Edited by: Kellie Jez
Great Card If
- Your preferred airline is American Airlines
- You are a frequent flyer
- You want to earn sign-up bonus miles
Don’t Get If
- You want to rack up miles quickly
- You don’t fly often
- You like to fly with more than one airline
Welcome Bonus, Miles, and Categories
The welcome bonus for the AAdvantage Gold card is seen above in the card summary table.
That’s enough for a domestic round-trip flight on American Airlines and American Eagle carriers!
Then earn 1 mile for every $1 you spend on purchases you make with the card.
Other Benefits of the AAdvantage Gold Card
The card does not have as many extras as the other Citi / AAdvantage cards, but you do get a few.
Save 25% on eligible in-flight food and beverages when you charge them to the card.
In addition, enjoy a savings of up to 5,000 miles when you redeem miles for reduced mileage awards.
Plus, the annual fee is a low $50.
The card has an EMV chip to make transactions secure even overseas, but there is a foreign transaction fee of 3%.
AAdvantage Elite Status
With the AAdvantage Gold card, you earn award miles based on the number of dollars you spend on all purchases: 1x miles per dollar.
But you can also earn points based on your elite status with the AAdvantage loyalty program.
There are three elite tiers: Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum. To achieve status, you need to reach a certain number of “Elite Qualifying Miles” (EQM), which accrue based on the miles flown and your American Airlines airfare.
Note that EQMs are different than actual award miles earned for purchases. You actually earn 5 award miles per dollar for signing up, and as you reach the required number of EQMs and earn status, your bonus will be added on top of these 5 miles.
Gold status requires 25,000 EQMs. With Gold status, you get 40% bonus miles plus priority check-in, security, and boarding.
You also get 1 free checked bag, complimentary same-day standby, and a discount on an Admirals Club membership.
Platinum status requires 50,000 EQMs. Some of the perks that come with Platinum status include 60% bonus miles, priority baggage delivery, and a second free checked bag (find out more about American’s baggage policies).
You will need 100,000 EQMs to become an Executive Platinum member. That’s a lot of miles, but you receive 120% bonus miles in return! You also get automatic upgrades for domestic travel, 4 system-wide upgrades, and more.
Accumulate 1 million miles on American Airlines and you receive lifetime Gold status. Earn lifetime Platinum status by earning 2 million miles.
Drawbacks to the Card
The main drawback to the card is that it takes a long time to accumulate miles at the 1x rate. Even if you put all of your monthly spending on the card, it may take a while to rack up the miles.
Unfortunately, the card does not come with the extra benefits of other Citi / AAdvantage cards, although it has a low $50 annual fee and allows you to redeem miles for reduced mileage awards.
For instance, with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, you get complimentary Group 1 Boarding, and your first checked bag is free on domestic flights.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® also comes with Admirals Club Membership, which is worth $450-$550 and offsets the annual fee of $450.
Best Way To Redeem AAdvantage Miles
We want you to get a ton of value from the points you earn with your AAdvantage Gold card, so we created this list to help you redeem them.
Tip #1: Save 5,000 miles on select round-trip domestic travel every other month with reduced mileage awards. It’s a great way to make your miles last. Book your award through the reservations line (800-822-8880), ticket office, or with any airport agent.
You will have to pay taxes on the award ($5.60 one-way for U.S. travel.)
Tip #2: Combine miles and cash to get car rentals and hotel stays with no blackout dates. You will need at least 1,000 miles to make a reservation. Find available car rentals, hotels, and vacations at the AAdvantage website.
Tip #3: International travel provides the best value for your miles. Because you can’t transfer your miles directly to partner airlines, you’ll need to call AAdvantage (800-433-7300) to book your flights.
A $35 booking fee will apply, but the representative may waive it for you if you ask.
The following table shows some of the redemptions available for seats in the main cabin and business class for both domestic and international travel. Find a complete list here.
|Destination||Main Cabin Seat||Business Seat|
|Contiguous 48 states||12,500||25,000|
|Canada & Alaska||15,000||30,000|
Tip #4: American Airlines AAdvantage offers a 500-mile upgrade program so you can upgrade from published fares in the main cabin on American Airlines marketed flights.
Redeem 40,000 miles for 8 upgrades to a higher cabin on American Airlines and American Eagle full-fare economy flights. It comes out to 5,000 miles per upgrade.
If you would rather save your miles, you can buy 500-mile upgrades for $40 online at aa.com, at the airport, or by phone at 800-882-8880.
Just a reminder, travelers with Executive Platinum status automatically receive free upgrades on all flights. Platinum and Gold members receive complimentary upgrades on flights of 500 miles or less.
In addition, with Platinum and Gold status you get 4 500-mile upgrades for every 12,500 EQMs earned during your membership year.
Tip #6: Donate your miles to one of American Airlines’ partner organizations: Miles for Kids in Need, Miles for All Who Serve, or Miles of Hope. There is a minimum donation of 1,000 miles and donations are not tax-deductible.
For even more tips, check out our post on the best ways to use 100K AAdvantage Miles.
Best Way To Maximize AAdvantage Miles
Because you get 1 mile for every $1 you spend on the AAdvantage Gold card, it behooves you to put all of your purchases on the card each month.
The following tips will help you earn as many miles as possible.
Tip #1: As we mentioned earlier in the review, elite status in the AAdvantage loyalty program will help you earn bonus miles based on your tier: Gold (40%), Platinum (60%), or Executive Platinum (120%).
Tip #2: Enroll your AAdvantage membership in your BankDirect account or open a new one for the opportunity to earn a ton of bonus miles.
Get 1,000 miles just for opening a new Mileage Checking or Mileage Money account. Then have a payroll direct deposit hit your account for 10,000 miles!
