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

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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® lets consumers earn miles on their spending while enjoying some frequent flyer perks.

Citi is an advertising partner

If you want to earn miles in the American Airlines AAdvantage program, there are several co-branded credit cards to choose from — one of the most popular of these cards is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®.

This card offers a generous sign-up bonus while giving cardholders the chance to earn miles for each dollar they spend. Frequent flyer benefits include a free checked bag, preferred boarding and a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. The best part? The annual fee is only $99, waived for first 12 months.

Pros

  • Generous sign-up bonus is easy to earn
  • Earn bonus miles on American Airlines purchases, as well as on dining and gas
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 4 companions on eligible itineraries
  • Preferred boarding
  • $125 American Airlines flight discount when you spend $20,000 on your card within a cardmember year
  • 0% foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Regular purchases only accrue 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Low rewards value
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Sign-up bonus

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® starts new cardholders off with the following bonus:

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Though this bonus is pretty standard when you compare this card to other airline credit cards, we do like this offer because the $2,500 minimum spending requirement is fairly low.

What it's worth: Around $500 in American Airlines airfare

Who's eligible to earn this bonus? American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® account in the past 48 months.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWhat it's worth:\u003C\/strong\u003E Around $500 in American Airlines airfare\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWho's eligible to earn this bonus?\u003C\/strong\u003E American Airlines AAdvantage\u00ae bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi\u00ae \/ AAdvantage\u00ae Platinum Select\u00ae World Elite Mastercard\u00ae account in the past 48 months.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Earning miles

In addition to the sign-up bonus you can earn, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® lets you rack up American AAdvantage miles for each dollar you spend.

You'll Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases.

This earning rate is pretty good, as you earn double miles in a few different categories, and especially when you consider that other co-branded credit cards offered by airlines, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, only offer bonus miles on purchases affiliated with the airline.

However, given our low estimated value of American Airlines AAdvantage miles, we think you'll get more value out of your spending with many other cards, including the aforementioned Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Based on our estimates of what the average consumer is likely to spend in particular categories, we've found that the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® ranks low on the average value of rewards earned per $1 spent.

In fact, if you're looking to earn travel based on your credit card spend, you should take a look at a flexible points card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or The American Express® Gold Card — these cards allow you to transfer points to a variety of hotel and airline loyalty programs, making their points much more valuable.

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Note that no flexible points card allows you to transfer points to the AAdvantage program. If you're strictly interested in earning AAdvantage miles, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is your best bet for earning miles.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"money icon\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money\" src=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money\" data-srcset=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money 1x, http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/static\/icons\/svg\/money 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ENote that no flexible points card allows you to transfer points to the AAdvantage program. If you're strictly interested in earning AAdvantage miles, the Citi\u00ae \/ AAdvantage\u00ae Platinum Select\u00ae World Elite Mastercard\u00ae is your best bet for earning miles.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

What are American AAdvantage miles worth?

We estimate American Airlines AAdvantage miles are worth around 1 cent each on average, though the value varies depending on how you redeem them. This value is on par with most rewards programs, though below average for an airline loyalty program. Competitors, such as United and Delta Air Lines, have much more valuable rewards.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"What\"\u003EWhat are American AAdvantage miles worth?\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWe estimate American Airlines AAdvantage miles are worth around 1 cent each on average, though the value varies depending on how you redeem them. This value is on par with most rewards programs, though below average for an airline loyalty program. Competitors, such as \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The Ultimate Guide to United Airlines' MileagePlus Program\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/united-airlines-mileageplus-program-guide\"\u003EUnited\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E and \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Delta SkyMiles - Program Guide & Overview 2021\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/delta-skymiles-frequent-flyer-program-guide\"\u003EDelta Air Lines\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E, have much more valuable rewards.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Redeeming miles

The American Airlines AAdvantage program is part of the oneworld® alliance, which makes it easier for you to redeem your miles for more destinations around the globe. When you include flights offered through partners, your American AAdvantage miles let you book award flights to more than 1,100 destinations worldwide.

There are many different ways to redeem your miles, including for upgrades, hotel stays and rental cars. Not surprisingly though, the most popular way to redeem American AAdvantage miles is for award flights for business or leisure travel.

One major upside of the American AAdvantage program is the fact that they still have an award chart. According to the chart, the price of an award flight with American Airlines can vary drastically — from 7,500 miles to more than 200,000 miles — depending on the destination and type of award.

