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Reader Paul asked the following question by email:
Hi lucky, I am considering applying for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, and was wondering if you think I could still get the sign-up bonus before the American mileage devaluation in March?
The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card is offering a great sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $3,000 within three months. While the annual fee on the card is $95, it’s waived for the first 12 months. That’s fantastic limited time offer, especially given how valuable AAdvantage miles are.
American is making some changes to the AAdvantage program this year, and on March 22, 2016, they’re devaluing their award chart, raising the cost of many of my favorite redemptions.
Redeem American miles for Japan Airlines first class
We have just under two months left until the devaluation, so is it possible to still earn the 50,000 mile sign-up bonus before the devaluation kicks in?
The terms of the sign-up bonus indicate the following, saying that miles will post 8-10 weeks after you’ve met the purchase requirement:
American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles typically will appear as a bonus in your AAdvantage® account 8–10 weeks after you have met the purchase requirements. Miles may be earned on purchases made by primary and employee cardmembers. Miles earned will be posted to the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.
Anecdotally, however, I’ve found that AAdvantage bonus miles usually post when the statement where you complete minimum spend closes. So while it’s not guaranteed or promised, if you apply soon there’s a good chance you’d get the miles from the sign-up bonus before the devaluation.
Right now I value American miles at ~1.8 cents each, while realistically after the devaluation I probably value them closer to ~1.5 cents each. So while 50,000 miles is worth ~$900 to me now, they’ll be worth ~$750 to me as of March 22. To me, that means a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus now is equivalent to a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus in the future.
Redeem American miles for Etihad first class
The limited time sign-up bonus on the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card is extremely generous, especially if you can get the miles to post before the upcoming devaluation. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of this sign-up bonus, I’d recommend doing so sooner rather than later.