Airline Credit Cards

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

I keep the information on this page updated, but please double check the credit card applications for details about terms and conditions of the offers.  Please let me know if you find a better offer so that I can list it here!  The card offers are listed alphabetically by airline.

Here are 40+ ways to complete the minimum spending on credit cards if you are concerned about completing the minimum spending requirements.

1.  Alaska Airlines

Bank of America Alaska Air

  • 30,000 miles after approval on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Personal card
  • $100 statement credit after making $1,000 in purchases within 1st 90 days of opening account. (Only available to those who haven’t had the card before.)
  • $75 annual fee NOT waived for the first year;
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • $99 companion certificate valid only in coach
  • Alaska Air miles can be used on partner airlines such as American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Air France, LAN, etc.
  • 25,000 miles with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business card
  • Warning:  Bank of America may issue you a lower platinum plus or preferred card, if you don’t qualify for the Signature card, which offers only 6,000 or 4,000 miles!

2.  American Airlines 

3.  AAdvantage Executive

4.   British Airways

5.  Delta

Daraius’ Tips

6.   Delta Reserve

American Express Delta Reserve

  • 10,000 medallion (elite) miles after 1st purchase with the American Express Delta Reserve card
  • First checked bag is free; free Delta lounge access
  • $450 fee NOT waived for first year; No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 2 Delta miles per $1 spent on Delta & 1 mile for everything else
  • Earn 15,000 regular & elite miles after spending $30,000 and an additional 15,000 regular & elite miles after spending another $30,000 in a calendar year
  • Tip:  This card could be worth the high fee if you’re looking for Delta club access and medallion (elite) qualifying miles.  Otherwise, skip it.

7.  Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines World MasterCard

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases or balance transfers within the 1st 90 days with the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard
  • Earn 2X miles on purchases at and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates.  Book any round-trip award flight on Frontier Airlines starting at 20,000 EarlyReturns® miles (plus fees and taxes)
  • $69 fee NOT waived for 1st year

8.  Hawaiian Airlines

9.   Southwest

Daraius Tip:  How to get the Southwest Companion Pass!


10.   United Airlines

Daraius Tip:  See the Hot Deals tab for other offers.

11.   Virgin Atlantic

Bank of America Virgin Atlantic 

  • 20,000 Virgin Atlantic miles after 1st purchase with Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card
  • Up to 5,000 additional miles for adding authorized users to your account
  • Virgin Atlantic points transfer to Hilton in 3:4 ratio, so 50,000 Virgin Airline miles becomes 75,000 Hilton hotel points
  •  $90 annual fee NOT waived for the first year; 1% foreign transaction fee
  • My review of the Virgin Atlantic credit card

12.   Other Airline Card Offers

Missing your favorite offer?  Please let me know!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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1,184 responses to “Airline Credit Cards

  1. I signed up and got approved for the American express gold sky miles card. .. I am new for all of this reward thing.. so the more i travel the more points I get?

  2. Hi,
    I have two USAIR cards and use the 10,000 miles to make chairman each year. Does this end in 2015 or at card renewal date?

  3. Hi Daraius
    I have 45000 from frontier airlines that I can’t use to fly. I will like to transfer them to another airline account which one you recommend?

  4. Why do you claim to always link to the best offer, even if it isn’t your affiliate link? That clearly isn’t true. You have provided your link to the Barclay’s US Air 40k offer. But there is a better offer that also includes a 10k mile anniversary bonus. That’s the offer you should be directing people to.

  5. It appears to me to try and hold off for another British Airways 100,000 mile bonus Credit Card. Nothing appears to touch this at the moment.

    For those of you reading these blogs not many Frontier and Emerging market hotels take Amex so Visa or Mastercards tend to rule.

    Come on BA give us a 100K credit card offer again….


  6. Darius,
    I was with a company that flew west from the Midwest.. So i was on AA… I got to gold just on segments.
    I switched to a company the took me east a lot, so i switched to Delta. Again I got to Silver on segments.
    To get and grow status on Delta seems tough now and recently i have changed to a company that doesn’t have a corp card so its on my dime and I’m flying all over… Kicker is I go back to NZ about once every year.
    Challenge I’m having is best credit card and airline partner to balance cost of flights and benefits.
    Thinking of getting a card specifically for Travel (which is 90% domestic) but I’d like to leverage or benefit from points/miles for trips back home… Any advice?

