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Back in April I wrote about the awesome new benefits that Citi added to their Platinum Select AAdvantage credit cards, including a free first checked bag, priority boarding, a 25% savings on in-flight purchases, a 10% refund on award redemptions, and more.
While many of those benefits didn’t interest me as an Executive Platinum member with American (since I get them anyway), I loved the 10% refund on AAdvantage award tickets, up to 10,000 miles per year. Given the $95 annual fee, that basically means I’m “buying” 10,000 miles per year for less than a cent each, which is a fantastic value.
While these benefits didn’t apply to American’s business credit cards, Citi did announce some new benefits for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard yesterday, including the following:
- Earn More Miles From Select Purchases. Earn two AAdvantage® miles for every $1 of purchases on American Airlines and on business purchases at certain office supply, telecommunications, and car rental merchants.
- Enjoy An AAdvantage Mileage Anniversary Bonus When You Renew Cardmembership. Receive a five percent AAdvantage® mileage bonus based on eligible purchases made with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® during the cardmembership year, provided cardmembership is renewed.
- Save Money While Traveling on American Airlines. First checked bag is free for the primary cardmember and up to four companions traveling on the same domestic reservation for travel booked and ticketed on or after May 14, 2012. For a business owner and four employees traveling together within the U.S. in the main cabin, this would save $250 roundtrip. In addition, the cardmember will receive 25 percent savings on in-flight purchases of food, beverages and headsets when purchases are made with a Citi® / AAdvantage® credit card.
- Save Time in the Airport. Priority boarding for the primary cardmember and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation for travel booked and ticketed on or after May 14, 2012.
- Earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate. Earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate for domestic main cabin travel each year in which $30,000 in eligible purchases are made on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® and the card is renewed. Redeeming the certificate costs a $99 ticketing fee (plus $21.60 to $43.20 in government taxes and fees based on itinerary).
While these benefits may prove valuable to those without elite status, there’s nothing here that really makes the card a “keeper” for me. Two miles per dollar spent on American? I’d rather earn three Membership Rewards points per dollar spent with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express or two Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The 5% annual points bonus? I’d still rather use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, where I can convert the points to American with a 25% bonus when transferring in increments of 20,000 points.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see them adding benefits, though in my case they just don’t justify the annual fee. I’m sure these new benefits more than justify the annual fee for many of you.