The 8 best credit cards for American Airlines flyers of August 2022

By August 4, 2022DeFi
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  • Best for earning American Airlines miles
  • Best for budget travelers
  • Best for lounge access
  • Best for elite status
  • Best for discounts
  • Best for business travelers
  • Best for annual bonus miles
  • If you're not loyal to American
  • Compare the best American Airlines credit cards
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
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    American Airlines offers an array of co-branded credit cards ranging from a no-annual-fee option to a $450-per-year premium credit card that includes access to the airline's Admirals Club airport lounges. If you fly American Airlines, even occasionally, a co-branded American Airlines card could make sense for earning miles toward award flights and enjoying benefits like a free checked bag and the ability to board the plane before most other travelers.

    American Airlines credit cards are even more useful now that the AAdvantage program awards elite status based on Loyalty Points. For every dollar you spend on a co-branded AA card, you'll earn 1 Loyalty Point toward elite status (in addition to redeemable miles).

    With all those choices, the right airline credit card for your travel style depends on the benefits and perks that are most useful to you. Here's what to know to help you decide.

    We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Best for earning American Airlines miles: Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card

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

    Annual Fee

    $99, waived for first 12 months

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% variable

    Recommended Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    4.45/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.45 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Our editor's ratings are primarily based on 3 things: simplicity, affordability, and value. Our credit card editor takes those factors into account, and comes up with a rating to best reflect how the card performs in that criteria - relative to other products we've reviewed.

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

    4.45/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.45 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

    A tooltip

    Our editor's ratings are primarily based on 3 things: simplicity, affordability, and value. Our credit card editor takes those factors into account, and comes up with a rating to best reflect how the card performs in that criteria - relative to other products we've reviewed.

    Apply Now

    Annual Fee

    $99, waived for first 12 months

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% variable

    Recommended Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • Bonus categories help you earn miles on everyday purchases
    • Fee checked bag on domestic American Airlines flights

    Cons

    • $125 American Airlines flight discount is nice, but you need to spend $20,000 in a cardmember year to earn it

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    • 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, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
    • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
    • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership 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

    Best for budget travelers: AAdvantage MileUp card

    American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% (Variable)

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    4.25/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.25 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard

    4.25/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.25 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Annual Fee

    $0

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% (Variable)

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • Earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles with no annual fee
    • Rack up double miles at grocery stores in addition to American Airlines purchases

    Cons

    • Modest sign-up bonus is much lower than other American Airlines cards
    • No meaningful frequent flyer benefits
    • You'll pay foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad

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    • The information related to the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • 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
    • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
    • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights

    Best for lounge access: Citi / AAdvantage Executive card

    Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

    Annual Fee

    $450

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% (Variable)

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    4.6/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.6 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

    4.6/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.6 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Annual Fee

    $450

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% (Variable)

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • Full Admirals Club membership gets you (and authorized users) access to American Airlines lounges
    • Lots of American Airlines benefits, including priority boarding and check-in and a free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions

    Cons

    • High annual fee
    • Only earns bonus miles on American Airlines purchases

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    • The information related to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • 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
    • 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
    • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from 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

    Best for elite status: AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®

    AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®

    Annual Fee

    $199

    Regular APR

    N/A

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    4.5/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.5 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®

    4.5/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.5 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Annual Fee

    $199

    Regular APR

    N/A

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • Generous benefits include inflight Wi-Fi statement credits, food and beverage credits, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
    • Free checked bag and preferred boarding for the cardholder and up to eight companions on the same reservation
    • Ability to earn Elite Qualifying Miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars for meeting spending thresholds

    Cons

    • Not available to new applicants — only available as an upgrade
    • High annual fee

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    • Earn 3X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
    • Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on hotels and car rentals
    • Earn 1X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on all other purchases
    • Unlimited earning on miles
    • Earn up to 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) on your spend between January 1, 2021 and February 28, 2022. Earn 5,000 EQMs if you spend $20,000 on purchases and another 5,000 EQMs if you spend an additional $20,000 on purchases

    Best for discounts: AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®

    AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®

    Annual Fee

    $99

    Regular APR

    16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% variable

    Recommended Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    4.4/5

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    4.4 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®

    4.4/5

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    4.4 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Annual Fee

    $99

    Regular APR

    16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% variable

    Recommended Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • You’ll earn the welcome bonus after making your first purchase and paying the annual fee
    • Free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines
    • Inflight Wi-Fi statement credits