However, not all of American Airlines' awards will adhere to this chart. American also uses dynamic pricing for many of their awards.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EOne major upside of the American AAdvantage program is the fact that they still have an award chart. According to the chart, the price of an award flight with American Airlines can vary drastically \u2014 from 7,500 miles to more than 200,000 miles \u2014 depending on the destination and type of award.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EHowever, not all of American Airlines' awards will adhere to this chart. American also uses dynamic pricing for many of their awards.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

With that being said, the AA award chart is an excellent place to begin researching how many miles you may need for the flight you want. Once you dive in, you'll find that American segments their awards into different tiers based on demand and the region you're flying to. Within each region, you'll find MileSAAver Off Peak awards, traditional MileSAAver awards, and Anytime awards (levels 1 & 2). MileSAAver off-peak awards cost the fewest number of miles, and they can be easy to find if you're flexible on your travel dates.

The following shows each type of fare, plus the number of miles required for some common routes:

MileSAAver Off Peak

  • Discounted awards during defined off-peak times of the year
  • N/A within contiguous 48 U.S. states and to Canada
  • 12,500 miles between the U.S. and the Caribbean
  • 22,500 miles between the U.S. and Europe

MileSAAver

  • The traditional saver award rate
  • 7,500 to 12,500 within contiguous 48 U.S. states and to Canada
  • 15,000 miles between the U.S. and the Caribbean
  • 30,000 miles between the U.S. and Europe

AAnytime Level 1

  • The first level of AAnytime awards
  • 20,000 within contiguous 48 U.S. states and to Canada
  • 27,500 miles between the U.S. and the Caribbean
  • 47,500 miles between the U.S. and Europe

AAnytime Level 2

  • The highest published level of AAnytime awards
  • 3,000 within contiguous 48 U.S. states and to Canada
  • 37,500 miles between the U.S. and the Caribbean
  • 65,000 miles between the U.S. and Europe

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

One of the big upsides of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is the fact it gives you some elite status benefits without having to fly a single mile. Just being a cardholder is enough to get you the following perks:

Signing up for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® qualifies you for a free checked bag for you and up to four other people on your itinerary. This perk is good for domestic itineraries marketed and operated by American Airlines, as well as itineraries marketed by American Airlines and operated by select partners.

Preferred boarding lets you get on the plane after Priority boarding, but before economy boarding. This benefit is also good for you and up to four companions on your itinerary.

Paying for in-flight food and beverages with your credit card will qualify you for 25% off those purchases. Just keep in mind that this benefit only applies to food and beverages and not to other purchases, such as in-flight internet access.

If you’re interested in earning elite status with the American AAdvantage program, the Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) requirement can be waived if you spend $30,000 on your credit card within a calendar year. You’ll also have to meet Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) requirements to reach elite status, but this perk does let you sidestep the spending component of the process.

Qualify for a $125 American Airlines discount certificate when you spend $20,000 or more on your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® within a calendar year. You can use this certificate for flights marketed and operated by American Airlines, or on flights marketed by American Airlines and operated by select partner airlines.

You can use this card for purchases overseas without having to pay foreign transaction fees. This benefit can be lucrative if you travel internationally often.

How does the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® 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. But if you're after luxury travel benefits like lounge access, or if you’d prefer a card that allows you to redeem miles or points with other airlines, there are other card choices you should consider.

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

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® offers much better benefits than the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, but you do have to pay a much higher annual fee ($450). Still, the high fee could be well worth it for people who value comfort and elite status perks with American Airlines.

Cardholders get access to Admirals Club lounges, which are packed with amenities like complimentary snacks and shower suites. These lounges provide a place to decompress while you wait for your flight to board, and the cost of membership alone is $650 for regular American AAdvantage members.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® can also earn you Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), which help you get status with American Airlines faster, unlocking even more benefits.

On the downside, the card only lets you Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases & 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. If you're looking to earn miles for travel, you're better off with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, which offers a broader range of bonus categories.

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

  • On Chase's Secure Website

If you're comparing these two cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is best 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. Meanwhile, you can also book airfare and other travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and you'll get 1.25 cents per point in value when you do.

On the other hand, 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.

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

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

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. However, we can still recommend the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card over the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® for people who are strictly interested in a card with $0 annual fee.

At the same time, no annual fee means fewer benefits. For example, the sign-up bonus on the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is only a fraction of what’s offered by the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Not only that, but the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card doesn't come with any meaningful frequent flyer perks other than a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases.

You do get 2x miles per dollar spent on grocery spending in addition to American Airlines purchases with the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card, which could be a nice perk if you spend a lot at the grocery store.

Is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® worth it?

While you can pay a $450 annual fee per year for an American Airlines credit card with lounge access (the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®) or a $0 annual fee per year for a basic card that lets you earn airline miles (the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card), the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a good compromise between the two. This American Airlines credit card has a moderate annual fee ($99, waived for first 12 months), yet you'll get some frequent flyer perks and the ability to rack up airline miles in the American AAdvantage program.

With that being said, there are plenty of other airline credit cards to consider, including ones that let you earn miles with a better redemption value. Do your homework and compare some of the top cards, and you're sure to find the right fit for your travel needs.

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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).