Stretch Your Miles & Points Even Further With This Card Perk! 

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. 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.

For most folks, credit card sign-up bonuses are the best way to get Big Travel with Small Money.  But they are NOT the only way to get it!

Lots of cards have great perks that make them worth hanging onto, even after you’ve earned the welcome bonus.  Some hotel cards offer annual free nights for keeping the card.  And other cards come with credits and lounge access that more than offset the annual fee.

But did you know certain cards have rebates that can get you some of your miles & points back when you book awards?

Which Cards Earn Rebates On Award Redemptions
Some Cards Will Surprise You With Perks, Like Miles & Points Rebates on Award Redemptions

Million Mile Secret Agent nessie972 asked:

Is there any credit card that gives me some of the miles back when booking an award flight with American Airlines?

Yes, nessie972, there are actually several cards with that benefit!  The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Barclaycard AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® both have a miles rebate perk for American Airlines award redemptions.

But the cards aren’t quite the same, so let’s take a look at their bonuses and perks to help you figure out which card is best for your situation.

Which Card’s Perks Make Sense for You?

Both the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card and the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card have very similar benefits.  But the sign-up bonuses and minimum spending requirements aren’t the same.

1.   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

The Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card earns 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.

The card comes with:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases, at restaurants and gas stations
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag free on domestic itineraries for you and up to 4 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 companions
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • Take advantage of reduced mileage awards
  • $99 annual fee (waived the first year)

2.   Barclaycard AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®

Link:   Barclaycard AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®

The Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card comes with a 50,000 American Airlines mile bonus after making your first purchase and paying the $95 annual fee within the first 90 days of account opening.

The card also comes with:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag free on domestic itineraries for you and up to 4 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • 25% off in-flight food and beverages
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 companions
  • $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) after spending $25,000 on purchases in a calendar year
  • Take advantage of reduced mileage awards
  • NO foreign transaction fees

What to Consider When Making Your Choice?

Both cards have nearly the same benefits.  Also, if you hold both cards you still can NOT receive more than 10,000 American Airlines miles back per calendar year.  So you can’t double dip your 10% mileage rebate.

Your decision on which card to apply for will mostly likely come down to 1 of 3 factors:

1.   The Bank’s Application Rules

The first thing you’ll want to figure out when deciding on a credit card is whether or not you qualify for it.  So you’ll need to know the bank’s application rules.

In general, most folks can only get approved for 1 or 2 Barclaycard credit cards a year.  And it’s difficult to get approved if you:

  • Have too many recent credit applications
  • Already have enough credit available on existing Barclaycard credit cards
  • Are not using your existing Barclaycard credit cards

So if you’ve applied for lots of credit cards recently or already have a Barclaycard you don’t use very often, it might be difficult to get approved for the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card.

Which Cards Earn Rebates On Award Redemptions
Barclaycard Has Tightened Their Application Rules, Which Might Put You in the Uncomfortable Situation of Getting Denied

Getting approved for Citi credit cards is easier, but they have stricter sign-up bonus rules.  You aren’t eligible for a Citi card’s sign-up bonus if you’ve opened or closed a card under the same brand of cards in the past 24 months!

So you won’t be eligible for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card’s welcome bonus if you’ve opened or closed ANY Citi American Airlines card within the past 24 months!  But you can still qualify for the sign-up bonus if you currently have a different Citi American Airlines card, as long as it was opened more than 24 months ago.

However, there’s an exception if you’ve had the CitiBusiness AAdvantage in the past 24 months.  You can CAN earn the sign-up bonus on the personal card, because Citi says:

  • American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

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.

2.   The Welcome Bonus & Annual Fee

The Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card’s sign-up bonus is currently 10,000 American Airlines miles more than the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card’s bonus.

And with the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card, you’ll have to pay the $95 annual fee the first year.  So you’ll save $95 and earn an extra 10,000 American Airlines miles with the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card.

3.   The Minimum Spending Requirement

You aren’t going to find a smaller minimum spending requirement than the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card’s single purchase.  And, depending on your situation, this could more than make up for the smaller welcome bonus.

Which Cards Earn Rebates On Award Redemptions
The Money You Save Meeting the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red Card’s Bonus Can Be Put to Good Use Elsewhere

For example, Starwood points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to American Airlines and you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer.  The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express currently comes with 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account.

So if you get the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card instead of the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card, you could put the $3,000 you won’t have to spend earning the bonus toward the AMEX Starwood card’s spending requirement.  And you’d end up with an extra 30,000 American Airlines miles (25,000 Starwood points bonus + 5,000 miles transfer bonus)!

Other Cards With Rebate Perks

The American Airlines credit cards aren’t the only ones with a rebate perk for award redemptions.  So if you like earning miles & points back when you’re booking awards you could consider these cards:

  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® – 5% of your Arrival miles back on every redemption (no limit)
  • Barclaycard JetBlue Plus Card – 10% of your JetBlue points back on every redemption (no limit)
  • Barclaycard JetBlue Business Card – 10% of your JetBlue points back on every redemption (no limit)
  • Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® –  5% of your Amtrak points back on every award ticket redemption (no limit)
  • Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® – 5% of your Amtrak points back on every award ticket redemption (no limit)
  • Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card – 10% of your IHG points back on points redemptions, up to 100,000 IHG points per calendar year
  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express – 35% AMEX Membership Rewards points rebate when using AMEX Pay With Points for select airfare (no limit)

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in earning miles back on your American Airlines award flights, you’ve got options!

Both the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card and the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card have a 10% rebate on American Airlines award redemptions.  You’ll get up to 10,000 American Airlines miles back each year!

Even though most of the benefits are similar for both cards, they currently have different sign-up bonuses and minimum spending requirements.  So you’ll want to do a little research and choose the card that is right for your situation.

Currently, the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card’s larger welcome bonus might make it a better deal for you.  But the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red card only requires a single purchase to earn the bonus.  So you could put your extra expenses toward earning a bonus on a different card, which could make the Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator Red more lucrative for you.

Thanks for the question, nessie972!

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! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.