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Attention AAdvantage cardholders! Wednesday, May 1 the 10% rebate on mile redemptions benefit will be dropped from the following cards:

  • Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard 
  • Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
  • Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard

The rebate is capped at 10,000 miles per calendar year, which would be the rebate for redeeming a total of 100,000 miles.

If you were planning to book an AAdvantage award soon and have one of the cards listed above, expedite the process and book by the end of the day tomorrow (April 30) so you can earn the rebate before you lose the opportunity on May 1.

For example, one of the best values on American Airlines’ award chart is 80,000 miles one way in Japan Airlines’ First Class between the US and Japan, which with the rebate is only 72,000 miles one way. For more ideas of where to funnel those miles, check out Six Ultra-Luxurious First Classes to Book with American Airlines Miles.

Japan Airlines’ First Class Suite

Are those cards still worth opening?

The first two cards listed above are still worth getting, at the very least for their large bonuses.

  • The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum card currently comes with 60,000 American Airlines miles for spending $3,000 within three months of account opening. The annual fee is waived for the first year.
  • The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red comes with 60,000 miles after just one purchase! The catch is that you must pay the annual fee of $95 for the first year.

The Aviator Silver card does not come with a sign-up bonus. It’s aimed at serious AA flyers looking for elite status shortcuts, so the loss of the 10% rebate isn’t a serious blow as that’s not what people tend to upgrade or open the card for.

And after a year?

After a year of holding a card–any card–you should perform a cost-benefit analysis (read this post for a step-by-step look at a cost-benefit analysis). In this case, you’d look at the annual value of benefits such as a free checked bag for yourself + companions, Preferred Boarding, in-flight discounts, etc. In a nutshell, the benefits will be valuable to frequent American Airlines’ flyers but not so much to non-loyalists.

And don’t forget to call Citi or Barclays for a retention bonus in the beginning of that cost-benefit analysis. You have clout around the time when your annual fee is due to be charged again (or was just recently charged), so use it. Bank representative will often offer incentives to keep your card open another year that make paying another annual fee worth it. Their offers should be considered in that cost-benefit analysis.