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This is one of the best credit cards for American Airlines. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has a number of great perks that make it easy for loyal AA AAdvantage members to earn miles, and save time and money while doing so. We think it's the best of the American Airlines credit card family issued by Citibank, and below are our reasons why.
Table of Contents
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Pros
- Superb quantitative and intangible perks for American Airlines and AAdvantage members - Priority boarding, etc.
- Nice AA mileage bonus for signing up for the AAdvantage World card: 60,000 miles when you spend at least $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months of account opening
- Discount of 7,500 off award flight redemption for select destinations
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Cons
- Annual fee of $99 for card membership perks, waived in year 1
- If you're planning on charging less than $30,000 to this card, consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® instead
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Features, Benefits, and Rewards
How does the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®work?
Earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend, and 2 miles for every American Airlines flight you buy with the card. If you're a frequent American Airlines flyer, then this is a great card to have in your wallet. On top of the miles your credit card charges earn, there's a huge bump of 60,000 miles for those who spend at least $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months - that's good for a domestic roundtrip flight and then some. After you've accumulated a nice chunk of miles, they can be redeemed for roundtrip or one-way flights on American Airlines (some even at discounted values), gift cards, magazines, cabin upgrades, car rentals, or other vacation accommodations.
Earnings Formula for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: Spend $500 on a roundtrip AA flight x 2 miles per dollar = 1,000 AAdvantage miles. Spend $100 on groceries x 1 mile per dollar = 100 AAdvantage miles
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Signing Bonus & Promotion
60,000 AAdvantage miles have your name on them after you've spent a three grand on your new American Airlines credit card in the first 3 months. While those miles do take 8 - 10 weeks to travel to your account, it's still a nice offer from American Airlines. Continental U.S. and Canada trips in the main cabin on American Airlines start at 25,000.
If you're in a gaming or maximizing mood, you can even squeeze two trips out of that sign-up bonus using AA's Reduced Mileage Awards program. The program discounts the redemption value for select destinations by 7,500 miles for Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® cardholders. Normal redemption begin at 25,000, but through the program, you can get roundtrip award for 17,500 miles! That signup bonus can effectively get you 1.7 R/T flights. Within your first $6,000 of purchases on the MasterCard, you've earned yourself two MileSAAver roundtrips. The destinations aren't too bad either (more below).
Note that bonus miles (example: the 2x miles on flights or the signing bonus) do take up to two and a half months to post to your AAdvantage account.
American Airlines AAdvantage Perks
We covered the accelerated 2x miles earnings for flights charged on your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. What about the actual flight? For you and up to four traveling companions, the AAdvantage credit card gets you Group 1 boarding privileges and one free checked bag. Food and beverages purchased on board the plane are discounted 25% when you charge them using your credit card.
The other great benefit of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is the ability to claw back, or recuperate 10% of AAdvantage miles redeemed during the year.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® also activates reduced mileage award privileges. This program subtracts 7,500 and 3,750 off roundtrip and one-way award redemptions, respectively, to select places. And don't worry - these flights aren't to the middle of nowhere. At last glance, San Francisco in California, West Palm Beach in Florida, and other major cities were included in their destination list. Before you convert your award miles into a flight, be sure to look at the current AAdvantage Hotspots.
Traveling Internationally with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
The AAdvantage credit card is equipped with chip technology, which is an added bonus if you travel to parts of Europe and Asia. Over there, credit card chips are the dominant standard, obviating the need to sign and hold on to credit card receipts. Just dip your card into the card reader, and enter a PIN to authorize the charge. The encryption security with these chips are also more rigorous, which provides an added layer of security to foreign purchases.
Reward Redemption with Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
How do I redeem miles from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®?
The award redemption is handled by American Airlines, so you can either log into your Citibank credit card account and be transferred over, or log directly into your AAdvantage account. Simply specify the type of award you want within your miles balance, and redeem.
Miles can be converted into a number of awards, but not pure cash. These miles can get you free flights on American Airlines, American Eagle, and twenty other participating OneWorld partners. You can book award stays abroad, with a car rental and hotel stay covered. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are also covered.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Redemption Formula
Return on Award Flights Redemption: ~1.5 - 3%
Roundtrip award example: New York, NY to Miami, FL (LGA - MIA / MIA - DCA - LGA) for Fri 2/21 - Mon 2/24: $384 / 25,000 miles = 1.5%
One-way Reduced Miles discount example: Seattle to Miami on 2/7: $312 / 10,000 discounted miles and dollars spent = 3.1% return on charged spending, ex fees
Return on Other Categories: ~1 - 2%
Example using newspapers and magazines: A 3-month Wall Street Journal subscription would cost $27 or about 2700 in AAdvantage miles, which is a 1% return. An annual subscription to Glamour magazine would cost $12 at retail value or about 600 miles to redeem = a 2% return.
Review: Is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Worth It?
There are a couple of conditions to fulfill in order to make this card worth it for members. First, perks such as priority boarding should matter to them. Second, they should be frequent American Airlines passengers. Lastly, they should spend more than $30,000 each year. If you meet most of these criteria, then getting the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® makes sense. However, if you don't meet the majority of the three conditions, then consider getting the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®, or a multi-purpose and all around great travel card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Take a look at our table, which compares the value redeemed between the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and its younger sibling, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®. We're showing estimates right around the inflection point of $30k to illustrate benefits and savings of the two MasterCards.
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®: $30,000||Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: $30,000|
Assumptions: cardholder buys two roundtrip flights worth $500 each per year on his AAdvantage card; $29,000 & $29,001 in other annual credit card charges. Table values are net of the annual fees for each card. Factors in Citi Platinum promotional miles of 30k with flights earning 2x the miles, vs. Citi Gold miles of 25k. 2% redemption rate and return. No value for intangible experiences from the Citi Platinum, such as priority boarding, etc. Assumes year-end miles redemption = no 10% clawback on redeemed miles with the Citi Platinum (clawed miles can take anywhere from two months to two and a half months to post to your AAdvantage account).