I almost feel guilty about this…almost

Imagine my surprise when I received an email this afternoon from American Airlines wanting my opinion. I don’t fly on AA and when I do I don’t credit my points to AAdvantage so what value could I possibly bring to the table? Apparently just enough. Turns out the survey was about an AA credit card I churned at one point a couple years back. And this was one of the questions:

Thinking back to when you opened your Citi® / AAdvantage® credit card account, how important were each of the following card features in motivating you to apply for the Citi® / AAdvantage® credit card?

My answer:


At least I was honest. Ditto for why I canceled:


They also asked about my current primary card (Chase Sapphire Preferred) and why I like it. And if I would consider applying for either of the new AA cards now available. I’m not interested in the AA cards (mostly because I have less use for AA miles) but there was a follow-up question about what would actually get me to consider it. When I see a question like that I often think of it as discussing what they might be looking to offer. If nothing else, someone in the office thought of them as ideas for benefits associated with the CC. Here’s what’s on the list:

  • First and second checked bag free on domestic flights
  • No award booking fees
  • Triple miles on American Airlines purchases and double miles on dining
  • 50% in-flight internet discount
  • Triple miles on American Airlines purchases and double miles on hotel and car rental spend
  • Upgrade Priority
  • Two 500-mile upgrade certificates
  • 20% mileage bonus on international American Airlines flights
  • Two Admirals Club one-day passes at card renewal
  • No other benefits would motivate me

None of them are enough to move me but I could see some of them being sufficient to motivate others. It would also worry me if I were an elite at AA that other elites with the CC might get priority ahead of me.

The first few questions were entertaining to me. The last one, with the list of potential new benefits was intriguing. Which of them would motivate you to sign up for the card? At what price point?

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. No need to feel guilty. They wouldn’t put those answers on the survey if they didn’t expect someone to select them. 🙂

  2. That is hilarious!

    Bonus miles/points are the sole reason for my applying or keeping a card. Just signed up for the Jet Blue card just because I needed 10k true blue points…bought a hamburger today to activate the bonus and I will never use it again. 🙂

  3. i think you’re being too honest… seriously that cant be good for the guy in charge of these ‘marketing’ programs?

    1. I currently post my AA flights to the Alaska Airlines MileagePlan program. They have some fun reward options and I can put my Delta and American points there (along with a number of foreign carriers) so they get combined for the few flights I take on those each year.

  4. As an AA EXP, I do find it troubling that they mention upgrade priority.

    The $95 annual fee for the card starts to feel more like an annual upgrade tax when they start coupling it with elite status.

    I’d hate for the program to go the way of Delta where you have to maintain an ever increasing number of Delta cards in order to score an upgrade or an award ticket.

  5. Discount on in-flight Internet would be nice, I have to say. Good benefit for elites who already get all the other stuff anyway.

  6. I would consider an AA credit card regardless, as I like the airline and their FF program, but double miles on dining would basically seal the deal for me, as a big chunk of my spending is on dining.

  7. A waiver of award redeposit fees would definitely motivate me, but I see that’s not one of the options.

  8. If you look carefully, the Chase cards absolutely destroy the Citicards. I own the MP Club and Sapphire Preferred cards, and no AA card even comes close in mileage bonuses, insurance coverage, etc. and that’s coming from someone who flies AA primarily.

  9. Am curious to know if responses like yours will help them justify tougher restrictions on who gets the miles, like higher minimum spends etc

Comments are closed.