Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® review
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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.
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® (no longer available through our site). But its significantly lower annual fee of $99 (waived for the first 12 months) 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 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar on eligible paid flights with American Airlines 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.
With a variable APR of 15.99% – 24.99%, 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, preferred boarding and a 25% savings on inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi purchased with your card on American Airlines flights. You can even earn a $125 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 up to a 7,500-mile, round-trip discount for flights over 500 miles.
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 reduced mileage awards throughout the year.
Plus, the sign-up bonus (50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months) is worth enough miles to essentially 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?
According to The Points Guys, as of February 2020, 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 $125 flight discount each year you renew your card and spend $20,000 — also covering your annual fee.
How to use this card
To get the most out of the card, be sure to fully utilize its 2 miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines 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 12 months ($99 thereafter) 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.