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We'll give you a quick overview: With the entry-level American Airlines MileUp(r), you can earn loyalty points toward elite status, and AAdvantage mile for award flights. All of this is possible without an annual fee.
No annual fee
No free baggage or priority boarding.
3% foreign transaction fee.
Current welcome bonus: Receive a $50 credit on your statement after spending $500 in the first 3 months of opening an account.
American Airlines flyers who want to earn and redeem AAdvantage Miles for award flights, without paying an annual fee.
The AAdvantage mileUp card
Citi's AAdvantage mileUp card is a great option for anyone who wants to earn American Airlines miles without paying an annual fee.
This card is the only American Airlines card that offers bonus miles for grocery purchases.
You can earn miles on your purchases.
The AAdvantage MileUp Card offers another major benefit: the ability to accumulate Loyalty points towards elite status at American Airlines. Each dollar spent on the card equals 1 Loyalty point, but bonus points for groceries and American Airlines purchases as well as the sign-up bonuses do not count.
AAdvantage MileUp holders, for example, can earn Gold status with American Airlines through strategic spending on the card via the airline's dining rewards program and shopping portal. If you want to achieve airline elite status, earning 40,000 loyalty points and earning gold status with American Airlines through shopping, dining and using your credit card can be a great benefit.
A modest bonus is also available to new cardholders. After approval, cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus mile and $50 in statement credit for spending $500 within the first three month of opening their account.
Cardholders can also save up to 25% on American Airlines' in-flight meals and beverages when they pay with their AAdvantage mileUp card.
The AAdvantage mileUp card has many advantages
The AAdvantage MileUp Card is not as popular as other American credit cards but it has some appealing features that are worth mentioning. The card has no annual fee. It is free to use as long as your balance is paid in full on time.
Additionally, American Airlines purchases at grocery stores and American Airlines earn 2 miles for every dollar spent. This is a great way to double your miles while you shop at the supermarket. There are many other credit cards which offer greater rewards when shopping at the grocery store, but they usually charge an annual fee.
American Airlines also isn't an official partner with any of the major points transfer programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards. This card is therefore one of the only ways to earn AAdvantage Miles without paying an annual fee.
The card offers a 25% discount for American Airlines in-flight meals and beverages when used. The card only offers one flight-related benefit.
The card allows you to earn American Airlines elite status by using it for purchases. Card holders receive 1 Loyalty Point for every dollar they spend on the card.
The AAdvantage mileUp card has some disadvantages
The AAdvantage mileUp card has a number of features that are useful, especially for a card with no annual fee. Card holders can earn miles redeemable and loyalty points towards elite status. The card does have some obvious disadvantages.
The card gives new cardholders a small number of miles at the beginning. This card's minimal sign-up offer won't do much to boost your AAdvantage mile balance.
The biggest disadvantage of the card is that it does not offer any airline benefits. This is especially true when compared to other American credit cards such as the Citi(r), AAdvantage (r), Platinum Select(r), World Elite Mastercard(r). Card holders can enjoy benefits like priority boarding and free checked luggage. You may want to look at a higher-tier American Airlines card if these benefits are important.
Leave the AAdvantage mileUp card home if you are planning to travel overseas. All purchases in foreign currencies are charged a 3% fee. This could result in hundreds of additional dollars during a business or vacation trip abroad.
Comparing the AAdvantage mileUp card to our benchmark
CNN Underscored chose the Citi(r), Double Cash Card to be our benchmark credit card. This does not mean that it is the best credit card available. We use it to compare credit cards, comparing where they are better and worse.
Check out how the AAdvantage mileUp card compares to our benchmark. In the chart below, each card's features are color-coded in either green, white or red. The green color indicates that the card's feature is better than our benchmark. Red means the feature we're comparing is inferior to the benchmark. White indicates that the feature can't be directly compared with our benchmark.
The Points Guy, a frequent flyer website, has calculated the point values.
We use this format to compare other credit cards with our benchmark. For more information on our credit card method, you can read about what we consider when it comes perks, protections and redemption value.
Consider other travel credit cards
Consider the Chase Sapphire(r) Credit Card if you are looking for a credit card that offers a variety of travel rewards without being associated with any specific airline. The $95 annual charge is a bit steep, but new cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first three month of opening their account.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns you more every time you use it.
Chase Ultimate Reward points can be used to book travel via the Chase Ultimate Reward travel portal. Each point is worth 1.25 cents, so an 80,000-point bonus would equal $1,000. You can also transfer your points 1:1 to Chase's 14 hotel and airline partners. The card is a good option for people who do not want to be tied to one airline.
The AAdvantage mile earning card offers more benefits than the AAdvantage mile up card.
For a limited period, cardholders of the new AAdvantage platinum select card can earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Bonus Miles after spending $3.500 within the first four month following account opening. Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent in gas stations, restaurants, and on American Airlines purchases.
You'll also receive additional benefits, such as a free checked bag for you and four travel companions on American Airlines domestic itineraries, priority boarding on American Airlines, no foreign transaction fee, and a $125 American Airlines discount on flights after spending at least $20,000 and renewing your membership.
The AAdvantage platinum select card does not have an annual fee of $99, but it is waived the first year.
Do you need the AAdvantage mileUp card?
The AAdvantage mileUp card is a great choice for those looking for an American Airlines card without an annual fee. Cardholders can earn double points for groceries, and LoyaltyPoints towards elite status by spending regularly.
The AAdvantage mileUp card is an excellent option if you're not bothered by a limited sign-up bonus or airline benefits. This card is a great choice for anyone looking to get their first airline credit cards.
The AAdvantage Platinum Select Card is a great option for frequent American Airlines travelers and those who want a richer experience with the airline. It offers extra benefits such as priority boarding, free checked luggage, and bonus miles when dining out and buying gas.
For those who don't have a loyalty to any airline, but simply want to earn valuable rewards for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the best option. It offers a wide range of bonus categories, and flexible points which can be transferred between multiple airline and hotel programs.