~$9,300 First Class Flight to Abu Dhabi: How I’d Use the Citi American Airlines Card 60,000-Mile Bonus

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Earning 60,000 American Airlines miles with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® could easily get you 2 round-trip domestic coach flights.  But when I earn a lucrative sign-up bonus, I try to redeem the miles or points for unforgettable travel experiences like a fancy First Class award seat on a long-haul international flight.

Because I already have some American Airlines miles in my frequent flyer account (from prior paid flights), earning the Citi American Airlines card sign-up bonus would give me a nice boost that could help me secure a bucket list trip — a First Class Etihad award flight from Australia to Abu Dhabi.

How To Book Award Flights To South Africa With ANA Miles
I’d Love to Use American Airlines Miles for a Luxurious First Class Award Flight to Dubai on Etihad!

I’m not considering the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card at the moment because I’m trying to remain below the Chase “5/24” card limit.  But I am still thinking about the 70,000-mile offer for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.

That’s because Citi business cards do NOT appear on your personal credit report, and therefore won’t hurt your chances of being approved for Chase cards in the future.  Plus, this card currently has the largest available bonus of ANY card earning American Airlines miles!

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Get Amazing Value Using American Airlines Miles for Partner Award Flights

Link:   American Airlines Award Chart

Link:   American Airlines Partner Award Chart

Generally, I don’t fly American Airlines unless they’re the only option for a non-stop flight to a destination I’m traveling to, like Charlotte or Miami.  And when I fly to these destinations, I usually don’t mind paying cash.

My miles & points earning strategy is to pay cash for domestic flights and earn frequent flyer miles.  Then, use those miles combined with miles I earn from credit card sign-up bonuses and monthly spending to book Business Class or First Class international award flights!

The nice part about collecting American Airlines miles is you can use them for award flights on airlines in the oneworld alliance and other partner airlines.  This includes:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways 
  • Cathay Pacific 
  • Etihad
  • Finnair 
  • Iberia 
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Royal Jordanian

You can book most partner award flights online, although there are a few exceptions, like Cathay Pacific, Etihad, or Japan Airlines.  To book these partner award flights, you must call American Airlines at 800-433-7300.

If I can secure enough time off for a big trip, there’s an award flight I’ve been eyeing that’s very achievable with American Airlines miles.  It’s a one-way First Class Etihad flight from Melbourne (or Sydney) to Abu Dhabi.  You can book this flight for 100,000 American Airlines miles.

You Can Redeem 100,000 American Airlines Miles for a One-Way First Class Award Flight From Australia to Abu Dhabi

This award ticket requires you earn more than just one American Airlines credit sign-up bonus.  But as I mentioned before, I already have some American Airlines miles in my account (~40,000 miles).  So taking advantage of the 60,000-mile Citi American Airlines Platinum personal card offer or 70,000-mile Citi American Airlines Platinum small business card offer would give me enough miles to book this trip.

This award flight is an amazing deal!  Because paying cash for a ticket on the same flight costs ~$9,300!

Wow! Using American Airlines Miles Instead of Paying Cash Could Save You Over $9,200!

I’d use other credit card points in my stash to travel to Sydney or Melbourne.  Then, book the above award ticket for the ~14 hour journey to Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi has been on my bucket list since my wife and I visited Dubai during our around-the-world honeymoon.  And I had a bit of travel envy after seeing my colleague Jasmin take her kids there last year, which included a stay at the luxurious St. Regis Abu Dhabi.

St Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Team Member Jasmin Took Her Kids to Abu Dhabi and Took This Awesome Shot! I’d Love to Visit There When I Have an Opportunity!

Citi American Airlines Platinum Select 60,000-Mile Offer

Link:   Apply for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

Link:   Our Review of the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

When you sign-up for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select credit card, you’ll earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

And cardholders earn:

  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1X American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases

There’s also a benefit for big spenders.  You’ll earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount after spending $20,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card.

Plus, you’ll get perks like:

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports

The card has a $99 annual fee, which waived for the first year.  This means you can test out the card for ~11 months and decide if it’s worth keeping for another year.

If you fly American Airlines, the free checked baggage perk alone could be enough to make the card worth keeping.

Bottom Line

American Airlines miles are valuable even if you don’t fly on their airline.  Because you can redeem them for award flights on partner airlines, including Etihad.

If I earned the 60,000-mile Citi American Airlines Platinum Select sign-up bonus, I’d combine the bonus with my existing American Airlines frequent flyer miles to book a luxurious Etihad First Class award flight to Abu Dhabi.  Paying cash for the same ticket would cost more than $9,200!

Are you planning to take advantage of the Citi American Airlines card offer?  Let me know how you’d use the bonus in the comments below!

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

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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