Updated: Mar 23, 2022
If you have ever flown in the United States, chances are you have used American Airlines. They are a major airline that operates domestic and international routes; it is the largest airline in the world. If you fly on a regular basis with American Airlines, there is one card that you want to have: Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®!
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Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
American Airlines has partnered with Citi—a major player in the Award Travel arena. If you fly at least once per year with American Airlines, chances are you will derive value with the Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. The welcome bonus and benefits far outweigh the $99 annual fee—which is waived for the first 12 months! Let's explore the features of this card in more detail.
The Welcome Bonus
The Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® currently has a welcome bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles! You will need to spend $2,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You can apply for this card here!
How far will 50,000 AAdvantage® miles get you? American Airlines has a published Award Chart that lists its award prices. There are MileSAAver—Off Peak; MileSAAver; AAnytime—Level 1; AAnytime—Level 2; and Web Specials. A MileSAAver Off Peak economy award from any of the contiguous 48 United States & Canada to Europe only costs 45,000 miles roundtrip!
Let's look at an example of an economy roundtrip Award Ticket from Columbus, Ohio (CMH) to Paris, France (CDG). If you were departing January 10, 2022, and returning January 18, 2022, the total AAdvantage® miles needed to redeem this itinerary amount to 45,000 plus $92.97 in taxes and fees. This is a great bargain!
To learn more about how to book an Award Ticket With American Airlines AAdvantage® loyalty program, see the following post: American AAdvantage Miles—How to Book an Award Ticket.
The Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® earns 2X AAdvantage® miles in the following categories:
American Airlines purchases
It earns 1X on everything else.
There are better miles/ points-earning cards out there. Hence, after you receive your 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles, you may not want to use this card as your daily workhorse—unless you have a special redemption with AAdvantage® you are working towards. Nevertheless, the welcome bonus and other benefits offered with this card make it worthwhile to have.
In my opinion, the best credit card to get started within Award Travel is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The current welcome bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards®! You can apply for this card here! If you would like to learn more about this credit card, please see the following post: Chase Sapphire Preferred—The Best Credit Card Just Got Better!
Calculate "Your" Value of Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Everyone has their own "custom" spending habits. Therefore, selecting the right credit card is a personal decision. Wouldn't it be great if there was a "custom" calculator that generated a value based on your spending habits?
There is! AwardYourMiles has developed a Miles & Points Calculator. Select the credit card and enter the amount of money you spend on average per month in the corresponding category. It will calculate the following:
The monetary value of your first and second years using the credit card; and
The miles/ points generated from your spend.
AwardYourMiles has also developed a Credit Card Selector Calculator. It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of each credit card in your first year of use!
First Checked Bag Free Benefit
This benefit alone easily makes up for the $99 annual fee. It applies to domestic American Airline itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation. This benefit saves you $30 per person each way or up to $300 on a roundtrip flight for you and your four companions. Flying multiple times in a year only adds to this valuable perk.
You do not even need to use your Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® when purchasing your tickets; just make sure to include your American AAdvantage® frequent-flyer number on your reservation. Also, the cardholder will need to be on the reservation for the first checked bag free benefit to be activated.
Other Benefits and Annual Fee
If you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card, you will receive a $125 American Airlines flight discount. I generally would not recommend this route as the return on spend is minimal. You can get more value using a different credit card with higher multipliers and/ or taking advantage of another sign-up bonus.
There are no foreign transaction fees; this is useful when traveling internationally. Mastercard has wide acceptance worldwide. To learn more about how to use a credit card when traveling internationally, see the following post: Avoid These Five Mistakes With a Credit Card!
You will receive preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
There is a 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights when you use your card.
The annual fee is $99. However, it is waived for the first 12 months.
Strategically Working to Increase Your American AAdvantage® Miles
There are a number of strategies you can use to increase your supply of AAdvantage® miles. This includes opening multiple credit cards—those that earn AAdvantage® miles or Marriott points.
Families can work together in "two-player mode." This is a way for two individuals to work together to increase their credit card rewards which can then be redeemed for Award Travel. To learn more about this strategy, please see the following post: Getting Approved for a Credit Card While Unemployed—Why You Don't Want to Miss Out!
Taking advantage of AAdvantage® eShopping, AAdvantage® Dining, and other promotions offered by American Airlines are some additional ways to increase miles. It does create a little extra work to sign-up and access the links but it becomes second nature with practice.
To learn more about reward stacking in general, see the following post: How to Win Points—With Your Spouse and Your Credit Card!
A Sock-Drawer Credit Card
The Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® easily qualifies as a "sock-drawer" credit card. What is a "sock-drawer" credit card? Put simply, a credit card that you rarely use but is more valuable to keep than to close. Of course, you will want to use the credit card initially—at least until you receive the welcome bonus. After that, you may decide to use other credit cards for your everyday spend—whether to meet the spend requirement for another welcome bonus, use a credit card that earns higher multipliers in various spending categories, etc.
"The benefits of the Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® easily pays for its $99 annual fee."
The benefits from the Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® easily offset its $99 annual fee. The free first checked bags for the primary cardmember and four companions make this a valuable card to keep. The value from the aforementioned benefit alone could potentially be hundreds of dollars every year if you fly with American Airlines! That demonstrates the value of a sock-drawer credit card! You can apply for this card here!
Welcome Bonus Stipulations
The current 50,000 AAdvantage® miles welcome bonus does come with some stipulations. One of the aforementioned requirements is that you will need to spend $2,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening to earn 50,000 AAdvantage® miles.
Additionally, you aren't eligible for the welcome bonus if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months.