life-changing, I think you would agree.

We Like The Free First Checked Bag Benefit

Here’s a nice, potentially valuable bonus.  Within the US, the first checked bag costs $25.  If you’re traveling with a couple of other people, the savings quickly add up, and could easily offset the $95 annual fee.

GetDebit’s Closing Thoughts

Our favorite aspects of the CitiBusiness Aadvantage credit card are the sign-up bonus, the companion certificate, and the free first checked bag bonus.  The least impressive aspects of the card are the bonus mile categories (which aren’t bad per se, but you can do better), and the $95 annual fee (most airline loyalty cards come with some sort of annual fee, alas).

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