On Tuesday, after publishing my Quick Deal about the new Citi Executive AA 100K offer, I added the card to my Best Credit Card Offers page, and I applied for the card myself. At the end of the online application process, the website told me to call to finalize the application. I called the number on the screen and, after a long time on hold, I gave the agent my application ID (also shown on the web page). She only asked me one question before approving my application (“Would you like to add your cell phone number to your account?” “Sure. 734…”). I then asked the agent to verify the signup bonus. 100K miles after $10K spend in 3 months. Check. $200 statement credit to offset $200 of spend the first year. Check.
100,000 AA miles is a huge signup bonus, but the offer does have a couple of downsides: 1) The $450 annual fee is not waived the first year; and 2) The offer requires $10,000 spend in 3 months.
The annual fee issue is partly offset by $200 in statement credits. After I applied for the card, I asked the telephone agent for details about the statement credit. She told me that it was to offset American Airlines charges only. Time will tell if that’s true or not. The application isn’t clear on that point. The only details it gives about the statement credit are as follows:
Eligible purchases excluded returned goods and services, cash advances, convenience checks, transferred balances, credits, fees and interest charges. Statement credits will appear on the monthly billing statement from Citi®.
Frequent readers of my blog have probably learned enough manufactured spend techniques to knock off $10K of spend in no time. For everyone else, though, here are a few tips:
- Buy Vanilla Reload cards, load the money to your BlueBird card, and then use BlueBird to pay bills (or withdraw the money back to your bank account). UPDATE: Vanilla Reload cards are no longer available to be purchased with credit cards in most locations.
- Buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards at local stores and then use the PIN features to cash them out.
Send Amazon Payments to friends or family members. You send up to $1,000 per month, with a credit card, for free. Amazon discontinued this program.
- Make micro-loans through Kiva. See: Kiva: loans, points, and miles.
- Pay taxes. See: Buying miles and points and cash from the IRS with credit cards.
Load your American Express for Target card and then withdraw money from low cost ATMs. Details here: “How to get the American Express for Target card,” and here: “Using the Target Amex card to run up spend“. UPDATE 1/12/2016: The American Express for Target card has been discontinued
- Organize events. For example, gather up friends to go to a sports event and offer to do the leg work of buying the tickets. They can pay you back by cash or check.
Once you’ve completed your $10K spend requirement, you’ll get the 100,000 mile bonus, plus 10,000 miles from the spend itself.
Don’t use your Citibank card to buy gift cards from financial institutions. For example, do not buy American Express gift cards online from American Express. The purchases will be treated as cash advances so that they will not count towards the required spend plus you’ll be charged hefty fees.
Q: Can I get this offer even though I recently had (or still have) a Citibank American Airlines card?
A: As long as you haven’t had this particular card (the Executive card), you can qualify for the bonus.
Q: Can I apply for this card and another Citbank card on the same day to get both bonuses?
A: No. Citibank no longer allows more than one application per day.
Q: I applied for a different Citibank card recently. Is it too soon to apply for this one?
A: I believe the current Citibank rules are that you can apply for no more than 1 card within an 8 day period, and no more than 2 cards within a 65 day period. So, if you only applied for 1 other Citibank card recently, don’t apply for this one until 8 days have gone by. If you applied for 2 recently, don’t apply for this one until 65 days have gone by since the previous applications.
Q: Is this really a good offer? $450 is a lot to spend on a credit card!
A: Yes, it’s a very good offer, but only if you can afford to pay $450 for 100,000 miles (or $250 if you count on the statement credits) and you’re able to make the $10K spend requirement without going into debt.
Q: Won’t AA miles devalue soon, just as United miles did?
A: Probably, but this would be a really good offer even for United miles. I think it is unlikely that AA will devalue their miles so much as to make 100,000 miles inconsequential.
Q: Can I cancel the card after I get the bonus miles?
A: Yes, but you might as well keep the card at least until the next annual fee comes due. Then, if you don’t want to keep the card, call to downgrade it to a no-fee card or cancel it. Please read about my recent experience when calling to cancel another Citibank card.
Q: Do you get paid if I use your signup link for this card?
A: No. I do not have an affiliate link for this card.
For more information about this Citibank offer, check out this FlyerTalk thread.