CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard adds new benefits

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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.

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  1. Why would you rather earn three Membership Rewards points per dollar spent with the Premier Rewards Gold card?

  2. @ James — Because I value Membership Rewards points and AAdvantage miles about equally, so I’d rather earn three points than two.

  3. 2.1 miles per dollar at office supply stores? I think we can figure out a way to leverage that. On the other hand it’s a far cry from the Ink’s 5x…

  4. You also have to evaluate benefits with NO annual fee which is what CITI in effect frequently offers if you negotiate a statement credit offset with retention. Just did this for $95 on the AA VISA.

  5. The frequent 0% cash advance/balance transfer offers keep this card in my house, but that’s only useful if you have a need (or a place to invest) the cash. Haven’t flown AA for years but these new benefits will certainly provide incentive to book when the price is right.

  6. Hi Lucky, still, I am still not sure why you value Membership Rewards points and AAdvantage miles about equally. I have many points at MR and can’t decide what to do with them. I wish they were with AA as I find I can use them with no fuel charges. I can transfer to BA and use it on domestic AA or Lan but it is quiet a limited solution. You culd argue though that when you get 1 extra point you get paid the fuel charges but then the fuel charges are a real expense (if you can earn the required miles easily, which I think this is your case).

    Or I missed it completely 🙂

  7. @ James — I’ll have a post in the next few days explaining my valuations of just about every points currency, so stay tuned. 🙂

  8. i had a citibusiness advantage visa card. i called citi and their answer is, i need to apply for a new citibiz aa master card. my current visa will get some of these benefits but not all. they have no clear info until next month.

    looks like i need to reapply for a citibiz aa master card?!

  9. @ Andy — I believe your previous card should still be eligible. I suspect the agents just haven’t been trained properly yet, so I’d give it a few days and it should be straightened out.

  10. does anybody have link for business mastercard with best avaiblae offer. I know on citi website it is with 30K AA miles.

  11. @lucky,
    thanks! I will wait until after June 1 to call citicards again to verify. do you think i should call AA instead of Citi Cards to inquire?

    i do find there are a world of differences between my current card benefits and the new benefits.

  12. Has anyone actually flown a domestic flight booked on or after the April 2nd date that Citi Cards promises the new benefits for? I am trying to find out if my checked bag will be free, though booked with a non-citibank card. My aadvantage number is on my citi card acct. All I can find is speculation, and repeat copies of vague terms on citibank’s website. Please reply only if you or someone you know has had actual experience with a qualifying flight. thanks.

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