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American Airlines is devaluing its award chart on March 22, 2016. American Airlines miles are worth more now than they will be then (or at any other point in the future.) Now is the time to get the American Airlines personal and business credit cards to use them for travel in 2016 or 2017 on the current award chart.

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

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Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement in the next three months to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles, more than enough miles for four international roundtrips.

  • Why are the miles worth more now than they ever will be again?
  • Why does that mean you should get the cards now?
  • How can you lock in travel for 2017 by getting the cards now?

Value of Miles over Time

For a while, the pattern has been that an award program promulgates a chart of award prices, leaves it untouched for a few years, and then puts out a new chart which requires more miles for the same awards.

That means that every few years, the value of your miles drops.

United and Delta miles dropped in value in 2014. American Airlines miles drop in value on March 22. They’ll probably all drop in value again in the next few years.

Getting the American Airlines Cards Now Beats the Drop

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

If you got the cards now, the minimum spending requirement would need to be met by early-to-mid March. Usually your bonus miles post at the same time as the statement closes on which you meet the minimum spending requirement.

That gets the miles into your account before their big drop in value.

It means you can book Cathay Pacific First Class to East Asia for the current price of 67,500 miles instead of the future price of 110,000 miles.

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Booking Travel for 2016 and 2017

You can book American Airlines awards up to 331 days in advance of travel. You can book awards at their current award prices until March 21, 2016.

That means you can lock in the current prices for travel through February 16, 2017.

In fact, I gave the whole process to beat the American Airlines DevAAluation starting today with zero miles to travel in style in 2016 or 2017.

Bottom Line

Because we are 3.5 months away from the American Airlines award chart devaluation, and its credit cards have a three month period to meet their minimum spending requirements, now is the time to get the cards.

Have in mind whether you want to use them for super-cheap international travel or ultra-luxury First Class, so that you can book your award in March 2016 for travel through February 2017. Also check out my region-specific guides for redeeming American Airlines miles:

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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