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Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® Review

By Christina Majaski

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4.5
On January 21, 2014
Last modified:September 3, 2014

citi aadvantage mastercardThe Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® is a Citibank card that rewards purchases with airline miles. For diehard fans of American Airlines, there are bonus chances to earn points, as well as great opportunities to redeem flights.

If you are not quite as attached to American Airlines, however, you’re likely to find it difficult to justify the $95 annual fee. Still, if you’re looking for a card that awards airline miles and free flights, you may want to take a look at the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard.

Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. If you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership, you are awarded 2 Admirals Club lounge passes and 30,000 AAdvantage bonus miles, which may be enough for a round-trip domestic MileSAAver flight on American Airlines. These flights start as low as 12,500 miles.
  • Fees. The annual fee for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard is $95, which is waived for the first 12 months. Balance transfers are $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, and the foreign transaction fee is 3%.
  • APR. The APR on purchases and balance transfers is 13.99%, 17.99%, or 21.99% depending upon your credit worthiness and varies according to the prime rate. There is a penalty APR of up to 29.99%, which may be applied to your account if you make a late payment or if a payment is returned.
  • AAdvantage Miles.  You earn two AAdvantage miles for each dollar you spend on American Airline purchases, and one mile for each dollar you spend everywhere else. With this credit card you can earn unlimited miles, which never expire.
  • Annual Bonuses. You also earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount every year you spend $30,000 or more in purchases. You are able to earn back 10% of the AAdvantage miles that you redeem each year, with a maximum of 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles.
  • Flight Benefits. You receive “Group 1″ privileges with the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard, which means you are allowed to board the plane at the beginning of the boarding process. You also receive your first checked bag free as do four companions who are traveling with you. Additionally, when you use your card for in-flight food and beverages, you get a 25% discount.
  • Use Fewer Miles for Flights. As a cardholder of the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard, you qualify for reduced mileage awards, which means you are able to fly certain round-trip destinations for 7,500 fewer miles than usual. This discount applies to flights in select U.S. cities, either coach or business class. For example, a round-trip economy ticket that usually requires 25,000 miles would only require 17,500, or 8,750 one way. The list of eligible destinations is available online, and it is recommended that you check each month for new discount flights.
  • No Preset Spending Limit. The Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard has a revolving credit limit, but allows flexible spending similar to that of a charge card. You are able to exceed the credit limit on the card, but each month you must pay in full any amount over the credit limit – otherwise you will be charged.

Advantages

  1. Easily Cover the Annual Fee. The annual fee is waived the first year and the annual bonuses and flight benefits alone could cover the annual fee. However, if you are able to redeem your sign-up bonus for two flights or a round-trip flight, you can easily cover the annual fee for another few years.
  2. First Checked Bag Free. Cardmembers receive their first checked bag free, as do up to four travel companions, resulting in a savings of approximately $250 per round trip. Other airline credit cards offer first checked bags for free, but not necessarily for four companions. For example, the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card offers the first bag to the primary cardholder and one companion for free.
  3. Annual Bonuses. The $100 bonus you earn each year that you spend $30,000 or more covers your annual fee. Each year you are also eligible to earn back 10% of the miles that you redeem in a calendar year. There is a maximum of 10,000 bonus miles that can be earned with this benefit, and your account need only be open and active at the time of redemption in order to qualify.
  4. Choose From Multiple Airlines. AAdvantage points can also be redeemed with airline partners of the OneWorld alliance such as British Airways and non-alliance airlines such as Alaskan and Hawaiian. You are not limited to American Airlines flights to redeem your points.

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Disadvantages

  1. High APR. If you carry a balance rather than pay your balance in full each month, the rewards you earn will be lost in interest payments. As is the case with most rewards credit cards, you will need to pay your balance in full in order to maximize the earning potential. If you regularly carry balances, a low-interest card without a rewards program is the best choice.
  2. Foreign Transaction Fees. Travel reward cards that charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% may not make the most sense if you travel outside of the United States frequently. If so, a card that doesn’t charge such a fee – or one that’s lower than 3% – may make more sense. The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card and the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card do not charge a foreign transaction fee.

Final Word

You are able to enjoy many perks when flying with American Airlines, and you can earn and redeem miles for free flights with this card. The sign-up bonus which can be redeemed for free flights and the opportunities provided for earning and redeeming make the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard a great option if you fly frequently with American Airlines or its partners. However, it is not an ideal card to carry if you travel frequently outside of the United States because of the foreign transaction fee.

Verdict

The Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® is a great card option with many bonuses, benefits, and opportunities to earn points for free flights if you do not carry a balance or travel frequently outside of the United States.

Score

4.5 out of 5 stars: You are able to easily earn enough points to redeem for free flights with American Airlines and its partners and the bonuses pay for the annual fee for at least a few years.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Christina Majaski
Christina Majaski has written for online and print publications since 2003 on topics related to personal finance, legal matters, parenting, and careers. She lives in the Minnesota tundra, where in her free time she enjoys reading, writing, interacting via social media, and hanging out with her daughter.

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  • http://www.digitizedlogos.com AAdvantage Partners

    There is obviously a lot to learn about this. I think you made some good points in your article.

  • SHarrell33

    Please apply for this card with caution…not all incentives will
    be honored. After applying for this card
    under a “Holiday Promotion” in December of 2012 which promised “35,000
    advantage miles after $1,500 in spending “if you apply by January 31st, I have
    been notified that the terms have changed, now to “40,000 advantage miles after
    $3,000 in spending”. While my account
    meets and exceeds the minimum spending limits for the ORIGINAL offer I applied
    for, these new “terms” exclude me from receiving any miles. Citi and the Advantage rewards department do
    not provide any direct contact information or customer support other than the website
    communication, which responds with canned answers and stock responses. Read their terms of service carefully for yourself,
    as their promotions and terms of use can change without any warning and at the
    detriment of the consumer. You may be
    applying for a rewards incentive, and have it completely change without
    notice. Make sure you read the fine
    print: “ American
    Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program rules, regulations, travel
    awards and special offers at any time without notice”

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