The American Airlines credit card is a credit card in the truest sense of the word.
It provides deferred interest on specific purchases for six months and has lower qualification thresholds than many competitors.
But there are rigid limitations on where the card can be used.
We also found it difficult to turn up much information about this card, despite it being issued from a major airline.
In many ways, the American Airlines credit card functions much like a store card rather than a true credit card, but we do love the Fly Now, Pay Later program.
About the American Airlines Credit Card
American Airlines is the world's largest airline company in terms of sleet size and revenue alone.
With its largest hubs situated in major cities like Dallas, Miami, and New York, American Airlines has an extensive domestic and international operation, totalling more than 6,700 flights per day to more than 350 destinations.
American Airlines was first founded in 1926 in Chicago and is one of the most popular options for frequent flyers, both business and leisure.
This is due in part to AAdvantage, the airline's frequent flyer program, and the host of benefits it bestows to members.
By its nature, the American Airlines credit card is targeted at those who frequently fly with the airline.
However, it offers benefits to anyone that uses it.
Its Fly Now payment plan is also one of the most beneficial plans we've ever seen for an airline credit card.
The American Airlines credit card is issued through Citibank.
The bank can be reached at
P.O. Box 6403
Sioux Falls, SD, 57117.
Alternatively, you can call them at 1-800-733-2654.
Rates and Fees
One of the most important parts of determining whether a credit card is right for you or not is based on the fees.
We've searched and discovered all the fees you need to know about the American Airlines credit card.
The American Airlines credit card has a high purchase APR of 26.99%.
While this rate may vary with the Prime Rate, it sits far higher than many more competitive cards.
On the other hand, this means the card is likely easier to qualify for—higher interest rates usually mean the card has lower credit score thresholds.
The American Airlines credit card carries no annual fee.
Foreign Transaction Fees
There are no foreign transaction fees for this card, but only because it cannot be used as a general-purchase card.
The places you can use the American Airlines credit card are limited to a few select areas; in some ways, it is like a store card.
On top of a 29.99% APR for cash advances, the American Airlines card charges $10 or 5% of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Your minimum interest charge will be no less than $2, but quite possibly higher.
In addition, you'll face a late payment fee of up to $37 and a returned payment fee of up to $37.
American Airlines Credit Card Limits
Your credit limit is not set in stone—those with higher incomes and higher credit scores will qualify for higher credit limits.
A host of factors go into determining what your exact limit will be, but if you are not satisfied with the limit you receive you can request it to be increased.
If you have been a cardholder for more than six months and have made on-time payments while maintaining a low usage ratio, you can contact American Airline's credit card customer service number and ask to have your limit increased.
This is particularly helpful with the Fly Now, Pay Later benefit—having a higher credit limit will allow you to purchase flights you might otherwise not be able to afford.
How to Apply
Applying for the American Airlines credit card is easy. You can apply online or via a mail-in form (find the printable version of this form here.)
The mail-in form requests your first and last name, middle initial, and desired suffix.
It also requests your home address, date of birth, social security number, primary and business phone number, residence status, monthly mortgage or rent payment, annual salary, other income, and your email address.
Once you have filled out this form, you then send it to:
American Airlines Credit Program
P.O. Box 6024
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-6024
The online form requests the same information, but rather than mailing it in, all you have to do is click "Submit Application."
It does require a computer with 128-bit security encrypted browser.
Of course, if you're reading this article and are using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer, you already have this.
The eligibility requirements of most credit cards are left intentionally vague, and the American Airlines credit card is no exception.
However, there are a few basic criteria you must meet.
You must be 18 years of age, you must authorize Citigroup to share your transactional information with its affiliates, and you must meet the credit qualification criteria.
The credit qualification criteria is "determined by the income you provided and a review of your debt, including the debt listed on your credit report."
This is taken from the Terms and Conditions of the American Airlines credit card.
Managing Your Online Account
Your American Airlines online account can be used to pay your credit card bill, view your current balance, modify your personal information, and much more.
At the time of writing this, American Airlines has announced improvements to the online experience, although they've been tight-lipped about what exactly those improvements might be.
Once you've been approved, you can expect to receive your credit card within five to seven business days.
If you didn't receive immediately approval (and you applied online), you'll receive a link that you can follow to check the status of your credit card application.
If you applied via a mail-in form, you can call the customer service department and request an update, although you may not be able to get one.
Credit card payments can be made online by linking your bank account to your credit card account.
In doing so, you can set up automatic payments or simply make one-time payments.
You can also send a check.
Your minimum payment is calculated by assessing any past due amount, any amounts specified in a promotional offer, and any other amounts required by American Airlines internal promotion calculation.
After that, the "Calculated New Balance" is the amount you pay if it is less than $27 or 1% of the Calculated New Balance plus any interest charges and applicable late fees, if any.
Late Payment Repercussions
If your payment is late, you'll face a late payment penalty of up to $37.
If your payment is late because it was returned, you'll see an additional charge of $37.
You'll also face potentially penalty APRs and interest charges.
When and How to Make Payments
You can pay your balance at any time.
However, the minimum payment is due at the start of each billing cycle.
As stated earlier, you can pay online or with a check.
Benefits of the American Airlines Credit Card
There are several benefits that come as a result of being an American Airlines credit card holder, including the Fly Now Payment Plan.
The Fly Now Payment Plan lets you pay no interest on purchases of $150 or more if they are paid in full within six months.
If you want need to fly somewhere soon but lack the funds to cover that purchase, this payment plan lets you pay it off over time without worrying about emptying your pockets.
In addition, the online approval process is usually instantaneous.
You'll also get low monthly payments, no annual fee, and no fee for additional cards for authorized users.
While there are no foreign transaction fees, this is because the card is limited to use only within the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Businesses crave consumer reviews.
