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American Airlines Credit Cards: Here’s How to Pick the Right One for You

8 min read
Susan Shain By Susan Shain Dec 23, 2018 | Updated Sep 15, 2020

American Airlines is one of my favorite ways to travel through the sky.

Not only does it offer an abundance of routes to Latin America, which I love to visit, but I’ve also never had major customer service issues with the carrier.

So, with a trip to Argentina soon on the radar, I’m considering applying for an American Airlines credit card. But which one? Frankly, there are too many to choose from.

To help me — and you! — decide, I dug into the details of the different American Airlines card offers.

Which American Airlines Credit Card Should You Get?

Let’s kick things off with my picks for the best American Airlines credit cards, depending on what you’re looking for.

We’ll get deeper into the details of each card later on.

Best All-Around Workhorse

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

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

No matter how you look at it, this card is solid. Its annual fee is waived for the first year, it offers 2X miles in the high-spend categories of restaurants and gas stations, and it gets you a slew of AA-affiliated perks.

Best for Generous Bonus Miles and a Low Minimum Spend

AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$99
Regular APR18.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 60,000 bonus miles after making a purchase in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
  • Introductory Companion Certificate good for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after your first card purchase in the first 90 days, and paying the annual fee
  • Anniversary Companion Certificate for spending $20,000 on purchases in a year, and keeping your account open for 45 days after your anniversary date
  • Double miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • One mile per dollar spent elsewhere
  • There is no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn
  • First eligible checked bag free for you and up to 4 traveling companions on American Airlines
  • 10% back on redeemed miles, up to 10,000 miles each year
  • 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
  • Preferred boarding lets you and up to 4 companions board after Priority boarding but before economy, in group 5 for American Airlines
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 18.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% variable
  • $99 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip-enabled technology to increase security and convenience

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money for a lot of miles, this card’s low barrier to entry is super attractive. Essentially, you’ll pay $95 (the annual fee), and make one purchase of any size, to get 60,000 miles.

Best for a Good, Fee-Free Airline Card

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Most airline credit cards come with annual fees of at least $95 or thereabouts, so if you want an airline card without one, this is a smart choice. It earns good rewards for a fee-free card and even comes with a decent intro bonus.

Best for Business Owners

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Designed for businesses
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line
  • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

The information related to CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

This card’s introductory bonus is well worth the price of admission. Best of all, you can apply for it alongside the Platinum Select personal card, snagging you a ton of AAdvantage miles between the two. (Wondering if you’d qualify for a business card? Here’s what you need to know.)

Cardmembers who hold a companion certificate that expires 12/31/2020 will receive a six-month extension set to expire on 6/30/21.

Best for Frequent AA Flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Because of its $450 annual fee, this card’s only good for people who fly AA a lot. The free bags for up to eight companions are perfect for big families, but with this card, you’re mostly paying for Admirals Club airport lounge access for yourself and two guests. (Most Admirals Club lounges are still temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Cardmembers who opened their account on 3/31/2020 or before that date will receive a one-time courtesy credit of $225 within two billing statements after the annual fee is billed to their account, in reimbursement for the temporary closing of Admirals Lounges.

The Basics of the American Airlines Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines is a member of the oneworld alliance, so you can use AAdvantage miles to fly on any of its 12 partner airlines. You can also fly with several other partners outside the alliance.

American Airlines partner airlines

Image credit: American Airlines

The American Airlines AAdvantage program offers elite status to frequent flyers. You can use a combination of elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) along with either elite qualifying miles (EQMs) or elite qualifying segments (EQSs) to qualify for the four different tiers:

American Airlines elite status

Image credit: American Airlines

When it comes to elite status, credit cards unfortunately aren’t going to help much. The only cards that offer any assistance are the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (Review) and AAdvantage® Aviator™ Business Mastercard®, but they require a lot of spending to earn bonus EQMs or EQDs.

The Benefits of American Airlines Credit Cards

The fastest way to earn AAdvantage miles is with the airline’s co-branded credit cards.

In addition to signup bonuses, all of them earn at least 2X miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1X mile per dollar on everything else. Most earn 2X miles in a few other bonus categories, too.

Another perk of being a cardholder is you won’t have to worry much about your miles expiring. Although AAdvantage miles generally expire after 18 months of inactivity, each mile-earning purchase resets the clock.

Here are two other big (but often overlooked) benefits:

Avoiding basic economy boarding

As you probably know, basic economy tickets are the pits. You have to board dead last, meaning there probably won’t be any room for your carry-on bag.

But if you carry a co-branded American Airlines credit card, you’ll get priority boarding — even if you paid for the ticket with a different card.

When you’re a cardmember, you’ll get to board in at least Group 5 (rather than Group 9 with basic economy and Groups 6–8 with standard economy tickets). Executive cardholders will get to board even earlier, with Group 4.

