Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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!
I’ll explain which American Airlines credit card Juli should keep!
American Airlines Card Comparison: Barclaycard Vs. Citi
Barclaycard and Citi each have American Airlines credit cards. Each card has these benefits:
|Card features||AAdvantage Aviator Silver||AAdvantage Aviator Red||Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite||Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite|
|Miles earned on American Airlines||3X||2X||2X |
(plus gas stations and restaurants)
|Miles earned on hotels & car rentals||2X||1X||1X||1X|
|Miles earned on all other purchases||1X||1X||1X||1X|
|Earn elite qualifying miles (EQMs)||5,000 EQMs for each $20,000 in annual purchases (up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles per year)||None||None||10,000 EQMs after $40,000 in annual purchases|
|$99 Companion certificate for up to 2 guests with $30,000 in purchases by account anniversary||X|
|$100 flight discount each year with $30,000 in annual purchases||X|
|$100 Global Entry fee credit||X||X|
|Admirals Club membership||X|
|MasterCard World Elite Concierge & Luxury Travel Benefits||X||X||X||X|
|1st free checked bag for you and travel companions||X (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)||X||X||X|
|25% discount on food, beverages, headsets purchased in-flight||X||X||X||X|
|No foreign transaction fees||X||X||X||X|
|Annual fee||$195||$89||$99 (waived the first 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.
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
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.
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.
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.