    Cons

    • To earn a companion certificate you have to spend $20,000 or more in a year
    • Annual fee isn’t waived the first year
    • No bonus categories outside of American Airlines purchases

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    • Earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days
    • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
    • Earn 1X AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Get up to $25 back as statement credits on inflight Wi-Fi purchases each year on American Airlines operated flights
    • Earn a Companion Certificate good for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) if you spend $20,000 on purchases and your account remains open for 45 days after your anniversary date
    • Receive 25% inflight savings as statement credits on food and beverages when you use your card on American Airlines operated flights

    Best for business travelers: CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

    Annual Fee

    $99, waived for first 12 months

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% (Variable)

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    4.6/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.6 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

    A tooltip

    Our editor's ratings are primarily based on 3 things: simplicity, affordability, and value. Our credit card editor takes those factors into account, and comes up with a rating to best reflect how the card performs in that criteria - relative to other products we've reviewed.

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    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

    4.6/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.6 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

    A tooltip

    Our editor's ratings are primarily based on 3 things: simplicity, affordability, and value. Our credit card editor takes those factors into account, and comes up with a rating to best reflect how the card performs in that criteria - relative to other products we've reviewed.

    Apply Now

    Annual Fee

    $99, waived for first 12 months

    Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% (Variable)

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • Lots of bonus categories for earning miles on business-related purchases
    • Annual fee is waived the first year
    • Offers a free checked bag on American Airlines flights

    Cons

    • Smaller businesses may have trouble meeting the $30,000 spending threshold to earn the companion certificate

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    • Designed for businesses
    • Earn 65,000 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, and 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
    • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees

    Best for annual bonus miles: AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®

    AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®

    Annual Fee

    $95

    Regular APR

    16.24% or 25.24%

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    4.3/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.3 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®

    4.3/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.3 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Annual Fee

    $95

    Regular APR

    16.24% or 25.24%

    Recommended Credit Score

    Excellent

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • American Airlines benefits, including a free first checked bag and preferred boarding
    • 5% annual mileage bonus
    • You can earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars toward American Airlines elite status by spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year

    Cons

    • Companion certificate benefit requires spending $30,000 or more on the card in an account year

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    • The information related to the Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard® has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening, and earn 10,000 bonus miles after a purchase is made on an employee card
    • Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
    • Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent at eligible office supply, telecom and car rental merchants
    • Earn 1X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on all other purchases
    • After every account anniversary, earn 5% AAdvantage® mileage bonus based on the total number of miles earned using your card
    • First checked bag free for you and up to 4 companions when traveling on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines

    If you're not loyal to American: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    Annual Fee

    $95

    Regular APR

    17.49% - 24.49% Variable

    Recommended Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    A tooltip

    Recommended credit score. Note that credit card lenders may use many different variations of credit score models when considering your application.

    4.8/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.8 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

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    Our editor's ratings analyze fees, bonuses, rewards, and benefits to highlight the simplest and most valuable credit cards available.

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    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

    4.8/5

    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star

    4.8 out of 5 Stars

    Editor's Rating

    A tooltip

    Our editor's ratings analyze fees, bonuses, rewards, and benefits to highlight the simplest and most valuable credit cards available.

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    Annual Fee

    $95

    Regular APR

    17.49% - 24.49% Variable

    Recommended Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    A tooltip

    Recommended credit score. Note that credit card lenders may use many different variations of credit score models when considering your application.

    Pros & Cons It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

    Pros

    • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
    • Strong travel coverage

    Cons

    • Doesn't offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit

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    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
    • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
    • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
    • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
    • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

    Compare the best American Airlines credit cards

    Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select

    If your primary goal is to rack up American AAdvantage miles quickly on everyday purchases, the earning rates on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® can't be beat. That's because it accrues 2x miles not only on eligible American Airlines purchases but also at restaurants and gas stations, two major expense categories for a lot of consumers.

    Aside from that, cardholders get a free checked bag on domestic AA itineraries for themselves and up to four companions, preferred boarding, and 25% back on inflight food and beverage. Those who spend $20,000 or more on purchases in a calendar year and renew the card can earn a $125 flight discount certificate.

    The card's annual fee is $99, waived for first 12 months, and it's currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

    You can read our review of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select here.

    American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp card

    Want to earn miles on everyday purchases without the burden of a high annual fee? American Airlines introduced its no-annual-fee American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard a couple of years ago to target less-frequent flyers on a budget.

    The card earns a respectable 2x miles on both eligible American Airlines purchases and at grocery stores, and 1x on everything else. Its only day-of-travel benefit is 25% back as a statement credit on inflight food and beverage, so don't expect free checked bags or priority boarding.

