Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® review: A solid mid-level card for American Airline loyalists
Why you can trust Bankrate
At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry — regardless or where you are in your journey — and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
- Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options.
- Consistently provide up-to-date, reliable market information so you\'re well-equipped to make confident decisions.
- Reduce industry jargon so you get the clearest form of information possible, so you can make the right decision for you.
At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.
We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.
Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.
How We Make Money
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.
Citi is an advertising partner
Editor’s note: Some of the offers on this page may be expired. Check out our Best Credit Cards page for the most up-to-date offers for our favorite credit cards.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® overview
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.
What are the pros and cons?
- After the first year, the annual fee is $99
- There is limited flexibility for rewards, as it can only be redeemed for booking flights with American Airlines
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
- Welcome offer: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Annual fee: $99, waived for first 12 months
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 19.74 percent to 28.74 percent (variable)
Current welcome offer
This card offers a 50,000-AAdvantage-mile sign-up bonus when you spend $2,500 in the first three months of account opening.
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. You can also earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 AAdvantage mile earned from purchases as well.
How you earn
To get the most out of the card, be sure to fully take advantage of its 2 miles per dollar earned on eligible American Airlines purchases, gas stations and restaurants. That’s a slightly higher rate than similar cards (Note: Make sure to redeem seats at the lowest MileSAAver level to get the most bang for your buck).
How to redeem
To redeem AAdvantage miles, log into your AAdvantage account and search for available flights for your departing airport, destination airport, and preferred dates. Choose a flight from the available options and then click “Redeem Miles” to view the cost in miles. Miles may also be used for discounts on car rentals and hotel bookings.
How much are the rewards worth?
According to Bankrate’s most recent valuations, AAdvantage miles are worth around 1 cent, meaning the sign-up bonus is worth around $500 — which could be enough to cover the cost of two round-trip domestic flights.
The $99 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months, can easily be made up by using 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.
Rates and fees
Like most of the Citi/AAdvantage credit cards, it has no foreign transaction fee.
The annual fee is $99 after the first year, a steal when compared to other Citi/AAdvantage cards, such as the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, which does not offer an intro $0 annual fee. However, no-annual-fee credit cards such as the Bank of America Travel Rewards card or the Discover it Miles card allow you to earn more (each offers 1.5 miles or points for every $1 spent on purchases) and have more redemption choices altogether.
Cardholders can also earn a decent sign-up bonus, which can be used to offset the cost of a domestic flight, or perhaps cover the majority of it. If you don’t travel frequently and presume you won’t be able to meet the spending requirement ($2,500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening), you could opt for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World EliteTM Mastercard, which requires only $750 in purchases within the first three months but earns half the miles as the Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.
How does the Citi/Aadvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard compare to other travel rewards cards?
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 for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. 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.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard® vs. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard would be a great choice for frequent American Airlines travelers who enjoy lounge access. Among the perks of the card are Admirals Club® membership (a value of up to $650) and credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. There is also a generous welcome offer. New cardholders can earn 80,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after $5,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
The Executive World Elite Mastercard, for a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022. After that, earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases.
The Executive World Elite card has just one drawback when compared to the Platinum Select World Elite, and that is its $450 annual fee, as opposed to the Platinum Select World Elite’s $99 annual fee after the first year.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard® vs. American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard®
The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard® has no annual fee and may be a good choice for you if you don’t need the free checked bag or priority boarding benefits offered by the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select and don’t mind a smaller sign-up bonus (Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening).
Similar to the Platinum Select card, the MileUp card rewards AAdvantage miles on eligible American Airlines purchases. However, it swaps out the bonus categories for grocery store purchases in favor of gas stations and restaurants. You might earn more AAdvantage bonus miles with this award structure depending on your spending habits.
Best cards to pair the Citi/Aadvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard with
It might be best to pair the Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard with a card that earns flexible travel points or miles with no annual fee, such as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, or another airline-specific card with a similar rewards rate and perks, such as the Delta Skymiles® Gold American Express card.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® worth it?
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.
The information about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® and Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.