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American Airlines AAdvantage MileUpSM Card

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Picture of AAdvantage MileUp<sup>SM</sup> Mastercard®
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By : Mr Credit Card


In July 2018, Citi introduced the AAdvantage Mileup Mastercard which essentially replaced their existing Citi AAdvantage Bronze Mastercard.

The AA Bronz Mastercard is a no annual fee card that existing Citi AA card members can downgrade to when they no longer fly with American Airlines or they do not want to pay any annual fee for their AA card. However, the AA Bronz Mastercard came with a serious drawback. You could only earn one mile for every two dollars that you spend on the card.

The MileUp allows you to earn 2X on AA purchases and also 2X at grocery stores and grocery delivery services. You also get 25% discount on Inflight food and beverage purchases.

Features of Citi AAdvantage Mileup Mastercard

  • No Annual Fee
  • 2X on American Airline Purchases and Grocery Purchases
  • 25% discount on Inflight food and beverage purchases

Citi AAdvantage Mileup vs Aviator Mastercard

A review of the Mileup card cannot be complete if we do not compare this card to the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard.

You should know by now that American Airlines has cards issued both by Citi and Barclaycard. The reason is that the present day American Airlines is a product of the merger between American and US Airways. Barclaycard used to be the issuer for US Airways and when both airlines and frequent flyer program merged, existing US Airways were switched to the Barclaycard version of their AA cards called the Aviator. There are four versions of the Aviator and the Aviator Mastercard is the no annual fee version (similar to the MileUp).

The Aviator AAdvantage allows you to earn 1X mile for every dollar you spend on the card. This is clearly inferior to the MileUp card.

Who Should Not Get the Citi AAdvantage Mileup Card?

For an airline credit card that has no annual fee, the MileUp actually offers a very decent earning rate for its card members (2X on AA purchases and groceries). Though it does not offer other perks that are typically found in airline cards with annual fees (like first checked bag free, priority boarding), I suspect that there are quite a few folks that will be attracted to this card. But first, let's lay out who should not consider this card.

Infrequent AA Flyers who travel with checked bags

One of the short comings of this card is that it does not offer free first checked bags as a benefit. This benefit can be useful even if you just fly a couple of times a year. If you fly a few times a year with AA and travel with your family, I suggest you consider getting the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard because it offers free first checked bags for up to 4 companions. Since, it cost $25 for a first checked bags, you will more than cover the $99 annual fee even if you travel just a couple of times a year.


Who Should Consider Getting the Citi AAdvantage Mileup Card?

In my opinion, there are a few groups of AA flyers or existing card members that should consider getting the Mileup card.

Existing Citi AAdvantage Bronz Mastercard Holders

Citi has an existing AA Bronze Mastercard that has no annual fee. You cannot apply for it and this is the card that a regular Citi AA card holder would downgrade to once they stopped flying AA or did not want to pay any annual fees on their AA card.

The present MileUp card is better than the old Bronze Mastercard because it only allowed you to earn 1 miles/$2. The MileUp card lets you earn 2X on AA and grocery purchases.

If you are existing Citi AA Bronze card holder, you should consider calling Citi for a PC (Product Change) to the MileUp card. You might actually start using it again rather than having it in your drawer.

Those Who Fly Business Class or Do not check in luggages

I always recommend that even those who just fly a couple of times a year consider getting an airline credit card with free first checked bag benefit because if you fly economy and have bags to check in, you will save money on bag fees and more than cover the annual fee you pay for those cards.

For example, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard gives you free first checked bags for up to 4 companions.

However, if you fly business class (which means you have at least one free checked bag) or if you travel light and never check in a bag, then you do not need a card with such benefits. A card like this one would be great more earning more miles from credit card spending without having to pay any annual fee.

Another benefit of flying business class is that you get to board on zone 1 or zone 2 (if flying international). That means that the priority boarding benefit (usually zone 5) on a typical airline credit card would not matter to you.

Elite Status members who do not care about earning EQM and EQD from credit card spending

If you have elite status (at least Platinum level), your first bags are checked in free anyway. You also get priority boarding even if you fly economy. If you do not need extra EQMs and EQDs from credit spending help you get over any humps for a particular elite status, then this card would also be great if you want to earn extra AA miles from credit card spending aside from actually flying.

So while the "lack of features" might seem to be a disadvantage for this card, elite status members should not be too concerned about this because elite status already coffers benefits like free check in bags and priority boarding.

Existing holders of the Blue Aviator Card

The Barclaycard AAdvantage Blue Aviator has a $49 annual fee and allows you to earn 2X on AA purchases and also gives you 25% discount for Inflight food and beverage purchases.

When the Blue Aviator was first introduced, you could earn $3,000 EQDs by spending $25,000 on the card. Folks who need to reach or maintain certain status level found this card very useful. However, this feature is no longer available on the Blue Aviator and many card holders are considering canceling the card. I would suggest getting the MileUp card and then cancel.

The MileUp card has a better earnings rate and no annual fee as well and is an ideal card to switch to if you are have the Blue Aviator.