Alias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3630 times:
AA is not selling their credit card program, because it isn't theirs to sell. Citigroup owns the credit card program and issues the cards. Citigroup offers AA frequent flier miles as a reward for the cardholders, and purchases miles from AA in advance to give to the cardholders. When that happens, the cash from the sale shows up on the asset side of the balance sheet and the unused miles show up on the liability side.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
PlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 568 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3618 times:
AMR is basically selling unearned miles in advance and presumably at a discount to Citi (they will attach them to their AAdvantage credit card products). Once sold, AMR now has a liability on it's books to cover the promises those miles entail. So essentially, the cash balance will go up by 1.0 billion and so will the liabilities for providing the benefits of those miles infer.
Citi is motivated to do it to help AMR since I would imagine that those credit cards are very profitable and have decent credit histories. This is the same thing that Chase did for UAL when UAL needed funding (don't remember if it was during the UAL bankruptcy or not).
The other advantage is that surely a bunch of miles will expire unused so that portion will essentially be forgiven.