Citi Aadvantage Debit Card Review


The Citi Aadvantage Debit debit card that can be issued to folks who have a checking account with Citibank. The debit card allows Citibank account holders to earn Aadvantage frequent flier miles. Let’s see how this works.

Basic Level – There are two levels of tiers for this debit card, the basic and the premium level. For the basic level, you will earn one mile for every two dollars that you spend on the card. You can earn up to 60,000 miles in one calendar year. There is an annual fee of $25. New debit card holders get a 2,500 bonus miles.

Premium Level – The Premium Level has a $65 annual fee and allows you to earn one mile for every dollar that you spend on the card. You can earn up to 100,000 miles in one calendar year. New debit card holders get 4,000 bonus miles.

Type of spending that earns miles – You earn your miles when signature-based purchases, Internet purchases, purchases made over the phone or through the mail and point-of-sale purchases when “credit” is selected. That means no using PIN based transactions. Your miles should appear in your account about 45 days after statement period.

Opinion and Verdict – Well, I guess the best way to compare this debit card is to actually look at Citi’s own aadvantage credit cards. All of Citi’s Aadvantage credit cards only allow you to earn one mile for every dollar you spend on the card. This is in contrast to most other frequent flier cards that allow you to earn double miles when you spend on their airline tickets. The lowest annual fee of is the basic and gold Aadvantage cards. The Platinum Select and American Express version have an $85 annual fee. So from the a miles earning standpoint, the Aadvantage credit cards are superior to the debit cards. The basic version of the debit card only allows you to earn one miles for every two dollar that you spend on the card, but with a $25 annual fee. The $65 annual fee for the “premium version” is higher than both the basic and gold credit cards.

And if you really want to be picky the Starwood credit card (with a $45 annual fee) is better than any of the American Airlines credit cards as it allows you to earn transfer starpoints into Aadvantage miles at a one for one ratio and you even get 5,000 bonus miles when you transfer 20,000 points!

So from a miles earning perspective, this card (as with all other debit cards) falls short of their credit card counterparts. But there will be some folks who do not want to carry credit cards but yet want to earn miles from American Airlines. In this case, then this may be a good alternative. You just have to bear in mind that you need to open a Citibank checking account. There are a few different types and each has their own checking account fee structure that you should investigate.

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