By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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Finding the perfect credit card is a maddening impossibility. While most cards have some desirable features, it seems like none of them are perfect. The American Airlines Citi AAdvantage MileUp card is no exception. While it sports some alluring aspects, it also disappoints.

It seems the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card is best for moderate travelers, but those who take to the skies more frequently can do much better with rewards by entertaining other cards. While the sign-on bonus is decent, after the extra miles are accrued, the 2x the miles at grocery stores, 2x the miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1x the miles on all other purchases is just an average reward.

What the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card has going for it that helps the average traveler is no annual fee. Compared to some other travel cards that require excellent credit, The Citi AAdvantage card doesn’t use up part of your rewards, off-setting the yearly fee.

Also, on the positive side, there is no mileage cap, and the miles never expire. Additionally, the sign-up bonus of 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Bonus Miles and $50 statement credit is easily attainable with a spending requirement of only $500 over the first three months.

Pricing Details

Purchase APR = 15.99% - 24.99% (based on creditworthiness)

Balance Transfer APR = The same as the Purchase APR

Balance Transfer Fee = $5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Cash Advance APR = 25.24%

Penalty APR = Up to 29.99% (can be assessed for late-payments and returned payments)

Cash Advance Fee = $10 or 5% (whichever is higher)

More About the Rewards

Some of the American Airlines Citi AAdvantage MileUp card details have been discussed; however, let’s re-cap those points and add some not previously mentioned.

Bonus - 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Bonus Miles and $50 statement credit for spending $500 in the first three months.

Redemption -

Cardholders can redeem their AAdvantage Miles for over 1000 destinations worldwide with flexible redemption options for round-trip and one-way flights on American Airlines.

Card owners can use their miles for flight tickets, upgrades to 1st class, car rentals, hotel stays, or vacation packages.

Cardholders will enjoy 25% off on in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights using the Citi AAdvantage MileUp credit card.

Other Conveniences

Contactless Pay - In this fast-paced world, it makes perfect sense that a credit card associated with travel and an airline would have the convenience of Contactless Pay. This method of paying merely requires a ‘tap and go’ motion that is entirely secure. Contactless pay is not only fast and easy, but it is also safe as far as your health is concerned with no contact with anyone or anything.

Digital Wallet - It’s a digital world, so more credit card owners are looking for cards with the digital wallet feature. Digital wallet ensures safe shopping online in apps or stores. After activating this feature, you will be able to speed through checkout with a one-step process instead of the lengthy alternative. The digital wallet feature must be set-up by going to However, the short amount of time it takes to activate this process is worth it for the time you save after that.

One Disappointing Aspect

The American Airlines Citi AAdvantage MileUp credit card has some worthy features for the occasional traveler, such as no annual fee and an easily attainable sign-on bonus. But one disappointing factor detracts from these bright spots. This credit card, although categorized as a travel card, charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Travelers going to and from places in the United States could still make a case for owning this card. However, international travelers should look around for a card with no foreign transaction fees attached.

Against the Competition

If the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card doesn’t seem like the right fit, check out the competition. For some people, the most attractive feature of the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card is no annual fee. Keeping that perk in mind, the following card for comparison also refrains from charging an annual fee.

Vs. the Discover It Miles Card

This travel card does not have a sign-up bonus; however, Discover will match all of your first-year miles automatically. For example. 35,000 miles would redeem at 70,000, which is $700 for future travel purchases.

Another positive aspect is the Discover It Miles card does not restrict your airline to American Airlines. You can also book flights on JetBlue and LATAM.

As far as rewards are concerned, this card’s rewards are a straight 1.5% for all purchases.

Now here’s the excellent news -- this travel credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

However, a possible downside is Discover is not always as widely accepted as other major credit cards.

The American Airlines Citi AAdvantage MileUp travel credit card is a decent card for those just starting with a travel card. Its no annual fee is hard to overlook comparatively. Additionally, the easily attainable sign-on bonus is a welcome feature for people who do not spend as much. However, the simplicity that attracts some people to this card also turns others away. With average rewards, the avid traveler can do much better. And with a 3% foreign transaction fee, international travelers will need to keep looking.

It’s a fact that the perfect credit card is just a myth. All anyone can do is look for the card that best suits their needs. Suppose you are an occasional traveler who flies on American Airlines, use your card at grocery stores, and only plan to travel within the US. In that case, the American Airlines Citi AAdvantage MileUp credit card is a decent choice.

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