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American Airlines credit cards are an excellent option for frequent flyers who want to earn miles and other rewards.
However, before applying for these credit cards, it's essential to understand the credit score requirements. Your credit score plays a critical role in determining whether you get approved for American Airlines credit cards, the credit limit you receive, and the interest rate you pay.
In this article, we will explore the credit score requirements for American Airlines credit cards and provide tips to improve your chances of approval.
What Cards Do American Airlines Offer?
1X – 2X 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar on grocery stores and eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
10,000 miles 10,000 miles and $50 statement credit if you spend $500 in first 3 months
1X – 2X 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
50,000 Miles 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
$99 Waived for the first 12 months
Up to 2x miles 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
50,000 miles 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
1X – 2X 2X miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on all other purchases
50,000 miles 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days
- American Airlines AAdvantage® Mile Up®: This card is a good fit for a specific group of people: infrequent American Airlines fliers who are looking for a credit card with no annual fee and moderate rewards, and who do not carry a balance. However, frequent international travelers may be deterred by the 3% foreign transaction fee and lack of perks. That being said, the card does offer 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights when the card is used.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: If you're a frequent flyer with American Airlines, this credit card offers a range of benefits and a generous welcome bonus. Plus, the card also comes with several additional perks, such as no foreign transaction fees, free first checked bag for you and up to four companions on the same reservation for domestic American Airlines itineraries, and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: For American Airlines frequent fliers who plan to use the complimentary Admirals Club lounge access, this benefit alone can easily justify the annual fee. In addition to lounge access, the card also offers several other perks, such as VIP check-in, priority boarding, concierge service, and free checked bags.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®: The welcome bonus and intro companion certificate can make for impressive rewards in the first year. The card also offers up to $25 in statement credits for inflight Wi-Fi purchases every anniversary year on American Airlines operated flights, as well as 25% inflight savings as statement credits on food and beverage purchases made with the card on American Airlines operated flights.
What Score is Required To Get Approved For AA Cards?
The credit score required to get approved for American Airlines credit cards can vary depending on the specific card and the Citi or Barclays policies. Generally, American Airlines credit cards require a good to excellent credit score, which typically means a score of 670 or higher.
However, some premium cards with more significant rewards and benefits may require a higher score, sometimes in the excellent credit score range of 720 or above.
It's important to note that credit score is just one of the factors that issuers consider when evaluating credit card applications. They also look at factors such as income, debt-to-income ratio, credit history, and recent credit inquiries.
If you have a lower credit score, you may still be able to get approved for an American Airlines credit card if you have a good income and a solid credit history with on-time payments and responsible credit utilization.
The American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp is considered a low-tier card, and you'll be able to get approved for the Gold card even if you have less than a 660 credit score.
Here are some examples of applicants who got approved in this range:
- With a 682 Experian credit score, this person received a pre-approved letter in the mail for an American Airlines credit card. He was auto-approved for a credit limit of $4.4k, making it his first travel rewards card and their second Citi card.
- The person who applied for the Citi AAdvantage card decided to try for it after receiving an invitation to apply and was instantly approved for a credit limit of $5,999. Their credit score on Experian was 718, while it was 669 on Equifax and 600 on TransUnion. Citi pulled their credit report from Experian.
- This guy also received a pre-selected mailer for the Delta card. and were approved for an $8,200 credit limit. Their credit score on Equifax Fico 8 was around 740.
This card is a mid-tier card, and Citi requires good credit to get approved. While they are some cases when you can get it below 680 scores, it may be difficult.
Here are some examples of previous users who got approval for this card:
- The person in this forum comment received an email from American Airlines inviting them to apply for the AAdvantage Platinum card. Their credit scores are 687 on Experian, 697 on TransUnion, and 691 on Equifax. They have no baddies on their credit report, but they have had five inquiries in the past six months and a high utilization rate of 40%, which they attribute to unexpected expenses after buying a new home.
- The person who applied for the American Airlines credit card already had the generic AA credit card. They decided to apply for the card to take advantage of the 50k miles deal and were surprised to be approved for a $4k credit limit. Their income was $135k per year, and their utilization rate was 41%, which they were paying off as they had reduced it from 65% five months ago. The person lives in Arizona, and their credit score was 655 on Experian and 650 on Equifax (due to a double pull).
This card is the high-tier card regarding the benefits and perks you can get with an American Airlines card and it is considered one of the best cards Citi offers. Consequently, the minimum score to get it is the highest – about 700 credit score is necessary to get approved.
Here are some examples of users who got approved for this card:
- The person who applied for the Citi AAdvantage Executive card had been trying for a while to get approved with Citi and was finally approved with a credit limit of $21,600. Citi pulled their credit report from Equifax, and their credit score was 712 with a utilization rate under 10%.
- The person who applied for the Executive World Elite Mastercard had been eyeing the card for a while as they frequently fly with American Airlines. Citi pulled their credit report from Experian and their FICO 8 score should have reported as 830. The person was an existing CITI client with a Costco card with a $42,000 credit limit and earlier CITI cards that have since been closed. They were approved for a credit limit of $30,500.
This is another basic card, but the issuer, in this case, is Barclays bank and not Citi. The requirements are not so high, but applicants still need to have at least a 660 credit score to qualify.
Here are some examples:
- This person has applied for the American Airlines Advantage Aviator Red World Elite Card was initially nervous due to having a credit score of only 670 on TransUnion and a utilization rate of 41%. After submitting their application, they received a 7-10 day message but decided to call the Barclays backdoor number to follow up. They discovered that they had typed their last name incorrectly but were still approved for a credit limit of $4k.
- The person who applied here was approved instantly for a credit limit of $3,500. Barclays pulled their credit report from TransUnion, and their credit score was 696. They had opened two new accounts in the past year and had four inquiries on their credit report.
Are There Additional Requirements?
Yes, in addition to meeting the credit score requirements, there are other eligibility criteria that you must fulfill to apply for American Airlines credit cards. These criteria vary depending on the specific card you're interested in, but here are some general requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age (19 in some states)
- You must have a valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- You must have a verifiable physical US address
- You must meet the income requirements for the card you're applying for
To apply for an American Airlines credit card, you'll need to provide some personal and financial information. Here are the typical documents and information that you'll need:
- Your full name and contact information
- Your Social Security number or ITIN
- Your annual income and employment information
- Your housing status (own or rent)
- Your monthly housing payment
- Your monthly spending on credit cards
- Your balance transfer information, if applicable
- Your previous credit card history
What Else To Do Improve Eligibility For AA Card?
Improving your eligibility for an American Airlines credit card starts with understanding the factors that issuers consider when evaluating your application. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of approval:
Reduce your debt-to-income ratio: both Citi and Barclays also look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is the amount of debt you have relative to your income. If your ratio is too high, it can signal to issuers that you may have difficulty making payments. Try to pay down your debts or increase your income to lower your ratio.
Build a solid credit history: A long credit history with a record of on-time payments can improve your creditworthiness. If you're new to credit or have a limited credit history, consider applying for a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on someone else's credit card to establish a positive credit history.
Maintain a stable income and job: Having a steady income and job can demonstrate to issuers that you're financially responsible and can make payments on time. Try to maintain a stable job and avoid switching jobs frequently before applying.
Avoid applying for multiple credit cards at once: Applying for multiple credit cards at once can negatively impact your credit score and signal to issuers that you're a high-risk borrower. Space out your credit card applications and only apply for cards that you're likely to get approved for based on your creditworthiness.