Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Review

Best for: frequent travelers that would appreciate loyalty perks like priority boarding, free checked bag, travel protection and insurance

If you fly even once a year, having a travel perks card like this American Airlines credit card can come in handy. You’ll accrue award miles quickly when you use the card for everyday purchases. Plus you’ll have access to airline perks often reserved for frequent fliers. 

You’ll be earning points for American Airlines, but can also use your award points on partner airlines through the Oneworld Alliance, like British Airways and Cathay Pacific. Read this review to learn more about all the perks you get with this Citi credit card.

The basics of the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Credit Card

  • APR: 18.24% to 26.24% Variable APR.
  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, $99 per year after.
  • Reward Rates: Two miles for every dollar spent on restaurants, gas and American Airlines travel, one mile for every dollar spent on everything else. If you spend $20,000 in card purchases in one year, you also get a $125 AA flight discount voucher.
  • Intro Offer: 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 in card purchases the first three months.

The Platinum Select World Elite’s standout features

  •  A 50,000 American AAdvantage miles introductory bonus could get you two free plane tickets within the USA, or one round trip ticket to Europe.
  • Miles accrue quickly – you’ll earn double miles for card purchases for gas, dining out and AA travel.
  • Citi cardholders get priority boarding.
  • There is a 25% discount on purchases made inflight like wifi and beverages.
  • Rental car protection, luggage protection, trip delay protection, trip cancellation insurance and worldwide travel accident insurance are fabulous travel perks to make traveling safer and more comfortable for you and your family. 
  • Your first checked bag is free on all AA and partner airline flights.

Best way to use the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Credit Card

You’re not limited to using American Airlines for continental flights only. You also have access to world travel through AA’s partnership with the Oneworld Alliance. This AA credit card is a great card to fund your annual vacation to Hawaii, Mexico or destination of choice. Play your cards right and you may be able to book free plane tickets for yourself and at least one or two more friends or family. 

If you’re responsible about spending, use this Mastercard for all your daily expenses and bills to accrue Aadvantage miles quickly that can be redeemed for your annual vacation. Focus on the double points rewards like gas and dining. If you spend about $1,700 a month on your AA credit card, you’ll receive an additional travel voucher of $125 to apply to flights.

When redeeming your points for plane tickets, keep an eye on Mileage Saver Awards, which offer quarterly discounts of 3,750 per leg on flights for select cities. AAdvantage details the steps on how to get reduced-mile awards on their webpage.

In a nutshell

If you’ve always wondered how some people manage to travel regularly, you’ve just discovered one of the secrets – leveraging credit card purchases for miles that can be redeemed for free plane tickets.

Although this AA credit card carries a $99 annual fee, it’s likely the benefits will outweigh the cost quickly. The first checked bag fee on a U.S. flight on American Airlines is $30. That’s $60 round trip per person for a checked bag. If you travel once per year with a friend or partner using your Citi AAdvantage card, you save $120 in checked baggage fees.

Besides free ticket potential, having a credit card with free travel benefits and trip insurance makes absolute sense so you can relax and enjoy your travel, knowing your Citi AAdvantage Mastercard has your back.

Cynthia Paez Bowman

Journalist specializing in personal finance and international business

Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.