CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

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A decent choice for business owners who travel frequently.

Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertising partners.

The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard is the only business travel rewards card offered by Citi and American Airlines. For the devoted American Airlines flier, this is a card worth considering — especially since you can test drive it for a year without paying the $95 annual fee.

Its benefits are comparable to The Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. The two main differences are that this card allows you to earn 2 miles per dollar spent in more categories and you also have an opportunity to earn an American Airlines companion certificate, which not even the airline’s premier card, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, offers.

We judge this card more harshly than the consumer version card, though, because some of the best business credit cards charge no annual fee and offer equal or better rewards.

Review

Unless you fly American Airlines the majority of the time, then this card might feel a little restrictive. Its most attractive benefits are centered on the airline. The perks are standard, but are certainly worth the annual fee — which is waived the first year, if you take advantage of them.

For instance, cardholders and up to four travel companions will get one free checked bag each, which is a potential savings of $100 or more per flight. American Airlines charges $25 for the first bag, the second checked bag is $35, and all additional bags after that are $150. For large groups, this could end up saving you hundreds of dollars.

You’ll also get 25% off in-flight purchases as well as priority boarding. Finally, if you spend $30,000 within one year, look out for a companion certificate that will allow a second person to take a round-trip flight for $120.60 to $142.20, including  taxes and fees. Combine this with the sign-up bonus, and you might stand to earn a decent bundle in the first year.

If you were hoping for a pampered airport experience, you might want to check out the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, which comes with luxury perks like the Admirals Club Membership or VIP airport experience. Of course, you will also have to pay the luxury annual fee on that one which is $450.

Lastly, you can earn double miles on certain business-related categories, including telecommunications, car rental merchants and gas stations, as well as purchases made through American Airlines. All other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar.

Who should get this card

Business owners who use American Airlines regularly will certainly get value out of this card, especially if you tend to check bags and make purchases on the plane. Since the annual fee is waived for the first year, frequent fliers should try it out. You have to have good credit to get this card, so be sure to check your credit score before you apply.

You’ll also get a 60,000-mile bonus after spending $3,000 within the first three months.

Advantages
  • Earn a companion travel certificate if you spend $30,000 within one year.
  • Sign-up bonus could be enough for a round-trip domestic flight, or two round-trip reduced mileage award flights.
  • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Disadvantages
  • There’s no introductory offer on purchases or balance transfers.
  • You can’t redeem miles for cash back or a statement credit.
  • AAdvantage miles cannot be transferred to other allied partners like with some other airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Fees and APR

  • There’s a variable APR of 16.74% to 24.74%.
  • You’ll pay 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.
  • The penalty APR of up to 29.99% 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

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back. Get cash back on business purchases, even those above your credit limit.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply
Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

13.24% - 20.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 9 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is among the very best business rewards credit cards on the market. In just about every respect — from rewards to the annual fee — this card stands tall among the elite business cards on the market.

The only reasons to shy away from this card would be if your work requires significant overseas travel or if your biggest expenses don’t match up with the bigger cash-back savings categories.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our business category page.

Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles that your Account is open. After that, 14.24% to 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate..

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee.

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles that your Account is open. After that, 14.24% to 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

If you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what your spending patterns will be, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is like a small rectangular mentor. The no-fee card will reward you for spending in the areas you’ll most likely need to get your business off the ground and gives you a full year break on interest for purchases and balance transfers. Who couldn’t use a little breathing room when launching a new venture?

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
  • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

17.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card pays an unlimited 2% cash back on all spending and waives the first year fee. If you find it cumbersome to track which categories you’re spending or your expenditures exceed the bonus category caps set by some cash-back business credit cards, this might be a more favorable choice for you.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
  • Earning unlimited 1.5% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-21.99% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Use Spark Cash Select across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

13.99% - 21.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% on purchases for 9 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business ranks among the best on the market, particularly because of its unfussy rewards program that doesn’t pay different rates for different categories of spending. To us, that kind of program is the most flexible.

EDITORIAL NOTE

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.