Plus, you and a friend can each earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles when they open a BankDirect account based on your referral.
Tip #3: Shop the eShopping Mall and earn miles on your purchases with the card. There are over 850 top online retailers participating in the eShopping program including Dell, QVC, and Sears.
A similar program is the AAdvantage Dining program, which automatically earns miles for every restaurant you dine at that participates in the program.
Tip #4: Stay the night at popular hotels participating in the AAdvantage loyalty program and earn big miles! The table below lists the miles you can earn with partner hotels.
|Partner Hotel||Miles Earned|
|La Quinta Inns & Suites, Best Western, Park Inn, Choice Hotels, Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson||250 miles/stay|
|Melia Hotels International, Millennium Hotels and Resorts||Up to 500 miles/stay|
|Quorvus Collection, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, New Otani Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Nikko Hotels International, Swissotel Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt, Park Plaza, Preferred Hotel Group||500 miles/stay|
|Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts||Up to 1,000 miles|
|WORLDHOTELS||Up to 2,000 miles|
|PointsHound||Up to 6,000 miles|
|Hilton Portfolio Hotels||1 mile/$1|
|Marriott Hotels, InterContinental Hotels||Up to 2 miles/$1|
|Wyndham Hotel Group||2 miles/$1 or 500 miles|
Tip #5: Use your card to rent a car with partner agencies and earn even more miles.
Earn up to 500 points per rental depending on the agency. Budget and Avis offer the most miles per rental because they are preferred partners.
If you have Platinum or Gold elite status, you’ll earn 1,000 per rental!
Here are some of the other offers:
|Rental Agency||Miles Earned|
|Europcar, Alamo, National, Thrifty, Dollar||50 miles/day|
|SuperShuttle||50 miles/each way|
|ExecuCar||150 miles/each way|
|Budget, Sixt, Avis||500 miles/rental|
|Carmel||Up to 200 miles; 2 miles/$1|
Tip #6: Fly American Airlines, Oneworld partner airlines, and non-alliance partner airlines to earn AAdvantage Miles. See a table of current airline partners below:
|Alaska Airlines||Malaysia Airlines|
|American Airlines||Oman Air (joining in 2024)|
|Cathay Pacific||Qatar Airways|
|Fiji Airways (Oneworld Connect Partner)||Royal Air Maroc|
|Iberia||S7 Airlines (temporarily suspended)|
|Japan Airlines||SriLankan Airlines|
There are non-alliance airline partners as well:
|Additional Airline Partners|
|Seaborne Airlines||Fiji Airways|
|Alaska Airlines||Etihad Airways|
|Air Tahiti Nui||Hawaiian Airlines|
|Cape Air Airlines|
See the American Airlines Awards Chart to find out how many miles you can earn with each airline.
Bonus Tip: It’s possible to earn 100k AA miles in 90 days!
Alternative Card to the AAdvantage Gold Card
Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
60,000 bonus miles
Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Good to Excellent (670-850)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.
You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!
- 2x miles per $1 on United purchases, dining purchases (including delivery services), and hotel stays
- 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
- First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
- 25% statement credit on United inflight purchases
- Priority boarding
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS statement credit
- 2 United Club 1-time passes each year
- Premier upgrades on award tickets
- Travel and purchase protections
- $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee
- Does not earn transferable rewards
- Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
- Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
- 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
- Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
- Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with 2 one-time passes each year
- Member FDIC
You earn 1-2 miles/$1 with this card, and you can redeem them for travel on United or transfer miles directly to several hotel loyalty programs. The annual fee is $95 and is also waived for the first year.
The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Mastercard® has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the AAdvantage Gold card worth it?
The card has the fewest benefits of the Citi / AAdvantage cards. However, for an annual fee of just $50, the card can be valuable to many travelers.
Earn 1 mile for every $1 you spend on purchases. Those miles can be redeemed for travel on American Airlines and partner airlines as well as for hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and more.
With the card, you can take advantage of reduced mileage awards, which save you 5,000 on specific flights. You also get a 25% in-flight discount on food, beverages, and headsets.
Does the AAdvantage Gold card have a sign-up bonus?
Yes. See the card summary table above or the special offer below for the current offer details.
How do you earn miles on with the AAdvantage Gold card?
Earn 1 mile for every $1 you spend on purchases with the card.
Does the AAdvantage Gold card have any foreign transaction fees?
Yes, the card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Can I transfer my American Airlines AAdvantage miles?
What are American Airlines AAdvantage miles worth?
American Airlines AAdvantage miles are typically valued at an average of 1.7 cents per point. So, a $100 flight ticket can be awarded for the equivalent of about 5,800 American Airlines miles.
How quickly will my AAdvantage miles be deducted from my account if I redeem them for awards?
Although miles are immediately deducted from your AAdvantage account, it can take up to 24 hours for the transaction to appear in your American AAdvantage mileage summary.
How many American Airlines miles are required for a free flight?
You can obtain a free flight in the contiguous U.S. for as few as 7,500 American AAdvantage miles.
Who are the American Airlines AAdvantage airline partners?
American Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance and partners with all Oneworld carriers, including:
SriLankan Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, S7 Airlines, Iberia, Finnair, LATAM Airlines, Qantas Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines.
They also partner with the following additional airlines:
When do American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire?
As long as you earn or redeem miles every 18 months, your American Airlines AAdvantage miles will never expire.
What is the difference between the AAdvantage Gold card and AAdvantage Platinum Select card?
The AAdvantage Platinum Select card earns 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 you spend on eligible American Airlines purchases and $1 on other purchases.
It has a higher annual fee ($95) than the AAdvantage Gold card, but this is waived for the first year. The sign-up bonus is typically larger as well, and this card has more fringe benefits overall.