Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
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The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is the middle tier of three consumer credit cards offered in partnership between Citi and American Airlines. It offers modest travel perks, a nice sign-up bonus and fairly standard everyday rewards.
Road warriors may seek the more robust rewards program offered by the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, while someone who flies less frequently may enjoy the reduced annual fee available from the Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite Mastercard.
If you fall somewhere in the middle, read on.
If you’re able to do most of your flying on American Airlines, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard should be in your wallet for its awards and perks. Frequent fliers and those who aspire to be can get great deals with reduced mileage fares and double rewards on paid flights. But if you value travel flexibility over free checked luggage, get a card that gives you rewards to use any way you’d like.
You’ll earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. That’s the same rewards level as you’ll earn with the premium Executive World Elite card, but for a fraction of the annual fee.
Extra goodies include one free checked bag with every flight, priority boarding, and all the Citibank card benefits like price and travel protections and presale access to live events. There’s also a nice 10% rebate of redeemed miles, up to 10,000 miles a year that can help you hang onto more of your earnings.
Citi recently doubled its sign-up bonus, which makes this card far more attractive. For a limited time, new cardholders can earn 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
The smaller annual fee ($95, waived for the first 12 months) in comparison to the Executive World Elite card ($450) means you’ll sacrifice perks like an Admirals Club membership, Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement and priority check-in, airport screening and boarding.
Who should get this card
If you’re an American Airlines enthusiast, but don’t fly constantly for work or play, this happy-medium card should suit you well. For those who regularly fly this airline, the card offers some valuable perks and redemption options including double rewards on AA flights and reduced mileage awards throughout the year. The sign-up bonus is worth enough to get you a free round-trip domestic ticket to many locations.
Fees and APR
- There’s a variable APR of 16.99% to 24.99%.
- There’s an annual fee of $95, waived the first year.
- There are no transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S.
- The balance transfer fee is 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
- There’s a penalty APR of up to 29.99% that may apply if you make a late payment.
Extras, perks and using points
The first checked bag is free on domestic flights for you and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation. With this card you also get preferred boarding on domestic flights and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases.
The card comes with cool Citi perks like the price protection feature and presale access to live events like concerts or sporting events.
To redeem miles, go to the American Airlines website, log into your AAdvantage account and book your travel. Citi AAdvantage cardholders also are eligible to redeem their accrued miles for reduced mileage awards when available. These mile-saver flights can only be booked by phone. You can also redeem your miles on the site for gift cards, magazine and newspaper subscriptions or donate them to charity.
How this card compares
The Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite Mastercard has a lower annual fee and a smaller sign-up bonus. But it also carries an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers, which the Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard does not. After that, the APR is 16.99% to 24.99% based on your creditworthiness. The biggest trade-off with this card? It pays a flat 1 mile per $1 spent on all purchases, and not the 2-for-1 of the Platinum Select.
You won’t get a free checked bag either, so if you usually travel with a big suitcase, it’s probably worth it to pay the extra $45 to own the Platinum Select.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard will likely appeal to those who want the most flexible redemption options for their miles. You can use your earnings to book travel, get a statement credit for travel purchases, or for gift cards and select merchandise. This may be of greater value to you depending on your spending habits.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s unlimited 2X miles per $1 spent on all purchases makes it less cumbersome to track than cards with different bonus categories. Depending on your spending habits this could work out better or worse for you in terms of mileage earning potential. One of the best attributes of this card is you can book your travel any way you like, on any site, and then redeem your miles as a statement credit towards that purchase. This makes it a more flexible choice than other cards that require you to use their travel portals for maximum value.
For $99 a year, the JetBlue Plus Card pays 6X points on all JetBlue purchases and the same 2X points on restaurants and groceries and one percent on all other spending. If you spend more than $1,650 a year on JetBlue flights, you’ll earn back the $99 annual fee and get some additional perks like a $100 statement credit when booking a JetBlue vacation package and a 30,000 point sign-up bonus. Unlike many other travel credit cards, the JetBlue Plus card doesn’t come with any travel or auto protections so you’d have to take that into consideration.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.