  7. I have a citi platinum signature VISA . Would I get the sign on bonus for the Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® ???

  8. I have the AA Signature VISA. Would I get the sign up bonus for the mastercard above?


    • @kiwi – I’d the Chase Sapphire Preferred which gets 2 points per $1 and can be transferred to airlines including United.

      @tryingtotravel – Some folks say they can get the bonus again after 18 to 24 months from when they were last approved for the card!

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  14. Looks like the Frontier Card has a minimum spend of $1000 rather than the $500 posted.

  15. Alaska Airlines Card downside is that any foreign transaction incurs a 3% fee even if in US Dollars. I paid a So. American company for a trip in US Dollars and the charge was run directly through Visa’s own network. Still charged 3% which is more than the savings from a companion ticket.

    User beware!

  16. For the Virgin Atlantic bank of America card the link doesn’t match what you have written!!

  17. Hello and thank you so much for all the great info. I plan to fly from washington dc to hydrabad India. I see that a great route would be DC to London and then London to Hydrabad. What would you say is the absolute best and cheapest way to get there via credit cards. I was thinking British Airways but not sure how many points needed for a trip like that.

    please advise


  18. Hi there, I have a question about Citi AA cards. I had a card which I closed in Dec 2013, but this month received a direct mail piece urging me to sign up for a 50K Citi AA mastercard! It’s been less than 12 months, but do you think it’s possible to sign up again and get the bonus miles? I don’t want to to sign up and then get told the bonus miles aren’t coming…would like your advice, please!

    • @Drew – I wouldn’t do British Airways because they charge high fuel surcharges. I’d collect American Airline miles and redeem for flights on Etihad airlines.

      @Justin – It is ~24 months from when you were last approved.

  19. Hello, Right now, what is the best route to go, if I wish to purchase a large dollar of gift cards to load them into an checking account, to pay bills (mortgage, phone, etc)…. Thanks.

  20. I have the United Mileage Plus Visa card, managed by Chase. Their security practices are completely user-unfriendly. When I travel, I call the 800 number and tell the automated system that I am traveling. This has *no effect*. As soon as I try to use the card, even in a neighboring state, the transaction is denied, and I have to stop what I am doing to call them again, and get a security person on the line. This process can take 30 minutes – just to use my card! In the meantime, they have sent me alarming security emails, expecting me to respond, which is not usually possible when I am in a rental car driving from a retail establishment.

    This has happened multiple times. I am so tired of these “over the top” requirements that I am going to cancel my Chase card and find something else.

  21. Enjoying the site.

    What do you think about the new partnership between Emirates and SPG, using the SPG Amex? I am considering using Emirates, Virgin America, and Cathay as my primary airlines, but only VA has a direct mileage card. Emirates accumulates double points for the airline and SPG.

    Is it worth while to accumulate AA miles and convert? How could I get those miles to one of the three airlines I mentioned?

    Thank you.

  22. Hi Darius,

    I have US Airways Master card for 12 months and have yet to cancel it. Will I receive the bonus miles if I apply for the card now?


  23. There is a BIG, negative, change coming for AAdvantage Executive card users in the form of losing Priority Boarding. AA is going to replace it with only Group 1 boarding yet you get to keep paying the very same $450/yr fee. My wife and I have both been experiencing problems with AA not honoring the priority boarding status benefit, right now it happens about 1/5 times we fly.

    • @Tom – I’d consider Bluebird/Serve or the Target RedCard.

      @ Kevin – You can credit the Cathay flights to AA. But harder to transfer from the other 2 airlines.

      @Tsui – Can’t say for sure, but worth a try!

      @Drew McManus – That’s not cool!

