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The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a business travel rewards credit card with a $99 annual fee (waived during the first year) and a solid rewards program that benefits frequent American Airlines travelers. Thanks to American Airlines’ participation in the global oneworld airline alliance, miles earned with this card can be redeemed with numerous partner airlines that collectively travel to thousands of destinations worldwide.
This card competes with a number of other business credit cards tied to travel rewards programs. These include branded airline and hotel rewards credit cards, such as Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards business credit cards and the Gold and Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Cards from American Express.
Earn 65,000 bonus AAdvantage miles when you spend at least $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 4 months of opening your account. That’s enough for at least one round-trip fare anywhere in the continental United States, and perhaps more.
Earning AAdvantage Miles
This card earns 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases, as well as purchases in four business spending categories:
- Telecommunications (including cell phones and plans)
- Cable and satellite providers
- Gas stations
- Car rental merchants
All other purchases earn an unlimited 1 mile per $1 spent.
Redeeming AAdvantage Miles
You can redeem your accumulated AAdvantage miles for airfare purchases and upgrades with American Airlines and more than a dozen oneworld carrier partners, including British Airways and LAN.
Redemption minimums usually start at 7,500 AAdvantage miles for American Airlines one-way flights under 500 actual miles in the contiguous U.S. and Canada, and 12,500 AAdvantage miles for those same flights longer than 500 actual miles. However, these lower-priced flights, which are known as “MileSAAver” flights, often have blackout dates and seat restrictions, which makes them less than ideal for flexible travel.
If you wish to avoid blackout dates, you can choose AAnytime flights, which cost more: 20,000 AAdvantage miles, regardless of flight distance, for all contiguous U.S. and Canada one-ways. North American airfare redemptions reliably value AAdvantage miles between $0.01 and $0.015 apiece, and sometimes more, depending on the underlying cost of the flights for which they’re redeemed. International airfare redemptions (especially with oneworld partners that specialize in long-haul, trans-ocean flights) can result in much higher point values – upwards of $0.03 per mile, and sometimes even more.
That said, partner redemptions usually require more AAdvantage miles overall, with the exact amounts dependent on flight distance, date, destination, and other factors. It’s best to check with each airline before booking.
AAdvantage miles expire on a rolling basis after 18 months of account inactivity, defined as no earnings or redemptions during the period.
American Airlines Companion Certificate
When you spend at least $30,000 in a calendar year, you receive a companion airfare certificate.
You can redeem this certificate for one round-trip main cabin domestic American Airlines fare for a traveler accompanied by the primary cardholder, subject to a $99 ticketing fee and government-imposed taxes and fees ranging from $21.60 to $43.20, depending on the itinerary. Since the certificate is good for any domestic flight, so it pays to redeem it on longer, more expensive routes.
American Airlines Benefits
In addition to the rewards program and companion certificate, this card has some great benefits for American Airlines travelers:
- Preferred boarding on all American Airlines flights
- A free first checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to four traveling companions (up to $250 value per trip, subject to change)
- A 25% discount on in-flight WiFi.
The annual fee is $99 after the first year. There is no foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers and cash advances both cost the greater of $10 or 5%.
This card requires good to excellent credit. Any notable credit blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.
- Great Sign-up Bonus. CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select’s sign-up bonus is pretty impressive, even for moderate business spenders. Spend just $4,000 in purchases in 4 months to earn 65,000 AAdvantage miles – more than enough to redeem for a round-trip economy itinerary anywhere in the United States.
- 2x Category Covers Common Business Travel Expenses. CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select’s 2X category covers several common business travel spending categories: telecommunications, car rentals, and gas stations.
- Can Redeem With Many International Partner Airlines. Though American Airlines is a huge airline with lots of international destinations, it doesn’t fly everywhere. However, thanks to its involvement with the oneworld airline alliance, its partner airlines do fly to many destinations. This is a big advantage over business airline credit cards that aren’t tied to global airline alliances such as oneworld and Star Alliance, including Southwest Airlines’ business credit cards.
- Companion Certificate Is a Nice Benefit for Big Spenders. CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select cardholders who spend at least $30,000 in purchases in a cardmembership year and renew their cardmembership receive a companion certificate good for one round-trip domestic economy itinerary, subject to ticketing fees and government-imposed taxes and fees. This benefit’s value depends on the underlying cost of the airfare against which it’s redeemed, but it’s sure to be significant.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. This is a huge help for business owners who frequently travel abroad, perhaps with American Airlines’ oneworld partners.
- Strong Air Travel Benefits. This card has a bunch of in-flight and in-airport benefits, such as a 25% discount on in-flight WiFi, preferred boarding, and free first checked bags for up to five travelers (primary cardholder plus four companions). The checked bag benefit can be worth up to $250 per round trip when used to the fullest.
- Has an Annual Fee. This card comes with a $99 annual fee after the first year. This is a big drawback for business owners who don’t travel for work very often or spend very much in the card’s favored categories, and thus probably don’t earn points fast enough to offset the fee. If you prefer a no-annual-fee business travel card, try Spark Miles Select from Capital One.
- No Introductory APR. This card doesn’t come with an introductory APR period, which is a bummer for business owners who wish to make large upfront purchases without worrying about interest accumulating right away. Some competing business travel cards, such as Capital One Spark Miles Select, have intro APRs of nine months or longer.
- No Statement Credit After First Purchase. This card doesn’t offer a statement credit after the first purchase as part of its sign-up bonus deal. Many competing airline credit cards do offer easy-to-attain statement credits to juice early spending.
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a great business credit card for frequent travelers who live near airports served by American Airlines and its oneworld partners – which, due to the airline’s (and alliance’s) size, is most airports.
However, not all airports are served equally. If your home airport is better served by another big airline, such as Delta or United, don’t apply for this card without first checking out their options. After all, great airline rewards are meant to be used.