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American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Review: Should You Apply?

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Review: Should You Apply?

A solid option for American Airlines customers searching for a no-annual-fee card.
Editor's Rating: 3.0/5.0
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Editor's Rating

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3.0/5.0

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

American Airlines and Citi recently announced the launch of the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card, which is a great option for frequent American Airlines customers who are searching for a no-fee card. That said, if you don't travel with American Airlines at least four times every year, we suggest looking at other no-annual-fee credit cards. While the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is decent as far as no-annual-fee cards go, it's not as rewarding as some of its more expensive counterparts. We suggest readers review other options before signing up.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: A decent card, but there are better options

The best thing about the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is that it allows you to earn extra American Airlines miles without having to pay a fee for the card. What makes the card even better is the sign-up bonus with a low spending requirement: $500 over three months. That spending requirement slightly below the norm when compared to the requirements set forth by other no-annual-fee cards. The value of the bonus itself is in the same ballpark as the bonuses offered on similar cards.

The rewards and benefits of this card likely won't excite existing American Airlines customers who already have cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. Frankly, this card doesn't fare well when compared to travel cards that charge an annual fee. For instance, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® will be the better card if you spend more than $20,000 a year on the card or take at least four flights with American Airlines per year. That's because spending $20,000 gets you a $100 discount, which essentially negates the card's annual fee. Additionally, taking four flights will let you use the free checked bag perk enough times to outweigh the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®'s annual fee. However, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card can serve as an excellent starter credit card for anyone who is thinking about getting their first travel card. Those users will likely appreciate the card's straightforward rewards system.

For a co-branded airline credit card, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card provides limited perks. It's fairly common for co-branded cards to offer free checked bags, upgraded boarding or loyalty status, but none of these are currently offered by the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card. While the card does offer 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases, that's not impressive when you take into account how much savings it actually yields. Even if you splurged and spent $50 on food and drinks, you'd just be saving $12.50.

Bottom Line: This is a solid choice if you're interested in dipping your toes into travel rewards. Just be aware there are better cards available that you should consider before applying.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Benefits and features

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has a straightforward rewards program: Earn 2 miles for every dollar spent at grocery stores and on eligible American Airlines purchases, like flights. All other purchases will earn you just 1 mile per dollar spent. There's no limit to the number of miles that you can earn, and your miles don't expire. The card also doesn't come with an annual fee, meaning you won't have to pay for the ability to earn airline miles.

On Citi's Secure Website

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

On Citi's Secure Website
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • No Annual Fee*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • No Annual Fee*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
Annual Fee
$0*
APR
18.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent/Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Currently, cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on the card within the first three months of account opening. If you manage to hit that spending target, you'll also get a $50 statement credit. As an added benefit, you'll receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases.

What can American Airlines miles be used for?

The miles you earn with the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card can be used for a variety of things, including booking flights, seat upgrades, car rentals and hotel stays. However, if you're looking to maximize the value of your miles, your best bet is to redeem them for flights. We currently value American Airlines miles at 1.4 cents per mile. So, when you're booking flights, make sure you're getting a similar value for your miles.

How does the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card stack up to other cards?

While the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is a solid credit card, there are better offers available, even for American Airlines customers. We always recommend that people compare multiple credit cards before applying for any single card. Below, we compare the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card to other available options, but we also suggest you read our guide on how to choose an airline credit card.

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card vs the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

For most people, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® will be the better card between the two due to its better rewards and American Airlines perks. While the card comes with a $99 annual fee, cardholders who spend $20,000 on the card during their first cardmembership year and renew the card will get a $125 American Airlines flight discount.

Since the card lets users check their first bag for free on domestic American Airlines flights, even low spenders will be able to make up for the annual fee. Checking a bag for a domestic American Airlines flight currently costs $25. As long as you use the benefit four times, you'll come out ahead. The card also gets you a better experience at the airport since you'll get access to a Group 5 boarding pass. Furthermore, the card beats the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card for international travel since it doesn't come with a foreign transaction fee.

Highlights

  • Pay $0 for the annual fee in year one, then $99 thereafter.
  • Earn 2 miles for every dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations and on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card vs the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

If you spend more money at U.S. restaurants than you do at supermarkets and you prefer to fly with Delta Air Lines over American Airlines, you should apply for the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. Both cards offer a similar rewards structure, but the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express will earn you a 2% rewards rate at U.S. restaurants, while the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card will get you a 2% rewards rate at supermarkets. Both cards offer 10,000 bonus miles after you meet the same $500 minimum spend within three months.

Since both cards are so similar, we recommend researching which of the two airlines, Delta Air Lines or American Airlines, provides the most flight options out of the airport you frequent. More flight options means you'll have more opportunities to redeem your miles. Keep in mind that both cards come without an annual fee (See Rates & Fees), so there's no real downside to getting both cards if you enjoy flying with both airlines.

Highlights

  • Pay no annual fee.
  • Earn 2 miles at U.S. restaurants and on Delta Air Lines purchases.
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership

For rates and fees of the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card vs the Discover it® Miles

We consider the Discover it® Miles to be the better card for someone who doesn't frequently fly with American Airlines. While the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card awards cardholders 2 miles for certain purchases, the Discover it® Miles' 1.5% rewards rate for all purchases will benefit anyone with varied spending. You'll be able to earn a competitive 1.5% rewards rate whether you're purchasing an airline ticket from American Airlines, JetBlue or LATAM.

While the Discover it® Miles doesn't come with a sign-up bonus, Discover will match all the miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you managed to earn 7,000 miles, you'll get another 7,000 miles. Ultimately, this has the potential to be worth more than a traditional sign-up bonus such as the one offered on the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card.

Highlights

  • Pay no annual fee.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fee.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on purchases.

Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).