American Airlines has tripled the sign-up bonus on its UK credit cards from 5,000 miles to 15,000 miles. This is the same offer which ran twice during 2014.
Whilst a far cry from the amazing 35,000 miles they offered in early 2013 – which was probably the best sign-up deal ever seen in the UK for a free credit card – this is still a very good offer.
The representative APR is 17.9% variable.
The main benefits are discussed in my review of the card. Here are the key points:
The cards are issued by MBNA, so if you already have the bmi, Virgin, Lufthansa, Etihad, Emirates or United cards it may impact your ability to get them
However, MBNA has a history of allowing you, if rejected, to still get them if you agree to reduce the credit limit on your existing cards or to close one of them
The cards come as an American Express and Visa double-pack, earning 1.5 miles per £1 on the Amex and 0.75 miles per £1 on the Visa. This is a very impressive earning rate for a free card.
The cards are free.
The bonus is triggered as follows:
5,000 miles for the first purchase
10,000 miles when you spend £1,500 within 90 days
There is NO restriction that the spend must be on the American Express card. All of the qualifying spend can be made on the Visa card if you want.
MBNA does not like ‘churning’. If you have previously had the AA cards, you are unlikely to receive the bonus again. If you apply now, you will not be able to receive another bonus in the future, at least for a few years. The small print says “This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time MBNA / AAdvantage credit card account holders. Previous and existing MBNA / AAdvantage credit card account holders are not eligible.” You will be fine to apply for other MBNA cards, however.
On its own, 15,000 American Airlines miles is not enough to make it worthwhile starting an AA collection. However, if there was a redemption you liked the look of (perhaps an Etihad First Class Suite to the Middle East from London for just 40,000 miles!) and you had a way of topping them up via a points purchase or a hotel points transfer, it might be worth a look. My review of the card touches on some of these ‘sweet spots’.
It is also worth noting that many US writers believe that American will sharply devalue their reward chart soon. It is currently substantially more generous than its competitors, especially for flights on partner airlines like BA and Etihad. The merger with US Airways has delayed any changes to date but, with the integration of the frequent flyer programmes now nearing completion, the date may be coming nearer.
The other thing to consider is that you currently earn 400% more miles when you credit discounted economy BA flights to the AA programme instead of Avios. My article yesterday discussed why you may want to do this – and if you did, this would be an attractive way of topping up an AA account.
The offer closes on July 31st.
How to earn American Airlines miles from UK credit cards (September 2021)
American Airlines no longer has its own UK credit card.
There is, however, still a way to earn American Airlines miles from a UK credit card.
The route is via Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty points convert to American Airlines miles at the rate of 3:1. You receive an additional 5,000 miles bonus if you convert 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once.
The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is via the official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card. It comes with 20,000 points for signing up and 2 points for every £1 you spend.
At 2 Bonvoy points per £1, you are earning (at 3:1) 0.66 American Airlines miles per £1 spent on the card. This will increase to 0.83 AA miles per £1 if you convert Bonvoy points in chunks of 60,000 points.
You can apply here.