Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® review: A solid mid-level card for American Airline loyalists

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Snapshot

4.6

Bankrate rating
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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.

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See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Best for American Airlines flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Rewards rate

2X–2X

Annual fee

$99, waived for first 12 months

Intro offer

50,000 miles

Regular APR

19.74% - 28.74% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

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?

Pros

  • It has decent travel perks, such as a free checked bag for domestic flights, preferred boarding and savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airline flights
  • There is no foreign transaction fees, which makes this card a great option if you frequently travel overseas
  • It offers a $125 American Airlines flight discount after $20,000 in purchases within a year and after the card is renewed

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

Quick highlights

  • 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.

Rewards rate

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.

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Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

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4.6
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Annual fee

$99, waived for first 12 months

Intro offer

50,000 miles

Rewards rate

2X–2X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Citi Image

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Annual fee

$450

Intro offer

80,000 miles

Rewards rate

1X–4X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Citi Image

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

10,000 miles

Rewards rate

1X–2X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

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.