Is it worth it to keep two American Airlines credit cards?

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There are a number of different credit cards with which you can earn American Airlines miles. All are issued by either Barclaycard or Citibank and many of the cards offer similar benefits and perks.

So if, for example, you have both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® and the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® (issued by Barclaycard), you may be wondering: Is it worth keeping both cards? 

The short answer is, “It depends.”

Let’s take a look at the top American Airlines cards — their benefits and perks and annual fees — and help you decide whether having two cobranded American Airlines cards makes sense for you.

There’s a strategy to use when deciding which American Airlines cards to keep. (Photo by GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock)

American Airlines cards comparison

Barclaycard and Citibank each have American Airlines credit cards:

Card nameAnnual feeBonus pointsBest for
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®$99, waived for the first 12 months2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

2x miles at gas stations and restaurants

1x on all other purchases
Best for earning miles from everyday spending
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®$99, waived the first 12 months2x American Airlines miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

2x American Airlines miles on telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and gas stations

1x on all other purchases
Best for businesses
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card$02x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

1x on all other purchases
Best for no annual fee
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®$4502x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

1x on all other purchases
Best for lounge access
Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®$952x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

2x miles on eligible spending at office supply, telecom and car rental merchants

1x on all other purchases

Best for the biggest welcome bonus
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®$992x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

1x on all other purchases
Best for low minimum spending requirement

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card, Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red card, and Barclays Aviator Business 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.

With few exceptions, the perks are similar for Barclaycard and Citibank American Airlines credit cards and many cardholders will find that it doesn’t make sense to carry two American Airlines cards and pay two annual fees.

But you if you want to earn American Airlines elite status, you should also take that into consideration. Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, American has changed some of the rules surrounding elite status. Most notably, spending on American Airlines credit cards will count toward Million Miler status. With status, you can enjoy perks like seat upgrades, additional free checked bags and bonus miles on paid flights.

In addition, determining which categories you spend the most in is critical too because certain American Airlines cards, like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, earn more miles for everyday spending.

Be sure to check out our post on the best American Airlines credit cards for a full rundown of the benefits and perks of each card.

You’ll save money on annual fees by canceling cards with duplicate perks. (Photo by EKramar/Shutterstock)

Strategy to earn the most American Airlines miles

There are a few things to consider when strategizing the best way to earn American Airlines miles — especially from sign-up bonuses — with cobranded AA credit cards.

The first is that both Barclaycard and Citibank have application rules that limit the number of cards you can have and apply for in a given timeframe.

For example, you can qualify for a Citi American Airlines card bonus (personal or business) as long as you haven’t received a new account bonus for the same card in the past 48 months. And Barclaycard tends to limit applicants to one or two new credit cards per year.

So, if you’re trying to decide which card to apply for, or if you’re figuring out which cards to keep and which to cancel, make a plan.

Bottom line

With each of the American Airlines credit cards offering slightly different benefits, it can be hard to figure out which card is right for you. It depends on your travel and spending habits.

And if you already have two American Airlines cards and are considering whether you should cancel one, look at whether the cards offer duplicate perks and then decide whether it’s worth paying two annual fees for similar cards.

Because many American Airlines cards have an annual fee and similar benefits, it’s probably not worth keeping two. The only exception is if you plan to spend a lot on the cards to earn American Airlines elite status.

Last, consider the application rules for each bank. This can make it easier to develop a strategy to earn more American Airlines miles with future sign-up bonuses.

Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

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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