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2020 Review: American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card – AA Rewards for No Annual Fee

Updated Sep 24, 2020 | Published Sep 02, 202011 min read

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American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

Min Credit Level Excellent
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
At a glance

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is the most inexpensive option from the American Airlines credit card family. It has no annual fee and features a 25% discount on in-flight purchases, but that’s about all.

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® and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We give the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card 4 out of 5 Stars. It features an uncomplicated earning experience with very few bells and whistles. But that’s to be expected from a travel card with no annual fee.

Why We Like It

  • No annual fee
  • Solid rewards
  • 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles and a $50 statement credit for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • 25% in-flight discount

Why It Could Be Better

  • Few airline perks, and no free checked bags
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

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.

The MileUp card is just about as simple as it gets when it comes to travel rewards credit cards. You’ll earn 2X miles per dollar for American Airlines flights and on groceries, and gain a 25% discount on in-flight purchases.

The selling point is the lack of an annual fee, so if you don’t travel often, and fly AA when you do, this could be the card you want. However, there are very few perks and no shopping or travel protections. So if you travel frequently, you’d likely get more out of a more advanced card.

Luckily, AA offers a pretty large selection of credit cards, ranging from the inexpensive (this card) to the high-end.

Here’s a quick overview of the non-business AA cards:

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Pay for your plane tickets: Considering this is an AA card, you’ll want to use it every time you fly to earn 7X miles per dollar. 2X miles from the card, and then a minimum 5X miles from your AA membership.
  • Buy your groceries: You’re not restricted to only earning on flights. You’ll also earn 2X miles per dollar on your groceries.
  • Aim for the welcome bonus: It’ll provide a nice little boost to your miles and a statement credit. And it probably won’t take too many flights to reach the spending requirement.
  • Snack along the way: You’ll receive a 25% discount on in-flight purchases, so don’t be afraid to snack if you’re hungry or grab a drink if you’re thirsty.
  • Watch the fee: This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. That’s fairly uncommon for travel cards, meaning you may want to consider another option if you’re traveling outside of the country.

The Rewards

This card can be pretty rewarding, considering there’s no annual fee. If your miles are worth 1–2 cents, you’ll earn the equivalent of 7%–14% cash back on your flights (if you’re earning 7X miles per dollar).

You’ll see a cash back equivalent of 2%–4% for the grocery category. That isn’t as impressive, but still pretty good for a card like this.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 2X AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on:
    • Eligible American Airlines purchases
    • Grocery stores
  • 1X AAdvantage mile per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles and a $50 statement credit for spending $500 in the first 3 months

In addition to the 2X miles per dollar from the card, you’ll get at least 5X miles per dollar on flights from your American Airlines membership. That brings your total miles to 7X per dollar.

Redeeming

There are a few routes you can take when it comes time to redeem your miles. The most profitable of these, however, will be redeeming them for American Airlines reward flights. But you have other options available to you.

You can:

  • Use miles for flights through AA, or through any of the partners in oneworld. It has several airline members including British Airways and Cathay Pacific.
  • Redeem miles for hotel stays or rental cars through AA’s travel partners.
  • Use miles to buy (or renew) an Admirals Club membership, providing airport lounge access to around 50 lounges.

AA’s hotel partners include: Best Western Hotels and Resorts, PointsHound, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. But AA states you can redeem your miles for hotels and car rentals at over 150,000 locations in 500+ destinations worldwide.

How Do I Redeem My American Airlines Miles for AA Flights?

If you go to the American Airlines website, you’ll be able to search for your desired flight. You can check the small box near the search bar in order to pay for it with your miles rather than your cash.

You won’t be able to redeem for economy class seats, however.

Take a look at a few examples of one-way flights we ran through to get a sense of the kind of mile values you’ll likely see:

Flights Cash (includes taxes and fees) Miles Mile Value
Rochester (ROC) to Houston (HOU) $252.60 16,000 + $5.60 1.58 cents
New York City (JFK) to Denver (DEN) $231.10 22,500 + $5.60 1.03 cents
Indianapolis (IND) to Phoenix (PHX) $248.10 19,000 + $5.60 1.31 cents
Orlando (MCO) to Chicago (ORD) $202.60 19,000 + $5.60 1.07 cents
Cincinnati (CVG) to Philadelphia (PHL) $308.10 12,500 + $5.60 2.47 cents

On the high-end, from Cincinnati to Philadelphia, you’d see a mile value of 2.47 cents. That’ll equal a cash back equivalent of about 17.3%, which is pretty great.

However, mile values are pretty volatile, so you won’t always see that kind of return on your spending. Take the New York City to Denver flight, for example, where your mile value is 1.03 cents. That’ll get you a cash back equivalent of about 7.2%, less than half of the other flight.