    The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard is currently offering 10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

    You can read our review of the Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card here.

    Citi AAdvantage Executive

    If you're a frequent American flyer and value access to the airline's Admirals Club airport lounges, then the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the right card for you. It does have a $450 annual fee, but that is still hundreds of dollars cheaper than Admirals Club membership costs if you buy it outright.

    Unlike other airlines' club cards, which merely offer lounge access, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® cardholders enjoy full Admirals Club membership privileges including entry to some partner lounges. Cardholders can also bring immediate family or up to two guests with same-day boarding passes on American or partner airlines. Not only that, but you can also add up to 10 authorized users at no cost, each of whom can also access Admirals Clubs with up to two guests.

    Cardholders are eligible for up to a $100 statement credit to cover the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every five years. They also get free checked bags for themselves and up to eight companions on American Airlines domestic itineraries, are entitled to priority boarding, and get 25% back on inflight food and beverage purchases. This card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

    The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is currently offering 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.

    You can read our review of the Citi AAdvantage Executive here.

    AAdvantage Aviator Silver

    The AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® is not open to new applicants, but you can upgrade to it if you have the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®. The reason this card wins in this category is that it allows you to earn Loyalty Points toward American Airlines AAdvantage status.

    You can earn 5,000 bonus Loyalty Points if you spend $20,000 on purchases, another 5,000 bonus Loyalty Points if you spend $40,000 on purchases, and another 5,000 bonus Loyalty Points if you spend $50,000 or more on purchases between January 1, 2022, and February 28, 2023. If you need a boost to reach the next level of elite status, those extra Loyalty Points might be just what you need.

    This card's other value-packed perks include up to a $100 credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every five years, up to $25 back per day on inflight food and beverage purchases, and up to $50 refunded for Wi-Fi purchases on American flights each year.

    Cardholders also enjoy preferred boarding, free checked bags on domestic American Airlines itineraries for the cardholder and up to eight companions on the same reservation, and two $99 (plus taxes) companion certificates after spending $20,000 in purchases each account year that they can redeem toward round-trip domestic economy itineraries.

    The card earns 3x miles on American Airlines purchases, 2x miles on hotels and car rentals, and 1x on everything else. Its annual fee is $199.

    AAdvantage Aviator Red

    While the Aviator Silver offers more significant onboard discounts, you might still want to consider the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard® instead for a few reasons. First and foremost, it's open to new applicants and is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full within the first 90 days from account opening.

    In addition to offering 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases, it will also reimburse you up to $25 each year for inflight Wi-Fi. However, since it's also a World Elite Mastercard, you can take advantage of perks recently added to that program including a $5 Lyft credit after taking three or more rides each month, cell phone protection (with a $50 deductible per claim) against loss or damage on up to $800, and more.

    The card waives foreign transaction fees and earns 2x miles on American Airlines purchases and 1x on everything else. Day-of-travel benefits include preferred boarding and a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to four companions on the same domestic American Airlines reservation. If you spend more than $20,000 on purchases per account year, you will also receive a $99 (plus taxes) companion certificate good for a round-trip domestic economy ticket.

    Here's our AAdvantage Aviator Red card review with more details.

    CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

    Your other small-business option is the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. It's offering new cardholders 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening, and has an annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months.

    The bonus earning categories include 2x on eligible American Airlines purchases, gas stations, cable and satellite services, telecommunications, and car rentals. This card has the same checked bag and boarding benefits as the Barclays version, though its inflight purchase discount includes Wi-Fi.

    Those who spend $30,000 or more on purchases in an account anniversary year and renew their card receive a $99 companion travel certificate, too (provided their account remains open for at least 45 days after the account anniversary).

    You can read our review of the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select here.

    AAdvantage Aviator Red Business

    The AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard® comes with a generous bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening, and 10,000 bonus miles after a purchase is made on an employee card.

    This card offers 2x categories like its small business sibling, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. You'll get 2 miles per dollar for American Airlines purchases and for eligible office supply, telecom, and car rental merchants. However, this card gives you a 5% bonus on all the miles you've accrued (except for the welcome bonus) after each account anniversary. If you make meaningful spending, this could be a lucrative perk.

    You'll continue to get the standard American Airlines benefits, such as a free first checked bag on American Airlines domestic itineraries, preferred boarding on American Airlines flights, a 25% savings on American Airlines inflight purchases, etc. You'll also get a companion certificate to anywhere in the continental US after spending $30,000 in a cardmember year. It allows a companion to fly with you on a round-trip coach fare for a flat fee of $99, plus taxes.

