While Citi has a few versions of the American Airlines consumer cards, they have only one version for their business card. It is a MasterCard and it's key features resemble those of the consumer Platinum Select version. This card should appeal to the small business owner who flies AA a lot. Frequent flier experts are also applicants of this card (together with the consumer version) when it comes to sign up bonus miles.
Shares The Same Features As The Consumer Version - While it is meant for small business owners, the truth is that it shares the features features and perks as the consumer versions. Here is a quick summary:
Sign Up Bonus - Before we start, I realize that some of you might be more interested in the sign up bonus. Well, here is it. You get 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within three months. Though the amount may be less than others, the spending requirements are relatively easy to achieve. But as you'll see below, it is actually worth keeping and using this card because you get rewarded for usage as well.
Double Miles - The first benefit of the card is that you can earn double miles on purchases of American Airline "products" (mostly airline tickets but also includes food on the plane etc). But you can also earn double miles when you use your card at certain office supply merchants, telecommunications merchants and car rentals. When I look at the fine prints and explanation of this perk, I understand this to mean places like staples, office depot (as far as the office supply category goes). I would also assume that most car rental would qualify for this. One thing to note is that when you book a car rental for example, you have to use their site directly. Purchasing any of these products or services through a third party site will not earn you double miles.
25% In-Flight Savings - You will also have the benefit of 25% in-flight savings as a card holder. That means that when you buy food on the plane, you will get that discount. However, you do not get the 25% savings on things like in-flight WIFI, Skymall and Duty Free purchases.
Priority 1 Boarding - Another perks of this card is that you get priority one boarding for the primary card holder. The way it works is as follows. The main card holder will get priority one stamped on the ticket. He or she can bring up to four companions to board with him or her. One thing to note is that code-share flights on operated by another airlines voids this perks.
Below is a screen shot taken from AA's website showing the boarding priority. You'll get a better understanding of where priority 1 stands.
First Free Baggage - One of the very nice benefit of this card is that you can get your first baggage checked-in for free for up to four companions (assuming they are all booked on the same flight). While many other airline cards offer this perk, only AA lets up to four companions share the perk as well. This would save you quite a bit of money when you are traveling with a family.
5% Annual Bonus - This is a benefit that I really like. Every year when you renew your card (and keep it open for 45 days), you will be credited with 5% bonus miles (based on the previous years eligible purchases). For high spenders on the card, this is an absolutely great way to earn some extra miles.
Companion Ticket - If you spend $30,000 every year on the card, you will get a $99 companion ticket certificate that is good for one year. That means that when you purchase an economy ticket with AA, you will be able to use the companion certificate and just pay $99 and government taxes that may range from $21.60 to $43.20. So we are talking about paying only about $142.30 (worst case) for a second ticket. That could be a hugh savings depending how much your ticket cost.
What I like About This Card - If you are reading about this card, chances are that you fly American Airlines and you are considering getting this card. Most frequent flyer cards offer are pretty standard in their benefits and perks. What I like about this card is that the perks are slightly different compared to it's peers.
For example, I like the fact that you earn double miles on car rentals, office supplies. Most other FF do not have this benefit. I also like the fact that you can get first free baggage for up to four companions. Their 5% annual miles bonus is also a unique and nice feature since it actually reward you to using the card. Their companion ticket perk is pretty much standard and in line with other peers who are offering it.
If you you fly this airline and have a small business, I think you should consider getting this card even if you already have the consumer version. Separating your personal finance from your business finance is pretty important and having a separate business credit card helps. This card has all the features that one would expect from a FF affinity card and we have no hesitation in recommending this.