That volatility means that if you don’t get a mile value you like (the price divided by the mile requirement) you can look around for other flights with a higher value. If you can’t find a satisfying deal, check back later or perhaps consider using your card for the trip, and your miles for the next.

The Benefits

The card benefits attached to the MileUp are pretty scarce, but it’s not all that surprising considering how inexpensive it is.

  • In-flight discount: You’ll get a 25% discount on food and beverage purchases during AA flights.
  • Citi Concierge: Citi offers a service to help you find what you may need, whether it be dining, travel, or entertainment.
  • American Airlines Vacations: You’ll get a 10% discount when you book any American Airlines vacation package.
  • AAdvantage Dining: You’ll earn two additional miles per dollar when you eat at local restaurants.
  • SimplyMiles: If you join SimplyMiles and add your card, you can activate special earning offers at a variety of different retailers.
  • eShopping: You can shop at over 950 online vendors where you can earn additional miles on top of what you’d get from the card.
  • Authorized users: You can add authorized users to your account, letting them share in the discount and rewards.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable) 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable) 25.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 3%
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to 29.99% (Variable) Up to $40 Up to $40

The most important thing to be aware of here is the foreign transaction fee. It’s somewhat rare amongst travel cards, so if you plan on flying internationally, it might be best to check out cards with no foreign transaction fees.

The Bottom Line

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is a good choice for people who don’t travel too much and prefer to fly AA when they do.

There’s not a lot to it. You’ll earn rewards for flying the skies, and get a discount on in-flight food and beverages. But there are few, if any, shopping or travel protections attached so if you’re more than an occasional traveler, you’d probably get more out of a different card.

Luckily, AA has plenty to choose from. Or, if you don’t want a card tied to a specific airline, you can take a look at some of our best picks for general travel.

How Do I Apply for the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card?

Simply follow the link below to securely apply on the credit card issuer’s website. You’ll need to fill out an application which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You’ll likely hear back pretty quickly if you’ve been approved or not.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the AAdvantage MileUp Card?

It’s recommended that you have excellent credit, or near to it, to qualify.

That would mean your credit scores would be in the ranges of 800–850 for FICO and 750–850 for VantageScore. As long as your credit is looking good, you should have a decent shot.

It’s important to remember, however, that credit card companies take more into account than just credit scores when figuring out your creditworthiness. They’ll look at things like income and your monthly mortgage or rent payments, so if your credit scores aren’t at that level, you still may be approved.

That also means that if your scores are high enough, you could be denied due to other factors.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal identifying information: Name, birth date, Social Security number, country of citizenship
  • Address and contact information: Email, phone number, address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage/rent payment, bank account types
  • AAdvantage membership number, if applicable

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my AAdvantage Miles worth?

We found, on average, your miles are worth 1–2 cents. That means you’d likely see a cash back equivalent of 7%–14% when purchasing AA flights, when earning 7X miles per dollar.

You can see a few example mile values we ran through for an idea of what you might get.

Will I get travel accident insurance from the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card?

You probably won’t get any shopping or travel protections from this card. You can look at other American Airlines cards that offer more benefits, but cost a bit more too.

Was this helpful?

Alternatives to the American Express AAdvantage MileUp Card

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

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
  • Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® (Review) is a step up from the AAdvantage MileUp card. It features expanded benefits and asks for an annual fee.

Despite the annual fee (which is waived for the first year) if you travel more than just every so often, you’d get more out of this card. The benefits include things like your first checked bag free, preferred boarding for AA flights, and a mileage discount when redeeming for flights. There are a few shopping protections, too.

The rewards are practically the same, but with this card you’ll have the opportunity to earn 2X miles per dollar at restaurants as well. So it could be worth it if you travel a little more frequently. Plus, there’s no foreign transaction fee, meaning you can spend without worry if you leave the country.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X AAdvantage miles per dollar at:
    • American Airlines
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1X AAdvantage mile per dollar everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
  • 25% in-flight food and beverage discount: Save some money on in-flight snacks and drinks, making your flight just a little better.
  • Preferred boarding for AA flights: With preferred boarding you and four companions will be able to board with Group 5 when it comes time to enter the plane.
  • First checked bag free: You and up to four travel companions will have the fee for your first checked bags waived on eligible domestic flights.
  • Reduced mileage award: You’ll get a discount when redeeming your miles for flights. If your flight is 500 or more miles, you’ll get a 7,500-mile discount. For flights under 500 miles, you’ll get a 2,000-mile discount.
  • $125 American Airlines flight discount: Once you spend $20,000 in a cardmember year and renew your card, you’ll earn $125 off an American Airlines flight.
  • 10% AA vacation discount: You’ll get a 10% discount when booking a combination of two or more travel methods through American Airlines. These include hotel stays, car rentals, or flights.
  • Add authorized users: You can add authorized users to your account at no additional charge.
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $99, waived for first 12 months
  • 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.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$149
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Review) is a good option if you prefer Southwest Airlines over AA. And if you don’t have any preference, this card would likely serve you better than the MileUp.

