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Limited Time Offer: Get 50,000 American Airline bonus miles when you open this Citi Checking Account. Here's what you need to know.

I described a couple of weeks ago about how I earned over 100,000 miles using the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard. If you’re looking to earn more points easily, take a look at the Citigold checking account promotion that’s going on between now and March 31st.

You’ll earn either 50,000 American Airline miles or 40,000 ThankYou Points for opening a checking account and meeting a few simple requirements, provided you have a current Citi AAdvantage or ThankYou credit card.  The Citigold account is the best value here, but you can earn smaller bonuses with their Citibank and Basic Banking checking accounts as well.  This promotion is available nationwide by using the promo code WD3QFS2Y4C for American Airlines or 4368UUP5L4 for ThankYou and applying here http://banking.citibank.com/cbol/DM_codeEntry.htm.

Related: The top 20 checking account bonus offers

What are the requirements?

Make sure to read the fine print, but there are only a few boxes you’ll need to check to earn your 50,000 miles:

  • Have a Citi AAdvantage credit card (can be any variant)
  • Set up a bill payment through Citi’s system for at least 2 consecutive months
  • Make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases

The ThankYou points nix the minimum purchase requirement, making it easier:

  • Have a Citi credit card like the Prestige, ThankYou Preferred, or ThankYou Premier
  • Set up a bill payment through Citi’s system for at least 2 consecutive months

Note that if you don’t feel like you can meet the $1,000 purchase requirement, you can earn smaller bonuses.  The Citibank bonus is 15,000 miles for a $375 spend, or 20,000 ThankYou points.  The Basic Banking bonus is 5,000 miles for a $125 spend, or 10,000 ThankYou points.

Applying for this checking account, like most others, will not cause a hard pull on your credit report.

Finally, a note on fees: the Citigold checking account has a $30/month fee.  This fee is waived for the first two months, but the bonus has been reported to take up to 3 months to post to accounts, so you’d have the checking account open for a full 5 months, accruing $90 in fees.  This is a small price to pay for this many miles, but it’s something to be aware of.

The fee can be waived if you maintain an average monthly balance of $50,000 in deposits and retirement accounts OR $100,000 in deposits, retirement accounts, investments, credit cards, and loans.  I’m guessing for many of you that’s not worth the time, effort or expense, so be prepared to pay for around three months in fees.

What if I don’t have a Citi card?

Apply for one!  If you don’t currently have the Citi AAdvantage card and think you’re eligible for one, you should certainly try to get it.  While the 50,000-mile bonus is no longer available (it was a limited time offer), you can earn 30,000 bonus miles and this checking account’s 50,000-mile bonus.  Keep in mind if you open the AAdvantage Platinum Select, you’ll need to be able to spend $3,000 on it within 90 days, and it carries a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

The Citi Prestige, ThankYou Preferred Card, and ThankYou Premier are attractive cards as well.  The ThankYou Premier is the most attractive of the bunch, and would get you an additional 40,000 ThankYou Points with the same terms as the AAdvantage Platinum Select.

Redeeming 50,000 American Airlines miles

Where can you go with 50,000 miles?  In my previous post, I outlined a number of different destinations that are easily doable in the 100,000 range.  50,000 miles could easily get you round-trip for two to destinations in the United States, Caribbean, and Mexico.  It would also make a huge dent on other more expensive flights, getting you round-trip for one to South America, Europe, and Asia.

Redeeming 40,000 ThankYou points

There are many ways to redeem ThankYou points, but the best way is to transfer to airline partners like US Airways or American Airlines.  Other excellent redemption options include transfers to Etihad to redeem on American Airlines, or to Singapore Krisflyer for Asian destinations.  I would avoid merely using the points to purchase a gift card or merchandise, as that’s generally going to result in the equivalent to a 1% cash back card.

Rinse and Repeat

Citi offers promotions like this regularly, so once you’ve closed your checking account, keep your eye out for new offers as they pop up!  I’ll do my best to keep an eye out for them and let you know.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 11
Derek Brameyer is the VP of Operations and previous Android lead at WillowTree, Inc., helping design and build Android, iOS, and web apps for some of the world's biggest companies. Derek is an avid Lego enthusiast, software engineer, and Taylor Swift fan.

Article comments

ed says:

Just tried the code for the AA miles offer/Citi Gold and it no longer works.

jeff says:

I signed up for the offer code: WD3QFS2Y4C for American Airlines.
Code was accepted, signed up and received the Promotion Disclosure as part of the checking CitiGold account application. Completed all requirements of the offer in March and April. One payment per month using bill pay and $1000 in purchases. E-mailed to ask they when my miles would be credited and the reply says the offer was “targeted” and I was not “targeted” so the offer is not valid. Searching the net, in some of their offers, the’ Terms and Conditions do state they are targeted offers, however, this offer does not include the word “targeted” in the T&C. It states, “This offer is available to Citi/AAdvantage credit cardmembers who receive this communication.” I received it. Nice of them to include it so I did. I am a credit cardmember. I have replied to their message with these facts and I am waiting for a reply. This seems to fall under the FIDC Regulation DD. Tomorrow, after receiving the follow-up reply, I’ll file a complaint with the Feds. Small claims court would be a thought, but I don’t know if this would qualify. The miles have value, but that is subjective. Others have also run into this issue. Some did have the word targeted in their documents and some are in my boat, not there. A read the whole promotion document and the word is not anywhere to be found. Leave it to Citibank to accept a promotion code, send the disclosure as part of the account application, let me complete the offer, then disallow it months later. Their website would validate the “code” as a targeted code not matched to “me” if it were assigned to another. US Airways site validated each offer when you entered your login details before it displayed the code’s details. I have heard of users receiving the message “not eligible for this offer.” Seems Citi needs to learn this practice if their offer is targeted. I will fight their actions even if it is to just make the point. Thanks for providing this offer, but now you know they are not paying off. Now we know why they almost went under in 2008, they still play shady.

Lauren says:

Jeff, I am in your situation. I didn’t recall seeing “targeted” in the offer and used the same code you did. Did your terms and conditions state one bill pay each month but not that all conditions had to be completed in 60 days? Did you eventually get the points?