39,000 American Airlines miles post promptly from my MBNA card !

Just a quick update to say that if you got the American Airlines credit card with the amazing (given the card is free) 35,000 American Airlines miles sign-up bonus, your miles should post OK.

My first statement month just ended.  I spent the necessary £5,000 to trigger the full bonus by pre-paying my July tax bill.

American Airlines

And my statement shows (with a minor edit for privacy):

    AMEX MILES | 836        
    VISA MILES | 3,264        
    BONUS MILES | 35,000        
    ADJUSTED MILES | 0        
    TOTAL MILES | 39,100 

Which is nice.

Hopefully they will arrive safely at my AA account over the next day or so.

The card is still open for applications for this bonus until 31st May.  Remember that you need to spend £5,000 within 6 months to trigger the full bonus, though.

Now I need to hope that award space opens up for a New York to London day in July.  I am currently booked on BA via Avios with a chunky taxes bill, whilst an AA rebooking would see the taxes fall to almost nothing.

What is the best Avios credit card? (Part 2: on-going earning rates)
What is the best Avios credit card? (Part 1: comparing sign-up bonuses)
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  1. mrtibbs1999 says:

    My card came the other day. This is an awesome redemtion opportunity, There are 2 of us and with the AA MBNA card and my AMEX MR Points, I have 60k AA points coming.

    My current plan is.

    Air Berlin TXL-AUH, Business class 50k AVIOS plus 50 quid for 2 adults.
    AUH to MAN Etihad business or first. What do you think about paying $400 for the 20k AA points needed to take first?

    • Your hand may be forced by availability. Do check if MAN has the latest Etihad seats as it is a secondary market.

  2. Maciek Wojcik says:

    Did you have to link your AAdvantage account to the credit card account? In the application form they doesn’t ask for your AAdvantage number if I remember correctly.

  3. James67 says:

    Might be a better chance on their new Dublin service with a connection.

  4. Simon says:

    Is it definitely 6 months for the £5k spend too trigger the bonus? I thought the original information said 3 months.

    • Greenpen says:

      From the offer:

      As a new cardholder you will earn 5,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles when you make your first card purchase within the first 90 days of opening your account. If you spend £1,500 within the first 90 days you can earn an additional 10,000 miles. Better still, spend a minimum of £5,000 within the first 180 days and you’ll earn a staggering 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles.

      The £1500 and £5000 are not sparate, ie, if you spend the £1500 then the next bonus is triggered when you spend a further £3500.

      • What is not clear, I admit, is what happens if you don’t hit £1500 in 90 days but do hit £5000 in 180 days. The wording implies you stuill get the full bonus.

  5. Michael P says:

    Hi Raffles
    Please remind me how you pre paid £5000 of your July HMRC bill with it? I unfortunately have a larger tax bill to pay so might come in handy!

    Secondly if font have an AA Feequent flyer account do they automatically set one up?


    • You can prepay the Inland Revenue at any point via the BillPay system (google Inland Revenue Billpay) for self assessment, corporation tax, your nannys PAYE etc!

      They take MasterCard and Visa for a 1.4 per cent fee, which was worth paying (for me) because I want the AA miles now for a possible redemption in July.

      • Flashware says:

        Obviously a way around that is the 3V Visa Debit cards…..

        • Good luck finding that many! I have bought a few of the cards with the £4 fee, but only because Tesco sent me a pile of ‘£3 off £30’ coupons. I am therefore paying a £1 fee which is a decent deal.

      • Can I pay my own PAYE? Or will I double pay (my employer will pay that for me) and then I will get a refund?

        • No, sadly not. Technically, though, if you have an online account with the Inland Revenue, you can just pay random sums of money into it. You do not need to have an outstanding tax bill. Some people do this to pay bills in instalments in advance of receiving them, for budgeting purposes.

          In theory, in a few months, you could ring the Revenue and ask for a refund. These are always paid by BACS or cheque.

          I don’t mess about with the Revenue, though. Best to keep them onside ….

    • AA – yes, they will open an account. However, I do NOT recommend this as you will spend ages on the phone to MBNA trying to get the number and password. FAR easier to DIY so you have the details already.

      • Am hoping that works – I phoned and gave them my existing AA a/c number, waiting to see if the points show up there correctly!

      • I thought they’ll just open a new account once we are accepted. Is it worth opening one now when already have the cards?

  6. Flashware says:

    So it looks also like there is no issues with Visa spend counting towards, that’s great to hear. I’m £1k short of the £5k, but should hit it next month along with the nice easy £750 for the HH Plat Visa 😉

  7. simon says:

    Just a quick one for you guys – I am looking to get to LA with AA – if I fly on AA metal what’s it likely to cost me in actual £ after using my miles? – hoping to fly business but its probably going to be economy.

    • Do a dummy booking on the AA website, you don’t need to have the miles available to price it up.

      Remember to pick AA flights and not aBA ones, as BA ones have a fuel surcharge. Should be around £100 of tax at a guess for an AA return in Economy, possibly £150. BA would be nearer £400.

  8. Held this card and cancelled about 9 months ago. Applied for this offer and received the 1st bonus a few days ago.

  9. Blackberryaddict says:

    I also go the statement and bonus miles – although I’ve just checked my AA account, and the miles aren’t there yet.

    • Flashware says:

      Normally takes a few days to post.

    • Flashware says:

      My points have posted.

      • flibbly says:

        Mine posted within a couple of days (although I still need to spend another £1100 this month to complete the bonus).

