We have reported a few times about the Citi American Airlines Platinum card loophole. This loophole utilizes the World Elite upgrade to allow for a quick churn of the card, and bonuses of 50,000-60,000 miles every couple months. Many of you have taken advantage of this multiple times and earned a ton of AA miles. Brooke and I have personally earned the bonus four times each!
Many data points have been popping up since February, speculating that the loophole has closed. With some help from our friends over at /r/churning, we put together a survey to collect data points. Follow along for our findings.
In our survey, we asked the following five questions:
- How many Citi AA Platinum cards have you personally applied for in the past 12 months?
- When was your last WE upgrade?
- When did you last apply for your AA card?
- How did you apply for your last AA card?
- Did you receive the bonus language or bonus tracker on your online account?
After a couple days, and 157 replies, we compiled the following data chart:
Take a second to digest the information above, and I’ll provide my analysis:
If You Applied Before February 2016, Success was a Virtual Guarantee
This isn’t necessarily a big finding, because speculation of the loophole closing began in February. People report 95% success before February vs. 71% success from February 1 onward. Ah, the glory days…
February was a Low Point for Success
The entire month of February only produced 68% success, regardless of application method. It was worst between Feb 12 – Mar 1, with only 44% percent of applicants getting the bonus language/tracker. We do see an uptick in March, with the success rate returning to the overall average around 80%.
Targeted Mailers are 100% (SO FAR)
If you are fortunate enough to get a targeted offer in the mail (usually for 60,000 points), DO IT! So far, people who applied using this method are 10 for 10!
“Other Cards You May be Interested In” via the Citi website had only 7 data points, but at 6-1, it seems like a good bet. Prequalified offers via Citi show 80% success on 20 attempts. All of the above options are better than the current 64% success on public links!
Public Links are Risky Now
Prior to February, public links were rocking a 95% success rate. Thereafter, the success dropped to 64%. These links went from a sure thing to a roll of the dice. Still, according to our data, you should get the bonus language two thirds of the time.
WE Upgrade Timing Seems Irrelevant
Across each time frame selected for WE upgrade timing, the success rate hovers around 80%. Application timing and method appear to be the biggest factors for success.
One Person Has Gotten Six of These Cards Already
Wow… unfortunately, round 6 did not earn the bonus for them 😦 Either way, respect.
Most people were ready to declare this loophole to be completely dead. After reading so many reports of people not getting the bonus language or tracker on their accounts, I was prepared to throw in the towel as well. The results from this survey are actually encouraging. While we aren’t operating with virtual certainty of success anymore, odds are still in our favor. As with all things in this points game we play, YMMV, and things change constantly.
We will be applying for our 5th round, and we will update with our results – spoiler alert 😦. If you decide to go for another round of applications on this card, please be sure to report your results in the comments below!