  24. The current Barclay’s US airways offer 50k miles after first purchase and pay the $89 annual fee is great. However, this offer is available only to applicants who are residents of the United States, with the exception of Iowa, Puerto Rico and the US territories. I live in Iowa. Does that mean I cannot get the promotion if I apply this card?

  25. Hi, constantly i used to check weblog posts here in the early hours in the daylight, as i like to find out more and more.

  26. Hello!

    I don’t have any credit cards at this time. I am planning a honeymoon with my fiance, travelling from Minneapolis to Iceland – maybe Sweden as well, and are looking to build miles through use of a credit card to help offset cost. We would probably travel with Iceland Air and open to hotel groups. We will not carry a balance and pay in full every month. Do you have any suggestions for credit cards? Credit score is just fine as far as qualifying. We will not be traveling until spring of 2016.


  27. Hi Darius,

    Happy New Year!

    My dad had a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Master Card-approved on 6/13/2013 and canceled on 7/15/2014. Just want to confirm that he needs to 24 months from the approved to reapply in order to receive bonus miles. I thought it was 18 months. Did Citi change the policy?
    Too many changes, can’t keep, luckily, I have you.


  28. Hello Darius,

    I’m fly to Europe once a year for summer vacation – I’m a teacher. Could you please tell me if I can use the travel card for any air company or each airline has it’s own preferred card.
    For instance if I get American Express would I be able to redeem points and fly with Lufthansa or do
    I have to fly only with Delta or KLM?

    Thank you in advance!

  29. Ema - Proofread

    I’m flying to Europe once a year for summer vacation – I’m a teacher. Could you please tell me if I can use any travel card for any airline company or each airline has its own preferred card.
    For instance if I get American Express, would I be able to redeem points and fly with Lufthansa or do
    I have to fly only with Delta or KLM?
    My other question is: Do airline companies charge similar amounts of points for a flight or is there a notable difference? To be more clear, could Lufthansa charge 50,000 points for a trip to Munich
    while KLM charges only 30,000?

    Thank you in advance!

  30. hi
    1) I have 60,000 southwest points, will they expired in some period of time?
    2) If I cancel the southwest credit card, will the South West points also expired?

  31. Darius,

    If you had to choose only 1 Airline credit card, which would it be? Not just in terms of rewards but flexibility?


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  33. Hey Darius thank you for all of your tips! I have a question about Delta skymiles can you transfer skymiles to USAIRways miles. We signed up for the usairways card and the delta but want to all fly on the same flight

  34. Hi Darius – I’m confused as to the churn rules regarding AA Citi cards. If I applied last year and currently hold the Executive card, can I apply now for a Platinum Select? Or what if I cancelled the now defunct Citi Amex AA card less than 18 months ago?

  35. Hello Darius – Thanks again for your blog and all the information and tips. Would you consider writing more about 1) when to cancel a card after receiving the bonus, 2) how often one can apply for specific cards, 3) the whole idea of “new cardmembers only” and how the define that and how strict they are…again for specific cards you recommend? I ask this because I have followed some of your tips/advice and now have several cards. I hear your reports of churning and reapplying but it seems to me that most of these cards I have say I can’t ever get a bonus offer again or I have to wait 18-24 months. For example, I have the U.S. Airways MC, got my bonuses and it came up for renewal. I decided to renew so I could get the companion pass again. I keep getting offers to get the card…so I’m thinking…can I cancel my card, apply again and get the bonus and another companion pass? If I cancel, does my existing pass become null or would I end up with two valid passes. Insights would be appreciated.

  36. Hey Darius,

    Just wondering why you don’t have the Hawaiian Miles cards posted.


  37. I received a letter stating effective April 30 Avios on BA purchases goes to three per dollar and all other purchases will now be one Avios per dollar.

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  40. Darisu,

    Any idea whenThe US Airways Premier World MasterCard® offer will be gone?

  41. Hi, If I want to fly from NYC to Athens or Barcelona, which credit card should I apply for to start collecting points? I looked into British Airways Avios, and it seems that the additional pay out is rather high to Europe; something in the neighborhood of $400. Thanks.

