How The Citi AAdvantage Card 10% Mileage Refund Works

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles upon completing minimum spend, with the first year’s annual fee waived. While the sign-up bonus makes the card worth applying for, there’s one other card perk I really value long term.

Citi-AAdvantage

The main reason I hold onto the Citi AAdvantage Personal Platinum Card is because it offers a 10% refund on redeemed miles, for a maximum refund of up to 10,000 miles per year. Since I redeem at least 100,000 American miles per year, this means I’m getting 10,000 bonus miles per year due to this card, which more than justifies the card’s $95 annual fee. That’s like picking up miles for 0.95 cents each.

In this post I figured I’d answer some of the most common questions I get about this perk:

How quickly do the refunded miles post?

The terms state that the miles will post within 6-8 weeks of an eligible redemption, though in practice they typically post much faster than that. As a matter of fact, they typically post the same time that the miles for an award are debited.

AAdvantage-Redeposit

What kind of redemptions are eligible for the refund?

Just about all mileage redemptions make you eligible for the 10% refund. This should include award tickets, upgrades, redeeming miles for Admirals Club memberships, etc.

How does the 10,000 mile limit work?

You’re limited to a refund of up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year. The refund occurs based on when you book travel, and not based on when you actually travel. So even if you’re booking a ticket for travel next year, you’d be eligible for the 10% mileage refund for this year.

What happens if you cancel an award ticket after being refunded?

If you book an award ticket, get the 10% refund, and then later cancel the award ticket, the mileage refund will be reversed as well. So there’s not a way to “trick” the system by booking a trip and then later refunding it.

Do you need to use an American credit card to trigger the 10% refund?

Nope. You get the 10% refund regardless of which credit card you use to pay your taxes on an award ticket. It also doesn’t matter who the ticket is for. All that matters is that the AAdvantage miles are redeemed out of the primary cardmember’s account.

Do you need to register to take advantage of the 10% refund?

Nope, it’s automatic. Just make sure you’re redeeming miles out of the primary cardmember’s account.

Does this benefit apply on other Citi AAdvantage cards?

As far as Citi cards go, this benefit only applies on the Citi AAdvantage Personal Platinum Card. It doesn’t apply for the business version of the card, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, or to the $450 annual fee version of the card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.

What about with Barclaycard AAdvantage cards?

The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard offers the same benefit as the Citi AAdvantage Personal Platinum Card — you can get a 10% refund on redeemed miles, up to 10,00 miles per year. The catch is that the two benefits aren’t stackable. That means if you have both cards, you’ll still get at most 10,000 refunded miles per year.

Bottom line

My single favorite benefit of the Citi AAdvantage Personal Platinum Card is the 10% annual mileage refund, which I view as an opportunity to pick up miles for 0.95 cents each. The card has a great sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles that makes it worth applying for, though this is a benefit that makes the card a keeper for those who redeem 100,000+ American miles per year.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Regarding Comments: Neither this post, nor the comments, are provided by the Issuing bank, or any other advertiser. The comments on this page are not endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not the bank or advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. There is a major glitch in the system, in that if you cancel the award booking for which your received the 10% discount, you loose that discount for ever. You would have thought that it will be deducted from your next eligible awrd booking, but no. This has been my experience. Can you please investigate and clarify this?

  2. I Just got approved for a targeted 60K offer when I get the card I will call to C if I get the 60k had a card got the 50K then canceled . We will C in a few days .

    COOOL if I get it .

    CHEERs

  3. Lucky – Why do you prefer Citi over Barclays? Is there really any difference? If youre putting any spend on these cards, which I don’t doesn’t the Barclays makes more sense for elite status. Much harder to earn EQDs than EQMs which is the only difference between the cards. EQMS are a waste without spend but you can get a ton of them from flying a trip making the EQD bonus better imo. Just curious your thoughts or anyone else.

    I don’t put any spend on my card and the mileage back is why I use it. Plus Barclays doesn’t make you spend 3,000 for the bonus miles.

  4. Just got an AA flight yesterday where multiple crew members were hawking the Barclays Silver card multiple times during the flight, including several times on the PA system. Other than the fact that I was shocked how aggressive they were, an incredible amount of their information was completely wrong. I tried mentioning it to a few of the flight attendants and even showed them that I had the card (one response was that I had the “old” card and the new card gives you more points) and the offer web page on my iPad to no avail. I was surprised to hear all about the fake, free companion feature of the Barclays Silver card that lets you bring along two, three or four of your friends for free because AA can’t fill up their planes sometimes. They kept reminding people that they could cancel as soon as they received their points and that AA points would never expire. I gave up but it looked like lots of people signed up on the plane. Bizarrely, they never even mentioned the 10% rebate.

    Anyone have any idea what is going on? Is Barclays running a kickback scheme for crew to push their card over the Citi card? For what it’s worth, it was a former US Air crew and plane.

  5. DSK
    Watch & wait AA took care of me I CHANGED my flt 2 EU TWICE cost $238 +60K total . BETTER then &^%%$$#@@ DELTA..

