Don’t forget about the 10% award refund benefit of the Citi AAdvantage personal cards!

Back in April American introduced several new benefits for their co-branded Citi AAdvantage cards which added quite a bit of value to otherwise boring cards. My favorite new benefit was as follows:

Earn 10% Back on Your Redeemed American Airlines AAdvantage® Miles

For benefit to apply, your Citi® / AAdvantage® account must be open and active at the time of redemption. The American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles you earn through this benefit will be based on 10% of the total AAdvantage® miles you redeem each month during the calendar year. The maximum number of AAdvantage® bonus miles you can earn annually from this benefit is 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles per calendar year, regardless of how many AAdvantage® miles you redeem in that calendar year. This benefit only applies to AAdvantage® miles redeemed from the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account. Discover all the ways to redeem AAdvantage® miles Please allow 6-8 weeks after your redemption for the American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles to post to the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.

This benefit applies to all co-branded Citi AAdvantage personal cards (not business cards), and the rebate is based on the calendar year. The benefit can only be earned on one card per person, so if you have multiple cards you’d only earn the rebate on one card. The other cool thing is that the rebate posts after the booking is made, so you don’t have to wait till travel is complete to get the rebate. The posting date is even back-dated to the date the redemption was made, even though it can sometimes take a few weeks for the mileage refund to post.

Anyway, since we’re approaching the end of the year I figured it was worth posting a reminder of the benefit so you plan your award travel accordingly. If you haven’t maxed out the 10,000 mile benefit this year, consider making your redemptions before the end of the year so that you can use the benefit again next year. Keep in mind that American lets you change dates and routings for free on award tickets, so as long as you have the origin and destination right, you wouldn’t pay to make a change in the future. If you’ve maxed out the benefit this year and don’t redeem American miles all that often, consider waiting till the new year to make a redemption, as to max out the benefit.

It’s an awesome new benefit that has caused me to keep the card rather than canceling it within the first year, given that to me the value of the 10,000 saved miles is greater than the $95 annual fee.


  1. Do you know whether this applies for redemptions made from April onward or to redemptions from the beginning of 2012?

  2. @ Drew — It doesn’t apply retroactively, but only since the benefit was announced.

    @ Adam — Personal cards only, sorry.

    @ Riposte — No, you can only earn it once.

  3. FYI, this benefit also applies to the distance based Round the World Explorer tickets.

    Back in August, my wife and I each redeemed 190,000 AA miles from our individual accounts for our RTW trip. A few weeks later we each got the 10,000 mile redemption.

    So our total Business class RTW trip ended up only costing 180,000 miles each.

  4. @ db — No, it just has to be linked to the account of the person making the redemption (so you have to be the primary card member).

  5. Lucky, how do you actually do the booking to be sure you receive this? You pay for the taxes on the award ticket with the AA card?

  6. I did get this retroactively. I booked our August 2012 award tickets in November 2011. So I was bummed that this benefit only started in the spring of 2012. But AA was quite generous and gave me the 10K rebate without my even asking for it. I was surprised, but of course pleased…

  7. So if I book a 20,000 saver award to Europe, and then change the date to summer, I would still have to pay the difference in miles, right?

  8. @ Curtis — You don’t even have to pay the taxes with the card. Just be sure the Citi card is linked to your AAdvantage account, meaning you’re the primary card member.

    @ Robert Hanson — That’s great to hear!

    @ BBTBphile — Not only would you have to pay the difference in miles, but you’d have to completely redeposit the ticket and start from scratch.

  9. Thanks lucky. So I guess just having an AA Citi card and having miles deposit into your AA account indicates to them you have the card. So it seems like the miles reimbursement is pushed from AA and not from Citi in this manner (otherwise Citi would have to be notified that you have an award booking and how much for – which I am sure they wouldn’t allow). Sound about right?

  10. Thank you, Lucky! You’re my favorite distraction at work. I applied for the Ink card via your link. Thank you!

  11. @ BBTBphile — Thanks, and you’re my favorite thing about coming to “work.” Okay, I can’t call this work with a straight face…

    Let me know if I can ever do anything to help!

  12. by the way, just having this card really helped this week when traveling on AA without any elite status. Even though i did not pay for the ticket with the card, i still automatically got 1 free checked bag and Boarding Group 1.

  13. Is the rebate triggered during ticketing or actual initiation of the trip? If it’s the latter then how can I get the rebate if I my trip doesnt start until next year? IIRC, last time the rebate posted the day after I flewy first leg.

  14. Please clarify If this only applies to platinum select AAdvantage citi cards ? It doesn’t appear to apply to AAdvantage citi gold.

  15. I have redeemed boatloads of AA miles this calendar year (including the ones you helped me redeem for my Asia trip). I have had a Citibank Aadvantage Visa Signature card for 20 years. I have yet to receive any rebate miles. Do I have the wrong type of card? If not, should I call Citi or AA?

  16. @ Erik J — Do you have the Platinum Signature Visa card? If so you should be eligible, and I’d suggest calling Citi.

  17. No, I just called Citi to switch my Visa Signature to the Platinum Select. The process was completed and the new card’s benefits kick in by December 19. I wonder if my mileage redemptions earlier this year will count…is it based on calendar years or on the 12 month cycles after opening your account?

  18. @ Erik J — It’s based on calendar years, so you should probably still retroactively have the credit posted.

  19. Does this work if AA miles were redeemed on OneWorld members like Qatar?

    Also, will this work if primary card holder using his miles to purchase an award ticket for a sibling or a relative?


  20. I have the platinum and executive versions. Moving forward, I’m not surethe 450$ executive is better to keep than the 95$ platinum.

    Lounge access is nice, but the executive doesn’t seem to have the platinum’s 10k mile rebate, which is more desirable to me. I am lucky enough to be near a hub, and hardly use the lounge. The reward miles are always useful. Will they waive the platinum’s annual fee if we agree to keep the executive with it’s higher fee?

    Will they eventually add the 10k rebate to the executive version?

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