Guys, lets get one thing straight: Points are totally in right now. My first go round with these bad boys was the American Airlines AAdvantage MasterCard. If I didn’t already have enough wanderlust in me, this point collector definitely added fuel to the fire.
American offered (at the time) a 30,000 mile bonus once you spent $1000. I thought “easy”. Put a month of rent on there, and BAM: 30k in my lap. That was done in a a month and before you know it the statement showed 33,000 miles. I literally happy danced in the office when I realized I could go somewhere round-trip free of charge.
I think that this card is a great starter card for anyone looking to get their feet wet with how mileage credit cards work. American also offers some sweet benefits just for being a credit card holder:
- First checked back free on all domestic American airlines flights- Because who loves the $25.00 bag fee’s on AA? This is a game changer.
- Group 1 boarding- I’m a huge Avgeek, so I love this perk. Even though there are assigned seats on American, its nice to be able to settle in before the rest.
- 2 miles earned for every dollar spent on AA flights- Why not get points on a credit card, right?
- Although the annual fee is waived the first year, each additional year there is a $95.00 fee.
- This card is great for domestic rewards, Mexico and South/Central America. If you are looking to get more international perks, I would choose another reward card.
- Thinking of using your rewards for a free Business or First seat? Don’t. They are overpriced in value for reward value.
- Lower than average point ratio’s- Only gaining double points on airline purchases is a bit disheartening for the average flyer. For individuals flying only short-haul domestic flights, it doesn’t really give a lot of bang for your buck. (Or miles for your flight).
- If you cannot commit to traveling through American, this may not be the card for you.
The final verdict:
I got a few flights from PHX for free and a one-way from JFK to St. Thomas. In total, I would say that I got $600.00 worth of free flights all on points alone! Some would think that is well worth it. Especially if you constantly fly American. I, on the other hand was not impressed.
Overall, I LOVE the free checked bag and always having Group 1 boarding just for having the card. However, I do not think it is as prestigious and mighty as other reward travel cards are that are out there. If I would have done my research I would have not gone with this card. Since I do fly American for the majority of my domestic flights I will be keeping the card for the few perks that it has.
Would I recommend?
Maybe-Since they recently bumped up their bonus to 50,000 miles I might still recommend this card. This also means that in order to receive those points you now have to spend $3,000. If you are looking to get a few free domestic flights, this one’s for you.