Best American Airlines Credit Card November 2022: Top 7 Picks & Reviews

Kristina Knight-1
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Reviewed by Randolph Vialva, MBA
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Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Editor’s Choice

5.0 stars - votes

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard

Most Affordable

4 stars - votes

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite®

Most Versatile

4 stars - votes
Best American Airlines Credit Card

American Airlines cards help frequent travelers earn rewards points that can be spent on eligible American Airlines purchases more economically. For every dollar spent on eligible American purchases, the user earns miles or points redeemable on everything from future tickets to lounge access, and free checked bags. With the money spent on eligible American Airlines purchases – flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and dining among other things – you earn Aadvantage miles for everyone. Some eligible American airline purchases will be worth more points than others. We rank the best AAdvantage credit card so you get the most for your money.

What Is an Airlines Credit Card?

American Airlines credit cards help save money on Admirals Club membership, satellite providers, car rentals when planning trips for work or personal reasons with your credit card. These points may be used during a trip to get a checked bag free, with a reservation enjoy preferred boarding and other purchases with your credit card. When you use the credit card for travel or dining purchases, you earn aadvantage miles for every mile; for some purchases, you’ll get an additional American Airlines companion certificate for use on other purchases. These points can be redeemed later for special discounts and even free stays, meals, tickets, or other purchases. Points are earned based on the amount of money spent, and some can be redeemed for statement credits to your account.

How Do American Airline Credit Cards Work?

American Airlines Credit Cards work the same as any other travel credit card: you make other purchases and earn aadvantage miles for every purchase. You may earn a checked bag free, a free beverage, or a free trip. The difference is that with an airline-specific card, only purchases made with that airline or with specific partner organizations, including telecommunications merchants or beverage purchases, work to earn the reward points. Once you hit certain milestones, points can be redeemed for special discounts and other free features.

Top 7 American Airlines Credit Card December 2022

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

  • High reward rate
  • 80,000-mile initial bonus
  • No foreign fee
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp? Mastercard

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard

  • No membership fee
  • High reward rate
  • American Airlines Aadvantage Bonus structure
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

  • Low fee
  • 18.99 27.99 variable 
  • 2x miles per dollar
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • High rewards tiers
  • Points transfer 1:1
  • Travel protection included
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

  • High reward rate
  • 80,000-mile initial American Airlines Aadvantage bonus
  • No foreign fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • 5x Membership Rewards points for direct bookings with American Express
  • 5x Membership Rewards points for prepaid hotels books with American Express
  • 18.99 27.99 variable
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

  • 18.99 27.99 variable 
  • Free checked bag
  • Sign up bonus

Top 7 Best American Airlines Credit Card November 2022

Best American Airlines Credit Card

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

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Read Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Reviews

The AAdvantage Executive World Elite program offers a 4 miles per $1 spend on American Airlines purchases made at account opening in 2022, and 2 miles per $1 spent after 2022. Other purchases earn a mile to dollar match after account opening. The program also includes access to the Admiral’s Club. 

  • High reward rate
  • 80,000-mile initial bonus
  • No foreign fee
  • High annual fee
  • No intro APR for purchase, balance transfer
  • Credit rating requirements

Despite the high rewards rate of this program, users will pay a high annual fee of $450; the card also has a high credit rating requirement which may hamper eligibility for some people. 

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp? Mastercard

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Read American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard Reviews

The best feature of the American Airlines AAdvantage mile-up card is that there is no fee for account opening. This is a big saving compared to other cards which charge between $199 and $699 per year just to use the card. There are drawbacks, too, including foreign transaction fees and no introductory APR rate for either balance transfers or purchases. 

  • No membership fee
  • High reward rate
  • Sign up bonus
  • No introductory annual percentage rate for purchase or balance transfer
  • Foreign fees
  • Credit requirements

Despite its drawbacks, the American AAdvantage card has a lot to offer frequent travelers including a high aadvantage miles rate and a generous sign up bonus that includes an extra 10,000 aadvantage miles and a $50 statement credit to start off. Users will earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 grocery purchase or spent on eligible American Airlines purchases at account opening, an aadvantage miles to dollars match to be spent eligible American Airlines purchases, and will also earn loyalty points. 

