Benefits & KEY FEATURES
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for guests traveling with you
- Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 17.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Keep your account alive
Most air mile cards require some form of account activity at least once a year or every 18 months; without it, the issuer could close your account and take away your miles. But this doesn’t mean you have to make a big purchase just to keep your account alive. Charging something to the card that you need to buy anyway, such as a tank of gas or groceries, could be enough to keep your credit card air miles account open.
Never carry a balance
Paying interest on a credit card balance defeats the purpose of earning air miles. Say you have a $5,000 balance on your card with the average airline credit card interest rate of 16.24%.
If you pay $100 a month toward the balance each month, it would take you 7 years and cost an extra $3,399 just in interest alone. That’s way more than a plane ticket!
It can be difficult to keep track of all the miles and rewards programs from your various credit cards. In order to get the absolute most out of these programs you have to stay organized. Instead of building time-consuming spreadsheets from scratch, sign up for a free service like Award Wallet
, which manages personal loyalty program accounts. You can track all your rewards in one place, plus you’ll get an alert when your points are about to expire.
Become a loyal customer
Loyalty programs were created to reward customers for their repeat business, so find your favorite airlines and hotels and stick with them. Eventually, your loyalty will be rewarded with more points and free travel and hotel rooms. This takes more time than maxing out a sign-up bonus, but it’s an important part of the travel hacking strategy. It’s much better to have 100,000 miles in a single account than 20,000 miles in five separate programs.
Take online surveys
You can actually earn free credit card air miles without having to spend a dime. Sites like e-rewards and e-miles offer airline miles in exchange for taking surveys. E-miles
has partnerships with major travel companies like Southwest, American Airlines, United and Hilton, and e-rewards
works with Alaska Air, Frontier, Hertz, JetBlue and Radisson. Just keep in mind that time is money, so make sure the payoff is worth your effort.
If your free air miles are spread across multiple rewards accounts, consolidating them can give you more purchasing power. Points.com
is another service that helps you manage your credit card air miles and rewards, but it’s also a place where you can trade, transfer and purchase points between your programs. If you decide to trade your points, the site will let you know if you will lose any miles in the transfer, as well as if there are any additional bonus offers for which you may qualify.
We even have a bonus hack for you: Before you plan your next trip, check out and compare all our recommended air miles credit cards.