Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®
The Cit i / AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard is perfect for anyone who flies on American Airlines. To start with, you’ll get a 30,000 miles sign-up bonus worth at least $450 in American Airlines flights. And since the annual fee is waived for the first year, that’s essentially free money.
One of most valuable perks that this card offers, though, is its generous free checked bag benefit. You and up to four other people on your reservation receive one free bag each. You’d normally pay $50 per bag for a round-trip flight, so the savings can add up quickly.
You’ll also get access to American’s Reduced Mileage Awards, which offer up to a 7,500 miles discount on select routes.
If you fly on American with any regularity, or even if you’re just planning a big trip, this card can save you a lot of money and miles.
American Airline Card: Bonuses & Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® offers and the value of the Citi AAdvantage® miles you earn.
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard comes with at least a 30,000-mile sign-up bonus that sometimes increases during special promotions. You have to spend $1,000 in the first three months to get the miles.
A unique perk available to every AAdvantage credit card holder is Reduced Mileage Awards for flights in the U.S. and Canada. You can save from 1,000 to 7,500 miles per round-trip flight.
What You Get
- Earn 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Save up to 7,500 miles per flight with access to Reduced Mileage Awards
AAdvantage miles expire after 18 months if there is no account activity. Thankfully, anything that adds or subtracts any amount miles counts. So miles will never expire if cardholders make just one purchase every year and a half.
What is the value of the AAdvantage® Miles?
The value of AAdvantage miles will differ depending on many factors, but most importantly where you live.
If you live in a hub where American Airlines has little to no competition, the cash cost of your ticket to a popular destination will likely be on the higher side. That will increase the value of your miles, provided you can find MileSaaver level awards.
On the other hand, paying 25,000 miles, which is the regular price for a domestic roundtrip award flight, for a ticket that costs $150 would yield a very low value.
In short, if you are patient and carefully plan out your redemptions, you can get really good value for your AAdvantage miles. But not all award flights are a great deal. In general, business class seats will give you more value per mile than economy.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Aadvantage Miles
The AAdvantage is a region-based frequent flyer program that’s been around for over 35 years. Despite the program’s 2016 devaluation, there are still some sweet spots in American Airlines’s award charts.
The great deal American offers are its off-peak redemptions. If you can fly during the off-peak dates designated by the airline, you can save 15,000 miles per roundtrip to Europe and 5,000 miles roundtrip to other destinations. The off-peak costs per one-way economy flight from the U.S. to:
- The Caribbean, Mexico and Central America: 12,500 miles
- China and Hong Kong: 32,500 miles
- Europe: 22,500 miles
- Japan and Korea: 32,500 miles
- Hawaii: 20,000 miles
- South America: 17,500 miles
Seattle–HonoluluEconomy classMiles price40,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$888
New York–PittsburgEconomy classMiles price7,500miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$241
Oakland–Los AngelesEconomy classMiles price7,500miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$445
San Francisco–Hong KongEconomy classMiles price35,000miles+$80.6 feeDollars price$1,108
New York–ParisEconomy classMiles price30,000miles+$80.6 feeDollars price$1,098
Boston–MexicoEconomy classMiles price15,000miles+$80.6 feeDollars price$531
Chicago–MiamiBusiness classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$761
San Francisco–MauiBusiness classMiles price67,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,591
Denver–ClevelandBusiness classMiles price45,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$981
Fort Lauderdale–SydneyBusiness classMiles price175,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$821
Miami–LimaBusiness classMiles price35,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$3,495
Boston–DublinBusiness classMiles price57,500miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$6,291
Other ways you can redeem miles
Hotel Stays30 partners30 part.
You can redeem AAdvantage miles for hotel stays, but it’s probably not the best use of your miles due to the redemption rates. A quick search showed that a room at a Hilton property booked with miles gives you a value ranging from 1.4 CPM to 1.7. Different locations and dates will, of course, yield different results.
It’s a nice option to have, though, if you happen to have some extra miles and are trying to save some cash. American Airlines has 30 hotel partners, including Hilton, Marriott and InterContinental.
Note that AAdvantage credit card holders often get better rates. So be sure to log into your account before booking a hotel stay through American’s website.
Car Rental13 partners13 part.
American Airlines has 13 car rental partners, including Avis, Budget, Payless and more. You’ll get about the same CPM booking a car rental with AAdvantage miles as you would for a hotel room.
