Citibank Reducing Mileage earning on AA Credit Cards

Earning points and miles is the number one reason why we use credit cards, and getting a good return on those credit cards is super important. When issuers reduce the earning on the credit cards in one category or another, it makes me (and other users) look to other credit card issuers for their wallet share.

Citi isn’t doing so well as a credit card issuer as of late. They used to have an exclusive relationship with American Airlines until the US Airways/American Airlines merger happened, and they had to share their love with Barclay’s. They just got a Costco relationship, but it’s not terribly lucrative, as it was bogged down with tons of issues during the transfer and people were fiercely loyal to their American Express card.

The Citi Premier card is offering 15,000 points at signup, the Preferred card is offering 30,000 points, and the Citi Prestige card is offering 50,000 points at signup. 

Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige Card

Currently there is a 60,000 mile signup on the American Airlines Advantage card which is super appealing, but other than that, it’s lost its luster.

Reduced Earnings

Today I just got a letter in the mail from Citibank stating that “There is an update to how you will earn American Airlines AAdvantage Miles.” That’s never a good thing…

In the past, when I used my CitiBusiness AAdvantage card, I would earn 2 miles per dollar at gas stations, which included warehouse clubs (Costco), discount stores, department stores, and convenience stores (think 7-11). Now, they’re only going to be used at actual Gas Pumps and full-on gas stations, not hybrid store/gas stations.

The silver lining is that if you used your card from November 15, 2015 until August 1, 2017, you will get 1 extra mile per dollar spent at those gas stations. They’ll credit those miles to your account in September 2017.

We wrote a great post last year that showed how we earned almost 2 million miles by August, so we appreciate the option to earn bonus miles everywhere we go.

How we earned Miles last year

State of the Miles

Any reduction is bad…

If we’re being honest, credit card issuers aren’t giving us MORE miles and points and instead we’re seeing reductions across the board. While I didn’t use my card for that many gas station purchases, I know that there are a lot who have. And while I don’t appreciate the reduction, I can’t help but think that this is a way for people to use their Costco Visa card for Gas, as it will earn 4% back at all gas stations, including Costco.

Citi AAdvantage Card

I still find the Citi AAdvantage card to be a fantastic card, but I wouldn’t really hold on to it past the 60,000 mile signup. It’s a fantastic opportunity to earn a boatload of miles quickly, but after the first year it doesn’t hold that much value. You can sign up using our links below if you’re interested in applying for the card.

What credit card do you use for your gas purchases? What do you think about Citi’s changes?

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Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. Hmm. Might ditch the card at year one, then. Earning the 60K miles right now….

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  2. So what changed? You’re not really being clear with what’s going on.

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    • You did read the post. Right? Just to be clear.

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