Credit Card Credit Card Reviews

Citi AAdvantage MileUp Credit Card Review

overall rating
3.6

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The Citi AAdvantage MileUp card offers a generous 2 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores and American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. It has no annual fee but is short on travel benefits typical of airline cards.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

overall rating
3
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
On Citi's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores and eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 mile for every other $1 spent.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Citi AAdvantage MileUp Credit Card

Pros
  • Higher rewards on groceries and American Airlines purchases

  • 25% discount on inflight food and beverage purchases

  • Valuable one-time offer

Cons
  • Limited travel benefits

  • 3% foreign transaction fee

  • No free checked bags

Pros Explained

  • Higher Rewards on Groceries and American Airlines Purchases: Co-branded airline credit cards typically offer a higher rewards rate on purchases made through the airline. But with the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card, cardholders earn 2 miles per $1 spent on groceries as well as eligible American Airlines purchases. You also earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Being able to earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend at grocery stores isn’t a common benefit of an airline card without an annual fee. If you spend a substantial amount of money on groceries, rewards miles can quickly add up.
  • 25% Discount on Inflight Food and Beverage Purchases: When you use this card on American Airlines flights, you get a 25% discount on inflight food and beverages. So spending $20 on snacks and a drink—not too difficult—will yield a $5 price reduction.
  • Valuable One-Time Offer: When you sign up for the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card, you can earn 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit if you spend at least $500 within the first three months of opening an account. The 10,000-mile bonus gives you enough miles to pay for a domestic flight in the continental U.S., assuming you’re able to book an AAdvantage MilesAAver flight.

Cons Explained

  • Limited Travel Benefits: The AAdvantage MileUp card's benefits are fairly barebones relative to other co-branded airline cards. With most cards, you can typically expect perks like airport lounge access, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and priority boarding. But the AAdvantage MileUp card doesn’t offer any of these three common travel benefits. Even if you want to avoid paying an annual fee, you can find another card with more benefits elsewhere. For example, the Chase United Explorer card waives the $95 annual fee for the first year and includes perks like a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit every five years, priority boarding, and United Club passes.
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee: The Citi AAdvantage MileUp card is a Mastercard, which is widely accepted internationally. However, this card does charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each purchase in U.S. dollars when you travel outside of the United States. Foreign transaction fees can add up over the course of a vacation. If you often travel abroad, you’re better off applying for a card that doesn't charge this fee, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card. 
  • No Free Checked Bags: The most standard benefit of co-branded airline cards is at least one free checked bag per flight. This card doesn't offer this benefit. Depending on the ticket class you book, you may have to pay the normal fee—$30 for the first bag on domestic flights, each way—to check bags every time you fly. If you typically check luggage rather than just relying on a carry-on, consider signing up for a card like the Gold Delta Skymiles card from American Express. It has no annual fee for the first year, and your first checked bag is free on domestic Delta flights.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer

The Citi AAdvantage MileUp card is a good option for new credit card users looking for a travel rewards card. It has no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about earning enough rewards to justify its cost, and you can earn valuable miles on both groceries and American Airlines purchases. 

However, its other benefits are very minimal. If you travel often, you're likely better off with a more robust card. For example, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers one free checked bag, preferred boarding, and a $125 American Airlines flight discount. It does have a $99 annual fee, but that’s waived for the first 12 months. 

Citi AAdvantage Mileup Credit Card Bonus

With the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card, you earn 10,000 miles and receive a $50 statement credit if you spend $500 within the first three months of opening an account. 

That’s an easily achievable bonus, and it gives you enough miles to cover the cost of a domestic AAdvantage MilesAAver flight in the continental U.S. If you use your card only for essentials like groceries and gas, you can quickly hit the $500 threshold and qualify for the bonus. 

Rewards Earning Details

With this card, you earn: 

  • 2 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

For the grocery store category, eligible locations include supermarkets, bakeries, and convenience stores. Purchases at superstores or warehouse stores like Walmart or Costco do not qualify, nor do purchases at cafes or fast food restaurants. 

There's no limit to how many miles you can earn. Your miles will not expire as long as you earn or redeem miles on American Airlines or a partner airline at least once every 18 months.

Rewards Redemption Details

You can redeem your miles for award flights on American Airlines to over 1,000 destinations across the globe. You can also redeem them for business or first class upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays, or vacation packages.

Domestic award flights start at 7,500 miles with AAdvantage MilesAAver reservations—that's enough to cover the cost of a short flight from New York to Atlanta. If you earn miles at grocery stores or on American Airlines purchases—at the 2 miles per $1 spent rate—you'll have enough for a domestic award flight after spending $3,250. 

Transferring Points

Cardholders aren't limited to redeeming miles for flights on American Airlines. AAdvantage miles can be used to book flights on other OneWorld partner airlines—airline partners include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Interjet.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Because this card doesn't have an annual fee, so it can be easy to keep in your wallet and use to earn miles with each purchase while minimizing your cost, assuming you don’t carry or transfer a balance or incur any penalty fees. So, as long as you pay off your statement balance in full each month, you can earn valuable American Airlines miles from your normal spending and pay nothing for the privilege. 

To get the most value from this card, use it to pay for groceries and American Airlines purchases so you earn 2 miles for every $1 spent. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends $4,464 on food consumed at home in a year. If you used your card to pay for that full amount, you’d earn 8,928 miles—enough for a domestic AAdvantage MilesAAver flight. 

Citi AAdvantage MileUp's Outstanding Benefits

Citi AAdvantage MileUp cardholders have access to Citi Concierge, a service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The concierge can help secure restaurant reservations at in-demand hotspots, or even help find a gift for a friend or loved one. 

You can contact the concierge for help with dining, travel, and shopping needs at 800-508-8930 or concierge@yourconciergecenter.com

Standard Benefits

  • Digital wallet: Your card can easily sync with mobile wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. 
  • Contactless pay: You can tap your card on a payment reader when you shop. 

Cardholder Experience

In terms of customer service, Citi ranked sixth out of 11 card issuers in the J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. It had a ranking of 799, which is just below the national issuer average of 806. 

You can contact customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach customer support by logging into your account and chatting through a secure platform or by calling 800-950-5114.

Security Features

Cardholders are protected by standard security features like zero liability on unauthorized charges and fraud alerts. 

Our Verdict

If you prefer to fly on American Airlines and are new to the world of airline credit cards, the AAdvantage MileUp card is a good entry level option. It has no annual fee, so you earn miles toward award flights without paying a fee to carry the card. And, you earn extra rewards on groceries and American Airlines purchases. 

However, this card's benefits are minimal. If you're a frequent traveler looking for more perks like airport lounge access or free checked bags, another airline credit card offering those benefits will be more cost-effective in the long run.

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For American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
on Citi's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
overall rating
3.6
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores and eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 mile for every other $1 spent.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
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Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.