Credit card bonus offers are a mixed bag. Often cards will have an offer being made available to the public, with different offers available to current users, and some offers freely available, but you just need to know where to look. Miles forums like ThePointsGuy and MillionMilesSecrets constantly update their site to include the, “best” offer, which often times provides different benefits or bonus miles than what the credit card is listing on their main website.
During a round of credit card applications I received the Platinum Select AAvantage World MasterCard from Citi Bank. During this round I was approved for a few different cards on which I’d need to meet spending limits, so I decided to choose cards that had moderate limits I knew I’d be able to meet for all of them together. The Citi AAdvantage card required $1,000 spent within the first 90 days with the reward of 30,000 American Airline miles. There’s a $95 fee with the card however it’s waived for the first year. So in theory this is 30,000 free American Airline miles, or approximately a free roundtrip domestic ticket. I took a screen shot of the offer below.
A few weeks later, after I’d received the card and begun spending on it, I encountered a web offer for the exact same card, but offering 50,000 bonus miles if I spent $3,000 within the first 90 days. So an increase in spending required for 20,000 more miles. On occasion some banks and credit cards will offer to match a new offer that comes out, if you agree to abide by the new terms, in my case the new $3,000 required spending. So I gave Citibank a call.
Long and the short, when I reached the final individual handling credit card services, I explained that I saw a different offer which I would have selected had I seen it. I explained that sometimes Banks will match offers and I knew Citibank is known for their great customer service. (I actually had no knowledge of this but it doesn’t hurt to grease the wheels with your customer service rep.) I asked if Citibank would match that offer and provide me the total of 50,000 miles, if I agreed to update my spending to the required $3,000.
I’ve heard stories from people trying this and being asked to fax in the offer or even mail it in. Not wanting to get into that, I explained that I was looking at the offer right on my screen and I provided the rep with the full web address where he could view it. He explained he was adding all these notes, submitting it for consideration and I’d hear back in the proverbial 24-48 hours. In total, between option select, hold times, a couple of explanations of what I wanted and transfers the call took about 30 minutes.
Two business days later I received an electronic message when I logged in to check my Citibank Advantage credit card balance. Success!
According to the letter they were simply giving me the extra 20,000 miles. There was no indication that I’d need to upgrade the card or be responsible for $3,000 in spending. I called the customer service number just to absolutely confirm and was told the same thing. Citi was willing to match the offer I saw and asked them to match. They were providing me with the 20,000 additional miles, however they were not requiring me to spend he extra money. Best case scenario all around.
Overall, it can never hurt to ask. Just by window shopping around for better offers, making sure I had documentation, (I saved the url and screen shotted the webpage) and by asking, I picked up an extra 20,000 miles from American Airlines completely for free.