Everyday Earnings with Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®
The AAdvantage MasterCard does not offer a great earning scheme. In fact, it’s one of the weak points of the card. You’ll get double miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, but just 1 mile per dollar for everything else.
While there are better cards for earning miles on everyday purchases, the AAdvantage card is still a good option if you often fly on American and you want to maximize your miles with the carrier. If you aren’t dedicated to American, you may want to consider a card with transferrable points that offers more bonus-earning categories of purchases. Many will give you at least double points for all travel purchases, including airfare, plus bonuses for groceries, gas and more.
- American Airline Purchases
- All Other Purchases
Free Checked Bag
First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions.
Get on board American Airlines flights early and claim that overhead bin space before it fills up.
Receive a 25 percent discount on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your AAdvantage credit card on American Airlines flights.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Use your card abroad without incuring any fees..
Earn Elite Status Fast
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard does not offer any elite status earning benefits.
Fees: the cost of Having Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®
This card’s annual fee is $0 the first year and $95 after that.
If you make $6,090 in purchases a year, you’ll cover the cost of the card. That’s because you’ll earn at least 6,090 miles which have a value of at least 1.56 cents each. If you spend a little over $2,000 a month, you’ll pay off the card in 3 months.
Since the annual fee is waived for the first year, there is no need to worry about earning enough miles to cover the cost until the second year of cardmembership.
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, then $95
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $35
How Much Do You Have to Spend to Cover the Annual Fee?
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $2,030 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Citi® / AAdvantage®
Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the
sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®
The AAdvantage Platinum card has a lot to offer anyone who flies on American Airlines with some regularity, including free checked bags, a mileage refund on all redemptions and discounted award flights.
- Good Sign-Up Bonus: The standard 30,000-mile sign-up bonus is worth at least $450 in flights and can easily get you a domestic round-trip ticket.
- Free Checked Bag: You and up to 5 people on your itinerary get a free checked bag. That’ll save you $50 per person per bag for a round-trip flight.
- Earning Potential with Brand purchases: Earn double miles for American Airlines purchases.
- Access to Reduced Mileage Awards: Book flights on select routes for up to a 7,500 miles discount. Featured destinations change often.
- Waived Annual Fee for the First Year: Try the card out for a year without paying a penny. The best part is that every mile you earn during that year, including the sign-up bonus, is net profit for you.
Should You Get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®?
If you fly American Airlines, the AA credit card can be a great value for the money. The sign-up bonus in conjunction with the waived annual fee for the first year makes it a risk-free proposition. And 30,000 AAdvantage miles can take you on a round-trip journey to any destination in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America.
Then there are the perks and benefits you’ll enjoy at no additional cost, such as free checked bags and reduced mileage awards. Even double miles for American Airlines purchases is a worthy benefit, considering how hard it is to earn AAdvantage miles since the cheapest seats now earn only half the standard miles.
It’s safe to say that the card is worth trying out for at least for the first year. Then you can decide, based on your own experience, whether you want to keep it for the second year and pay the annual fee.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- You can call Citibank at 1-888-201-4523 to check on your application. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- If you already have an AAdvantage account number, include it in the credit card application. There’s a place to enter it if you’re applying online. If you don’t have an AAdvantage account, one will be created for you automatically if you’re approved for the card. You’ll be sent the login information.
- If you don’t meet the minimum spend, you won’t receive the bonus. As the sign-up bonus is the most lucrative part of the card, it’s worth planning out your purchases in advance to be sure you hit the $1,000 mark within three months. If you don’t think you can do that, you should consider waiting to apply for the card.
- It’s easy! The miles you earn with the AAdvantage Platinum card will automatically appear in your account. After that, you can simply login on American’s website, search for flights and select the option to pay with miles instead of cash. You can also add a car rental and hotel to your trip and pay for everything with AAdvantage miles.
Yes. You can search for flights on many of American’s partners through their website. Just choose to pay with miles after finding the flight you want. If the partner is not bookable online, you have to call American.
American is part of the oneworld alliance, which has 15 airline partners. You can get anywhere in the world flying on oneworld members, which include British Airways, Qantas, JAL, Cathay Pacific and more. American also has a few non-alliance members, most notably Alaska Airlines.
You can redeem miles for flights on American Airlines and many of its partner airlines online, but there are some airlines that must be booked by phone. Award flights on the following airlines are bookable through American’s website:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- You can use as little as 1,000 AAdvantage miles toward a ticket, paying the rest in cash. Use the slider while checking out and choose how many AAdvantage miles you want to spend.
