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Reader Vinhsynd wanted to know,
What do you think the chances are of Citi ThankYou Rewards adding AAdvantage as a transfer partner?
What are your thoughts on using the Citi Prestige and Barclay AAviator Silver for getting AAdavantage points vs a combination of Citi Executive and Starwood AMEX?
It’s really strange that Citi ThankYou Rewards — now that it offers mileage transfers to a variety of programs — doesn’t allow transfers to AAdvantage. I’m confident that Citi would like to do this, and that they haven’t been able to come to terms with American over it.
I can’t predict whether they will ever be able to come to terms on it, except to say that they haven’t been able to so far so if I were betting I’d say it’s less than 50% likely that they will be able to in the future. American doesn’t seem especially receptive to this.
Citi Prestige is a really strong card. $450 annual fee, but you get a $250 airline credit (and you can use this on airfare).
The signup bonus is 30,000 ThankYou points after $2000 spend within 3 months (I’ve heard of a 60,000 point offer that requires $15,000 spend, available in-branch).
The card earns triple points with airlines, hotels and on spend with travel agencies and double points on dining and entertainment.
It provides American Admirals Club access like Citi Executive does, and also a Priority Pass Select card just like the American Express Platinum does — except the Citi Prestige offers Priority Pass Select with a free guest whereas Amex Platinum’s charges for guests.
It also offers a credit for the $100 Global Entry application fee. This expedites immigration (skip the lines, use a kiosk) and gets you TSA PreCheck as well.
And instead of 1.25 cents per point towards airfare, Citi Prestige gives you 1.33 cents a point — or 1.6 cents if you spend the points on American Airlines travel.
But for now this card won’t help you earn American AAdvantage miles.
You mention three other cards.
Barclays Aviator Silver isn’t something you can apply for. It’s being offered to select US Airways Premier World MasterCard cardholders, though it may be rolled out more broadly.
Citi Executive / AAdvantage is the premium Citi AAdvantage card that offers lounge access.
The strongest earner of American miles for ongoing spending, of course, is the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express. That’s because when you transfer Starwood points into 20,000 miles you get 5000 bonus miles. Effectively you earn 1.25 miles per dollar on all spend when transferring 20,000 mile increments. So it earns faster than the American co-branded cards, gives you the option of transferring points into programs other than American’s, and comes at a lower ($0 the first year, $65 thereafter) price point.
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