    CHEERs

  6. I hit the max early in 2016, then cancelled a ticket in 2017. The discount was clawed back, but the net result is that I got under 10k miles rebated last year (after reflecting the clawback), and had many other booking subsequent to hitting the max initially.

    I’m not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to work.

  7. I had one of these cards in 2015, booked an award for a flight less than a year out in 2016. Received 10% mile refund. Canceled my CC later in 2015. One day before my flight I called AA to make a change to my award route. Agent made a mistake (both agent and her supervisor admitted and apologized for the mistake) by dropping a segment and not being able to get it back. I worked with the supervisor to build a new route. Supervisor ended up having to re-issue the ticket as part of building the new route. This triggered a claw back of my 10K mile refund for the original reward in 2015 which I didn’t notice until a few days later. After a long back and forth with AA, escalations, etc. they wouldn’t budge and wouldn’t refund my 10K miles.

  8. @beachfan, this is what I said earlier, I do maybe about 30 award bookings a year and cancel about 20 (no fees), so I doubt that I get any rebates left after the cancellations claw back the rebate. So basically you need to be very careful to actually fly your first 2-4 awards of the year, otherwise the rebate gets lost after you cancel them.
    My theory is that AA allows this so they can save some miles, and the don’t care to fix the technology to give you the rebate again after you cancel.

  9. Just booked 2 AA partner award tix yesterday. Previously, the 10% rebate posted separately as Ben described, but now they seem to post (10k bonus) with the deduction.

    (e,g, 2x55k for the award tix + 10k bonus = 100k deduction) in one line in AAdvantage history.

    Since the tix were more than 100k total, got the entire 10k bonus in one transaction.

  10. A major flaw of the 10% rebate is: say you make an award booking in 2016 for a flight in 2017 and then make any change to the ticket in 2017 that requires the ticket to be reissued, you then forfeit the 10% refund that you got in 2016 even if you had other award tickets in 2016 that the 10% could of been applied to had it not applied to this booking…

    I’ve lost 20k so far this way…

  11. A Change cost me NUTTHING so that’s fine .. But they Canceled my ticket then I got a new ticket (Refunded all $$) so I THINK but don’t care if I get the rebate .

    Sound Correct ??

    CHEERs

  12. @TD
    Even if you cancel within the same year and make a reward booking subsequent? I thought one got screwed only if the clawback happened in a subsequent year.

    Ben can you shed light on how it’s supposed to work?

  13. I had the same experience as David recently. I actually was confused by the 18,000 mile deduction since that’s not a normal amount.

    When i looked at the transaction it was listed as -20000 miles award ticket +2,000 miles bonus miles = -18,000 miles.

  14. Hi Lucky,

    I brought a ticket with the Amex Plat and now I need to refund it due to change of plans. Will I still have the points for the ticket?

  15. My experience was: first I redeemed 70000 for a CX business one way flight from HKG-LAX and paid taxes with this card. Yes I got 10% miles (7000 miles) back to my AA account. Then I redeem another flight for my parents (which save another 3000 miles) so that I saved total 10000 miles. Few months later I upgrade to first class. The total cost of First class seat was 110000. So that mean I will only need extra 40000 to do the upgrade process. Then I transfer exactly 40000 miles from SPG and call AA to do the upgrade. The whole upgrade process was on hold for few days. The weird thing was no one told me any details. The ticket just keep hold and hold and hold until the deline. Finally I call them again and ask about the upgrade shouldn’t take that long and today is the deline. They put me on hold for 30 mins and finally told me that I am short of miles. I need extra 7000 miles to do the upgrade. WTH…. I end up spend $250 to buy extra 7000 miles and the ticket was issued immediately. After that the 7000 miles I bought was credit back to my account. That shouldn’t call upgrade. They actually do refund biz (credit back 63000 miles) and do the upgrade. Here is the problem! 63000 + 40000 isn’t enough for redeem the first class. And no one contact me until I call them.

  16. 10,000 free miles is your favorite benefit of a card that costs $95 per year? Advantage miles in your opinion are worth 1.5 cents (maybe less than that now ). So that’s a $150 benefit for $95. 55$ annual net gain for $4.50 per month ! Super exciting !

  17. I’ll never understand how Barclay and Citi can both promise the 10% back in miles yet allow AA to limit it, even if you hold both brands.
    I wasn’t aware that people have had trouble getting the 10% rebate after changes to award tickets. I need to pay more attention to my account, I just assumed it was working correctly.

  18. @TD – same problem here…I’ve never actually gotten to use my 10K refund due to canceling flights and losing it. Also I can confirm that the same thing happened when I booked, cancelled and rebooked an award in the same year. Complained to AA and they had no idea what I was talking about.

    Lucky – any experience here?

  19. After the merger, I had both the Citi and Barclay’s cards. I cancelled Citi and kept Barclay’s because Barclay’s card is chip and pin, which is sometimes essential for train stations, toll roads, etc., in Europe.

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