Don’t let the annual fee put you off, there’s a yearly travel credit that helps soften the blow. The $75 credit effectively drops the fee to $74, which really isn’t bad for a travel card.

For that fee, this card offers four upgraded boardings, 7,500 anniversary points, a 20% discount on in-flight purchases, and a wide selection of travel protections. These protections, like travel accident and rental car insurance, could end up saving you quite a bit of money in the unfortunate event you need them.

There’s little difference in the rewards. Rather than miles you’ll earn points, and instead of earning on groceries, you’ll earn 2X points per dollar with Southwest Airlines’ hotel and car rental partners.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X points per dollar on eligible purchases from:
    • Southwest Airlines
    • Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partners
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

On top of that, you’ll earn 12X points per dollar on Business Select fares, 10X on Anytime fares, and 6X points on Wanna Get Away fares.

  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit: Receive a $75 annual travel credit to use to book your flights, Rapid Rewards hotel stays, or car rentals each year.
  • 7,500 anniversary points: Every year you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points.
  • Four upgraded boardings: Snag an A1–A15 seat, without the hassle. Each anniversary year, you’ll be reimbursed for up to four Upgraded Boardings for A1 through A15 seats. The price of an Upgraded Boarding varies depending on your flight, but usually costs between $30 and $50.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases: You’ll receive 20% back on in-flight Southwest purchases like drinks, meals, entertainment, and WiFi.
  • Travel protections: Rental car insurance, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and travel and emergency assistance
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $149

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

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

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card (Review) is different from the other cards here, because it’s not tied to any airlines.

It’s a good option for people who don’t travel very often and aren’t picky about which airline they get. You’ll earn a flat rate no matter who you fly with or what you buy. There’s an introductory APR, so your purchases won’t earn interest for for 12 months (after which your rate will be 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)).

The benefits are a bit more impressive with this card too. In addition to several travel and shopping protections, you’ll be able to monitor your credit, transfer your miles to Capital One’s travel partners at a 2:1.5 rate, and get special perks at a variety of hotels around the world.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.25X miles per dollar on all purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 20,000 bonus miles for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Mile transfers: Most travel partners offer a transfer rate of 2:1.5 (2 Capital One miles for 1.5 partner airline miles or hotel points), but some may vary. Transfers to travel partners will often net you a better point value.
  • CreditWise credit monitoring: See your VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on your TransUnion credit report, and check data from your TransUnion report.
  • Luxury Hotel Collection: Provides special perks at select hotels around the world
  • Shopping discounts: Get discounts at certain retailers. There are usually a few dozen offers available here, for both online and physical stores.
  • Fine Wine and Food: This is focused on food, with a bit of wine thrown in too. You’ll get certain perks at wineries and discounts from common merchants.
  • Sports and Entertainment Offers: Get exclusive discounts and offers at sports events and a variety of other experiences.
  • Travel protections: Roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, and travel and emergency assistance services
  • Shopping protections: Purchase security and extended warranty
  • Purchase APR: 0% for for 12 months, then 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) carries an annual fee, but provides a lot of flexibility and quite a few travel protections.

You’ll earn in a broader travel category than with the MileUp card, on dining, and on Lyft rides. As a nice touch, if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get a 25% bonus. So your points will be worth a little more.

And thanks to Chase’s 1:1 transfer rate, you can take your points and transfer them to any of Chase’s travel partners. You might be able to find a point value of 2 cents at a wide selection of airlines and hotels, providing a pretty solid 4% cash back equivalent for the 2X categories, and 10% for Lyft rides. That’s slightly less than the MileUp card, but you won’t be restricted to only redeeming for AA flights.

The travel and shopping protections are probably the most useful of the bunch, but you’ll also get Shop through Chase and the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. Shop through Chase offers higher earnings with a selection of retailers, and the latter benefit will give you perks at a variety of hotels around the globe.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Travel
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. This gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12, which could help you save quite a bit if you tend to order out.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is provided by Chase, and includes benefits at a plethora of locations around the world.
  • Shop through Chase: Cardholders can get more points at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace.
  • Chase Offers: Receive exclusive offers from a variety of different merchants through Chase.
  • Chase Preferred Experiences: As a Sapphire Preferred cardholder you’ll have access to exclusive events and experiences provided by Chase.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
  • Travel protections: Trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, and roadside dispatch
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • 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.

Do you use the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card? Have you enjoyed any reward flights since receiving your card? Let us know how you like it in the comments below!

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.

Take a look at some credit cards co-branded with other airlines Best Airline Credit Cards
Written by

Evan Zimmer

Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.

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