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I just got approved for TWO MORE credit cards!! The Citibank AAdvantage personal Visa and personal Amex. 

I know, I know. I have a lot of credit cards already. One of these days, I’m going to get around to actually counting them, but it’s in the upper twenties, possibly thirties by now. I certainly don’t need another credit card.

So far, 2010 has proven to be the best year for credit card sign up offers. I’ve loved the Chase 50K United miles sign up bonus, and the 30K Starpoints from the Starwood American Express business and personal cards. These were GREAT offers! I’m going to Hawaii for free because of the Starwood sign up offers, and I plan on going to possibly Argentina(?) with the United miles.

But this offer that I’m about to tell you about is HUGE. It’s the big kahuna of credit card offers.

I learned about it a month or so ago, but I wanted to wait while everyone else on FT and SD tested the waters before I jumped in.

You see, there are three different credit cards available (personal Visa, personal Amex, and business Visa), all branded by Citi. Technically, you should only be able to apply for one of them, since the T&C’s clearly state  first-time AAdvantage card holders only.  But, as it turns out, based on everyone’s experiences that I read about, you can get approved for two cards, so long as you apply for both in the same day. If you wait longer than a day to apply for the second one, Card#1 is already in the system and you get automatically denied for Card#2.

Also, I was a little cautious at first because NOWHERE on the credit card application does it say anything about the bonus miles you receive. I wanted to wait and make sure it wasn’t a targeted offer meant only for the original email recipients. But now, the results are in, and there are more than 180 people out there who have successfully been approved and called in to verify that they qualify for the sign-up offer.

  • Lesson#1: If I want to increase my odds of being approved for two cards, I need to apply for both credit cards on the same day.
  • Lesson#2: Wait till other guinea pigs to test the waters, then dive right in!

Note, while the sign-up offers are good through Oct 31st, I’d sign up sooner than later. You never know when they might pull the offer due to overdemand.

Citcard AAdvantage Sign-Up Offers — valid through October 31st, 2010

Okay, so here’s a brief summary:

  • There are three different cards you can apply for. The Personal Visa, the Personal Amex, and the Business Visa. I applied for the Personal Visa and Personal Amex.
  • You can apply for 2 of the 3 cards and get approved. You MUST apply for both in the same day in order for this to work.
  • There are two types of sign-up offers for each card (for a total of 6 possible applications) – either 75,000 miles or 100,000 miles.
  • The 75,000 bonus requires you to charge $1500 within the first six months to get 75,000 AA miles.
  • For the 100,000 bonus, you get 50,000 miles after spending $750 in the first four months, and another 50,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 12 months.
  • $85 annual fee per card, waived the first year
  • These offers are supposed to be for first time AAdvantage card holders only. I’ve owned multiple Citi cards, but I’ve never had an AAdvantage card, so I met this requirement. There are examples of people getting approved, even if they had an AAdvantage credit card in the past, so YMMV.
  •  Citi has instituted an anti-churning program (for people like me!) which only permits 2 credit card applications in a 60 day period, so you won’t be approved for more than 2.

75,000 miles offers ($1500 spend in 6 months):
For the Citi Personal Visa 75,000 mile offer use this link.
For the Citi Personal AmEx 75,000 mile offer use this link.
For the Citi Business Visa 75,000 mile offer use this link.

100K miles offers ($750 spend in 4 mo/$10,000 spend in one year):
For the Citi Personal Visa 100K bonus mile offer use this link.
For the Citi Personal AmEx 100K bonus offer use this link.
For the Citi Business Visa 100K bonus offer use this link.

There is a whole Slickdeals thread with TONS of info over HERE.

My Notes:

  • I chose to apply for the Citi Personal Visa 100K miles offer and the Personal Amex 75K miles offer. I wasn’t sure that I could spend $20K in one year, but I knew I could spend $10K in one year easily.  So I went for the Visa 100K mile offer first, then applied for the Amex 75K offer next. (I wanted to make sure I got the 100K offer first, just in case I wasn’t approved for both cards.)
  • The personal Visa has higher qualification standards than the Amex because its minimum credit line is higher. So, if you have a lower household income, or maxed out Citi limits on all your cards,  it may be easier to qualify for the Amex.
  • It will be harder to reach $10,000 spend on an Amex, since it’s not accepted everywhere. So keep this in mind when considering your spend requirements (For example, utilities don’t usually take Amex. But the US Mint does!! :) )
  • I was NOT instantly approved online for either card. Instead, I was told to call a 1-866# for further processing.  I called each time, provided my application# and was approved over the phone, after about 10-20 minutes of being put on hold off and on. So if you are given the same response, immediately call! Usually this means you are approved, but they just need to verify more info (like your address)  before they can approve you.  I also had them verify the sign-up bonus each time.
  • I have several Citi cards, so I was not surprised when they told me that I had maxed out my total credit with Citi. Both times they told me that I would have to move over my limit from my other cards before they could approve me, and I gladly accepted.  

