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How to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements (and Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles!)

How to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements (and Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles!)

Million Mile SecretsHow to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements (and Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles!)Million Mile Secrets Team

Update:   You can NO longer fund a new Citigold checking account with a credit card.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Last year, there was a terrific opportunity for folks to meet minimum spending requirements and earn lots of airline miles by funding a new Citigold checking account with a credit card.  And now it’s back!

If you’re eligible, when you open a new Citigold checking account, you can fund the account with a Visa or MasterCard to meet your minimum spending requirements.

And if you meet certain conditions, you’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles.  That’s enough for 2 domestic round-trip coach award flights!

There’s also an offer to earn 40,000 Citi ThankYou points.  See my previous post for how those points work.  And what you can (and can’t!) do with them.

How To Meet Minimum Spending Requirements And Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles
Meet Your Minimum Spending Requirements and Earn 50,000 American Airlines Miles – Just Make Sure to Read the Fine Print!

I’ll show you how to sign-up for this offer.  And how to make the most of it!

What’s the Deal?

Link:   Citigold 50,000 American Airlines Miles Offer (Use Promotion Code WD3QFS2Y4C)

Doctor of Credit reports you can earn 50,000 American Airlines miles when you open a new Citigold checking account by March 31, 2016, as long as you meet certain requirements.

This offer is for new Citi checking account holders only.  If you’ve had a Citi checking account in the past, you may NOT get the bonus.

How To Meet Minimum Spending Requirements And Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles
You Can Earn 50,000 American Airlines Miles and a Sign-Up Bonus on a New Credit Card. Be Sure to Avoid Extra Fees!

Apply for the account online.  Or call 800-374-9500 to apply.  In either case, be sure to use promotion code WD3QFS2Y4C.

You can initially fund the account with some credit cards (up to $100,000!) without paying a cash advance fee (check Doctor of Credit’s list here).  So this could perfect for folks with big minimum spending requirements to meet!

But to unlock the bonus, you’ll have to meet certain conditions.  It’s a bit of legwork, but it could be worth it!

Make Sure You Earn the Bonus!

Because this is technically a targeted offer to folks who receive communication from Citi, it’s a good idea to call and confirm you’re eligible before you apply.

Funding the account with a credit card can NOT be done online.  Select “Other Funding Source” and “Credit Card” and you’ll be given a link to a PDF file.  You’ll have to print it out and fax it in with your credit card details.  Or call to apply instead and save a trip to the printer!

How To Meet Minimum Spending Requirements And Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles
Pay Close Attention to the Requirements to Earn Your Bonus. Keep Track of Your Time and Money to Make It Go as Smoothly as Possible

To receive the bonus miles, you’ll have to:

  • Make at least $1,000 in debit card transactions in the 1st 60 days of opening your account, AND
  • Make at least 1 bill payment for 2 or more consecutive calendar months within 60 days of account opening

Note:  If you rent, consider using your debit card to pay rent 2 months in a row using RadPad.  It’s easy and free to meet the $1,000 debit card requirement on the Citigold checking account!

Citigold has a $30 monthly fee.  But it’s waived for the 1st 2 months.  After that, you can cancel or downgrade the account with no penalty (but be sure your American Airlines miles have posted to your account FIRST!).

Note:   Folks with large deposits or investments with Citi may have the $30 monthly fee waived.

Is It Safe to Fund the Account With a Credit Card?

This is a terrific way to meet minimum spending requirements and earn miles and points – as long as the credit card funding transaction does NOT post as a cash advance!

In general, Bank of America, Barclays, and most Citi cards will usually NOT post as a cash advance.

How To Meet Minimum Spending Requirements And Earn 50,000 Bonus Airline Miles
Yay or Nay? Make Sure Your Cash Advance Fees Are Set to $0 (or as Close as Possible)

But other banks (generally) WILL.  Check this thread for data points on which cards do and do NOT post as a cash advance.

The best way to make sure your transaction won’t post as a cash advance (which will NOT count toward minimum spending or earn miles and points, and will cost you money in interest charges!) is to contact your card issuer and have them set your cash advance limit to zero.  Just call the number on the back of your card.

Some banks, like Chase, can’t set your cash advance limit to $0.  In that case, ask them to lower it to the smallest amount possible, like $20.

That way, if the bank tries to process the funding of your new Citi account as a cash advance, the transaction will be declined.  Then, you’ll have 1 more attempt to fund the account with a credit card before you’ll have to pick another funding method.

Note:   You can initially fund your account up to $100,000 with this method, but you can not exceed your card’s credit limit!  And unfortunately you can NOT split the funding transaction by using more than 1 credit card.

Which Card to Use?

These cards might be good choices for funding this account:

I haven’t tried any of these myself, so be sure to set your cash advance limit to zero (or as close to zero as possible) before you try to fund your account with these cards!

Bottom Line

You can meet minimum spending requirements and earn 50,000 American Airlines miles for free when you fund a new Citigold checking account with a Visa or MasterCard.

To open a new Citigold account, visit this link and use promotion code WD3QFS2Y4C.  Be sure to apply for your account by March 31, 2016.

It’s best to call to confirm you’re eligible to apply because this is supposed to be a targeted offer.  But in practice, it works for most folks.

Not all credit cards work (some are processed as a cash advance).  To avoid this, set your cash advance limit to zero before using your card to fund an account.

Let me know your experiences opening a Citigold checking account!

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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When I opened the account via Online, there was NEVER a place to enter your American Airlines information. Do they give you a code for the points or what?

Hi D, your website is amazing. It would help if in addition to the red letter warnings at the top "Update: You can NO longer fund a new Citigold checking account with a credit card." , to change the wrong content of the article also. It's confusing to read conflicting info. later on in the article.

Hmmm...you say you can get the miles for free, but my experience is that's not the case. I just talked to a rep at Citi Gold yesterday who said that they won't give you the miles until 90 days after the statement closing of the second month so you technically have to keep the account open for at least 5 months in order to get the miles. So you have to pay $30.00/month for 3 months while you wait for your 50,000 miles. Still a good deal, but not as good as free. Or, am I missing something?

One other comment. I was receiving mixed messages from Citi Gold reps regarding requirements. Apparently the promotion from last October was different for Thank You points than for Aadvantage miles. I didn't investigate the new one, so can't speak for new deal. But I now understand that for Thank You points you didn't need to make the $1,000 of debit card purchases but for Aadvantage miles you do. I got bad advice from a couple of reps and when I pushed (based on your post) the last rep double and triple checked and realized her mistake. She was telling me I had met the requirements when I hadn't, YET. Thanks for this post. It was a good review and prompted me to realize I hadn't quite met the requirements when I thought I had bc the first rep gave me well-intentioned, but bad advice as well!

I opened the account back in October when they offered this before. I STILL have not received the AA points. I called AGAIN today and they said that after the 3 months of the promotion, it will be another 3 months before the points will post. So basically we have to pay $30 per month with fingers crossed that everything went through. I asked if she can check and make sure all the requirements were met (no loopholes) and she said she could not. So I guess I sit and wait.

And continue to pay $30 per month for this account hoping this all pans out in the end. Hope it 's worth it!

Is there something an individual can do to be targeted by Citibank for the Citigold banking promotion?

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