Reader Robert G. passes along a Citibank offer for a checking account with up to 30,000 bonus American Airlines miles.
Offer code CYKS can be used at http://offer.citibank.com/, by phone at 1-866-466-1822 or at a branch through July 31. It is pitched to existing American Airlines co-branded credit card holders but is unlikely to require that one have the card (although with 50,000 mile signup bonuses out there, it’s hard to imagine why you wouldn’t get one if you don’t already have one and haven’t held one in the past 18 months).
Once you’ve opened an account, make at least one direct deposit a month for two consecutive months, and make purchases as follows with your accounts debit card
- A Citigold checking account, $750 in charges for 30,000 American AAdvantage miles.
- A Citibank checking account, $375 in charges for 15,000 American AAdvantage miles.
- A Basic Banking checking account, $125 in charges for 5,000 American AAdvantage miles.
Now, back in the day Citibank checking accounts were amazing for earning miles because you could make your initial account funding via credit card, with no limit up to your credit limit, and the transaction would post with most banks as a purchase rather than a cash advance. I used to use my Chase United card to fund the account, it had an $80,000 limit at the time. And I did this on multiple occasions. That trick is sadly no longer available.
This offer isn’t nearly as lucrative. Especially since a Citigold account requires a $50,000 minimum balance to avoid a $30 monthly fee, meaning that without that you’ll be incurring those fees until you close the account after your miles post (I’d bet on 3 monthly fees, possibly likely still worthwhile but cuts into the value proposition). (A Citi checking requires a $15,000 minimum balance to avoid a $20 fee, and the basic checking requires a $1500 balance for no fee.).
Further cutting into the value proposition is that Citi reports checking account bonus miles on 1099 forms at the end of the year, meaning you’ll have to report the value of those bonus miles to the IRS.
Still, a possible useful and quick way to generate some miles. And if you stay away from the top Citigold offer, you’re likely to receive less than $600 worth of miles from Citibank thus avoiding the 1099 issue.