My Final Tally

So all told, after I complete my minimum spends, I will receive:

  • 50,000 miles after I spend $750 on Visa + 750 miles for spend
  • 50,000 miles after I spend $10K on Visa + 10,000 miles for spend
  • 75,000 miles after I spend $1500 on Amex + 1500 miles for spend

For a grand total of 187,250 American Advantage miles!!!!! Absolutely free!

HOLY TOLEDO! I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d ever get an adrenaline rush from applying for credit cards, but I gotta admit, I totally get a high after an approval for a particularly tasty credit card offer ;) On Monday, I had to call my sister up and shout in her ear about the latest ah-maaaazing credit card that I JUST GOT APPROVED FOR!  {Yes, I did scream in her ear and giggle like a school girl. You’d have thought I just got into Harvard or something.}

What Are These Miles Worth?

100,000 miles can be redeemed for 5 free domestic roundtrip tickets at 17,500 per award using reduced mileage awards for Citi AA cardholders, 4 free domestic roundtrip tickets using American’s MileSAAver award tickets, 2 domestic first class roundtrip tickets or 1 free roundtrip business class ticket to Europe, Japan or South America.  These business class tickets can run from $3,000 to $10,000 so if used correctly you can realize up to $10,000 in value!  

See American’s Mileage Chart for full details. Miles can also be redeemed on American’s OneWorld Alliance Partners, including Cathay Pacific, British Air, Qantas and more.

Personally, I have BIG DREAMS.  These free miles will allow me to check off “flying overseas in first or business class” and several different countries off my bucket list. I plan on redeeming my miles for an American Airlines oneworld trip in business class, similar to the one that Gary from View from the Wing outlines here.

How Will It Affect My Credit?

If you’re wondering what effect all these credit card applications might be having on my credit score, then I’ll tell ya. I had my scores pulled on 08/30/10 for a refinance (more on that later), and my scores were as follows: Experian 773; TransUnion 774; Equifax 790.

You may recall that my credit scores were ~15 points higher about a year ago, before I applied for my first mortgage. Can you guess what the listed factors were for the less-than-perfect score? “Too many inquiries last 12 months” and “Length of time accounts have been opened.”  Of course, I’m not surprised. I’ve applied for 3 new credit cards, acquired 2 new mortgages, and shopped around for new home & auto insurance all in the last year.  That’s a lot of credit inquiries!

I’d say that the relatively minimal drop in my score was worth the 2-3 pts hit per application.  I’m still in the upper percentile (>760), and was still qualified for the highest rates for my refinance sooooo I’m happy :)

8 Responses to “How I Plan to Get 187,250 AA Miles for FREE: Citibank AAdvantage Visa & Amex Credit Cards”

  1. […] Have you signed up for the new American Airlines credit cards from Citibank with the 75,000 or 100,000 miles sign-up bonus? […]

  2. sazzy says:

    Lanaye, are you going to buy us mint coins for the $10K spending requirement? If so, do you redeposit the coins into the same bank every 10 or so days? Thanks!

  3. Heather says:

    Hi Sazzy,

    I haven’t bought us mint coins with these cards yet. I shouldn’t have a problem meeting the $10K spend based on my normal spending pattern over a year’s time.

    However, I’ll probably buy coins to speed it up. Lately I’ve been ordering about a box a month, just because I have a hard time getting home to sign for the package during the day, but if it were easier (or I had a shorter timeframe), then I’d probably do it more frequently :) And yes, I redeposit using the same bank always. In the beginning I tried many banks, but found one that I really like so I stick with that one.

  4. […] I just had to drop a quick note to remind everyone that you have ONE DAY LEFT to sign up for the best credit card bonus ever. […]

  5. mic says:

    Hi – any good deals with Delta Airlines ? thank you!

  6. […] within 6 months. All the other terms still apply. {See all my notes on the previous offer over here.}  There is an $85 annual fee but it’s waived the first year. There is supposed to be a […]

  7. […] you still with me? So, do you see why this deal isn’t as good as the Citi AAdvantage deal?  With the Citi deal, you had the potential for applying for TWO cards, up to 200,000 in bonus […]

  8. […] miles with only a $1500 minimum spend in six months, similar to the personal Visa and Amex that Tony and I applied for awhile back. (The very same offer that gave us our FREE business class tickets to Italy!! It takes […]

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