The Citibank envelope that was in the mailbox when I returned home today contained two new American Airlines AAdvantage linked cards. But, in a first for me, I received both a replacement Visa and a new American Express. Huh?

When I signed up for the card, it was just a Visa. How did I now get two different cards?

The enclosure explained:

We have enhanced your Citi/AAdvantage credit card account. You now have two Citi/AAdvantage cards, including a Citi/AAdvantage American Express card, to access your existing account and credit line. These two new cards – which are enclosed and carry no additional fee — replace the Citi/AAdvantage card you are currently carrying, and provide you with more places to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

Perhaps there’s precedent for this, but I’ve never had a bank issue me a second, different card before.

I suppose it’s a no-cost addition, and since it’s considered part of the same credit line, it doesn’t hit my credit report as a new, separate account. (Their enclosed FAQ’s stress this point.)

But no thanks. My wallet’s credit card space is already fully occupied, and frankly, I don’t need this Amex. (“Waste of plastic” comes to mind.) If I’m using an Amex, it’ll be my Starwood-linked card.

Anyone have a different take?

pixel Double up? Citibanks American AAdvantage Visa comes with a connected Amex

21 Responses to “Double up? Citibank’s American AAdvantage Visa comes with a connected Amex”

  1. David M Says:

    Doesn’t seem like that big a deal because most places that take Amex also take Visa. The big exception I know of is Costco, which accepts only Amex and debit cards. I suppose people that have been using debit cards or another card at Costco but would like the AAdvantage miles (and it’s easy to spend a lot and rack up a lot of miles at Costco) would like it.

  2. RLee Says:

    Citi has had this supplemental AAdvantage AmEx for a while now — I actually requested and got one to go with my Citi AA MasterCard a year ago. But sending you one when you didn’t ask does seem mighty bizarre. And, “more places to earn”: really? Is there really some place that accepts AmEx but not Visa???

  3. PEI Says:

    it’s actually about revenue

    for nearly no cost of issuing a physical plastic to u (plus no incremental risk, since it’s the same account and credit line), they can gain if you spend on your amex card instead of visa/mc, which earns citibank a larger % of merchant fee

  4. Brian Says:

    I got the same extra card in the mail yesterday. When I called Citi customer service I was told that the Amex card will earn 1.2 miles (I think that’s what they said) for every dollar spent. Assuming that’s true/accurate, that would be one benefit of keeping this Amex in your wallet.

  5. canuck_in_pa Says:

    They told me the same thing: 1.2 miles per dollar, for 12 months.

    I just noticed another difference: the primary card has the AAdvantage near the top now.

    Like others I’ll stick the Amex one in a drawer and continue to use my Amex SPG.

  6. canuck_in_pa Says:

    Oops. I meant the AAdvantage account number.

  7. Mark Ashley Says:

    @David M and @RLee, indeed, “I can now get AA miles at Costco” came to mind right away, since Costco is still Amex-only. While those with a Starwood Amex have already been able to pay at Costco, collect SPG points, and then convert their SPG points to AA (or other airlines, see the SPG site’s list of airline partners), the AA-only mile collector could benefit from the simplicity of this additional Amex.

    @PEI, thanks for a good reminder that this card isn’t for the consumer’s benefit. It’s for the bank’s.

    @Brian and @canuck_in_pa, Good point re: the 1.2 miles/$ on the Citi Amex. I missed that. It’s in the insert that came with the card, in rather fine print:

    Plus, when you call to activate both cards, you can earn 20% more AAdvantage miles on eligible purchases for 12 months* with your new Citi/AAdvantage American Express card — that’s 1.2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent.**

    * Additional earnings associated with this program may overlap with other special offers in which you are currently enrolled. In order to qualify for this offer, your existing account must be open and current at all times. If your existing account is closed for any reason, including if you convert to another product, you may no longer be eligible.

    ** American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles earned through this promotion count toward your annual mileage cap. The maximum number of AAdvantage miles that can be earned per calendar year depends on the Citi/AAdvantage card eligible for this offer. AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members are excluded from this mileage cap. AAdvantage miles are only earned on eligible purchases. Eligible purchases exclude balance transfers, cash advances, convenience checks, items returned for credit and interest charges.

  8. Bluegreen Kirk Says:

    Another way to get there customer trapped in more debit. Like you i dont need another card in my wallet. And if I didnt apply or ask for it dont send it.

  9. silverhalide Says:

    If you order stuff from a place which only detects duplicate orders by CC number, this actually helps you. Otherwise I agree, very weird. Also weird for those of us who already have an AAdvantage AMEX on top of this “linked” one.

  10. Tell It Like it Is Says:

    If you want American Airlines frequent flyer miles, this is a rip off. For signing up for the AmExp card separately, you can earn from 30,000 to 80,000 miles (depending upon the specific promotion) and no annual fee for the first year.

    So, my taking the 2nd card without any bonus or incentive, the card issuer is essentially not giving you the signup bonus. You are getting ripped off.

  11. AlwaysLearning Says:

    Tell It Like It Is, thank you for the reminder of the 30,000 incentive points. I am currently looking for an AAdvantage card for my husband with the most miles. So for I have found 30K from City MasterCard.
    Has anyone see anything better?

  12. AlwaysLearning Says:

    In May, I received an offer in the mail that gave me 35K bonus miles on a new Citi Bank AAdvantage Visa. On line all offers were 30K.

  13. Candace Says:

    I am a new Costco customer, and when I signed up for membership, they told me they ONLY take the Costco AmEx card. (You get cash back at the end of the year.) Can I use a regular AmEx there like SPG or are you guys mistaken?

  14. Todd F Says:

    Candace, all cards with an Amex logo work at Costco. The Costco Amex is one of many that they accept. I use my SPG Amex at Costco every weekend, both inside the warehouse and outside at the gas pumps.

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  16. Tracey Says:

    Aside from the fact that you’re missing out on betting sign up bonus points for the new amex card – and I assume here that if you decline or cancel the one they sent it will show that you had it so probably can’t get the bonus now if you applied? I guess you could put it in a drawer and pull it out on Small Business Saturdays and for the Gift Chain if they do that one again.

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  18. Athala Elli Says:

    Doesn’t seem like that big a deal because most places that take Amex also take Visa.

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