Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
This card is best for business owners and employees who frequently fly American Airlines or partner airlines and can take advantage of reward flights you’ll earn on those airlines. Unlike many airline-branded business cards, some non-travel business purchases earn the highest rate of rewards in addition to airline purchases, so this CitiBusiness card is also a good option if your business spends heavily on things like office supplies and telecommunication bills, like phone and internet.
Good bonus for new cardholders
Free checked bags
Few extra travel benefits
Reward earning limitations
- Good bonus for new cardholders: We calculate that this card’s bonus miles are worth about $1,,469, on average, which makes it one of the most valuable airline business card bonuses available right now.
- Very valuable miles: According to our average point valuation calculation, American Airlines AAdvantage miles are worth 2.26 cents each when redeemed for flights, which is the best U.S. airline reward valuation. That also means it may take fewer miles for you to earn award flights.
- Free checked bags: This benefit is good for you and four travel companions on the same reservation, so it has a maximum $150 value on each flight, each way. Even if you travel solo, if you check a bag on two round-trip flights a year at $30 apiece, you’ll more than make up for future annual fees.
- Few extra travel benefits: This card doesn’t offer some of the top travel benefits that other airline business cards boast, such as credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees or airport lounge access. It doesn’t even have standard perks like travel insurance or lost baggage coverage.
- Reward earning limitations: If your business expenses don’t fall into the purchase categories that earn double miles, your rewards-earning will be slower. Some business travel cards that aren’t airline-branded offer more ways to earn points, so keep that in mind while you weigh your options.
Bonus for New Cardholders
If you spend $4,000 on the card within four months of opening it, you'll get 65,000 American Airline AAdvantage miles, which is one of the most valuable airline business card bonuses offered right now, thanks to the high-value miles. The bonus is a good deal for those who want to save on business travel soon, as those miles should be enough to cover at least one round-trip domestic flight, based on The Balance’s research.
Additional cardholders can also help reach the spend requirement, so between you and cardholding employees, you only need to spend $1,000 per month on this card to earn the bonus.
These extra miles aren’t available to anyone who has received another CitiBusiness AAdvantage card bonus in the past 48 months.
Earning Points & Rewards
You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, including flights on partner airlines booked through American. That’s a typical airline purchase earning rate compared to other business cards with similar annual fees.
Airline tickets and rental cars paid for through a third-party website or travel agency won’t earn double miles, nor will any warehouse club gas purchases.
In addition, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on rental cars, gas, cable and satellite (including internet) expenses, and telephone and cellphone service. Every $1 spent outside those bonus categories will earn 1 mile. There are also opportunities to earn bonus miles on vacation packages booked through the AAdvantage program website.
There’s no cap on the number of miles you or other cardholders can earn. Miles that have been credited to your AAdvantage account don’t expire, so long as you have redeemed or earned miles in the past 18 months.
Your AAdvantage miles are best used for domestic flights booked directly with American Airlines or partner airlines via the AAdvantage portal or American Airlines app. Research by The Balance found that the miles you get from this card are worth 2.26 cents each, on average, when redeemed for those flights. That makes them the most valuable miles offered by an airline, according to our calculations.
We recommend searching for flights to get a better idea of what upcoming trips may cost. The Balance found flight prices can be much different than what’s listed in the published award chart. That’s because ticket prices are based on many variables, including demand, route, and time of year, according to the airline.
Although American Airlines miles are most valuable when redeemed for flights, some of the other things you can use miles for include:
- Ticket upgrades
- Rental cars and hotel stays
- Vacation packages
- Gift cards
Check out our American Airlines AAdvantage program guide to learn even more using the rewards you'll earn with this card.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Make $4,000 worth of purchases with the card within the first four months after opening your account to earn the bonus miles. If possible, most of those purchases should be on qualifying business and travel expenses to earn extra miles on top of the big bonus.
Since the $99 annual fee is waived for the first year, there’s no cost to make up there right away. After the first year, using this card’s free checked bag benefit on two round-trip flights each year will recoup the annual fee cost. To get the most value from your miles, use them to book flights on the American website or through the mobile app.
If your employees travel, each of your team members should use this card. You’ll rack up miles faster as a group.
Besides the free checked bags, this card has one other stellar benefit:
- American Airlines companion certificate: Spend $30,000 on purchases in a year and get a companion pass for domestic travel (the pass costs $99, plus $21.60-$43.20 in taxes).
You may have other (and easier) ways to earn/use this benefit right now, in light of recent travel disruptions. Read “Credit Card Deals Help You Earn and Use Travel Benefits During COVID-19” for more information.
- Preferred boarding
- 25% off American Airlines in-flight food, beverages, and Wi-Fi
- 24/7 assistant for help booking business travel and dining
Citi doesn't particularly stand out when it comes to customer service ratings. It ranked No. 6 for customer satisfaction among 11 major card-issuing banks in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Cardholders can also manage their account and rewards with Citi’s mobile app and the AAdvantage app.
As most card issuers do, Citi will notify you of suspicious account activity right away by text, email, or phone. And if you want another layer of protection, you can generate a virtual, temporary Citi credit card number to take the place of your real one while shopping online.
Good news: This card doesn’t charge many fees. In addition to a handful of standard transaction and penalty fees (which are easily avoided), there’s a $99 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year. There’s no foreign transaction fee or charges for additional cardholders.