Because they're the truest indicator of how a company performs.
You can take advantage of this by checking out what other users have to say about the American Airlines credit card.
That said, we had difficulty finding full reviews for this card.
"Well this card is easier to get approved for, even tho I was approved for the Gold AAdvantage a couple weeks prior. This card is technically a store card so they are normally easier to get."
"I have this card. I burned citi in bankruptcy so I was doubtful of ever getting a product from them. After being denied Home Depot I read someone on this forum burned them and got this card. I was approved after a verification call for $2500. After about a month of having this card I started getting pre approvals for shell gas cards and now Home Depot. So hopefully it is working towards getting me back in with citi."
The most common complaints we found relating to this card dealt with the interest rates.
They're much higher, especially if you fail to pay off a purchase in full within six months.
However, the reviews we found were so sparse that it was hard to get a real bead on what customers truly thought of the card.
These are the most frequently asked questions we found about this card.
How can I cancel my card?
Canceling your American Airlines card is as easy as calling card services and requesting your account be closed.
You will need to pay off any remaining balance, however.
What can I use my American Airlines credit card for?
This card is technically a "payment plan" card.
While it functions like a credit card, it lacks the full range of features a credit card might have.
That said, you can use it to make purchases at airport kiosks and ticket counters, in Admirals Clubs, Flagship Lounges, and the Arrivals Lounge, and on American Airline's website for flights and products.
Where and what stores can I use my American Airlines credit card?
You can use your American Airlines credit card in airports stores, on the American Airlines website, and in airport lounges.
How long does it take American Airlines to refund my credit card?
It usually takes around seven days for a refund to be processed.
How can I check my American Airlines credit card balance?
You can check your American Airlines credit card balance through your online account or by calling the customer service number on the back of the card.
Can I, if so, how do I withdraw money from American Airlines credit card?
You can withdraw money from ATMs across the country.
If you do not have a PIN established, you will need to do this before you attempt to withdraw money.
Can I get cash advance and are there any related fees?
A cash advance carries a higher interest rate than the purchase APR on top of a withdrawal fee of $10 or 5% of the cash advance.
Can I pay for my American Airlines credit card with a gift, a different credit card? Or PayPal?
No. You must pay your credit card off via a bank transfer or with a check.
Can I use my American Airlines credit card without the card?
You can use the card online to make purchases, but you will need the card when making in-person purchases.
How to add an authorized user to American Airlines credit card?
To add an authorized user to your American Airlines credit card, access your online account and find "Authorized Users" under management options.
Are there any upgrades on American Airlines credit card?
If you have been approved for this card, it might be possible to upgrade to an AAdvantage card.
However, there are no specifically listed upgrades for this card.
How soon can I use my American Airlines credit card once I receive it?
Once you receive your card and activate it, you can begin shopping right away.
How to contact American Airlines credit card services?
To reach American Airlines card services, just call 1-800-733-2654.
How to report stolen American Airlines credit card?
If your card is stolen, call card services immediately.
What credit score do I need to get approval for the card?
While no specific credit score is listed, this card is usually easier to qualify for than a higher-yield rewards card.
Because it functions similarly to a store card, you can be approved with a Fair credit score. Some users report approval with credit scores in the low-to-mid 600s.
What credit score do I have to maintain so my account is not closed?
You do not have to maintain a specific credit score. You just need to ensure your payments are made on time.
Will my credit score drop if my account gets closed?
Your credit score may drop because closing the account will increase your utilization ratio.
However, closing this account is not guaranteed to hurt your score.
Which credit bureaus does American Airlines credit card report to?
American Airlines can pull from any of the three major credit bureaus, but because the card is issued through Citi you can expect the company to report to Experian.
Can I build my credit with the American Airlines credit card?
Yes. Regular on-time payments and a low utilization ratio will help you build your credit score.
Is there an expiry date on the card?
Yes, there is an expiration date on the card.
Is there a credit insurance program and how will it cover me if I lose my job?
No. If you lose your job, you are still liable for any payments.
Can I have two credit cards from American Airlines at the same time?
Yes. Many cardholders have more than one American Airlines credit card.
Can I transfer money from my American Airlines credit card to another?
Yes. You can transfer money from one card to another via a balance transfer, but you may face fees for doing so.
You cannot, however, perform a balance transfer with this particular credit card.
Is it hard to get an American Airlines credit card?
Qualifying for airline cards is typically easier than qualifying for other kinds of credit cards, but it is still based on your income and a few other factors.
How long does it take to receive the card once I have been approved for it?
Once you have been approved for this card, you can expect it to arrive within five to seven business days.
How do I get more reward points?
The American Airlines credit card does not yield reward points; however, AAdvantage cards do.
What can you use American Airlines points for?
You can redeem American Airlines points for award flights, car rentals, hotel stays, and more.
Does American Airlines card cover rental car insurance?
Some American Airlines cards do cover rental insurance. This one does not.
How to report a stolen credit card?
If your card is stolen, contact card services as soon as possible.
Do I need a certain income to get the college card?
Yes. A certain income level and credit score is required to qualify for any credit card.
The American Airlines Credit Card -- Our Verdict
While this card has several perks going for it—the biggest being the Fly Now, Pay Later program—it just isn't that great of a card.
The lack of an annual fee is offset by the high interest rates.
When you consider there are no reward points and the strict limitations on where and how you can use this card, there are just better options out there.
Why apply for a card that can only be used in airports and on the American Airlines website when there are cards that can be used anywhere and earn you miles while doing it?
If you want an American Airlines co-branded card, consider picking up the Citi AAdvantage Executive or Platinum Select cards.
While these cards have higher credit score requirements, they yield miles and come with a host of other benefits.