    Here's our review of the AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred card

    If you know you'll fly American once or twice this year but want to keep your options open with rewards that you can use across multiple airlines (and hotels), a card that earns transferable points is your best bet. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good option thanks to its reasonable $95 annual fee and the valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you'll earn.

    The card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (2x points on all other travel purchases), 3x points on dining, 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), 3x points on select streaming services, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

    While American Airlines isn't a Chase transfer partner — meaning you can't move your Chase points into the AAdvantage frequent flyer program — you can use your rewards from the Chase Sapphire Preferred to book American Airlines flights directly through the Chase travel portal. Even better, your points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel, so you'll get 1.25 cents in value toward flights.

    If you prefer a premium credit card, you could consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead. It earns 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after earning the $300 travel credit) and 3x points on other travel and dining, and your points are worth 1.5 cents apiece toward American Airlines flights booked through Chase. The card has a $550 annual fee, but up to $300 in annual travel credits help offset that cost.

    You can read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred here.

    American Airlines credit card frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    What credit score do you need for an American Airlines credit card?

    All of the co-branded American Airlines cards mentioned above typically require at least a good credit score in order to be approved. Some, like the premium Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, usually look for an excellent credit score — that is, anything above an 800 FICO score.

    If your credit isn't quite where you want it to be yet, be sure to read about how to improve your credit score and why using credit cards can help boost your score.

    Is an American Airlines credit card worth it?

    It definitely makes sense to open an American Airlines credit card, particularly one that offers money-saving benefits like a free checked bag and preferred boarding, if you fly the airline — even a couple of times a year. The perks you receive can more than offset the annual fee on these cards, and you'll earn miles you can redeem for free flights on American and its partners.

    American Airlines credit cards are even more compelling if you're working toward earning AAdvantage elite status. Because status is now awarded based on earning Loyalty Points, using an American Airlines card for everyday spending can give you the boost you need to achieve the next status tier.

    Do you earn more Loyalty Points for spending in bonus categories on an American Airlines credit card?

    All co-branded American Airlines credit cards earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar you spend, regardless of category — so spending more in bonus categories isn't going to make a difference in that regard.

    For instance, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® earns 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases and at gas stations and restaurants, but you'll only earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible mile earned from purchases even in these categories.

    Do American Airlines card sign-up bonuses count as Loyalty Points?

    Any sign-up bonus miles you earn from opening an American Airlines credit card will not count toward earning Loyalty Points and elite status. You'll just earn redeemable miles.

    Do you get priority boarding with an American Airlines credit card?

    Most co-branded American Airlines cards (except the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard) come with early boarding privileges.

    The premium Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® includes Group 4 priority boarding, and the rest of the co-branded cards offer Group 5 preferred boarding.

    Which credit card can transfer points to American Airlines?

    None of the major transferable points currencies (Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One miles) have American Airlines as a transfer partner. Citi did have a limited-time transfer partnership in 2021, but that's since expired.

    However, you can transfer some hotel program points — most notably Marriott Bonvoy — to American Airlines. In addition, the Bilt Rewards program has American Airlines as a 1:1 transfer partner.

    Do American Airlines miles expire?

    American Airlines miles expire after 24 months of account inactivity. This means if you don't earn or redeem AA miles within that time frame, you could lose your miles.

    Using an American Airlines credit card is a great way to generate earning activity in your account and keep your miles from expiring.

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    Eric Rosen

    Eric Rosen is a travel and credit card expert who has been helping readers reap the rewards of loyalty programs for over a decade.Eric is based in Los Angeles, though you'll often find him globetrotting to destinations like Australia, Kenya, and Laos on assignment for publications including National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Bloomberg, and AFAR, among others. He covers a mix of award travel, aviation, luxury, food, wine, and wellness. He also recently launched a podcast called Conscious Traveler where he discusses the latest in sustainability, conservation, culture, and community, and how they can inform us to make more meaningful choices when we travel.

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    Jasmin Baron, CEPF

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    Jasmin Baron is an editor at Insider, responsible for credit card coverage on Personal Finance Insider. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).Before joining the Insider team, she was a senior editor at The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets, covering credit cards, points and miles, and loyalty programs. Her expertise in maximizing travel rewards grew from over two decades of experience in the aviation industry, including 18 years working as a pilot and flight instructor in her native Canada.You can reach Jasmin at jbaron@insider.com. Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services »

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