Worth It to Keep 2 American Airlines Credit Cards?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Juli, commented:

I have two American Airlines credit cards, the Citi® / AAdvantage®
Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
 and Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard.  Are both of these cards worth keeping?

Great question, Juli!

The 2 cards have very similar perks.  You get bonus miles on American Airlines purchases, a free checked bag, and a 10% rebate when you redeem miles for award flights.

Because these 2 cards have an annual fee and similar benefits, it’s probably not worth keeping both.  The only exception is if Juli plans to spend a lot on the cards to earn American Airlines elite status.

But before Juli cancels one of the cards, she should consider the application rules for each bank.  This can make it easier to earn more American Airlines miles with future sign-up bonuses!

Keep 2 American Airlines Cards

There’s a Strategy for Folks Deciding Between Which American Airlines Card to Keep in Their Wallets!

I’ll explain which American Airlines credit card Juli should keep!

American Airlines Card Comparison: Barclaycard Vs. Citi

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Barclaycard and Citi each have American Airlines credit cards.  Each card has these benefits:

Card featuresAAdvantage Aviator SilverAAdvantage Aviator RedCiti AAdvantage Platinum Select World EliteCiti AAdvantage Executive World Elite
Miles earned on American Airlines 3X2X2X2X
Miles earned on hotels & car rentals2X1X1X1X
Miles earned on all other purchases1X1X1X1X
Earn elite qualifying miles (EQMs)5,000 EQMs for each $20,000 in annual purchases (up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles per year)NoneNone10,000 EQMs after $40,000 in annual purchases
$99 Companion certificate for up to 2 guests with $30,000 in purchases by account anniversaryX
$100 flight discount each year with $30,000 in annual purchasesX
$100 Global Entry fee creditXX
Admirals Club membershipX
MasterCard World Elite Concierge & Luxury Travel BenefitsXXXX
1st free checked bag for you and travel companionsX (up to 8 traveling companions)X (up to 4 traveling companions)X (up to 4 traveling companions)X (up to 8 traveling companions)
10% back on redeemed miles (up to 10,000 miles per year)XXX
Priority boardingXXXX
25% discount on food, beverages, headsets purchased in-flightXXXX
No foreign transaction feesXXXX
Annual fee$195$89$95 (waived the 1st year)$450

With few exceptions, the perks are similar for Barclaycard and Citi American Airlines credit cards.  So Juli should probably cancel 1 of the cards to save money on annual fees.

Keep 2 American Airlines Cards

Save Money on Annual Fees When You Cancel a Card With Duplicate Perks

Before deciding which card to cancel, Juli should consider if she wants to earn American Airline elite status with credit card spending.  Because in 2017, it will be easier to earn elite status with spending on the Barclaycard American Airlines credit cards.

And with elite status, Juli can enjoy perks like like seat upgrades, additional free checked bags, and bonus miles on paid flights.

Or Juli might prefer the Citi card because of the Citi Price Rewind perk.  This can refund her money when prices for certain things you’ve purchased go down.

But there are better Citi cards like Citi Prestige, because you’ll earn bonus points on more everyday purchases.

Strategy to Earn the Most American Airlines Miles

Link:   New Citi Rules Restrict Sign-Up Bonuses to Once per “Brand” Every 24 Months

Link:   Why You Should Choose Your Barclaycard Cards Wisely

If Juli plans to cancel one of her American Airlines credit cards and reapply in the future, there are a few things to consider to earn the most American Airlines miles.

Keep 2 American Airlines Cards

Use American Airlines Miles for Award Flights to Hawaii & Many Other Destinations Throughout the World!

First, the Barclaycard American Airlines cards are NOT currently open to new applicants.  But they will be available starting January 2017!

So Juli can cancel her current Barclaycard American Airlines card and re-apply to earn a new sign-up bonus in January 2017.  But be careful!  Because Barclaycard limits folks to 1 or 2 new credit cards per year.

Earning another Citi American Airlines bonus is a little more complicated.  Because Citi restricts new sign-up bonuses to folks who have opened OR closed ANY Citi American Airlines card (other than a CitiBusiness AAdvantage card) in the past 24 months.

So if Juli closes her Citi American Airlines card, she will NOT be eligible to earn a new sign-up bonus for 24 months.

Instead, I’d recommend Juli keep the Citi American Airlines card for at least 24 months.  Then, apply for a new Citi American Airlines card to earn a sign-up bonus.  After Juli gets the new card, she can cancel the old Citi American Airlines card to reset the 24-month cycle.

Bottom Line

Keeping a Barclaycard AND Citi American Airlines credit card in your wallet is probably not worth it.  Because you’ll pay 2 annual fees and get similar benefits with both cards.

Before picking a card to cancel, consider how you can earn American Airlines elite status with credit card spending on the Barclaycard American Airlines cards starting in 2017.

And remember there’s a strategy to earn the most American Airlines miles with future sign-up bonuses.  Barclaycard American Airlines cards will be available again in January 2017!  And Citi restricts sign-up bonuses to folks who have opened or closed a card within the same brand for 24 months.

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15 responses to “Worth It to Keep 2 American Airlines Credit Cards?

  1. Thanks for the post! Do I have to close my Barclay Aviator card or can I keep it and apply for a new one in January? If I close it this week will I be eligible for the bonus on a new one next month? Thanks!

  2. No mention of the AA gold which I got just before the new change as
    I already had the others.

    • The Citi AAdvantage Gold card is also available. With Citi’s new sign-up bonus rules, it’s probably not worth getting this card if you’re looking to earn the most American Airlines miles. But I’m glad you got it before they changed the rules!

  3. I think you swapped the column headers on the executive vs the platinum citbank cards.

  4. Hi Daraius, I was under the impression that the Aviator Red also did not charge foreign transaction fees, although you chart indicates that it does. Has Barclays changed the card’s terms? Thanks.

  5. My Barclay card still had a 10000 mi/year bonus when I renew. Is that still in effect for the older cards? Seems like that would change my decision of which to keep.

    • Yep. That is why I am keeping that one as if you get a new card that perk is no longer available.

      • And sometime you can get Barclay card to waive the annual fee (ask to speak to an account retention specialist) or at least give you some bonus miles (e.g. 5,000 when spend $1,000) which have never been able to do with Citi cards.

  6. I have been very disappointed with Citi as they have been totally unwilling to waive annual fees or give retention bonuses. I had almost 30,000 in spend this year on Citi AA card and they wouldn’t offer any bonus. They offered me a token $60 statement credit. Similar response on my wife’s card. She also asked for a one time courtesy for her first late payment ever to refund the late fee and interest charges and was denied stating it was their policy not to do so. This was false as they had just given me the courtesy refunds on my card as we both missed our payment due to travel and wedding planning for our son. I cancelled both cards and will focus on Chase cards for a while.

  7. what happens when citi decides not to let her get another citi aa card cuz she already has one

    2 more years after she closes

    the game is getting old

    let’s drink to the old lady in the white shoes