Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Review
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a pretty good airline credit card for applicants with a 750+ credit score who want a low annual fee. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select has a $0 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. There are some noteworthy perks, too.
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 gas station, restaurants and American Airlines purchases yielding the highest return.
The bottom line is that if you are committed to flying American Airlines whenever you travel by air but don’t travel enough to justify paying a lot for a luxury airline credit card, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is worthy of consideration, if not an application. There is a lot of competition from travel rewards credit cards with low (or no) annual fees, however, so it’s best to compare offers to find the right fit for you.
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 $590 in American Airlines airfare, according to WalletHub research.
No Annual Fee the First Year
The AAdvantage Platinum Select Card’s annual fee is $0 the first year, which is like a bonus in its own right 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.
Those earning rates equal about 1.18% to 2.36% back, according to WalletHub research. The low end of that range is a bit higher than the 1.07% 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.
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 15.99% - 24.99% (V), depending on creditworthiness. The average regular APR among credit card offers for people with excellent credit, on the other hand, is just 12.99%. Furthermore, excellent 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.
Requires Commitment to American Airlines & Partners for Maximum Value
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard miles are worth an average of 1.18 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.
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.
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 it’s still worth noting 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 1.44% on every international purchase compared to the average credit card overall.
Applicants Need Excellent Credit for High Approval Odds
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard requires excellent credit for approval, which means applicants need a credit score of 750 or higher to have good odds. You can check 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℠ Card
|Annual Fee||$0 1st yr, $99 after||$95||$0|
|Rewards Bonus||50,000 miles||80,000 points||10,000 miles + $50 statement credit|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 2 miles / $1||1 - 2 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||15.99% - 24.99% (V)||15.99% - 22.99% (V)||15.99% - 24.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||4.4 / 5||4.8 / 5||3.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
Was this article helpful?