Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reader Mailbag-Is the AA Card Right For Me?

It's time for another reader mailbag.  I have truly appreciated all of your emails and questions, so please keep them coming!

Reader Karen writes,

"I live in Dallas, so American Airlines is the airline I use most frequently.  I've been considering taking the plunge and getting an American Airlines Visa or Mastercard from Citibank, but am hesitant on getting another credit card, especially one with a $95 annual fee after the first year.  Does this card make sense for me?"

Karen asks a very good question.  With the host of benefits that travel credit cards are offering lately, it oftentimes makes sense to sign up for the credit card on your preferred airline.

Lots of Benefits With the Citi AA Visa
Although she didn't specify, it sounds like Karen flys American Airlines a fair amount, but not enough to enjoy elite status.  If that's the case, then she should absolutely apply for the card.  The AA Visa offered by Citi really takes the sting out of not having elite status with American.  The card has benefits such as a free checked bag for up to four travelers on the same reservation, priority boarding (to avoid wrestling for overhead space), and double miles on all American flights purchased with the card.  Those three benefits alone are probably worth the $95 annual fee after the first year, especially if Karen is a regular on American.  If she is still worried about the fee after the first year, she can reevaluate her travel after the year expires and cancel the card without penalty..

For a limited time, the card also comes with a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus.  That's more than enough miles for a domestic roundtrip or even a more interesting  off-peak saver award.  Glancing at American's award chart, those miles would be more than enough for an "off-peak" coach award to Central or South America.  Wow!  All for a simple credit card application.

Get to Argentina By Signing Up For A Single Credit Card!
The fact that Karen resides in Dallas makes the decision an almost no brainer.  She is probably very limited in her flight choices due to American focusing on Dallasas a hub.  By grabbing the Citi AA Visa or Mastercard, she will be closer to an award ticket AND have her flight experiences be much more tolerable.  Sounds like a winning proposition to me.

Questions?  Comments?  Remember to keep those emails coming, guys.  You could be featured in a future Reader Mailbag post!

Until tomorrow, everyone!

-Charm City Traveler


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