        I also noticed that BA flights booked via ba.com appear to count as AA flights for the 0% offer. There is an offer on this card to et 0% APR on any AA flights bought online via the AA website. I bought a BA flight via the BA website and there is a little icon next to that purchase on the statement indicating its interest free. I’m going to pay that off though and put another BA flight on this month to take me over the 5K spend. I will then probably enjoy the 0% APR on that one, once I don’t need to spend any more on the card.

  10. iantowns says:

    I’ve had my AAdvantage Card sine 1997 (through various providers; RBS, citi, MBNA, etc) and I can honestly say I’ve never had a single issue with miles and bonuses not posting. They’re the best there is, as simple as that.

  11. Finally signed up for this deal..instant acceptance is amazing. I have never ever had that online for a card..props to MBNA!

    • Louie says:

      Same here. I had assumed being self-employed was the reason I’d never been accepted instantly before (and hubby didn’t get instant acceptance last month and he is self-employed too) but it seems not.

  12. V impressed. Me too, and I have just had my corporation tax notice through too.

    Another way to put spend through I’m testing is through Oyster Card – for those in London/SE. Online you can prepay £50 onto your card per visit fee free via Visa or Amex (not sure what the limit is per day etc) and then the credit “waits” for you at a tube station to collect at the Oyster machine for 3-4 days after. If you don’t collect it then the credit gets refunded. I’ll let you know the results but if you did this a few times it could help you reach your goal.

    Also, season tickets (£4k is mine) can be a great way to get to your limit – and they are refundable – (although there can be a wait) but they are – and in my experience you can refund it onto a different card.

    Raffles – is there a way you can do a post on these creative suggestions soon?

    PS. Great work Raffles. You must get a great buzz from sharing your knowledge knowing luxury travel is a possibility for so many of us now…

    • Remember also that, because AA flights bought at aa.com are interest free for 18 months, you could make a purchase, sit on it until your bonus miles post, then cancel it a couple of months later. No interest paid! Just make sure you don’t have a direct debit in place to pay your entire bill each month.

      • Baggageinhall says:


        Firstly, thanks again for publicising this deal. My next VAT payment should generate the full 35k miles bonus. My question relates to the AA flight purchase 0% offer. The wording isn’t particularly clear in my view. I understand that the purchase must be within 12 months of opening your account, but on one reading, it seems to suggest that they will start charging interest on any AA.com purchase once you have had your card for a year. I wondered how you’d come to the view that purchases are interest free for 18 months?


        • 18 months was either a typo by me, I think, or they changed the offer online, because it does clearly say 12 months now!

          My understanding is that the 0% ends on the 12th month from getting the card, so a purchase now will get 10-11 months interest free whilst a purchase in 9 months time would only be interest free for a couple of months.

    • An Oyster refund will presumably reduce your spending target by £50, though, so it doesn’t really help. What you CAN do with Oyster is use auto top-up, which automatically recharges your Oyster via your credit card when it drops below £10. Very cool feature, I haven’t topped up my card manually for a couple of years now.

      If you have an Amex Gold, I understand that the clever thing to do is to top-up your Oyster manually in a Network Rail station. It will then be treated as ‘transport’ and qualify for double points, whilst auto top-up and underground stations do not count as ‘transport’ and only earn 1x.

      • I’ve always had this problem, but I’ve alwayas asked Amex to put the double points manually and they’ve always done it. They said it’s a problem with their system as LUL machines are not recognised as transport.

  13. The maximum you can hold at any one time on an oyster pay as you go is £90?

    Re top-ups at tube and DLR stations, I almost always have to email Amex to get the double points added manually, which is a pain!

    • Flashware says:

      I’ve never had issues using the Gold Charge Card @ National Rail stations.

  14. Of course!

  15. MattK says:

    Do you think you can do the sterling traveller cheque ‘trick’ with this card (the Amex one) and it will count towards the £5k spend?

  16. Dominic says:

    This has been one of Raffles’ most helpful posts recently. I got the card, and had some expensive plane tickets to purchase, so hit the bonus in my first month. The points are already showing when I log on to AA’s pages. Quite wonderful to get in excess of 40K points for so little effort. As ever, Raffles, huge thanks.

  17. Simon says:

    Good that the Visa spend counts towards the bonus, probably wouldn’t have got the card otherwise, I’ve established I can pay off my 2014-15 council tax bill early if it gets to November and I’ve not hit the target! I’d rather do this than the interest free refundable flight, the girl on the phone I spoke to at Bristol City Council seemed a bit confused why I would want to do this though!

  18. Dave P says:

    In terms of buying a fully flexible ticket in order to trigger the £5k spend, does purchasing a ticket operated by BA via the AA website count as a valid ticket or does the flight have to be on AA metal?
    I don’t want to buy a ticket only to find that it doesn’t count.

    • Flashware says:

      There’s been reports that ANY flight on ANY carrier seems to trigger it.

      • Dave P says:

        I was thinking along the lines buying a flexible ticket via AA to take advantage of the 0% interest on AA purchased tickets and then cancelling it (as per Raffles’ strategy above). However, on the AA website many tickets are on flights operated by BA. Would such a ticket count as an AA ticket and therefore have 0% interest?

    • Seems anything on aa.com works fine

  19. Arghh – this is turning into a total nightmare! Despite me giving MBNA by existing card number, they appear to have created a new account for me and sent the miles there. I called them and they passed me on to AA to merge the accounts. This was a week ago and as of today still nothing showing up. I chased it up by AA via email and they’ve now replied to say the account merger went fine and they can’t see any activity (they say from Citibank but that’s because they don’t seem to have noticed I’m in the UK). So two weeks after my first statement I’m still trying to chase the missing 44k miles – not good!!