Consumer Payment Card News

Citibank AAdvantage Anniversary

The nations largest co-branded airline-bank card program, the Citibank AAdvantage Card, celebrates its tenth anniversary today. To celebrate the anniversary Citibank and American Airlines announced this morning a six-month sweepstakes, beginning July 1, that will giveaway 10 million miles to cardmembers via monthly prizes and a grand prize of a first-class trip to Europe. The AAdvantage program is also the nations first frequent flyer program with more than 29 million members. Although Citibank nor American Airlines will release details on the co-branded portfolio it is estimated the program has approximately 2.5 million accounts making it also the largest co-branded airline-bank card program in the U.S. followed the First Chicago-United Airlines Mileage Plus program.


Ten years ago, Citibank and American Airlines teamed up to introduce the Citibank AAdvantage Card. Today it’s the most popular frequent flyer credit card in the world; several million cardmembers have amassed billions of miles since the card’s introduction in 1987.

To show appreciation for cardmember loyalty and to commemorate this anniversary, Citibank and American today announced plans to give away 10 million miles to cardmembers, along with a first-class week-long trip for two to Europe, through a six-month long sweepstakes. Scheduled to run from July 1 through December 31, the giveaway will have nearly 1,000 winners by the end of the year.

The sweepstakes will feature monthly prizes and a grand prize award at the end of the year. Every month for six months, 150 winners will receive 10,000 miles each. The single Grand Prize winner drawn in February, 1998, will fly with a companion first-class to Europe on American Airlines, and receive world class hotel accommodations with Radisson Hotels Worldwide(R), a seven-day Avis(R) car rental, and a $10,000 credit to his or her Citibank AAdvantage Card. Ten first prize winners will each receive a 100,000 mile credit to their AAdvantage accounts, and 50 second-prize winners will each receive an MCI/AAdvantage(R) Prepaid Calling Card valued at $50.

Cardmembers can win simply by using their cards: every time they make a purchase with their Citibank AAdvantage card they will automatically receive one entry into a monthly drawing, as well as one entry into the grand prize drawing. This means that cardmembers can enter as many times as they wish, and may be able to win more than once during the length of the sweepstakes. Citibank will begin notifying cardholders about the contest in June statement inserts.

“When we launched the Citibank AAdvantage card in 1987, we knew we had a great product. This has been proven by the level of enthusiasm and card loyalty that has grown among our cardholders over the years,” noted Kevin Kessinger, General Manager of Citibank’s Citibank AAdvantage Card unit. “Our concept popularized the category of co-branded airline rewards cards, and our long-term commitment to providing customers with what they want in a credit card has enabled the Citibank AAdvantage Card to remain the premier offering in its field.”

Mike Gunn, Senior Vice President for Marketing at American Airlines, noted, “The introduction of the Citibank AAdvantage Card ten years ago added a whole new dimension to airline frequent flyer programs. Not only was the Citibank AAdvantage card one of the first such airline cards, but it remains the most innovative and attractive in the industry, enabling cardmembers to accumulate miles as they go about their everyday activities. We look forward to continued growth in the years ahead.”

The AAdvantage program, the first frequent flyer program in the industry, was started in 1981 by American Airlines and currently has over 29 million members. Citibank is the largest issuer of Visa and MasterCard, with 37 million cards in circulation.

Citibank AAdvantage cardmembers earn one AAdvantage mile for every dollar spent on the card, up to 60,000 miles per calendar year. American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum(R) and AAdvantage Gold(R) members are excluded from this limit. To apply, call 1-800-FLY-4444. New cardmembers receive 3,000 bonus AAdvantage miles (certain restrictions apply).

Leave A Reply