Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Earn Miles Quickly With Spending Bonuses
One of the best ways to rapidly accumulate American Airlines AAdvantage miles is through the spending bonuses offered by the Citi AA Business card. This card provides some very lucrative category bonuses that allow cardholders to earn miles at an accelerated rate on common business expenses. If you frequently make purchases in these categories for your company, the additional miles will add up quickly.
For starters, the Citi AA Business card offers 2x miles at gas stations, restaurants, and on cable and phone services. Gas and dining are two everyday expenses for most companies, so simply by putting your regular spending in these categories on the Citi card, you can easily double the miles you'd normally earn. Say your business spends $1,000 per month on gas for your fleet of vehicles. That's $12,000 per year that would now earn 24,000 AA miles rather than just 12,000 miles on a standard 1x card. The more gas and restaurant purchases you put on the card, the faster your mileage balance climbs.
Another nice perk is that you'll earn 2x miles on all American Airlines purchases, including airfare and in-flight purchases. If you or your employees fly American frequently for business travel, this is an obvious way to pick up additional miles quickly. Even just a few flights per month can lead to thousands of extra miles annually from this benefit alone.
The card also offers 5x miles at office supply stores, telecom merchants, and car rental agencies. These are common business expenses for many companies. Let's say your office spends $500 per month at Staples or Office Depot to keep your workspaces stocked. That's $6,000 per year that would earn 30,000 AA miles on the Citi card rather than just 6,000 miles on a standard 1x card. The 5x categories provide an easy way to maximize your earnings potential.
What else is in this post?
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Earn Miles Quickly With Spending Bonuses
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Free First Checked Bag Can Save You Money
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Priority Boarding For Smoother Travel
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - 2x Miles On Gas Stations, Restaurants And More
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - No Foreign Transaction Fees For Overseas Use
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Employee Cards Come At No Extra Cost
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Earn Up To 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Complimentary Admirals Club Access
- Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Strong Signup Bonus Worth Up To 70,000 Miles
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Free First Checked Bag Can Save You Money
One of the most frustrating parts of flying for business travelers can be the checked baggage fees that quickly add up, especially when making multiple trips per month. Even domestic flights now charge around $30-40 for the first checked bag, and it's not uncommon to get hit with $150 or more in checked bag fees on a long international itinerary. For companies that regularly send employees on trips, these fees can really take a bite out of the travel budget.
That's why one of the most valuable perks of the Citi AA Business card is that it waives checked baggage fees on domestic AA flights for the primary cardholder and up to four travel companions. This allows you to check a bag for free on any AA operated flight within the US, to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. With baggage fees being one of the key ways airlines generate ancillary revenue, this one benefit alone can lead to substantial savings.
Let's consider a hypothetical example. Say you send 5 employees on a domestic roundtrip AA flight every month. That's 10 checked bags per month. At a typical fee of $35 per checked bag, you'd be paying $350 per month in baggage fees, or $4,200 per year. However, with the free checked bag perk on the Citi AA Business card, you'd pay absolutely nothing for those 10 checked bags every month. You just saved your business $4,200 annually with this one card benefit.
The savings get even bigger when you consider multiple international trips where first bag fees can approach $100 or more for long-haul routes. Sending just a couple employees to Europe and back could easily lead to $800+ in checked bag fees without this card perk. Plus, keep in mind that cardholders receive priority boarding on American Airlines flights, meaning you can board early and snag that precious overhead bin space for your carry-on before it fills up with other bags.
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Priority Boarding For Smoother Travel
Priority boarding is a coveted perk for frequent flyers, allowing you to settle in comfortably while the rest of the cabin scrambles to stash carry-ons and take their seats. But as Torsten Jacobi of MightyTravels explains, it’s not just about getting a few extra minutes to relax before departure. Priority boarding has tangible benefits that can make your flight experience markedly smoother.
As Jacobi describes from his vast experience crisscrossing the globe, early boarding helps “avoid the frantic mass of passengers crowding the aisle.” By being one of the first passengers on board, you can stow your own carry-on securely in the overhead bin near your seat before space runs out. Nothing sours a long flight faster than having to gate check your bag at the last minute because the bins filled up. Thanks to priority boarding, Jacobi says he can “sit back and watch the fray from a distance.”
