Can You Have 2 American Airlines Credit Cards?

by Ann deBruyn

Unlike most airlines, American Airlines offers credit cards through two different card issuers: Citi and Barclays. This dual partnership opens up even more opportunities for travelers to accumulate AAdvantage miles . Combined, these two card issuers currently offer six different American Airlines co-branded credit cards — four consumer cards and two small-businesses cards.

All of these options may leave you wondering whether you can have two (or more) American Airlines credit cards. Let's take a look at the bank policies and sign-up bonus restrictions limiting how many American Airlines credit cards you can get.

American Airlines credit cards currently available

While there are six American Airlines credit cards currently available to new cardholders through Citi and Barclays, these aren't all of the AAdvantage credit cards in circulation. Both Barclays and Citi continue to service American cards that aren't currently available to new cardholders — such as the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® and the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® .

Here's an overview of the cards currently available to new cardholders:

Citi American Airlines credit cards

  • American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card : Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. $0 annual fee.

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® : Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening . Plus, get a first checked bag free on domestic American flights and preferred boarding on all American flights. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $99 .

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® : Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, enjoy an Admirals Club membership, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, first checked bag free on domestic American flights and priority boarding on all American flights. $450 annual fee.

  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® : Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. Plus, get a first checked bag free on domestic American flights and preferred boarding on all American flights. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $99 .

Barclays American Airlines credit cards

  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® : Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days. $99 annual fee.

  • Barclaycard Arrival™ World Mastercard® : Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit . $0 .

Both of these Barclay AAdvantage credit cards include the following perks:

  • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights.

  • Preferred boarding on all American Airlines flights.

  • The opportunity to earn a Companion Certificate through spending on eligible purchases.

  • 25% in-flight savings.

Understanding the Citi American Airlines credit card rules

Technically, you could apply for and have all four Citi American Airlines credit cards. However, Citi places restrictions on how often you can earn a sign-up bonus and limits how many credit cards you can sign-up for in a set period of time.

Restrictions on sign-up bonuses

Each of the four Citi AAdvantage credit cards currently available include similar sign-up bonus restriction language. Here's how the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® offer availability text reads:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months.

This means you can't get a new sign-up bonus on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® if you earned a bonus on this particular card in the past four years. That's the same with each of the four cards. Citi only considers whether you've earned a bonus on that particular card and doesn't factor in other Citi AAdvantage cards you may or may not have held.

When calculating if you're eligible, keep in mind that your eligibility date is based on when you earned the bonus — not when you signed up for the card. Unfortunately, American Airlines only shows AAdvantage account history for the past two years. So, you won't be able to see exactly when you earned a sign-up bonus if you earned it more than two years ago.

Citi restrictions on card applications

In addition to card-specific sign-up bonus restrictions, Citi restricts how many cards you can be approved for in a short period of time. These unwritten rules aren't published by Citi. Instead, these rules have been compiled by those falling afoul of the rules.

First, Citi will typically deny your application for a new credit card if you've applied for a Citi credit card in the past eight days. In addition, you're likely to be denied if you submit more than two applications in a 60-day period. And, if you've applied for a CitiBusiness card recently, you'll want to wait at least 90 days before applying for another CitiBusiness card. To be on the safe side, it’s a best practice to wait for a few more days than required.

Understanding the Barclays American Airlines credit card rules

While the restrictions on getting Citi American Airlines credit cards are generally understood, that's not the case for Barclays cards . Like Citi, Barclays can restrict which potential cardholders are eligible to earn a sign-up bonus. However, the restrictions aren't as clear.

For example, the sign-up bonus restriction on the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® reads:

You may not be eligible for this offer if you currently have or previously had an account with us in this program.

Barclays goes on to say that cardholders may not be eligible for a sign-up bonus offer if they "suspect that the account is being obtained or will be used for abusive or gaming activity." Both of these restrictions seem to be designed to allow Barclays to crackdown on cardholders who aren't acting in good faith.

In addition, Barclays may choose to apply several unwritten rules to card applications. These can include denying a new cardholder for trying to open a new account for a card that they closed less than six months ago or applying for more than one Barclays card in a six-month period. These rules are not set in stone, though, so this will depend on individual situations.

How many American Airlines credit cards can I have?

If you have a small business , you can technically get all six American Airlines credit cards currently available to new cardholders. However, if you're starting from scratch, you'll need to be careful to meet all of the restrictions that Citi and Barclays place on credit card applications.

You'll also want to consider whether it's worth paying the annual fee on more than one American Airlines credit card. Many cards have overlapping spending bonus categories and travel benefits. So, there are diminishing returns on getting more than one card.

However, if you're focusing on earning American Airlines miles, it could be worth pairing a few AAdvantage credit cards to maximize your earnings. One strategy may include:

  • American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card for 2x earnings at grocery stores with a $0 annual fee.

  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® for up to $25 in statement credits for Wi-Fi purchases, preferred boarding, a first checked bag free and the ability to earn an Anniversary Companion Certificate, all with a $99 annual fee.

  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® for 2x earnings on cable and satellite providers, gas stations, and telecommunications merchants; 25% savings on in-flight Wi-Fi; and the ability to spend toward a Companion Certificate, all for an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99 .

If you're considering getting another American Airlines credit card

Make sure to read the offer details carefully. If you've previously held the same card, you may not be eligible to earn a sign-up bonus on that card again. For Citi cards, you'll need to wait at least four years from the date you last earned the sign-up bonus on that card. Meanwhile, Barclays may not approve you for a sign-up bonus if you've ever had the card before.

You may also have trouble signing up for a card if you've recently applied for a card from the same bank. Best practice suggests that you wait at least eight days between two Citi applications and six months between opening two Barclays cards.

The information related to CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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