Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Mastercard® — Full Review [2021]

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Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Mastercard® — Full Review [2021]

U.P. Rating ? The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

"An Entry-Level Card for Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles"

Earn 1x AAdvantage miles for all your spending on this card, plus inflight discounts on food and beverages.

Learn More (at Citi's secure site)

The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Mastercard® has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

No matter what you’re doing, you like things to be as uncomplicated as possible. When you travel, you fly American Airlines. After all, American Airlines flies to 350 destinations in 50 countries.

And when you pay, you use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Mastercard®. With it, you earn miles on all of your purchases at one flat rate.

Redeeming miles is just as easy. There aren’t even any blackout dates on award travel.

That’s simply the way you roll.

AAdvantage Gold Card — Snapshot

  • Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
    • Earn 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $750 spent on purchases within the first 3 months.
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; after that the variable APR will be 16.49% – 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on purchases.
    • Save 5,000 miles when redeeming for reduced mileage awards.
    • Receive a 25% savings on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card.
    • No blackout dates on award travel on American Airlines and American Eagle®carriers.
    • Save up to 5,000 AAdvantage® miles Use Reduced Mileage Awards and travel for fewer miles.
  • Card Categories:
  • Rewards Center
  • Customer Service Number
  • Login Link

The Ideal Cardholder

Work hard and play hard…that’s how you roll. When you use the AAdvantage Gold card, you can earn miles and redeem them without any blackout dates! Image Credit: cunaplus via Shutterstock

Sign-Up Bonus, Miles, and Categories

The sign-up 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.

Bottom Line: The AAdvantage Gold card earns 1x AA miles for all purchases on 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%.

Bottom Line: You get 25% off on in-flight food and beverage and can save up to 5,000 miles when you redeem reduced mileage awards with the AAdvantage Gold cardHowever, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee.

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.

Bottom Line: While you only earn 1x award miles with the AAdvantage Gold card, if you fly enough miles to reach elite status, you will earn additional bonus 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.

Bottom Line: The AAdvantage Gold card earns miles at a slower pace than the other Citi / AAdvantage cards, which earn 2x miles for flights on American Airlines. The card is only $50 per year, however, compared to the others which are $95 and $450.

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

AAdvantage Gold Card — Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $50
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Interest Rates
    • 13.99%, 17.99% or 21.99% Variable
  • Late fees
    • Up to 29.99% Variable Penalty APR
  • Balance Transfers
    • 13.99%, 17.99% or 21.99% Variable
    • $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR
    • $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • 25.99% APR

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 HotelMiles Earned
La Quinta Inns & Suites, Best Western, Park Inn, Choice Hotels, Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson250 miles/stay
Melia Hotels International, Millennium Hotels and ResortsUp 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 Group500 miles/stay
Fiesta Americana Hotels and ResortsUp to 1,000 miles
WORLDHOTELSUp to 2,000 miles
PointsHoundUp to 6,000 miles
Hilton Portfolio Hotels1 mile/$1
Marriott Hotels, InterContinental HotelsUp to 2 miles/$1
Wyndham Hotel Group2 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 AgencyMiles Earned
Europcar, Alamo, National, Thrifty, Dollar50 miles/day
SuperShuttle50 miles/each way
ExecuCar150 miles/each way
GroundLink200 miles/ride
Budget, Sixt, Avis500 miles/rental
Hertz1 mile/$1
CarmelUp 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:

Oneworld Partners

Oneworld Partners
Alaska AirlinesMalaysia Airlines
American Airlines
British AirwaysQatar Airways
Cathay PacificRoyal Air Maroc
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
Oneworld Connect Partner
Fiji Airways

There are non-alliance airline partners as well:

Additional Airline Partners
Seaborne AirlinesFiji Airways
Alaska AirlinesEtihad Airways
Air Tahiti NuiHawaiian Airlines
Gulf AirWestJet
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!

You can earn AAdvantage Miles for signing up with BankDirect. It is a great way to earn additional miles for an everyday activity, since you only earn 1x miles with the AAdvantage Gold card. Image Credit: YashkovskiyMD via Shutterstock

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.

DestinationMain Cabin SeatBusiness Seat
Contiguous 48 states12,50025,000
Canada & Alaska15,00030,000
Central America

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, 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 #5: Redeem miles for magazines and newspapers or gift cards. Choose gift cards from stores like Home Depot, Target, Sears, and many more.

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. 

Alternative Cards to the AAdvantage Gold Card

If you want to earn bonus miles more quickly or try another airline loyalty program, a good option is the Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.

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.

On the other hand, if you’d rather have more flexibility when it comes to redemption, consider the Citi Prestige® Card. It has a hefty $450 annual fee but comes with an airline travel credit of $250 that can be applied to the cost of a ticket.

The Prestige Card also grants cardmembers access to American Admirals Club lounges and hundreds of other VIP lounges worldwide under Priority Pass Select.

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

To take advantage of the sign-up bonus offer, you must not have had this or any other Citi / AAdvantage card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

APR is based on your creditworthiness.

The 25% in-flight discount appears as a statement credit 6-8 weeks after the transaction posts to your account.

Miles don’t expire as long as there is activity on the card (either earning or redeeming points) every 18 months.

Other Unique Features

The card offers a wide range of travel and shopping insurances which add to its value.

Citi Price Rewind – This program automatically searches for a lower price on the items you register after purchasing them from hundreds of online merchants. You may receive the difference between prices if an item is found at a lower price within 60 days.

Damage & theft protection – Get reimbursed for the cost of repairs or a refund if a purchase is stolen or damaged within 120 days (90 days in NY).

Apple Pay – Pay in-app or at over 200,000 stores with the iPhone 6, or in-app with the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini.

Extended warranty – Extends the manufacturer’s warranty on products you buy with the Citi card.

Worldwide travel accident insurance – Provides financial help after an accident.

Worldwide car rental insurance – Get coverage against rental car theft or damage when you decline the rental company’s collision loss/damage insurance.

Lost baggage protection – Receive the purchase price of missing items or the cost to replace them if your carry-on luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged by the common carrier.

Travel & emergency assistance – Receive 24/7 help before or during a trip for emergency travel arrangements, travel issues, and more.

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?

No. You cannot transfer American Airlines AAdvantage miles to partner airlines. However, you can redeem miles for award flights with partner airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies.

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:

Hawaiian Airlines, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Seaborne Airlines, and Cape Air Airlines, and WestJet.

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.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

Travel prices are about to surge from pent-up demand.

Use this points strategy to lock in pennies-on-the-dollar pricing in 2021, all without being a frequent flyer...

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Steven Morrell September 21, 2019

    I seem to recall that I was recently notified by American Advantage that the Gold MC Citi card was being stripped of most of the travel insurance and price rewind benefits, effective sometime in September.


    • Hello Steven. You are correct. Citi is removing most of their travel and shopping benefits effective September 22, 2019. As this massive change will be affecting all Citi issued cards, we are currently in the process of updating dozens of articles and reviews with the new information. Thanks for you patience.


  2. makoto ishii February 5, 2020

    I would like to cancel/stop my credit card which is Citi AAdvantage Gold Card from April 1st, because I will be back to Japan.


    • Hello Makoto. First, be advised that we are not affiliated with Citi or American Airlines AAdvantage. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in providing information on points, miles, and related travel. You should call the number on the back of your card to make your request.


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