Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
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. Its previous rewards structure was modest but thanks to a 2018 update, the card now offers much more to frequent flyers.
As a middle-tier card, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard has a less robust rewards program than its sibling, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. But its significantly lower annual fee (waived for the first year) and substantial welcome bonus make it a great pick for those who aren’t constantly flying but are looking to diversify their loyalty portfolio.
Here are the details:
If you do most of your flying on American Airlines, the Platinum Select World Elite card should be in your wallet. You’ll get great deals with reduced mileage awards and double rewards on paid flights for being a frequent flyer with the airline. But if you value travel flexibility over free checked luggage, there are travel rewards cards available that can allow you to use rewards any way you like.
With the Platinum Select World Elite card, you’ll earn 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar at gas stations, restaurants and on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Note: That’s the same rewards level you’ll earn on American Airlines purchases made with the premium Executive World Elite card, but for a fraction of the annual fee. (The Platinum Select World Elite has a $99 annual fee compared to the Executive World Elite’s $450 fee.)
With a variable APR of 18.24% – 26.24%, this card offers a 50,000 AAdvantage mile sign-up bonus when you spend $2,500 in the first three months. Extra perks include a free checked bag with domestic flights, priority boarding and Citibank card benefits like price and travel protections and presale access to live events. You can even get back 10% of your redeemed miles each year and earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount each year after spending $20,000 and renewing your card.
One of the coolest perks of this card is that you’ll receive access to the American Airlines reduced mileage awards program. With the MileSAAver discount, you’ll receive a 7,500-mile, round-trip discount for flights over 500 miles.
Finally, cardholders will have access to the American AAdvantage dining program, giving you ways to earn miles while you dine out in your everyday life. For details on how to sign up for the program or the ins and outs of the rewards structure, visit our American AAdvantage dining guide.
Is this card right for you?
If you’re an American Airlines loyalist but don’t fly much, this card should be the perfect happy medium for your lifestyle. The Platinum Select World Elite card offers valuable perks like no foreign transaction fees and redemption options like double rewards on AA flights and reduced mileage awards throughout the year.
Plus, the sign-up bonus (50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in three months) is worth enough to get you a free round-trip domestic ticket.
One thing to be aware of is this card’s lack of flexibility. There are blackout dates on some rewards flights, MileSAAver awards are capacity-controlled and AAnytime awards for flights as low as 20,000 miles each way are quite expensive.
How much are the rewards worth?
As of January 2019, AAdvantage miles are worth around 1.4 cents, meaning the sign-up bonus is worth around $700 — enough to easily cover two round-trip domestic flights.
The $99 annual fee, waived the first 12 months, can easily be made up by utilizing the free checked bag benefit (which offers one free checked bag per flight) four times. Furthermore, you can earn a $100 flight discount each year you spend $20,000 — also covering your annual fee.
We’ve gone into some of the highlights, but head over to our American Airlines AAdvantage guide to get a complete look at the rewards potential offered by this card.
How to use this card
To get the most out of the card, be sure to fully utilize its 2 miles per dollar on AA purchases, gas stations and restaurants (which is a slightly higher rate than similar cards). In general, it’s pretty easy to use this card — you’re rewarded simply for using it on a regular basis. (Note: Make sure to redeem seats at the lowest MileSAAver level to get the most bang for your buck.)
The bottom line
The Platinum Select World Elite card offers an ample sign-up bonus, no annual fee for the first year and great yearly bonuses that add to your mileage pool. But if you’re looking for a less restrictive and more flexible card, this card may not be your best match.