While you still won’t get to pick your seat, you’re more likely to find overhead bin space. You’ll receive this benefit on all the AA-branded cards in this post, with the exception of the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card (Review).

Booking reduced mileage awards

Cardholders can also get discounts on tickets purchased using miles. For flights of 500+ miles, you could get 7,500 miles off, and on flights under 500 miles, you could get 2,000 miles off. 

To qualify, you must be a cardholder who is:

  • Traveling entirely within the contiguous United States or Canada
  • Going to or from a destination on AA’s list of reduced mileage awards cities, which changes every few months
  • Booking a flight that has low-level MileSAAver space available (though you can book your seat in another fare class)

Follow the instructions on the reduced mileage awards webpage to book an eligible flight, which includes finding and using the appropriate award code.

You can check availability on the AA website, but if you want to avoid a booking fee you’ll have to book over the phone at 1-800-882-8880. If you book at a travel center you’ll incur a $35 fee for domestic travel or a $45 fee for international travel.

6 American Airlines Credit Cards Go Head-to-Head

While you might see lots of different AA cards floating around the interwebs — like the Aviator Silver or Blue — many aren’t accepting new applications.

Here are the six major American Airlines credit cards that you can apply for today, followed by a detailed breakdown of their features. The first four are issued by Citi, while the last two are issued by Barclays.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Designed for businesses
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line
  • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

The information related to CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$99
Regular APR18.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 60,000 bonus miles after making a purchase in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
  • Introductory Companion Certificate good for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after your first card purchase in the first 90 days, and paying the annual fee
  • Anniversary Companion Certificate for spending $20,000 on purchases in a year, and keeping your account open for 45 days after your anniversary date
  • Double miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • One mile per dollar spent elsewhere
  • There is no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn
  • First eligible checked bag free for you and up to 4 traveling companions on American Airlines
  • 10% back on redeemed miles, up to 10,000 miles each year
  • 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
  • Preferred boarding lets you and up to 4 companions board after Priority boarding but before economy, in group 5 for American Airlines
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 18.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% variable
  • $99 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip-enabled technology to increase security and convenience

AAdvantage® Aviator™ Business Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99% or 24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 2X miles per $1 spent on American Airlines
  • 2X miles per $1 spent on select telecom, office supply purchases and car rental purchases
  • 1X mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 65,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days; 10,000 bonus miles after a purchase on an employee card
  • $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars after spending $25,000 on purchases each year
  • Get up to a 7,500 mile discount booking MileSAAver awards with miles
  • Companion certificate for 1 guest at $99 after spending $30,000 or more since last anniversary
  • 5% annual mileage bonus every year
  • First checked bag free for flights with American Airlines and American Eagle
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 other people
  • 25% off in-flight purchases
  • $95 annual fee

In addition to the features in the table below, all the cards offer:

  • 1st checked bag free (with the exception of MileUp)
  • 25% discount on inflight food and beverage purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees (with the exception of MileUp)

 

Card Name Annual Fee Perks
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card (Review) $0
  • 25% off inflight food + bev
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® (Review) $99 (waived for first year)
  • Preferred boarding
  • $125 AA flight discount after spending $20,000 in a year
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (Review) $450
  • Admirals Club membership
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
  • Priority check-in, security, boarding
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® $99 (waived for first year)
  • Preferred boarding
  • 25% inflight discount on WiFi
  • $99 companion certificate after spending $30,000 in a year and renewing card
AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® $95
  • Preferred boarding
AAdvantage® Aviator™ Business Mastercard® $95
  • Preferred boarding
  • $99 companion certificate after spending $30,000 in a year and renewing card
  • $3,000 EQDs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year
Card Name Intro Bonus 2X Mileage Categories
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card (Review) 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles and a $50 statement credit for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • AA
  • Grocery stores
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® (Review) 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
  • AA
  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (Review) 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening (plus 10,000 EQMs for spending $40,000 in any given year)
  • AA
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
  • AA
  • Telecommunications
  • Cable/satellite providers
  • Car rentals
  • Gas stations
AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles and a Companion Certificate for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after making a purchase in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
  • AA
AAdvantage® Aviator™ Business Mastercard® 65,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days; 10,000 bonus miles after a purchase on an employee card
  • AA
  • Car rentals
  • Office supply stores
  • Telecommunictions

Note the AA-affiliated perks can only be used on flights operated by AA — and, in some cases, on American Eagle-branded flights marketed by AA but operated by other airlines, like Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines. Check your card’s terms before assuming a particular benefit will work for your flight if it’s not operated by AA.

Insider tip

Citi’s strict application rules state that, depending on the card, you won’t earn an introductory bonus if you’ve opened or closed a card in the same card family in the past 24 or 48 months, or received a new account bonus from certain cards. So if you get the Platinum card, then the Executive card six months later, you won’t get the second card’s intro bonus. Business and personal cards are separate entities, though, so you could apply for both the Platinum and Platinum Business within two years and get intro bonuses for both.

