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

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

The best credit card offer from American Airlines.
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5.0

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is the best credit card for earning American Airlines miles. It rewards you with 2 miles for every dollar you spend on American Airlines purchases, but what makes it exceptional is you'll also get 2 miles per dollar spent at gas stations and restaurants. This extends the functionality of the card and makes it a great card to keep in your wallet at all times, which isn't common among airline credit cards.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Review: Our Thoughts

Of the several credit cards offered by American Airlines, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® ranks as one of the best due to a great rewards structure and the card's reasonable annual fee. Very few other airline cards offer several categories in which you'll earn double miles. Spending at gas stations and at restaurants, for example, are not common categories where other airline cards will earn you additional miles.

Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Purchase APR
18.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Credit Needed Excellent, Good
Details
  • Earn up to 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*

The card also gives cardholders access to a few American Airlines perks, all of which make traveling just a bit more hassle-free or affordable. For instance, you won't have to worry about securing overhead space for your bag since you'll be able to get your first checked bag free on domestic AA flights. This benefit alone, when used enough times, can offset the annual fee you pay on the card.

One of the better perks on the card is the ability to board after priority boarding and before the rest of economy. It'll help you get on the plane faster and secure an overhead space for your carry-on should you choose not to use the free checked bag benefit.

However, the rewards you'll earn with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® aren't very flexible. You can redeem miles for flights with American Airlines or other oneworld airline partners. To get the most out of the card, you'll have to travel with a very specific set of airlines. Otherwise, it may make sense to look at more general travel cards.

Bottom line: We consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® to be the best credit card for earning American Airlines miles. Those who travel with the airline at least a couple of times per year will be able to get the most value out of the card's perks. However, if you're open to flying with other airlines, you'll want to consider a few other options, which we discuss below.

Be sure to read our comprehensive overview on getting elite status with American Airlines.

How Does the Card Compare to Other Cards?

If you already fly with American Airlines frequently, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a solid card choice. However, if you're after luxury travel perks, like lounge access, or if you're after a card that allows you to redeem miles or points with other airlines, there are other card choices you should consider.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® vs the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers much better benefits than the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, but in return it requires a $450 annual fee. The high fee can be well worth it for people who value comfort and want status with American Airlines. You'll get access to Admirals Club locations, which are packed with amenities such as complimentary snacks and shower suites. These lounges are great places to decompress while you wait for your flight to board. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® can also earn you Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), which will help you get status with American Airlines faster, unlocking even more perks.

In terms of ongoing rewards for everyday purchases, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® actually has this credit card beat. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® awards 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, but there are no other bonus categories. The card partly makes up for the difference in bonus-mile categories with an outstanding sign-up bonus, which we currently value at more than $600. That should be good enough for a couple of free flights, depending on how you redeem your bonus miles.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® vs the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Purchase APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent Credit
Details
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Between these two cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be the better choice for people who don't have an airline preference. That's because, unlike the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a dynamic rewards program that allows you to transfer your points to different airlines, including United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, your redemption options will be much more limited. The difference in annual fees is only $4, so the choice between them should be made based on your travel preferences.

It's worth noting that if you choose to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you'll be losing out on some of the airline-specific perks offered by the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. For instance, you won't be able to check a bag for free or board the plane any faster. Again, these are only available on American Airlines flights, so they'll only be valuable if you're frequently on AA-operated flights.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® vs the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

Annual Fee
$0*
Purchase APR
18.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Credit Needed Excellent/Good
Details
  • New: Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • No Annual Fee*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*

Most people would be better off applying for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® over the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card due to its superior rewards and perks. We recommend the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card over the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® only for people who are strictly interested in a card with no annual fee. Keep in mind that Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® users who spend at least $20,000 per year during their first card membership year and renew the card will get a $100 American Airlines flight discount. This discount effectively negates the card's annual fee for these users.

Even if you don't spend that much on your credit card, there are other avenues through which you can recoup the cost of the annual fee on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. In comparison, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card lacks many of the extra benefits for frequent flyers. For instance, you won't get to board the plane early and you won't get a free checked bag. In fact, even the value of the bonuses on the cards is quite different. We estimate the difference to be more than $500.

Airline Credit Card Comparison Tool

If you're still not sure whether the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is the right card for you, use our comparison tool below. It allows you to enter your own monthly expenses and receive an estimate on the amount of rewards each card listed above will get you over a two-year period.

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Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, and Amazon Business American Express Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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