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American Airlines Credit Cards Can No Longer Be Churned (Mostly)

I interrupt my 182-part series on drinks you can buy at Starbucks with your SPG Amex (#78: Venti Latte, half-decaf, extra hot, shot of sugar free vanilla — only 1,312 of those and it’s a free night at the Four Points Los Angeles Airport!)…

Until last weekend you could churn American Airlines Citi credit cards, getting 2 personal cards in 8 days, along with business cards sprinkled in. Unfortunately according to this FT thread, those days are over.

You can now get 1 personal card, likely every 18 months. You can get a business card 65 days after your personal card (or vice versa). People are saying they can still churn the business card (95 days apart), but YMMV on that.

This is the situation we had been in for a year or so until the 8-day thing happened earlier this year. Sure, it’s a bummer….but you can get that 50k AA personal card and the 50k business card and rack up some points – and do that again in 18 months for the personal card. If you are planning to churn the business card more often, people are suggesting you close the prior business card. I don’t like doing that unless it’s been open 11 months. I’m going to stay conservative here and do 1 business card a year.

The best personal offer is the Platinum MC and the Platinum Visa – both are 50,000 miles after $3k spend in 3 months, first year fee waived, $95 after.

The Business MC is same terms – 50k points after $3k spend in 3 months, $95 fee waived first year.

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10 Comments.

  1. Do you think they’ll allow getting both the Platinum Visa and Platinum MC within months of each other?

    • No – they consider all personal cards to be the same (it’s not like Amex or Chase where slightly different versions of the same card are considered different cards).

  2. Do you recommend closing personal aa visa card had for 24+ months before applying for mastercard?

    • Is your credit score strong? It’s good to have long-term open credit. However, continuing to pay $95 fee on that card seems silly. If your score is strong I would cancel that card (because there’s no reason to pay that fee) and apply for the new one.

      • I generally agree, but they’ve waived the fee each year (and occasionally given bonus please stay miles). My scores should be able to handle cancelling the old card if it’s necessary. Post 2282 on FT thread indicates should be ok not to close. Your thoughts?

  3. I agree with Jared. Just tried it today. Had an AAdvantage VISA and was denied to Matercard version due to previous cardholder.

  4. could you explain please how churning works do I need to close first the card? and the 18 months is even if I have already a visa and mc will I get a second one and the bonus? thank you

    • You can get another bonus in 18 months regardless of which card you’ve had and which card you get.

      You have not needed to close the old card but I’m not sure why you would keep the card open and pay the annual fee when the first year is free on the 2nd card.

  5. Back in April this year, I was approved for a personal platinum card. The next day I was also approved for a personal gold card (I got invitation for it through mail). Both were Visa cards. I guess, at that time “existing cardmember” rules were in effect, but still they approved me for both platinum and gold cards. Now, my spouse only has the personal platinum card. Do you think, we could apply for the personal gold version?

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