Comments: Getting The Orwellian Hazing of a Lifetime by Citibank and American Airlines Advantage Miles

Let's all fly to CitiBank's HQ!

Posted by Adam Kalsey at May 22, 2008 07:01 PM

You will be lucky if there is an American Airlines in a few weeks. Iceland would be nice.

Posted by charles at May 22, 2008 07:43 PM

Yes, I have this card, and yes, they are starting to decline in odd places. I don't have the other problem because I have autopay. (Though they still do the DAMN STUPID practice of just emailing me to say there is a bill, rather than emailing me some numbers from the bill.)

Anyway, what's happening is we're starting to pay the price as they realize what a grossly insecure system the credit card companies built. Used to be they took the heat for it (or rather, merchants did and thus customers did) but now they want customers to take more of the heat directly.

Really, just handling the money should not cost 2% of the world's economy for 15 days credit and some transaction costs -- unless you design a sucky system.

I'm thinking of moving away from miles cards. You get one mile per dollar. How much do you value miles? 1 cents or 2 cents? It's usually in that range. 25K miles will get you the sort of ticket that costs about $350 (you don't earn miles on the flight and you pay taxes etc.) Sometimes it gets you a much better ticket, but what's your average?

It's easy to get a card that gives you 1% cashback, so if you only value 25,000 miles at $250 or less, the 1% cashback card is a no-brainer.

In fact, there are cards that give you 2% to 3% cashback on certain types of purchases. And with no fee.

The math on the Citibank AA card is as follows. Say you spend $25,000 in a year on it.

That gives you one flight, from a dwindling supply of seats, or maybe 1.5 upgrades.

Subtract your $60 to $80 annual fee.

Subtract the taxes and short-notice booking fees you might pay on those flights.

Does that give you a number well above $250? If so, use the card. If not, toss it for a cashback card.

Posted by Brad Templeton at May 22, 2008 08:52 PM

omg that sad news...

iceland is too cold

Posted by eric at May 28, 2008 12:30 PM