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

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Read AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® Reviews

The Red World Elite program offers a good bonus structure and does have an introductory APR for balance transfers at account opening. However, that introductory rate doesn’t apply to regular eligible American Airlines purchases, and there is a balance transfer fee.  

  • Low fee
  • 18.99 27.99 variable APR
  • 2x miles per dollar
  • No introductory APR for eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Annual fee

Although low, the $99 fee may take away some of the benefits of membership for those who aren’t loyal American Airlines passengers. However, it does include access to more than 50 exclusive AA lounges around the world.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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The Chase Preferred program offers high rewards across a vast spending area, and also allows users to transfer points at a 1:1 rate. Many other programs allow for points transfer but may only transfer a certain percentage or may not include 1:1 transfer rates.

  • High rewards tiers
  • Points transfer 1:1
  • Travel protection included
  • Annual fee
  • No introductory APR offer

The benefits to the Preferred program are many, but those bonuses do come with a fee and a high variable interest rate, like an 18.99 27.99 variable that does not include an introductory rate. Users will also need a minimum 700 credit score. 

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

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Read Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Reviews

The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card offers a 4 miles per $1 spend on American Airlines purchases made in 2022, and 2 aadvantage miles for every dollar spent after 2022. Other eligible American Airlines purchases earn a mile-to-dollar match. The program also includes access to the Admiral’s Club. 

  • High reward rate
  • 80,000-mile initial bonus
  • No foreign fee
  • High annual fee
  • No intro APR for purchase, balance transfer
  • Credit rating requirements

Despite the high rewards rate of this program, users will pay a high annual fee of $450; the card also has a high credit rating requirement which may hamper eligibility for some people. 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Read The Platinum Card® from American Express Reviews

Like most American Express plans, there is a lot to be had from this program including and 5x membership rewards points on certain buys, up to 80,000 bonus airline miles or points after you spend a minimum amount, credits for streaming services, a WalMart+ membership bonus, and sign up bonus and annual credits for travel purchases in the first place that can be used for things like baggage fees for up to four companions or lost luggage insurance, and digital fitness bonuses. Users may enjoy uber VIP status. 

  • 5x Membership Rewards points for direct bookings with American Express
  • 5x Membership Rewards points for prepaid hotels books with American Express
  • High fee structure
  • Limiting terms

We think the AmEx plan is one of the best in the premium tier because of the bonus structure and additional credits. However, those bonuses do come with an annual fee of $695 for membership. 

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

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Read CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Reviews

Although the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select requires a minimum credit rating, there are benefits to the program. Users can get a 65,000 initial bonus, there are no foreign transaction fees, and a high earning rewards rate. The earnings rate isn’t as high with Platinum as with other programs, most are either a 1:1 or 2:1 match rate, however, they do offer free checked bags which can result in large savings. 

  • Low fee
  • Free checked bag, up to two guests on the same reservation
  • Sign up bonus
  • Credit rating requirement
  • Limited redemption
  • 2nd-year membership fee

The big drawback to this program is that in the second year, you’ll begin incurring annual fees to use the card. The annual fee is $99, which is less than many other programs, but if you’re not an exclusive American Airlines or partner users, like a cable and satellite provider, the fee may lessen the benefits you earn in the program. 

How Much Are AAdvantage Miles Worth?

American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles are worth about $0.01 (one cent) each. This is slightly less than comparable programs like Delta SkyMiles or Southwest Rapid Rewards. 

Who Should Have an American Airlines Credit Card?

People who travel exclusively with American Airlines or who stay exclusively with American Airlines partners will earn the most benefits. However, the American Airlines flight rewards program can be used by those who seek the best deals; they simply won’t earn points as quickly or as often.

The Best Credit Card for American Airlines: How to Choose?

