NEW YORK -- In a tactic reminiscent of a prominent long-distance telephone promotion, Citicorp is offering frequent-flier miles to people who get their friends to take a Citibank credit card.

A referral can earn up to 10,000 mileage points for the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

A bank spokeswoman said the offer was mailed to about 25% of current AAdvantage cardholders. An estimated 1.5 million American Airlines-Citibank affinity cards were in circulation early this year.

Like MCI Promotion

The offer is similar to MCI Communications Corp.'s "Friends and Family" promotion, in which lower rates were dangled to encourage new business.

In the Citicorp promotion, the friend must apply and be approved for the original cardholder to get 2,500 miles. If four friends join, the original cardholder earns the maximum 10,000 points -- about half what is needed to earn a free domestic round trip.

As an added incentive, the friends will get a free companion ticket to anywhere in the United States when they receive their card. Nov. 15 is the deadline for new applications.

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