Best Airline Credit Cards for American Airlines Flyers in 2024

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Updated: March 14, 2024

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Citi provides co-branded American Airlines credit cards for individuals and businesses alike, while Barclays offers only personal versions. Depending on the benefits you’re looking for, you may choose a card that comes with or without annual fees. The best credit cards from this segment let you earn miles faster when you spend on applicable bonus categories.

If you plan to use your American Airlines credit card outside of the U.S., consider getting one with no foreign transaction fees. The only card we’ve selected that charges this fee is the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card.

Airline- and airport-related perks vary from one card to the next. This also holds true for the bonus miles you stand to earn through spend-based welcome offers. When selecting a card, other aspects you need to consider include APRs and added perks.

MoneyGeek experts go through all the credit cards from this segment each month. While they keep an eye out for any new entrant, they also look for changes in offers of existing cards. The eventual list of the top American Airlines cards they arrive at accounts for factors such as airline/airport benefits, welcome offers, annual fees, foreign transaction fees, APRs and miles per dollar rates.

15%Airline Benefits
 
10%Welcome Offer
 
-6%Annual Fees, APR, and Foreign Transaction Fees

MoneyGeek's Take: Top 3 American Airlines Credit Cards

Quick Summary

While the number of miles per dollar you earn on eligible American Airlines purchases is the same across all the top cards, there is variation when it comes to the bonus categories on offer. The annual fee you need to pay also depends on the card you get. We have narrowed down on the best credit cards for American Airlines after accounting for these factors as well as others such as welcome offers, APRs and foreign transaction fees. You can view more options by scrolling further down the page.


  • American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card

    A great travel card with no annual fee for frequent flyers on American Airlines


    • 1–2 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 21.24% – 29.99% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • ExcellentRecommended Credit

    We recommend this American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card to American Airlines frequent flyers who wish to earn rewards without paying an annual fee. New cardholders get 15,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months.

    You earn 2x miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases and at grocery stores. All other purchases come with 1x miles. Further, you get to save 25% when you use your card to pay for in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights.

    Using this card outside of the U.S. might not be a good idea, given that it comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee.

    Pros

    • Higher rewards on groceries and American Airlines purchases
    • No annual fees
    • 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases
    • Easy-to-earn welcome bonus

    Cons

    • 3% foreign transaction fee
    • Limited travel perks
    • Earn two AAdvantage miles for each dollar spent on groceries and eligible American Airlines purchases
    • Earn 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles if you spend $500 in purchases within the first three months
    • Redeem your miles for award flights on American Airlines to over 1,000 destinations across the globe
    • Get access to Citi Concierge 24 hours a day, seven days a week for restaurant bookings, gift shopping and more
    American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

    The best cost-effective credit card for frequent American Airlines travelers


    • 1–2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 21.24% – 29.99% VariableAPR
    • $99, $0 for the first yearAnnual Fee
    • ExcellentRecommended Credit

    We love the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® because it offers multiple benefits to make up for its $99 annual fee. For starters, the annual fee is waived off for the first year. As a new cardholder, you get to earn 50,000 bonus miles by spending $2,500 on purchases in the first three months.

    This card offers 2x miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases as well as at gas stations and restaurants. You earn 1x mile per dollar on all other purchases. If you spend $20,000 or more on purchases each year, you stand to earn a $125 American Airlines flight discount.

    You also get to benefit through the “first checked bag free” feature on domestic American Airlines flights. It applies for you and up to four companions on the same booking. Using this card outside of the U.S. is perfect because it comes with no foreign transaction fees.

    Pros

    • Attractive welcome bonus
    • Earn 2x rewards on gas and dining
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • First checked bag free on domestic American Airline flights
    • Early boarding perks

    Cons

    • Annual fee
    • Award restrictions apply
    • Gain no elite qualifying miles (EQMs) to use for elite status
    • No access to airport lounges
    • Introductory $0 annual fee for the 12 months, then $99
    • Spend $2,500 within the first three months of account opening to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles
    • Earn two miles per $1 spent with American Airlines and at restaurants and gas stations; and get one mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Get a $125 American Airlines flight discount after spending $20,000 in the first year and after every card renewal
    • Get 25% back on in-flight food and beverages (American Airlines flights only)
    Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

    One of the top business travel cards for frequent American Airlines travelers


    • 1–2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 21.24% – 29.99% VariableAPR
    • $99, $0 for the first yearAnnual Fee
    • ExcellentRecommended Credit

    We recommend this CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® card to business owners who wish to capitalize on their spending toward American Airlines flights. While you earn 2x miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases, you also earn 2x miles at gas stations and on payments made toward cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and telecommunications merchants. All other purchases come with 1x miles.

    All new cardholders get to earn 65,000 bonus miles by spending $4,000 on purchases in the first four months. If you spend $30,000 or more on purchases each year, you qualify for an American Airlines companion certificate for domestic main cabin travel. You get for first bag checked for free on American Airlines and may also benefit through preferred boarding.

    Using this card outside of the U.S. makes sense as it comes with no foreign transaction fees. You can save 25% on American Airlines in-flight food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases. The $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.

    Pros

    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Generous welcome bonus
    • Convenient travel perks on American Airlines flights
    • Extensive network of partner airlines via oneworld Alliance

    Cons

    • $99 Annual fee
    • No access to airport lounges
    • Earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first five months
    • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
    • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines
    • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
    • Earn two miles per dollar spent on telecommunication, cable and satellite, car rental and gas purchases, and 1 AAdvantage® mile on other purchases

    Disclaimer: Credit card offers are constantly changing. We work hard to stay updated with the latest information, but the offers listed on our site may no longer be available.

    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

Summary of the Best Airline Cards for American Airlines Flyers

Check this American Airlines cards comparison table to determine which of these cards might work best for you based on aspects such as who each card is best suited for, the credit you need to qualify, miles per dollar rates and annual fees.

  • Credit Card
    Best For
    Avg. Reward Rate
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
  • American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card
    American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card
    A great travel card with no annual fee for frequent flyers on American Airlines
    1–2 Miles per $1
    $0
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
    Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
    The best cost-effective credit card for frequent American Airlines travelers
    1–2 Miles per $1*
    $99, $0 for the first year
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
    One of the top business travel cards for frequent American Airlines travelers
    1–2 Miles per $1*
    $99, $0 for the first year
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
    Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
    Best for Admirals Club access
    1–10 Miles per $1*
    $595
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

If you fly on American Airlines, some of the most valuable benefits are the complimentary first checked bag and priority boarding for everyone on your reservation. For a family of four, the free checked bag benefit saves up to $240 on a roundtrip flight. -- Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com.

Further Reading

About Rajiv Baniwal


Rajiv Baniwal headshot

Rajiv Baniwal is a former finance writer at MoneyGeek, with more than 15 years of experience covering financial topics. His expertise includes mortgages, loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.

Baniwal has a bachelor’s degree in art studies from Delhi University.


    *Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
    Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
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