  42. This information is not updated

  43. Can I get multiple British airways cards with the points?

  44. I am planning on flying from New Orleans to Barcelona Spain and from Athens Greece back to New Orleans. Which airline would offer the best deal to use miles? I am planning on leaving in June of 2016. Thanks

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  46. How long does it take to bet a Global Entry approved from the day one applies? thanks.

  47. Citi AA master card is showing 30,000 miles here. But, still 50K offer exist for AA account holder. 2 months back i cancelled my citi AA master card (i completed 18months with old card). Last week, when i logged into my AA account to check miles, there was offer showing 50K miles with spending 3000 in 3 months..So applied and got with the bonus offer. AA account holder can look for this offer in their account

  48. I recently cancelled my Amex Delta card and wanted to know if I sign up again will I still receive the 50000 bonus?

  49. Confused. I do not want to pay an upfront fee. What is the best deal I can get for American Airlines up front miles? I am OK with money charged in 3 months.

  50. Hi I currently have the Barclays arrival world master card and a currently using this card to earn miles. Is this card any good when it comes to earning miles?

  51. The Citi AA Platinum Select MC shows a sign up bonus of 30K on the Travel Credit Cards page. The same card shows a sign up bonus of 50k on the Hot Deals page. Are both active? Why the inconsistence?

  52. Does Alaska Airline ever offer more than 25,000 bonus miles for their credit card?

  53. I think it’s time to remove the US Airways card from this list.

  54. I am looking at the Virgin America card but see a lot of bad reviews concerning Commenty Bank during 2014.
    I haven’t seen anything more recent and haven’t had any issues on other cards I have from them.
    I was wondering what you think of this card??


  55. Found Delta American Express Skymiles gold card with 50,000 miles bonus after $2000 spend and $50 credit after Delta purchase.

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  57. My parents are taking the entire family on an Alaska cruise this summer. We only have to pay for our airfare. There are a total of 7 people that I need to get to Fairbanks in July and then back from Vancouver. Leaving from Chicago or an airport close enough to drive to. I have 108,000 AA miles & 25,000 Alaska airline miles. Can I transfer my AA to Alaska? Can I get more Alaska cards? Are there other carriers that I can transfer and use for a better rate? Curious.

  58. We found a 50000 points offer for the Premier Southwest card at

  59. I found an offer for 50000 miles for the Southwest Premier card on

  60. Awesome advice, Darius, this site helps a ton.

    I was recently told by American Express that the Delta Skymiles Gold Card will not allow you to earn the signing bonus a second time if you have ever owned the card before.

    This surprised me since I know you can earn the signing bonus multiple times with some, like the Citi AA cards (just have to wait over a year, a think).

    Do you know if there is a similar rule about the signing bonus for the Chase MileagePlus UA Explorer Card? Is there a certain amount of time you can wait after cancelling the card after which you could earn it again?

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  62. ? Thinking about getting the 50000 pointo on hawaiian airlines offer I received not sure how many points it takes to fly to koa from slc slc not available for Hawaiin air so would have to connect with one of their airline partners would also like to add a night in Maui have hilton points for maui grand Wailea and amazing deal at hilton Waikoloa beach kona not sure best go with did the chase deal two years ago please advise seems complicated may be worth it to get big travel small money

  63. It looks like Darius hasn’t responded in almost a year. Maybe we can answer each others’ questions.

    I also had AMEX Gold Delta card recently not give me a bonus because they said I had had the card before. I find this really aggravating since I had gone through the trouble of spending the required limit. I think more highly of cards like Chase sapphire where they turn you down for a card because it has been too soon. If they accept me, I think they should tell me I won’t get the bonus up front or not accept me. It feels like a bait and switch. The card will go on my list of never again.

  64. Barclay bank Aviator Red notice for annual fee states that card must be cancelled before fee posts or it must be paid. Is this against Gov’t rules. I thought there was at least a 60 day period after you get the statement with the fee before have to cancel.

  65. I have received an offer from Southwest Airlines to refer a friend to a new SW Chase credit card. The Friend gets 50K rapid rewards points for signing up and I get 5K. I have 5 referrals, anyone interested in 50K points email me and I will send you the info.

