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TravelAmerican Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card review: Full details

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card review: Full details


American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp overview

The American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® card offers the ability to earn frequent flyer miles with no annual fee. For occasional American flyers looking for a starter rewards card, the AAdvantage MileUp card fits the bill. However, with limited perks and card protection benefits, other options are worth considering. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

When it comes to choosing your first travel rewards credit card, you have a lot of options.

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp is an entry-level American AAdvantage card in the airline’s cobranded card lineup. This means you’ll earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles on the card.

One of the biggest factors in selecting a cobranded airline credit card is the frequency with which you’ll fly the carrier. Will you be flying the airline enough to take advantage of the benefits? Or will you be better suited to a card that earns straight cash back or another, more flexible points currency? And, is it worth ponying up some cash for an annual fee?

In order to qualify for the AAdvantage MileUp card, you need a credit score of 670 or higher.

Let’s dive into answering these questions for the MileUp card to see if this no-annual-fee card is right for you.

The information for the AAdvantage MileUp card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

AAdvantage MileUp pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • No annual fee
  • Inflight savings on food and beverage purchases
  • Bonus miles on grocery store purchases
  • No statement credits
  • Low sign-up bonus
  • Limited AA benefits

AAdvantage MileUp sign-up bonus

New cardholders can earn 15,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening, which TPG’s June 2024 valuations put at $255.

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With no annual fee and a low spending requirement, this is certainly a reasonable offer but far from the most lucrative offer on an American Airlines card.

THE POINTS GUY

If you already have another AA card, you can also earn the bonus on the MileUp card; you just can’t earn the bonus again if you’ve received a new account bonus for an AA MileUp account in the past 48 months.

That might be a good opportunity to grab more AA miles for no annual fee.

AAdvantage MileUp benefits

While it doesn’t have any high-value perks, the MileUp has a few benefits that American flyers should take note of:

  • 25% savings on inflight purchases: You’ll get a discount on inflight food and beverage purchases (but not on inflight Wi-Fi, which a third party manages)
  • No mileage cap: There’s no limit to how many American miles you earn. Redeem them on flights, upgrades, car rentals and hotel stays (although flights will be the most valuable redemption).
AMERICAN AIRLINES

Unfortunately, Citi has taken away most of the travel and shopping protection benefits they offered on nearly all their credit cards.

Additionally, the MileUp card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you won’t want to use it when traveling abroad. Instead, you may want to consider cards that offer no foreign transaction fees.

The savings on inflight concessions have the potential to be a nice little perk should you actually need to purchase a snack or meal. For instance, if a family of four had two round-trip flights per year and each bought a $10 sandwich on board in each direction, that family would save $40 each year with the MileUp card. That’s not bad for a card with no annual fee.

Earning miles on the AAdvantage MileUp

This is what you can expect to earn on your purchases using the MileUp card:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar at grocery stores (including grocery delivery services)
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
AMERICAN AIRLINES

It may make sense to put everyday grocery spend, in addition to your eligible American Airlines purchases, on the MileUp card. However, remember that many card options have lucrative earning rates for grocery purchases. Like many issuers, Citi excludes discount stores and warehouse clubs from the grocery store bonus rate.

Related: The best grocery credit cards

Redeeming miles on the AAdvantage MileUp card

As a cobranded airline credit card, you can only redeem the earned miles toward travel with American Airlines and its partners. Your points can also be used on Oneworld and non-alliance partners, such as Etihad, Air Tahiti Nui and Japan Airlines.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

In addition, you can redeem American miles on:

  • Flight upgrades
  • Admirals Club memberships
  • Merchandise
  • Rental cars
  • Hotel stays
  • Charities

However, non-flight redemptions almost always provide a poor redemption rate.

Miles earned on the MileUp card have no expiration date as long you either earn or redeem them every 24 months. This is great if you have a big trip in mind for the future. While we don’t recommend points hoarding (they can be devalued at any time), you could spend years racking up AAdvantage miles and redeem them anytime, so long as you’re using the card from time to time.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Related: The best uses of American Airlines AAdvantage miles

Which cards compete with the AAdvantage MileUp card?

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of options for entry-level rewards credit cards. Even within AA’s own lineup of Citi cards, there are several to choose from (alongside a cobranded partnership with Barclays).

Related: The best travel rewards credit cards

The information for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Is the AAdvantage MileUp worth it?

The AA MileUp probably isn’t the card for you if you want perks like a free checked bag or priority boarding. However, if you can forgo the perks and are committed to earning AAdvantage miles or live near an American hub, this can be a valuable rewards starter card.

Related: The best starter travel credit cards

Bottom line

If you want to earn status and miles with American Airlines faster, then the MileUp card could be a great start. The lack of an annual fee makes it perfect for those who don’t travel often enough to justify paying one. The AAdvantage Mil Up also has a solid earnings rate for groceries and American purchases.

However, if you do fly American Airlines more than a couple of times per year, or if you’re seeking a card that offers more lucrative perks or travel rewards, there are better options out there.

Related: The best credit cards for American Airlines flyers

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