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

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

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is the best credit card for earning American Airlines miles. It lets you Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases. 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 of $99, waived for first 12 months. 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.

The card also gives cardholders access to a few American Airlines benefits, 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 benefits 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 benefits. 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 benefits, 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®

  • On Citibank's Secure Website
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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 benefits.

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 Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases & 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

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

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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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 small, 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 benefits 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

  • On Citibank's Secure Website
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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 rewards and benefits. 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 $125 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.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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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 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).