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Citi Business AAdvantage card getting no foreign fees and a spending category change

by on Wed September 30, 2015 • No Comment
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American AAdvantage

Citi is rolling out no foreign transaction fees effective November 15, 2015 across its AAdvantage Platinum Select credit cards which carry a $95 annual fee.

aadvantagebusiness170It’s a long overdue change since the equivalent cards from Delta and United no longer have foreign transaction fees. And it’s made even more glaring by the fact that the AAdvantage Aviator Red cards from Barclaycard don’t levy them either.

But it’s coming at a price.

Consumer cardholders were notified earlier that they’re losing what we’re guessing is a little used $100 American Airlines credit when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Now, holders of the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select card are being notified of changes, and there is more happening:

  • The 5% mileage rebate on miles redeemed each year will be going away. That was already a watered down benefit as the non-business version of the card had (and will still have) a 10% rebate on miles redeemed.
  • 2x on office supplies will go away. But it’s being replaced with 2x on gas purchases, which given the big drop in gas prices recently is probably easier for Citi to justify than it was before.

citiaadvantage

The annual companion certificate that lets you fly a friend for $99 when you spend $30,000 or more on the card will remain.

Overall,  the foreign transaction fee benefit is probably worth the 5% rebate going away.

If you maxed that rebate out and got 5,000 miles back each year, you’d get about $50-$100 in value from those miles.

If you spend at least $2,000 a year in foreign purchases with the card, you’re probably coming out ahead by saving 3% on those purchases.

But if you really spend a lot on office supplies and your business doesn’t spend a lot on gas, the card just got less rewarding.gasstation

Citi doesn’t have alternatives for small business owners who want to earn AAdvantage miles. It’s literally this card or nothing. And in fact this is the only small business card Citi is currently offering at all.

Unlike Chase and American Express, Citi has long been more hesitant to enter the small business lending space in a big way, and we haven’t seen signs that’s changing.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
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Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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