I don’t mention too many airline rewards offers on this blog so when I do you can guarantee it must be a good one. That’s what prompted me to spread the news of the Citi American Airlines executive card. With a bonus of 100,000 miles after three months of spend, I simply couldn’t pass it up. Must be a catch for an offer so high, correct. Oh yeah, there is. In order to get the 100,000 mile bonus, you must spend $10,000 in three months time. There’s basically a few ways to achieve this before you stop reading from anguished laughter inside. You could truly be what the card says… an executive. Well, I would love to nominate this generous title on myself but when I say I’m an executive, it’s more along the $10,000 spend-in-a-year kind, not three months. But that’s just me, your situation may be different, and if so, na na na boo boo, etc, etc. You could also be in the midst of splurging on an addition to your home and know that you will indeed spend this amount of money in the short term. If this is you, congratulations! This could be the easiest bulk accumulation of miles you may ever see! But, for the rest of us, including myself, it’s just not typical and is extremely far fetched to think I could ever spend this amount of money in such a short time frame, so I had to turn to the only way I know how and that was to manufacture some serious spending. For those of you that are new to this term, I would suggest looking at some earlier entries on this subject. It is a concept, that once you have it down to a science and moderate stress level, can net you some huge bonus miles among other things.
I knew from my own situation that I could manage at least $3,000 in manufactured spend each month. That’s been pretty consistent with my other bonus mileage offers over the last year. Barring any unforeseen circumstances or doors closing on the spend tools available, I’m already looking at $9,000 in spend, none of that being everyday spending. Throw in a final payment on my kids braces and we have the amount needed. Seems easy enough, except there is one other key item that I left out. The annual fee. Hold onto your butts. This Executive Card will run you a cool $450 per year, and no, it isn’t waived over the first year, but there is a bright side to this dreadful tidbit. Citi will grant you a $200 statement credit, and unlike other card offers, there doesn’t seem to be a restriction on what you spend. Essentially spend the $200 and get it back. The other sweet item to this offer is that you will be able to gain access to the Admirals Club from American Airlines, plus the option to use the US Airways Club as they merge over the next year. I’m a newbie to this whole “club” thing and actually got to experience it myself this past week while on a layover in Philadelphia. Oh, sweet Jesus. I now know how the other half travels and it doesn’t compare to the slogging from terminal to terminal we’ve been used to. Plus, all members of your immediate family can join you…so even better! So, to sum up: Spend $250 on the annual fee after receiving the $200 statement credit, get Admirals Club membership and 100,000 miles. Btw- that’s enough miles to carry my family of four to any location within the 48 continental states, round trip! Or, two of us to Europe and back! Worth it? That’s for you to decide, but if you’re a travel junkie like me, this could be the best offer of the year.
The link provided here for this credit card is generally given to Club Members, but as you can read from my approval and many others who have taken “advantage”, there have been no issues to report. The linked page does ask for an Agent Referral Code and Airport Code but I was able to leave this blank and had no problem being linked to the application. I will say that my application was initially flagged and I was asked to call the customer support number to answer a few questions, but within minutes I had an approval. From what I have read on this topic, it seems to be the norm. So, if you can manage the spend and want the miles and club access, give it a whirl and have a vacation for a small amount of money. But, as always, you know yourself and your spending habits. Don’t ever take credit card debt lightly! With every story of rewards due to credit cards, there are countless more that don’t have that happy ending. Be smart! Live within your means and travel beyond them!