To choose the best cards, you first need to know how often you will travel. If you travel once per year, you won’t earn points as quickly because of the worth of these miles. Then, you need to know where you will travel. If you travel only within a specific region, you won’t earn points as fast as if you travel to many places around the globe. Finally, think about the annual fees. If you are not a frequent American Airlines flyer, you may earn points very slowly and the annual fee will outweigh any discounts or other program benefits. However, if you travel frequently and can use the card for both business and pleasure, you will earn points quickly making the deal much more lucrative. 

Tips For Maximizing American Airlines Credit Card

To maximize the rewards and credits with your reward program, you need to travel exclusively with American Airlines flights or their travel partners, including cable and satellite providers. Once you know the preferred partners, including car rental merchants, spend as much as you can with those companies so that you are earning points. Also look for international partners, including grocery stores and gas stations, and stay, fly, or travel with those partners as often as possible so that you are always earning points for future trips. 

Final Thoughts

Frequent flyer programs are a good way to earn preferred boarding, free trips, stays, and meals that you would buy anyway. Reward points are turned into discounts for vacations, discretionary spending, and other things you would typically purchase. The key is to understand how points accumulate, how much you must spend annually, and how much the annual fees are attached to the card. Another thing to watch is whether each card purchase must be paid off within a certain amount of time for the rewards to be added to your account.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an airline reward card?

For a frequent flyer, an airline reward card helps you earn discounts and other freebies like preferred boarding, and telecommunications merchants per dollar spent for using the card on specific purchases. These eligible American Airlines bonus miles purchases result in earning points per dollar spent or miles per dollar spent and can be redeemed for free things within a certain amount of time.

How do I earn points for travel?

With co-branded cards you earn rewards points with all eligible American Airlines purchases including in-flight food, beverages, airlines aadvantage bonus miles for immediate family members, admirals club membership, and discounts on global entry. In many cases, this is a 1:1 match meaning that you earn one loyalty point per dollar spent. So 100 miles earns $100 American Airlines miles, AAdvantage miles to fly American Airlines.

Are points transferable between programs?

In most cases, no, points are not transferable. If you switch from a card issuer-specific program within months of account opening and go with a network agreement between a card issuer, a qualifying airline, hotels, and rental cars, some points may be transferable as long as the credit card issuers are the same. This, however, is not always the case, so if you are thinking of changing make sure you know all of the rules.

How long are points good?

 Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles don’t typically have an expiration. You’ll get priority boarding on domestic flights, in-flight wi-fi, priority boarding for up to eight companions, global entry for family members traveling, and earn other bonuses for up to three months of account opening. However, this depends on the program, but in most cases, the card issuer will want your points to be redeemed within a year from the purchase date. Some cards will say that all miles expire if there is no activity on the card within a certain time frame, but other programs have no expiration on points earned.

How do I know if an APR is good?

These accounts can quickly become a money pit because of high-interest rates. A card’s Annual Percentage Rate, or APR, is the annualized percentage that is charged within certain months of account opening on purchases made. The charge will appear as a separate line on your statement and is added monthly until the purchase amount is paid off. The APR can add quite a bit of extra money to any purchase so it is better to pay off purchases quickly rather than allow the APR to continue to accumulate. Typically any APR over 10% is considered high and any APR under 10% is considered a good, or low, rate.

Is this a loyalty program?

Yes, but instead of your purchases only counting at a specific store, including grocery stores and gas stations or grocery delivery services, an airline aadvantage bonus miles are good for the type of purchase: gas stations, dining, beverage purchases, hotel stays, domestic American Airlines itineraries, and other travel expenses. Even hotel loyalty programs’ access only counts for that hotel, but an airline credit card earns rewards across all travel expenses. Be sure to understand all terms before account opening.

What fees can I expect?

This will depend on the card agreement, but most will charge an annual percentage rate within months of account opening as interest and will have an annual fee to be part of the rewards tier. The card may also have foreign transaction fees that would count on any purchases made outside of your country of residence.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.

+ 2 sources

Bizreport Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Bizreport, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). Credit.org. Accessed November 21, 2022. https://credit.org/cccs/
  2. BBB: Start with Trust® | Better Business Bureau®. Betterbusinessbureau.com. Published 2022. Accessed November 21, 2022. https://www.betterbusinessbureau.com