Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard Credit Card Review

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard Credit Card Review

Who Is the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard Good For?

If you’re looking for a co-branded American Airlines card that’s relatively low on fees and high on perks, the Platinum Select card is probably a great fit for you.

For just $95 a year, you’ll receive a decent sign-up bonus of at least 30,000 miles, get back 10 percent of the miles you’ve redeemed during the year and save up to 7,500 miles on select flights with American’s Reduced Mileage awards. You’ll also get free checked bags, priority seating and in-flight discounts on American flights.

If you often fly on American, this could be the right card for you.

AIRLINE TRANSFER PARTNER
ANNUAL FEE

$95 (waived for the first 12 months)

APR

14.24-22.24% based on credit

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

750+

TYPE OF CARD

MasterCard

ISSUER

Citi

Sign-Up Bonuses:

This card’s standard bonus is for 30,000 miles, but a 50,000-mile offer usually comes up more than once a year for several months at a time. Occasionally American will throw in a couple Admirals Club passes, too.

The spend required to earn the bonus miles can vary significantly, with the 30,000-mile offer typically requiring only a $1,000 spend and the 50,000-mile offer between $2,000 and $3,000. You usually have three months to reach the minimum spend.

 Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card


Points Earned:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines
  • 1 mile per dollar on everything else

What Do Your Miles Get You?

American Airlines miles can easily be redeemed online for flights on American Airlines, airberlin, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas Airways and other oneworld alliance members.

Though American charges a late booking fee and relatively hefty change fees, it has pretty reliable availability booking in advance or close-in (except for big holiday seasons like Christmas) and incredibly low off-peak award rates internationally, so your American Airlines miles can be more valuable than those of other domestic carriers.

Usage Perks:

  • First checked bag is free on American Airlines-operated flights for the cardholder and up to four companions on the same reservation
  • Group 1 boarding on American Airlines-operated flights for the cardholder and up to four companions on the same reservation
  • Receive 10 percent of spent miles back each year
  • 25 percent off in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines
  • Access to a monthly selection of awards discounted at 3,750 miles each way

Usage Quirks:

  • Miles expire in 18 months, which is standard for many programs, but American does allow you to pay to reactivate them

How Far Do Your Points Dollars Go?

When you use off-peak awards to destinations in Eastern Asia, such as Japan, you’ll pay 65,000 miles roundtrip. If you bought that same flight in cash, you’d pay $1,325, so you’re getting a 2.7 cents per mile.

American-Airlines-award-chart
American Airlines award chart

You can get even better value if you use miles for high-end cabins on award-winning partner airlines, such as Cathay Pacific which regularly comes in right behind Singapore Airlines’ famous suites in lists of the top first class cabins. For just 160,000 miles roundtrip, you can get nearly 40 hours in the lap of luxury on a flight that typically costs $18,835 roundtrip. Thats a 14 cents per mile value for your AAdvantage miles.

With monthly special awards at 7,500 miles off per roundtrip you can get to select U.S. destinations for 17,500 miles rather than 25,000. Combine that savings with the annual 10 percent dividend on spent miles and you’ll bring your actual cost down to 15,750 miles. At that rate, a $425 round-trip flight from Detroit to San Francisco would get you a 2.7 cents per mile value.

Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Extended warranty
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Damage purchase protection
  • Theft protection
  • Collision and damage waiver up to $100,000 on car rentals worldwide
  • Lost baggage protection
  • Trip cancellation and interruption protection
  • Travel concierge service
  • Travel emergency assistance
  • Travel accident insurance