American Just Updated Their Terms and Conditions. And This Time It’s Instructions on How to Earn Plenty of Miles.

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The American AAdvantage program updated its terms and conditions. Interestingly, or oddly, they’ve incorporated details of their Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® (but not of all of their co-brand cards).

They’ve even detailed the terms of the signup bonus in the program terms.

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage ® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. American Airlines AAdvantage ® bonus miles are not available if you have had a Citi ® / AAdvantage ® Platinum Select ® Card opened or closed in the past 18 months.

Seeing the bonus in the card’s terms suggests to me that it could last awhile — although they also include APR interest rates in the terms as well and those can certainly change and will have to be updated.

Perhaps most interesting is that the requirements to earn a signup bonus for the card if you’re a previous cardmember are published with the AAdvantage terms and conditions.

If your previous card account has been closed for 18 months you are eligible to receive the signup bonus again.

In that way, they keep people from continually signing up and canceling for the purpose of receiving bonus after bonus, but they still position themselves to ‘win back’ the business of someone who had the card in the past.

Say that they got angry with an American Airlines flight and decided to respond by cancelling their AAdvantage credit card. A couple of years last they fly American again, realize they liked the benefits of the card like free checked bags and priority boarding. They see an ad for the card with a bonus, and they apply.

If Citi doesn’t give them the bonus, they get mad again, thinking “how come I’m not as valuable to Citibank as someone that’s never even been their customer before?” Citi would lose their business, when in fact they’ve demonstrated a likelihood already of being a good customer who uses their card. Citi wants that person back.

It’s not like the old days when Citi allowed customers to get the same bonus for the card every 90 days.

But even if you’ve had the card in the past, as long as you haven’t had it for 18 months, you’re eligible to receive that signup bonus again. 50,000 miles is a compelling offer for this $0 the first year ($95 thereafter) card.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So how soon do you cancel the card if you want to churn it? Is 6 months too soon? That’d allow you to sign up every two yrs…thoughts?

  2. What if you opened the card more than 18 months ago? Could you still get a new bonus if the previous card has not been closed

  3. Well that settles it, I need to cancel this card. I don’t care what retention offers they give me this time… Makes me wish I cancelled after the first year, I would be ready for a new one by now.

  4. and the obvious question is… What if you applied for the citi aa exec card less than 18mo ago?

  5. They would not give me the sign up bonus on the Citi Plat Select because they said I’d had a Citi Exec within the last 18 months (which I did have).

  6. The perverse side-effect is the incentive to cancel the card now, so that 18 months later you can once again get 50,000 miles, isn’t it? Or am I reading this wrong?

  7. @Ben Hughes No, you are reading it quite correctly. Apply, get the sign up bonus posted as soon as possible, then cancel right away. This gets the 18 month sign up clock running as soon as possible. Pity The Fool who keeps this card open for a year, and then needs to wait another 18 months to reapply.

  8. @R,
    Yes, if you opened your card >18 mo. ago and haven’t closed it you should be eligible for another card. Wait another 19 months ad apply for another one. Just never close one.

    Gary’s statement of: “But even if you’ve had the card in the past, as long as you haven’t had it for 18 months, you’re eligible to receive that signup bonus again. 50,000 miles is a compelling offer for this $0 the first year ($95 thereafter) card.” isn’t completely correct.

  9. I have to decide whether to apply for a 2nd AA Plat card- I’ve had one for 2 years. I thought you COULD get a 2nd without closing the old one.

    Totally confused now.

  10. @Tri N

    Yes that is the obvious question. Anybody know if you can get this card if you’ve had the Citi AA Exec card less than 18 months ago?

  11. The miles expire after 18 months of non use. How would I continue to have an active AA account without a card? I wouldn’t want to loose miles to get some bonus miles?

  12. Just keep your old cards open and keep asking for the fee waived, guys. Then apply for another one, and have 2 of them. Once you open a new one, up to you on if you want to cancel the 1st one or not, since you’d have to wait 18 months from account opening anyway, best to close the card at the same time.

  13. Why not get the Citi/AA Gold card? Only 25k miles, but it looks like you can get it regardless of opening/closing Plat card w/in last 18 months (and fee waived 1st year as well).

  14. Also, it’s worth noting that the terms & conditions of the business version of the card (CitiBusiness Plat Select) says the bonus there is one time only.

  15. Very good. An article headline saying AA updated their T&A, but the entire story is about credit cards. Did Gary update his double chin too?

  16. yeah, that’s what i will do… get the card, meet min spend, and close right after i get the bonus so the clock resets… why is Citi doing this to themselves? i would like to keep it and use it.,.. but evidently they don’t want us to do that.

    makes me wonder what kinds of imbeciles work there…

  17. On the question of those with accounts opened more than 18 months ago: it seems pretty clear to me. There are two exclusions. So, if you:

    have NOT “had a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® opened … in the past 18 months…” and if you

    have NOT “had a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® … closed in the past 18 months…”

    Then you should be eligible for the bonus offer. In other words, if you have one that you opened 19+ months ago, and kept open, you should be eligible.

  18. I’m not sure why anyone would say this doesn’t make sense. If you want to “keep it and use it,” this doesn’t prevent that at all. I also don’t understand how this discourages “long time card holders from sticking with Citi.”

  19. Correct. I think all the experiences on FT is that you can keep your old card open and apply for a new one so long as it’s been 18 months since the last application for it.

  20. What if you downgrade/convert the card to a different citi card such as double cash….account doesn’t really change right?

  21. I just checked my cancelled cards. They were CITI Platinum VISA. cancelled less than 12 mos ago.
    Will I get the bonus since the offer is for a Mastercard?

  22. Noob question, but: if you opened this card, met spend quickly, received bonus into AA account, and then closed the card afterward, is there no mechanism for Citi to revoke the miles? I thought I read that banks do that if you close the card too quickly. Or is that only for internal points (ie: chase removing UR points and Citi removing Thank You points). Does Citi have a way to reach into your AA account and remove points if you close too early?

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