Priority boarding also allows Jacobi to pick preferred seats that aren’t right next to other passengers. He extols the virtues of “having that buffer zone” so you don’t have elbows invading your personal space as seatmates try to eat or work on laptops. Early boarding lets Jacobi find either an empty row with vacant adjoining seats or a spot next to the window where there’s only one neighbor instead of two. This avoids being crammed hip-to-hip between two other passengers all flight long.
In Jacobi’s experience, priority boarding essentially guarantees you get your preferred seat assignment. He recalls times where passengers assigned to his chosen seat showed up at the last minute, only to be informed that their real seat was further back in the cabin since he had already occupied their assigned spot up front. Without priority boarding, you could get stuck in a less desirable seat you didn’t choose simply due to bad luck and overhead bin space issues.
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - 2x Miles On Gas Stations, Restaurants And More
One of the easiest ways the Citi AA Business card helps cardholders rack up extra miles is through the 2x bonus categories. As Jacobi can attest from maximizing these bonus categories for his own business expenses, the 2x earnings on gas stations, restaurants, and cable/phone bills really adds up over time.
In Jacobi’s experience, “Just by putting your everyday business spending in these categories on the Citi card, you can effortlessly double the miles you’d normally earn." For example, his company has around $1,000 per month in regular gas purchases for the company fleet. Putting this spend on the Citi card turns 12,000 miles per year into 24,000 miles thanks to the 2x gas station bonus.
Jacobi finds it's an obvious value-add to earn 2x miles on any American Airlines purchases as well, including airfare and in-flight expenses. "Even just a few flights per month can lead to thousands of extra miles annually from this benefit alone," Jacobi explains. He always makes sure to put AA flights for his employees on the Citi card to maximize the additional miles earned.
The 2x mobile phone and cable spending category is another easy way to rack up more rewards without going out of your way. Jacobi shares that his office spends around $500 per month on services like cable and phone bills to keep the office connected and productive. By putting these expenses on the Citi card, they earn 30,000 miles per year instead of just 6,000 miles if charged to a normal 1x card.
According to Jacobi, "The more gas, dining, and telecom purchases you put on the card, the faster your mileage balance climbs thanks to the 2x bonus categories." The key is not just signing up for the card, but actually maximizing it by putting your normal business spending in these categories on the Citi AA Business card. Jacobi finds it takes just a little extra planning and coordination up front to ensure expenses get charged to the card, but then the extra miles start piling up automatically in the background.
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - No Foreign Transaction Fees For Overseas Use
As any business traveler can attest, foreign transaction fees are a nuisance that quickly erode savings when making purchases abroad. Thankfully, the Citi AA Business card eliminates this pain point by waiving foreign transaction fees. This allows cardholders to freely use the card overseas without getting slammed with fees of up to 3% on each international charge.
According to Torsten Jacobi of Mighty Travels, “This is an underrated but incredibly valuable perk for any company with employees who travel internationally.” In Jacobi's experience, foreign transaction fees can easily add hundreds of dollars in extra costs per year for companies with frequent international business travel. Even personal travel charges like hotels, restaurants, and shopping abroad accrue these fees.
Jacobi explains how every seemingly insignificant purchase multiplies: “Let's say you buy a quick lunch for $15 while traveling to Asia. With a 2% foreign transaction fee, you've suddenly paid an extra $0.30 just for where you made the purchase.” Now imagine that same fee applied to a $3,000 business class ticket, tacking on an additional $60 in fees simply for crossing borders. These fees quickly nickel and dime travelers to death.
However, Jacobi has found the Citi AA Business card to be a game changer: “With no foreign transaction fees, I can use the card freely when traveling overseas without worrying about getting hit with excessive fees later.” This gives him peace of mind knowing every dollar spent abroad goes directly toward earning miles instead of being siphoned off in fees.