Compare American Airlines AAdvantage Cards
Other American Airlines AAdvantage cards
American Airlines offers several cards that allow you to earn AAdvantage miles. They have varying annual fees, sign-up bonuses and benefits.
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®||Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®||Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®|
|Sign-up bonus||60,000 miles||30,000 miles||50,000 miles||25,000 miles|
|Annual Fee||$0 first year, then $95||$0 first year, then $95||$450||$0 first year, then $50|
|APR On Purchases||16.99% to 24.99% Variable±||17.24% to 25.24% Variable±||16.99% to 24.99% Variable±||17.24% to 25.24% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$374||$374||$374||$374|
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card and Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red card are very similar. Both are World Elite MasterCards, and both offer free checked bag for up to five passengers on the same reservation. They also offer Group 1 priority boarding and a 25 percent discount on in-flight purchases. The main difference between the two is that the $95 annual fee is not waived for the first year with the Red Aviator card, and Aviator Card offers a 10 percent mile refund for all redemptions. The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card also comes with 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
The AAdvantage Gold card has a smaller, 25,000 miles bonus. It also carries a smaller annual fee of $50, which is also waived the first year. Unfortunately the benefits are lacking. It does not offer free checked bags and it only earns 1 mile per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases.
The AAdvantage Executive card is a premium, benefits packed card with a very high $450 annual fee. What you get is a 50,000 miles sign-up bonus and Admiral Club lounge access. This card also extends the free checked bag benefit to up to 8 people on an itinerary, and it gives you an option to earn 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs). If you travel a lot and enjoy lounge access, or if you’re chasing elite status, this card may be worth the cost.
Compare Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® to Other Cards
There are many co-branded airline credit cards on the market. Since American Airlines is one of the largest carriers in the world, we’ve compared the AAdvantage Platinum to cards offered by other major carriers, including Delta, United and British Airways.
While British Airways is not a domestic carrier, it is a oneworld alliance member, and its Avios are very useful for U.S. travelers.
- Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
50,000 miles offerRead Review
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
30,000 miles offerRead Review
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card
50,000 avios offerRead Review
All these cards have a few things in common. They have decent sign-up bonuses, similar perks and benefits (like free checked bags), and their miles can be used to book travel on dozens of partner airlines, making them extremely valuable to cardholders.
While there are some similarities between the cards, there are differences, too. The American Airlines, United and Delta cards waive the annual fee for the first year, but the British Airways card does not. However, the British Airways card offers a much better earning rate at three Avios per dollar spent on British Airways purchases. That compares to 2 miles per dollar for the other cards.
In terms of their frequent flyer programs, British Airways Executive Club is the only distance-based program. That makes it ideal for short-haul redemptions, including flights on its partners American Airlines and Alaska Airlines in the U.S. The biggest drawback of British Airways program is that it adds huge fuel surcharges to many of its award flights, particularly long-haul routes. So it’s not particularly good for international trips.
American, Delta and United all have comparable programs and large networks. All three are also part of big airline alliances, which means you can get anywhere with miles in any of the programs. In the end, the best card will probably be the one that offers miles with a program that you’ll use the most.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the MasterCard card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 17.24% to 25.24% Variable±
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- 17.24% to 25.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 23 days
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.49% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® includes all of the latest security features, guaranteeing that your account will stay safe.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Ensures global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants with chip-enabled terminals.
- Account Alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified about large transactions, unauthorized withdrawals and when your bill is due.
- Credit Score Monitoring:
- Citi will monitor your credit history for any unusual activity, including newly opened accounts and credit inquiries.
People with active lifestyles will appreciate the ease of banking on the go with their Citi credit card.
- Citi Mobile:
- Get the easy-to-use mobile app from Citi and manage all of your accounts in one place. Available for iPhone and Android. You can reset your pin, view statements and much more.
- Apple and Android Pay:
- Use these convenient electronic wallets to pay for goods and services with ease.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum card is a World Elite MasterCard that offers access to a suite of cardholder benefits that any traveler will appreciate.
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is up to $100,000 and is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Reimbursement for essentials such as toiletries and clothing if bags are delayed over 6 hours. Get up to $100 a day.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Get up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Call 1-866-918-4670 for roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jump-start, and gas delivery. Service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000 for any air, bus, train, or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day. Service charges apply.