Back on March 5 I wrote about changes to American Airlines mileage earning checking and money market accounts with BankDirect, they were upping their signup bonus offers and reducing mileage earning for accounts with balances over $200,000. The big bonuses are great, and my checking account has less than $200,000 in it, so from my perspective this was pretty good news.
Here are the basics of the account:
I’m a big fan of BankDirect, I’ve written about it in the past such as here, they’ve hosted my primary checking account since July 2003. I’ve found the customer service excellent and the value proposition compelling.
I get 100 American Airlines miles for every thousand dollars of average balance each month, which in a low interest rate environment is a pretty good rate of return (and unlike Citibank, they don’t 1099 the miles). As long as I keep an average balance of $2500 in the account I’m avoiding fees. They reimburse my out-of-network ATM fees and give me postage-paid envelopes for mailing in deposits.
And here’s the new signup bonus that went info effect April 1:
- 1000 miles per new account, plus 1000 miles per $100,000 in initial deposit
- 10,000 miles for payroll direct deposit
- 5000 miles for using bill pay (presumably still a 12 month requirement? Not yet clear).
- 5000 miles for using their Visa Checkcard
- 1000 miles for referring new accountholders/being referred by an existing accountholder
So a standard account opening bonus, presumably fully received after a year, would be 22,000 American Airlines miles — up from 9,000 miles. Pretty good.
If you’re opening an account you should be referred by an existing accountholder. I’ve earned great referral bonuses by referring folks, of course. You can email me for a referral but of course are under no obligation to do so. The strange thing is that there have been references to earning up to 10,000 miles from referrals, and I recall once seeing a limit of earning 20 referral credits, but in practice I can verify that no such limit has been enforced.