The traditional outstanding offer for the American Airlines Mastercard is 20,000 bonus points with first purchase and fee waived the first year. I guess too many people were cancelling the card before the fee hit, because there’s a new offer that ups the ante — 20,000 bonus points with first purchase, fee waived the first year, and 5000 more points after a year.
Strictly speaking I don’t know when the 5000 additional points will post, perhaps you’ll have already paid the annual fee or perhaps it’s still within the timeframe that you can cancel without owing the fee (even if the $85 has shown up on your credit card statement already). Either way, the offer is clearly aimed at getting folks to keep the card through the first year’s renewal.
5000 points for $85 may or may not be your bag, but an interesting offer nonetheless and the current best of class for the card as far as I’m concerned.