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  79. You can get more miles from signing up for Alaska airlines card, Marilyn. I got 50,000, 25 to sign up and 25 after I spent a couple thousand in the first 90 days. The offer was emailed to me, and is not always available. I had looked at the card many times and flown Alaska many times, I held out for the good offer.

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  81. Hi Daraius,

    I was wondering if you can give me advice on choosing the right credit card. I already have a Miles&More account and 30k miles or so in there. I’m located in Miami and I try to stick to Lufthansa or Star Alliance partners as my preferred carrier. I fly at least 2 times a year to Europe or Asia but also make some trips within the US.

    Thanks for your help!

  82. Please see chat transcript:

    Bank of America will REMOVE YOUR SIGN ON BONUS if you try to close the Alaska Air credit card after one year.

    Welcome to an online chat session at Bank of America. Please hold while we connect you to the next available Bank of America Online Banking Specialist. Your chat may be monitored and recorded for quality purposes. Your current wait time is approximately 4 minutes. Thank you for your patience.
    Thank you for choosing Bank of America. Amanda is ready to assist you. For security purposes, please remember to close your chat window when completed.
    Amanda: Hello! This is Amanda, here to provide you with nothing but excellent customer service here at Bank of America. How are you doing on this wonderful Sunday? How may I be of assistance with your personal credit card today?
    Me: Hello
    Me: I am ok. How are you?
    Amanda: I’m doing great thanks for asking.
    Me: I just received some information from B of A which I believe was factually incorrect. Me: I need clarification.
    Amanda: Absolutely! How may I assist you today?
    Me: This is about my Alaska Air credit card ending in XXXX Amanda: Okay!
    Me: I got this card a year ago. It had an attractive sign­on bonus I was offered, and I got it. Me: I used it.
    Amanda: Great!
    Me: However, I also have a business, and I have the Alaska Air business card now. Me: So I have two.
    Me: Are you with me so far? Amanda: Yes I am with you.
    Me: ok
    Amanda: For your business account I will need to provide you with the number to our Business Card Department. Me: So, I chatted to ask about a retention offer to keep the personal card, for which I was just charged $75. Keep in mind that I already have the business card, so I was feeling that I didn’t need two.
    Me: No, this is about the personal card.
    Amanda: Okay!
    Me: My first inclination was to close the card and have the $75 refunded. Me: Or ask for a retention offer.
    Me: Can you do either?
    Me: With regard to my personal card ending XXXX? Amanda: Please allow me a moment while I bring up your account. Me: Thanks
    Amanda: You’re very welcome!
    Amanda: What I can do is close the account for you and waive the $75.00 Annual Fee. Me: Yes. I understand that.
    Me: However, here’s what I was told.
    Me: When I received this card, I was awarded 25000 miles. They are sitting in my Alaska Air account and I have not used them.
    Me: I got those miles one year ago. Me: They are not expired.
    Me: They are not used.
    Me: They are available for use at
    Me: Are you with me so far?
    Amanda: If I were to close the account you would lose the miles I can get you the link to the Alaska Airlines Website. Me: So, let me clarify:
    Me: If I close this account today, I will lose the 25000 sign­on bonus which I got one year ago. Me: Those miles will be removed from my Alaska Air account.
    Me: Even though they were put in there one year ago. Amanda: Yes that is correct!
    Me: At present, I have about 55000 miles in my Alaska Air mileage account. Please clarify: you are saying that if I close my Bank of America Alaska Air account today, the 25000 miles I received as a sign­on bonus, one year ago, will be subtracted from my balance, so I will only have 30000 miles left in my account. Is that right?
    Amanda: All the miles that you have on the account you will lose if you close the account.
    Me: But I have another card. Are you saying that I will lose ALL 55000 miles? I am not closing my Alaska Air mileage account. I am asking about closing my Bank of America Alaska Air credit card.
    Me: Please confirm / define your “All the miles”.
    Me: What do you mean exactly by “All the miles”? Me: Are you still there?
    Amanda: Yes I am still here.