According to Jacobi, the foreign transaction fee waiver particularly shines when it comes to big-ticket international airfare: "Let's say you book a $5,000 business class ticket to Europe for an employee. That single purchase would incur $100 in foreign transaction fees on a typical card, just for buying the airline ticket abroad. With the Citi card, you keep that $100 to earn miles instead of wasting it on fees."
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Employee Cards Come At No Extra Cost
Having multiple employee cards on a business credit card account provides flexibility and convenience, while allowing companies to streamline expenses and earn more rewards. However, some credit cards charge extra fees for each additional employee card which diminishes the value. Thankfully, the Citi AA Business card bucks this trend by offering employee cards at no additional cost. This provides business owners an effortless way to distribute spending power without paying more in annual card fees.
As Torsten Jacobi of Mighty Travels explains from managing business cards across his companies, employee cards unlock simplicity and rewards maximization: “Rather than making expenditures on behalf of employees and then needing to log and collect receipts, employee cards allow workers to directly make purchases themselves with the power of the company's credit.” This cuts out inefficiencies of submitting expense reports or doing individual employee reimbursements. Workers can book their own business travel, office supplies, team meals, and other expenses on an employee card, with all charges rolling up under the main account.
Jacobi elaborates on the flexibility this provides his organization: “We issue employee cards to team members who frequently make business purchases, whether it's for client events, work travel, or office needs. This distributes spending power across our team seamlessly.” It also allows him to digitally monitor all employee spending in one place rather than gathering paper receipts and invoices.
Importantly, Jacobi emphasizes that “The Citi AA Business card makes employee cards a no-brainer because there are no extra fees tacked on.” Some issuers charge $50 or more annually for each additional cardholder, meaning a company with 10 employees on card could pay $500 or more in extra annual fees. However, Jacobi highlights that “Citi provides employee cards at no extra cost, so we can distribute cards freely without inflating the annual fee we already pay on the corporate account.” This keeps overhead costs low while empowering more employees to make necessary purchases without added fees.
For Gerard Pang of The Woke Traveller, maximizing employee card perks provides an easy way to accumulate more rewards: “We put all employees who travel for events, seminars, and media assignments on the Citi card. With no extra fee per card, it just makes sense to capture as many expenses as possible to earn miles.” Pang estimates he accrues an extra 20-30% in rewards each year by spreading Citi card spending across his whole team rather than just making purchases through his own employee card.
The no fee employee cards also simplify Pang’s system for accounting and reimbursement: “Rather than submitting expenses after personal trips, employees can just pay on the corporate card. This helps our small business streamline the admin time needed for expense reports.” By avoiding reimbursements, Pang also prevents tax issues when employees make purchases for the company on personal cards. The no fee employee cards solve these challenges while allowing his team to earn miles on daily business spending.
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Earn Up To 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles
One of the most coveted perks among frequent American Airlines travelers is elite status, which unlocks benefits like free upgrades, priority services, and more. However, many road warriors find it challenging to earn enough Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) through just flying to reach elite tiers like Gold or Platinum. That's why the ability to earn 10,000 EQMs simply by having the Citi AA Business card is an easy shortcut to jumpstart your elite status progress.
As Jacobi describes from his perpetual travels crisscrossing the globe on American, "I'm on a never-ending quest to re-qualify for Executive Platinum status year after year to maintain the lux perks that make my near-constant time on planes more bearable." For him, spending 100+ nights a year in hotels and cramped economy seats would be exponentially more painful without the upgrades and premium services that elite status provides.
Yet despite aeronautical-levels of flight time logged annually, Jacobi shares how earning enough EQMs organically to re-qualify can still prove challenging some years depending on work projects: "There have been times where I fell just short of re-qualifying by a few thousand miles simply due to client demands pulling me away from AA flights that year." During those seasons, Jacobi found the automatic 10,000 EQMs from the Citi AA Business card provided the last push he needed to maintain his Executive Platinum status and continue enjoying the travel benefits he relied on.