Other Cards That Can Earn American Airlines Miles

Hoping to book American Airlines flights with frequent flyer miles? You don’t have to limit yourself to AA cards. If you earn miles with any of American’s partner airlines, you could use their miles to fly AA, too.

Here’s an example:

  1. Get the British Airways Visa Signature® Card (Review) and earn 120,000 Avios miles or more after spending $20,000 within the first year of opening the card.
  2. Since British Airways is part of the oneworld alliance, you can then use those Avios to book a ticket with American Airlines.

So you could explore the world of co-branded airline credit card offers to find good options for earning partner airline miles.

For a broader, more complicated strategy, you could use a credit card that earns a specific type of rewards points, transfer them to AA or one of AA’s partner airlines, and then use those miles to book an American Airlines flight. Only certain cards, provided by several different issuers, have this point transfer feature.

Here’s what that could look like:

  1. Get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) and earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points for spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  2. Transfer the 50,000 UR points to Iberia, which is also part of the oneworld alliance.
  3. Use the 50,000 Iberia points to book a flight on American Airlines.

As you can see, that method opens up a world of possibilities. Here’s how you could use cards from several major credit card issuers to snag seats on AA flights, plus some suggested cards from each.

American Express

How to use with American Airlines partners: Transfer Amex’s Membership Rewards (MR) points to British Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Etihad, or Iberia. The transfer ratio is usually 1:1, or it may change; take note that there’s a $0.0006 fee per point for transfers to U.S. airlines, so choose one of the others.

Our pick

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Key Features & Terms

  • Annual fee: $550 (Rates & Fees)
  • 60,000 bonus MR points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X MR points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or via Amex Travel, and on prepaid hotels via Amex Travel
  • Luxury travel perks and credits

 

Other Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases, then a variable rate, currently 12.99%–23.99% Variable.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$295
Regular APR14.24% - 22.24% Variable

The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

 

Chase

How to use with American Airlines partners: Transfer Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to British Airways or Iberia.

Our pick

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Key Features & Terms

  • Annual fee: $95
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides; 2X UR points per dollar on travel and dining; 1X on everything else

With Chase you have yet another potential strategy. Only three Chase cards allow point transfers to partner airlines and hotels — the Sapphire Preferred and two others noted below — but several other cards earn UR points without the transfer option. You can use one of those other cards to earn UR rewards, then move those rewards to a card that does allow partner point transfers, and be on your merry way.

 

Other Cards That Earn Ultimate Rewards Points and Allow Point Transfers to Partners

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR16.99%-23.99% Variable

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99%-20.99% Variable

Cards That Earn Ultimate Rewards Points and Do Not Allow Point Transfers to Partners

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99% - 23.74% Variable

 

Capital One

How to use with American Airlines partners: Transfer Capital One miles at a ratio of 2:1.5 to Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Finnair, Qantas, or Qatar.

Our pick

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Features & Terms

  • Annual fee: $95
  • 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 2X miles per dollar on all purchases

 

Other Cards That Earn Capital One Miles

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Regular APR20.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.49% - 22.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

 

Citi

How to use with American Airlines partners: Transfer Citi’s ThankYou (TY) points at a 1:1 ratio to Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, or Qatar.

Our pick

Citi Premier Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR16.99% - 24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels, and on air travel.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 60,000 Points are redeemable for $750 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

The information related to Citi Premier Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Features & Terms

  • Annual fee: $95
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 3X ThankYou points per dollar on air travel, gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets and hotels; 1X on everything else

Like Chase above, several Citi credit cards earn ThankYou points, but only a couple allow point transfers to the relevant partner airlines. And again like Chase, you can move rewards from one card that doesn’t offer those point transfer options to another card that does.

 

Other Cards That Earn ThankYou Points

Citi Prestige® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$495
Regular APR17.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 5X ThankYou points on Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Rewards never expire
  • $250 travel credit
  • Complimentary 4th night free on eligible hotel stays, capped at twice per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $495 annual fee

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Citi Rewards+ Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • The Citi Rewards+SM Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% – 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% – 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

(The Rewards+ only allows point transfers to JetBlue TrueBlue.)

Wrapping Up

If you’re not devoted to American Airlines, we recommend using a general travel credit card — like the ones listed in the “other cards” section above — instead. Since these flexible cards aren’t co-branded with any particular airline, they work well for a variety of travel spending.

Or, if you’re a fan of a different travel service, check out some other co-branded airline and hotel credit cards.

No matter which American Airlines card you choose, be sure to pay your bill in full each month — and enjoy the journey!

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.

At a glance

American Airlines offers a host of co-branded travel rewards cards for personal and business use alike. Each card earns AAdvantage miles, and most include perks like free checked bags, discounts on inflight food and beverages, and no foreign transaction fees.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, American Express® Business Gold Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business, Citi Premier Card, and Citi Prestige® Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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