I'm planning a trip with my family and would like to take advantage of the benefits on my wife's Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage® World Mastercard but purchase the tickets with another card.

The benefits we'd like to enjoy are first checked bag free, priority boarding, and bonus miles.

My question is: do we have to purchase the tickets with the card? Reading the fine print it looks like we'd only have to put her AAdvantage number on the reservation and have everyone on the same reservation. From the website:

For benefit to apply, the Citi® / AAdvantage® account must be open 7 days prior to air travel AND, reservation must include the primary cardmember's American Airlines AAdvantage® number 7 days prior to air travel. ... For the Citi® / AAdvantage® card, up to four customers traveling with the eligible primary cardmember will also get their first checked bag free of charge if they are listed in the same reservation.

It doesn't say anywhere that the ticket(s) must be purchased with the card.

  • It depends on the card and on the privilege. See also the similar question Will I receive Explorer card benefits if my employer pays for my flight?.
    – choster
    Oct 3, 2013 at 18:23
  • @choster and/or close voter: He has mentioned both the card and the privilege. Oct 3, 2013 at 18:40
  • 1
    Since the answer depends on the specific card you have, I think this question is rather narrow for this site. Surely it would be more effective to call your card issuer and ask? Oct 3, 2013 at 19:33
  • Have you tried American Airlines already?
    – Karlson
    Oct 3, 2013 at 20:01
  • Do you normally need to show the card at checkin for the benefits?
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 3, 2013 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


Called American and asked the question. Their answer:

"Tickets must be purchased with the card to get the benefits".

I posed this query to the group to get a survey of experiences. In our experience with American, we haven't used the card. In a friend's experience with Delta (he has a Delta AMEX), he can purchase a ticket with any card and get a checked bag free and priority boarding if he uses the Delta AMEX when he checks in at the airport.


It can be confusing because the card has a range of benefits. Some benefits, such as earning two AAdvantage miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, only occur when using the card to purchase the ticket. Other benefits, such as priority boarding and one checked bag free, occur just because you are a cardholder, regardless of how you paid for the ticket.

If you go to aa.com and log in, on the home page, left side center, under where it says Welcome Back you should see the message Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmember. This indicates that the system knows you have a Citi AAdvantage card and are entitled to the benefits.

You specifically asked about three benefits: first checked bag free, priority boarding, and bonus miles. The first two (one free checked bag and priority boarding) are yours just for being a cardmember, no matter how you paid for the ticket. The third, bonus miles, is only applicable when you purchase the ticket from American Airlines (or a travel agent who has the ticket issued by and your card charged by American) using the card.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .