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

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Credit Card earns 2x miles on all American Airline purchases, at restaurants, and gas stations. Parlay these rewards with a $0 first-year annual fee, and the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card is a hole in one.
  • Annual Fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 24.99% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score:
    670 - 850

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If you travel semi-regularly with American Airlines and are looking for a card that can help you earn AAdvantage miles, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® might be one of the best options out there. It’s co-branded, so the rewards don’t add up incredibly fast, but they can be pretty easy to cash out.

It comes with a rather robust welcome bonus, provided you meet the purchase goal. By meeting just that goal, the reward miles could be enough for a trip for two to Mexico or the Caribbean during off-peak times.

The ongoing frequent flyer perks of up to 5 free checked bags per flight are incredibly valuable for those that travel with friends or family and check a bag.

There is even an ongoing potential yearly bonus of a $125 discount on applicable flights when the yearly purchase goal of $20,000 is met.

For those that plan to use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® card to pay for most of their daily or living expenses, it can be an incredibly powerful way to earn some serious travel discounts and benefits.

This makes it a great card for families looking to explore the country and beyond, or individuals that want to use the points for extensive international travel.

However, the interest rates make the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® a poor choice to carry any balance on for longer than necessary.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • 2 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
  • 2 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for each $1 spent with American Airlines
  • 1 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles if the account reaches the $2,500 purchase goal inside the first 90 days following account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free first checked bag bonus for the cardholder and up to 4 companions
  • Preferred boarding when flying with American Airlines
  • The annual fee is waived for the first year
  • Points transfer options are relatively good

Cons:

  • The ongoing rewards aren’t optimal
  • Free bag check is only for domestic flights
  • No additional travel or airport lounge perks or protections

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

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a great entry into the $99 annual fee travel rewards card and it offers some solid benefits to those who travel domestically several times per year.

The rewards accumulation is relatively standard, but it’s not amazing. The account will earn 2 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas and restaurant purchases, as well as for all eligible purchases with American Airlines.

The frequent flier benefits are more or less limited to the free baggage check for one bag each for up to five people flying domestically.

This may not sound like much, but at approximately $30 to check a bag, this card can provide significant benefits for frequent social travelers.

Those expecting to transfer a balance to gain some points, planning to carry that balance, should probably look for a different card.

The APR would make carrying any balance impractical in contrast to the benefits, and there is no intro APR program.

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

  • Annual Fee: No annual fee for the first year, $99 annually thereafter
  • Regular APR: 15.99% to 24.99% variable APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards: 2 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent at American Airlines purchases, restaurants, and gas stations.
  • Category: Travel / Rewards

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

Earning Rewards

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® will help anyone who enjoys flying with American Airlines to build miles for trips without ever setting foot on a plane.

The card allows all authorized users to earn 2 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, and 2 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent with American Airlines.

Additionally, users will earn 1 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on nearly all other purchases, so the card can be constantly earning.

Redeeming Rewards

The American AAdvantage miles earned with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® can be used to book flights with any of the Oneworld travel partners. These service providers include British Airways, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas.

Miles can also be either transferred to hotel partner Marriott Bonvoy or redeemed directly with American Airlines via their online redemption portal.

The potential rewards include select services, merchandise, upgraded flights, hotels, and car rentals, as well as Admirals Club memberships.

In order to plan your redemption, you should check the constantly evolving award structure for the American AAdvantage miles.

They often change in order to provide the best value and variety they can, but they publish their award chart on their website for easy consultation.

Many of the “SAAver” level awards have become relatively rare to come across, due to availability, but when the award chart is consulted there are still numerous deals that can be found.

Some of the best deals remain the Main Cabin round-trip flights to Europe, Hawaii, and the continental US for less than 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. There are also web specials that go as low as 5,000 miles each way for various destinations.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Features and Benefits

Free Checked Bags

While one free checked bag for you doesn’t sound that impressive, if you fly 4 times a year, that’s $120 it’s saved you.

If a whole family of four flies each time, that’s $120 saved per flight, which is $480 per year for four quick vacation getaways. That can add up quickly.

Lucrative Sign-Up Bonus

The welcome bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles is enough for one person to book a flight just about anywhere internationally for free.

The catch is that you need to meet the $2,500 purchase goal within the first three months after the account is opened.

Ongoing Rewards

In addition to the ongoing rewards of flight perks and miles bonuses, there is a yearly purchase goal of $20,000.

If the cardholder meets this goal within a cardholder year a $125 discount is earned for any eligible American Airlines flight.

2x Rewards on Dining and Gas

One of the most attractive purchase benefits of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is the 2X rewards that are earned on all applicable gas station and restaurant purchases. This makes it relatively easy for anyone that drives regularly or eats out often to earn points.

Priority Boarding

The wait before boarding is probably one of the most stressful and tedious waits that anyone needs to endure before traveling.

With American Airlines’ Priority Boarding perk, you and up to four travel companions can speed through the boarding process and get in your seats quicker on most domestic American Airlines flights.

Savings On In-Flight Purchase

Another great flight-related benefit is the 25% off all in-flight food and drink that you buy with your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®.

This is a great way to discount your purchase and earn miles when you bring the family.

World Elite Mastercard Benefits

Since the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is one of the World Elite group of cards, the cardholder gets perks related to general travel as well.

These include a powerful concierge service, the lowest-rate guarantee for hotel bookings, and even a free ShopRunner membership.

How Does the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Compare to Other Cards?

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

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a great upgrade from the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card and offers a better class of benefits on an ongoing basis.

The $99 yearly fee is one of the big separators, however, and those who won’t get their money’s worth from the baggage check and other benefits might be better off with the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card, which is basically the no-annual-fee version.

>> More: American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Review

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

If you are looking for a travel card but don’t want to be stuck with just American Airlines, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would be a great alternative.

They offer points that can be transferred to any of their approved travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, they offer a welcome bonus of 100,000 points. There is an annual fee of $95, and a regular APR of 15.99% to 22.99% variable.

>> More: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review

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

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® takes a backseat to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

The Executive is a better fit for those that will have the potential to hit $5,000 in 90 days, as well as make use of the significant $450 and Admirals Club membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Worth It?

If you fly often with American Airlines, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select would definitely be worth looking into. This card is great for travelers because you earn double miles on purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and purchases with American Airlines. You also get the benefit of a free checked bag, early boarding, and access to the Reduced Mileage Program through American Airlines, which gives frequent flyer miles discounts.

Is the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select a Visa or Mastercard?

Fortunately, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is a Mastercard. This airline credit card has a ton of perks and is accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Does Citi AAdvantage Have An Annual Fee?

Most credit cards have an annual fee right from the jump, but there is no fee for the first year when you are a Citi AAdvantage card holder. After the first year, there is a fee of $99 per year.

Bottom Line: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Review

For semi-regular travelers that love company, or for families that are ready to explore miles programs, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has some serious benefits that specific audiences can really enjoy.

If you are a heavier spender or travel more frequently to international destinations, another card may be a better fit.

Drew Cheneler
Drew Cheneler
Drew is a recognized Credit, Small Business, and Personal Finance Expert. He has been quoted in CNBC, Fox Business News Section, The Huffington Post, Business.com, Moneyunder30, US Chamber of Commerce, and more. He is known for breaking down complex personal finance topics into action-oriented advice, so you can make the most of your hard-earned money.