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 card. However, 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.