- Fairly low annual fee
- Solid initial bonus and benefits
- Free checked bags
- Requires good credit
- Limited redemption options
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a pretty good airline credit card for applicants with a 700+ credit score who want a low annual fee. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select has a $0 intro annual fee the first year ($99 per year after that), making it one of the more affordable American Airlines credit card offers available right now.
The Platinum Select Mastercard’s benefits include an initial bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $2,500 within 3 months of opening an account, free checked bags, priority boarding and discounts on in-flight refreshments. The card also provides ongoing rewards rates of 1 - 2 miles per $1, with purchases from gas stations, restaurants and American Airlines yielding the highest return.
The bottom line is that if you are committed to flying American Airlines but don’t travel enough to justify paying a lot for a luxury airline credit card, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is worthy of consideration. I’ll explain why in greater detail below.
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
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible mile earned from purchases
- Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- More Details & Reviews About Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Review Highlights:
Initial Bonus Worth Enough for Free Flights
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard’s initial bonus is 50,000 miles for spending $2,500 in the first 3 months. That’s worth roughly $670 in American Airlines airfare, according to my calculations.
No Annual Fee the First Year
The AAdvantage Platinum Select Card’s introductory annual fee is $0 the first year, which I think basically amounts to a second initial bonus, considering the annual fee is $99 from the second year on. This fee structure also means the AAdvantage Platinum Select Card is clearly worth it the first year but less obviously worthwhile after that.
Bonus Rewards with American Airlines, Gas Stations & Restaurants
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card rewards users with 2 miles $1 spent through American Airlines, as well as 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants. All other purchases produce 1 mile per $1.
I know that might not sound like a whole lot, but those earning rates actually equal about 1.34% to 2.74% back, according to my research. The low end of that range is a bit higher than the 1.12% back that you’d earn on all purchases with the average cash rewards card. And the high end is in the ballpark of the 2%+ that you’d earn with the best travel credit cards.
Free Checked Bags on American Airlines Flights
Platinum Select cardholders, and up to four guests on the same reservation, get a free checked bag on domestic flights operated or marketed by American Airlines and paid for with the card.
This perk could save you as much as $150 every time you fly, considering that American Airlines usually charges $30 for the first checked bag on a domestic economy flight. If you’re like me, this benefit could also save you from some aggravation. I hate paying for checked bags.
Priority Boarding and In-flight Discounts
The American Airlines Platinum Select Card gets cardholders 25% off in-flight food and beverage purchases, which could save you a lot of money if you regularly buy refreshments when you fly. Preferred boarding privileges on all American Airlines flights could also save you from some stress.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Review Lowlights
High APR Means It’s Best to Pay in Full
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard interest rate is 20.49% - 29.49% (V), depending on your overall creditworthiness. The average regular APR among credit card offers for people with good credit, on the other hand, is 21.2%. Furthermore, good credit can buy you well over a year without interest from a 0% APR credit card if you have a big-ticket purchase planned or wish to do a balance transfer.
That’s why it’s best to only use the AAdvantage Platinum Select card for purchases that can be paid off by the due date. I recommend setting up automatic monthly payments for your full statement balance with this in mind.
Requires Commitment to American Airlines & Partners for Maximum Value
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard miles are worth an average of 1.27 cents each when redeemed for flights on American Airlines or one of its partner airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines or British Airways. Miles are worth much less when redeemed for cash or travel arranged outside of the American Airlines booking portal, however.
If you want more flexibility from your rewards, consider one of the best travel credit cards not affiliated with a particular airline or hotel chain. For example, I’m much more likely to apply for a card that gives elite rewards value on all travel expenses.
Citi Has Dropped Most Major Credit Card Benefits in Recent Years
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select benefits list does not include rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, trip delay/interruption insurance, baggage insurance, price protection, return protection, or extended warranty coverage. Citi dropped these benefits from most of its credit card offers in September 2019.
If these types of perks are important to you, consider our picks for the best credit cards with purchase protection, price protection, extended warranties, travel insurance and more.
Other Things To Consider About Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select
$125 Credit for Spending $20K
Cardholders who make $20,000 or more in purchases with Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select in a year and pay the next year’s annual fee qualify for a discount of $125 on an American Airlines flight. That’s better than nothing, but I will tell you that other cards offer bigger annual bonuses with much lower spending requirements.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select foreign transaction fee is 0%. That is standard for a travel rewards credit card, but it still saves you 1.52% on every international purchase compared to the average credit card overall.
Applicants Need Good Credit for High Approval Odds
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard requires at least good credit for approval, which means applicants need a credit score of 700 or higher to have good odds. I suggest checking your latest credit score for free on WalletHub to see where you stand.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum vs. The Competition
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®
|Annual Fee||$0 intro 1st yr, $99 after||$95||$0|
|Bonus Offer||50,000 miles||60,000 points||10,000 miles + $50 statement credit|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 2 miles / $1||1 - 5 points / $1||1 - 2 miles / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||20.49% - 29.49% (V)||20.49% - 27.49% (V)||20.49% - 29.49% (V)|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|