American Airlines has co-branded credit cards issued by both Barclays and Citi. In this post I wanted to take a look at the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, which is a popular small business credit card in this portfolio.
The card offers an excellent welcome bonus, and also has valuable ongoing perks for holding onto the card. Furthermore, as of 2022 spending on this credit card can help you earn elite status in the AAdvantage program.
Citi AAdvantage Business Card Review For January 2022
The Citi AAdvantage Business Card is one of American’s two co-branded business credit cards, and in this post I wanted to take a close look at everything you need to know about this card. What is the sign-up bonus like, is this a good card for your everyday spending, and what are the best alternatives? Let’s look at what you need to know, in no particular order.
Welcome Bonus Of 65,000 AAdvantage Miles
The Citi AAdvantage Business Card is offering a great welcome bonus of 65,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $4,000 within the first four months. This is an excellent welcome bonus with a reasonable minimum spending requirement. I value American miles at ~1.5 cents each, so to me those 65,000 miles are worth about $975.
As far as restrictions go when applying for this card, keep in mind Citi’s general application rules, which include that you can only apply for one Citi credit card every eight days, and at most two Citi credit cards every 65 days.
There’s also a 48-month rule on this card, which means you can’t receive the bonus on this card if you’ve received a bonus on this exact card in the past 48 months. However, you are eligible for the bonus even if you’ve received bonuses on any other American Airlines credit cards.
$99 Annual Fee, Waived The First 12 Months
The Citi AAdvantage Business Card has a $99 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first 12 months. This is a great way to “try” the card before you have to really pay an annual fee on it. You can also add authorized users to the card at no extra cost.
Earn Up To 2x AAdvantage Miles
When it comes to actually spending money on the Citi AAdvantage Business Card, there are some categories eligible for bonus miles:
- Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations
- Earn 1x AAdvantage miles on all other purchases
Those are some potentially useful bonus categories, though there are also other cards offering bonuses in those categories.
Spend Your Way Towards AAdvantage Elite Status
Major changes have been made to the American AAdvantage program as of 2022, as elite status qualification is now based solely on how many Loyalty Points you earn. Spending money on AAdvantage credit cards earns you Loyalty Points, as you earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent.
For context, here are how many Loyalty Points you need to earn status:
- AAdvantage Gold status requires 30,000 Loyalty Points
- AAdvantage Platinum status requires 75,000 Loyalty Points
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro status requires 125,000 Loyalty Points
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum status requires 200,000 Loyalty Points
Some people might find it worthwhile to put spending on American Airlines credit cards in order to earn status, as you could even earn Executive Platinum status exclusively through credit card spending.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Citi AAdvantage Business Card has no foreign transaction fees, so this can be a good option for purchases you make abroad.
Citi AAdvantage Business Card Benefits
In addition to the great welcome bonus and the ability to earn elite status with spending, there are some other reasons to get the Citi AAdvantage Business Card, which may justify the annual fee for some small businesses. Let’s go over the benefits & perks you should be aware of with this card.
First Checked Bag Free
Those with the Citi AAdvantage Business Card receive a first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation. There’s no need to actually pay for the ticket with your card, you just have to make sure it’s linked to your AAdvantage account.
American ordinarily charge $30 for the first checked bag, so that’s a $60 value per person roundtrip (and if you had four companions all checking a bag, that would be a value of $300).
American Airlines Companion Certificate
You can receive a domestic main cabin companion certificate when you spend a minimum of $30,000 in purchases on the Citi AAdvantage Business Card in a cardmember year, and when you renew your card. Personally, this isn’t something that I’d take advantage of, since there are better cards on which you can spend that much money.
When it comes time to redeem the companion certificate, there are some restrictions to be aware of:
- It’s only valid for travel within the lower 48
- It’s only valid for a roundtrip ticket in economy
- You have to book your ticket through American Airlines Meeting Services, so it can’t be booked online
- The certificate is valid for one year from the date of issue
- You have to pay $99 plus taxes and fees when redeeming it
- The companion booked with this certificate isn’t eligible for mileage accrual or upgrades
Is The Citi AAdvantage Business Card Worth It?
Much like the personal version of the card, the Citi AAdvantage Business Card offers a great sign-up bonus with a waived annual fee for the first year. Furthermore, the first checked bag free benefit could more than justify the annual fee after the first year for many.
However, this isn’t a credit card I’d be using for my everyday spending unless you’re trying to earn Loyalty Points. That’s because there are so many other cards that are more rewarding for everyday spending. With that in mind, let’s do a quick comparison of the personal and business version of the card.
Citi Platinum Card Comparison: Personal Vs. Business
How does the Citi AAdvantage Business Card compare to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® (review), aside from the obvious distinction that one is a personal card and one is a business card?
- The business version of the card has a significantly better welcome bonus
- The business version of the card offers a companion certificate after spending $30,000, while the personal version offers a $125 American flight discount after spending $20,000
- The business version of the card offers 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations, while the personal version of the card offers 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, gas stations, and restaurants
As you can see, the cards are very similar. Personally, I think the biggest distinction is that the business card often has a better bonus, so that’s the card I’d recommend applying for first.
The Citi AAdvantage Business Card offers an excellent welcome bonus with an annual fee that’s waived for the first year. 65,000 miles is an awesome bonus, and is a great reason to pick up this card and see how it works out for your small business. The card also offers perks like a first checked bag free that some people may get value out of.
On top of that, as of 2022 spending on American Airlines credit cards can help you earn status, as you’ll earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent. For some people, that could be enough reason to put some spending on this card.