    Amanda: If you were to close your personal account you will lose only the 25000.
    Me: I see: I also used the card from June 2015 to June 2016 and earned approximately 1000 miles for usage. Would I lose those too?
    Amanda: Yes if there from your personal account.
    Me: I earned them from the personal account, so yes.
    Me: Finally, can you confirm this: If I close my personal account today, the sign­on bonus that I received one year ago of 25000 miles will be removed, subtracted, from my Alaska Air account. Please confirm that is the policy as of June 12, 2016.
    Amanda: Yes that is correct!
    Me: Can you please provide me with the link to the policy stating this? Amanda: I apologize for the delay. I’ll be with you shortly.
    Me: ok, thanks.
    Amanda: There is no link that states this.
    Me: Is this a new policy?
    Amanda: I can send you the discloser for when you close the account it states there if you do not use your points/miles you will lose them.
    Me: Yes, please send that. Amanda: Absolutely!
    Amanda: Your account will be closed within 24 hours, so please be sure to make other payment arrangements with any merchants you have scheduled or pre­authorized payments with. If you want to reopen the account in the future, you may be advised to apply for a new account. All mobile credit numbers linked to this account will be deleted from the associated mobile devices. Any linkage to your checking/money market accounts for Overdraft protection will also be removed. Unfortunately, you’ll lose any rewards associated with this account. Would you like me to redeem your rewards now? For customers with outstanding balances: If you have an outstanding balance, your security deposit will be applied to the remaining balance within 7­10 business days. If you have a payment due prior to that timeframe, please continue to make at least the total minimum payment due to avoid any late fees. Please continue to make your required minimum payment on any remaining balance until the account is paid in full. For customers with no outstanding balances: If there is no outstanding balance we will return the security deposit to you within 14 business days.
    Me: Please do not close my account/ Me: I have not consented to closing it. Me: Thanks.
    Me: I need to think about it now. Amanda: You’re very welcome!
    Amanda: I will not be closing the account. Me: ok ­­ thanks.
    Amanda: You’re very welcome! Is there anything else I may assist you with today?
    Me: No ­­ the information you provided was very unusual and useful. Me: But I don’t need anything else. Thanks.

  83. Billy, you will not lose any AS points already in your account. In the future, there are better ways of getting this information. This blog and others, flyertalk etc will provide the information you are looking for.

  84. @Billy: The rep was simply wrong. They get that sort of stuff wrong all the time. She has no idea what she is talking about.

    The important part is what she said at the end when you asked for the policy itself. First, she couldn’t find the policy that said it. Then, at the very end she mentions the disclosure — and says that it states that “if you do not use your points/miles you will lose them.” That is very different than just losing them because you canceled. Again, it says that IF YOU DO NOT USE THEM, then you will lose them — which just means that, eventually, they will expire. (Technically, Alaska Air miles don’t even expire — but your account will go “dormant” after two years of no activity.)

    You won’t lose points that you’ve already earned when you cancel a card after a year. (There may be some exceptions for people that earn the points and then immediately cancel — like after the first month or two — but that isn’t the situation here.)

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  86. Question regarding downgrading my Citi AA Platinum Visa Signature card? My annual fee is coming due next month (had this card for 2 years) and I’m considering downgrading this card to the Citi Bronze MasterCard which was offered to me by the Citi rep I talked to. I already have a Barclaycard Red Aviator AA card that offers me all the benefits that the Citi AA Platinum offers me plus much more. So, I have decided it’s time to downgrade the Citi, but want to make sure I am downgrading to the right product. I am looking for 1) a no annual fee card, and 2) keeping my credit line with no new credit pulls. The rep told me the Bronze card is the only card in which I could continue earning FF miles, although only 1 mile for every $2 spent. I can accept all of that, however, the rep mentioned that I will not get the same credit card number because of the change from a Visa to MasterCard. I asked him again does that mean there will be no credit pulls, he replied there would be no pull, but he sounded a bit hesitant and that stopped me in my tracks. So, bottom line, I want to make sure if I go through with this downgrade that, even with a change from Visa to MasterCard, I don’t have to worry about the credit pull. Has anyone had this experience before that you could share your story with me?