25% Off In-Flight Food & Drinks With Your Citi AAdvantage Card

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This might be old news to those used to flying American Airlines or who read through the benefits of their credit cards more carefully than I do, but I was pleasantly surprised when perusing the onboard food for purchase menu to see you can get a 25% statement credit for all snacks and drinks purchased with a Citi AAdvantage credit card!

That’s real savings! I’ve found myself in the last year splurging more and more on buying food on long flights when my upgrades don’t clear. I don’t always have the luxury of packing an affordable picnic, and when I looked into buying food at the airport, I found the salads were running the same $9.49 that they were on board, so no savings and I had to lug them around. Now it’s different when the airport offers good food like Dickey’s BBQ, but those options have been far and few between for me.

Dickey's BBQ sweet tea

So ignoring the amazing benefit American Airlines offers their Executive Platinums of a free snack and drink, here’s a rough breakdown of what the savings means for someone like me.  Using my United record for upgrades, I’m going to be sitting in coach about 12 medium to long haul round trips, or 24 legs. For each leg, assume I buy a sandwich for $10 and wine for $7, roughly  $17 a leg = $408 (not that I would actually want to spend that) . For my flights on American and paid with the Citi card, it would be $306 after the statement credit, a $102 savings.

I’ve been hanging on to my card because the 10,000 mile rebate for redeeming 100,000 miles was worth $95. But with a potential $102 savings, or at least some subset of that, there’s no question it’s worth keeping. Especially since they’ve gotten much stricter about churning this card ;-).

It doesn’t look like there’s any particularly good sign up bonuses right now though, so if you can’t find anything more than 30,000 miles and you’re not desperate to get the card, wait.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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