Why I Will Not Sign Up For the Citi AAdvantage Business Card

In the last few weeks, there have been tons of talk about quickly making an easy American Airlines AAdvantage miles from signing up for the Citi cards as well as the Barclay’s US Airways cards. I briefly considered one of the personal Citi cards, but recently downgraded the one I had following Kenny’s advice for a Dividend card while it is still available.

Business Cards That I Have:

  • Bank Of America Alaska Airlines
  • Chase Ink Bold
  • American Express Starwood Preferred Guest and Blue for Business

I will not add a fifth business card. I like to sign up for credit cards that I know I’ll have a future use because that is part of my strategy. I reevaluate that strategy constantly as part of my long range plans and even if they were there originally it can change as well.

Why I Will Not Sign Up:

The reason I will not sign up for a Citi Business credit card is because there is no downgrade option. The ability to product change into something else if the original card doesn’t work out is my compelling factor to consider signing up for a card.

I had the personal Alaska Airlines credit card and it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to so I took the advice found on Doctor of Credit to change my personal Alaska Airlines card. I really wanted a Better Balance Rewards card, but had to settle for a Travel Rewards. Because of the limited options, I don’t want to have a hard pull on my report that will last for two years for a card that I will benefit after the sign up bonus. Having card would be nice where the spend does not have an affect my credit utilization is definitely nice. But is the hard pull worth 53,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles? I’m sure it is for some people, but that’s not part of my strategy. I don’t manufacture spend on cards that earn at a 1x rate often and Citi imposes cash advances on nearly all of the best online methods. The American Express cards that I earn with 1x offer other advantages like points transfer ability, AMEX Sync offers, a 30% yearly dividend (Blue for business), and OPEN savings come to the top of my head.

6 comments… add one
  • Its funny, I just recently cancelled my old Citi AA Biz Plat card. I don’t really look too much at “downgrade” options so to speak, I probably should (I do plan to downgrade to the Citi Dividend) more often… I kind’ve feel like 50k isn’t a bad amount for a hard pull, of course, I usually stack that with a couple AS cards (another 50k) at a time. But, I definitely agree, 50k is kind’ve “meh” after the amazing 100k offers of last year.

  • Another true benefit that matters to me is that, for biz card, the statement balance and activities do not show on your personal credit card (given that the account does not go delinquent). This is a huge deal for MSers, as we always have large statement balance, that would affect the total utilization, which can swing down the FICO.

    • @Paul – that’s a good point. I have been finding myself using my biz cards primarily for MS, except for times when I want EQMs or have some other specific promotion either (1) unavailable to personal cards, or (2) available but limited (e.g. $1.5k quarterly bonuses for Freedom, Discover).

  • I personally haven’t noticed any issues with having lots of hard pull, so I’m curious why you want to avoid them so? I had around 16 at one point, and was never denied credit. I even got a mortgage when I had 13 hard pulls. Now my FICO score was still above 780, but the hard pulls didn’t seem to have a big effect. For mortgages, they seemed primarily concerned with the past 6 month activity.

  • 50K AA for a hard pull is something I’d gladly accept. That’s $750 value. And since it’s one of the few churnable AA cards, it should be a card people get.

    The rational for not signing up makes little sense. I’ve got 22 Experian pulls and don’t have problems. FICO hovers in the 740-800 range depending on which model is used.

    There are cards that are keepers and then there are churners. This is a churner…

  • @Paul – agreed about the business lines for MS, but I don’t think the Citi AA card fits my criteria for MS purposes

    @Scott & @p while hardpulls only stay for 24 months, I would rather not add unnecessary inquiries if it’s not for a product I don’t keep for the long term. We all have different strategies, I like opening a card and MS’ing my way through to the points. The sign up bonus to me is just a nice addition


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