I’m a huge fan of huge credit card sign-up bonuses. Keep your 30,000 mile bonuses offered in airport hallways and Facebook ads. I want 50,000. That’s why I was thrilled to open the mailbox today and find the thick, non-descript envelope containing my shiny new Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard, which comes with a 50,000 AAdvantage miles bonus after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
There are tons of offers floating around out there for Citi AAdvantage cards, some Visa, some MasterCard. But as far as I know only the MasterCard version is offers the 50,000 mile bonus.
I found the application link, after much searching, in a place I should have known it was all along: the always up-to-date and helpful Million Mile Secrets Hot Deals page. That site’s author even points out that the 50,000 mile bonus application link he provides doesn’t pay him one red cent for referrals, but that he posts it anyway, since it “currently has the largest sign-up bonus of any publicly available airline credit card” — and because he’s a stand-up guy.
The sort of funny thing is that I don’t even fly American Airlines. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I grew up in Atlanta and have been flying back there for years since moving away, so most of my flights have been on Delta or that dingey Greyhound bus of the skies known as AirTran. In fact, the first time I flew American Airlines was just last month, when met some friends in Reno. Amex Travel put me on an American flight to Reno and a United flight back to Los Angeles. So after logging 3X points per dollar on my American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card for booking with Amex, I went and signed up for an AAdvantage account so I could rack up the tens — possibly hundreds! — of miles award for a one-way, 45 minute flight to “The Biggest Little City in the World.”
So as I sit here today, my AAdvantage account has 460 miles in it. But by the end of January, I’ll have 53,460 miles — all without leaving the ground. Not bad when you consider 25,000 miles buys a round trip ticket within the continental U.S., 60,000 miles buys a round-trip ticket to Europe, and many flights to South American cities can be had for 30,000 miles.
Once I convince Maria to get one of these for herself, we’ll be sitting on a mountain of miles. Enough to cover the airfare for the trip to Europe we’re planning. That’s thousands of dollars in free travel just for funnelling all our spending though a particular credit card for 3 months. Not too shabby.
Just remember to pay your balance off in full every month. Interest adds up incredibly fast, and once that happens, you’re not getting anything for free; you’re probably paying much more.