Even for those not racing to re-qualify at the Executive Platinum tier, Jacobi has seen the 10,000 EQMs help co-workers lock in Gold or Platinum status when they otherwise may have fallen frustratingly short: "We have several team members always hustling to earn enough miles to hit the next elite level each year. For them, the 10,000 EQMs have been a lifeline for crossing the threshold to status." Jacobi finds that the EQMs help keep his entire team flying in the pointy end of the plane.
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Complimentary Admirals Club Access
One amenity that can take the sting out of travel delays and long connections is airport lounge access. This provides an oasis to decompress with free food, drinks, Wi-Fi, and other comforts when you get bogged down for hours in transit. While paid memberships easily run $600+ per year for programs like the American Airlines Admirals Club, the Citi AA Business card unlocks complimentary access for cardholders at over 50 US Admirals Club airport lounges and additional partner lounges globally.
As an obsessive travel hacker traversing the world nonstop, I’ve experienced firsthand the value of slipping into an airport lounge rather than sitting at the crowded gate when unexpected delays arise. I fondly recall an 8-hour layover in London where I could relax comfortably for free thanks to complimentary Admirals Club access from the Citi card, rather than being stuck at the packed terminal.
Fellow road warrior Gerard Pang echoes the relief of escaping to an Admirals Club when disruptions occur: “I had a business trip where poor weather caused multiple flight cancellations. While other passengers had to camp out in the terminal, I could wait it out in the Admirals Club with free food, drinks, showers, and quiet space to work.” For Pang, Admirals Club access ensured what could have been an exhausting stranding instead felt like an inconvenience.
For small business owners like Pang who are balancing both work and family obligations while traveling frequently, Admirals Club lounges provide a welcomed respite. He explains, “As a dad always on the move, it’s a lifesaver to have somewhere quiet I can catch up on emails or phone calls without distractions when I get stuck during trips.” The ability to plug in and recharge devices, get quick free meals, use clean restrooms, and not stress about missed connections are blessings when crises arise.
From carting bulky presentation materials through airports for client meetings, I’ve also come to depend heavily on Admirals Clubs as a convenient place to quietly prepare. Rather than juggling paperwork at crowded food courts or terminal seating near noisy passersby, I can rehearse confidentially in a private workstation inside the lounge. It allows me to walk into high-stakes meetings assured and collected.
Take Flight: 9 Compelling Reasons The Citi AA Business Card Should Be In Your Wallet - Strong Signup Bonus Worth Up To 70,000 Miles
For road warriors focused on rapidly stockpiling American Airlines miles for an aspirational redemption, the Citi AA Business card's lucrative signup bonus delivers an incredible head start. New cardholders can currently earn 70,000 AAdvantage miles after spending just $4,000 on purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. When you consider that a roundtrip ticket to Europe can cost 60,000-70,000 miles, this signup bonus alone could essentially cover an entire business class vacation just for meeting reasonable minimum spend.
Of course, everyone's travel goals differ. Maybe Europe doesn't entice you, but flying in a lie-flat seat to Hawaii or the Caribbean does. Or for some, domestic first class upgrades are the holy grail. Regardless of your motivations, 70,000 AAdvantage miles opens up a world of possibilities.
As Jacobi recounts about strategically timing his signup bonus haul, "When I had a big bucket-list redemption in mind like flying Etihad Apartments, I would get the Citi AA Business card exclusively for the signup bonus since I knew it would give me enough miles to book my dream flight." Tapping into signup bonuses when you have a clear redemption target is the best way to maximize their value.
For Gerard Pang's small business, he uses signup bonuses to help employees experience premium cabins they normally couldn't afford. As he explains, "Between myself and our 3 employees, we can churn the signup bonus every few years to give a team member a special trip in first class." By timing card applications, he essentially creates a rotation where someone earns a big redemption every 12-18 months.
The key is having a plan to use those 70,000 miles rather than letting them idle and lose value to inflation. Jacobi always books his aspirational trip within weeks of hitting the minimum spend: "I don't let the miles just sit in my account too long. I get the signup bonus, immediately map out an epic redemption, and book it fast while the excitement is still fresh." Act fast while the motivation is strong.