Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Review

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The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard currently offers one of the best sign-up bonus among airline credit cards. You don’t have to spend a ton to earn the bonus, either. This card charges an annual fee, but you can make up the cost if you take advantage of the free checked bag benefit on a couple of round-trip flights per year.

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

overall rating
4.2
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, eligible American Airlines purchases, and restaurants.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.8
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
4.4
for Credit
4.0

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Top Rated For

  • Best Airline Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
    Brand Loyalist
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker

This is a good card for those who can fly with American Airlines at least a few times each year to use the card’s benefits to recoup the annual fee cost. If you dine out or fill up at the pump often, this card will reward those more routine expenses, too. 

You don’t need to be a big spender to get value from this card, but you do need to fly with American Airlines and its partner airlines to earn double miles, so make sure your primary airport supports that before applying.

If you want the flexibility to fly with any airline and still earn rewards, this card isn’t for you. Open a non-airline branded travel card instead. Those seeking luxury travel perks and travel insurance benefits should also look elsewhere, as this card doesn’t offer airport lounge access and Citi will soon nix several travel benefits offered by this card. 

Pros

  • Most valuable miles

  • Generous sign-up bonus

  • Free checked bag

  • Double miles on gas and restaurant purchases

Cons

  • Few additional benefits

Pros Explained

  • Most valuable miles: When you redeem miles you’ve earned on this card for free flights, those miles have the best value of any airline credit cards, according to The Balance's research. We found they typically are worth 2.95 cents each, which far exceeds what you can get from other airline-branded cards. You may also find award flights that make your AAdvantage miles even more valuable.
  • Generous sign-up bonus: You only have to spend $834 each month after opening this card to earn the 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles, which may be enough to book two free round-trip flights in the U.S or even indulge in one round-trip first-class ticket.
  • Free checked bag: American Airlines normally charges $30 for your first checked bag each way, so you can recoup the cost of this card’s annual fee within two round trips. If you travel with family members often, this benefit could really save you some cash. Since you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation can use it, this perk is valued at up to $300 per round trip flight.
  • Double miles on gas and restaurant purchases: This is great, because few airline cards award extra miles for non-travel purchases. It’s a solid daily use card for infrequent travelers who have a long commute to work (or a gas-guzzling car) and/or dine out often. If your lifestyle fits that bill, you’ll earn double miles often.

Cons Explained

  • Few additional benefits: This isn’t a premium travel card, so we expect fewer benefits as a result. However, unlike some comparable airline-branded cards, this card doesn’t offer any form of airport lounge access. Plus, Citi has dropped many of its purchase protection and travel insurance benefits for its cards, which will make this card’s benefits even lighter. More on this below.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Sign-up Bonus 

Spend $2,500 within three months of opening your account to receive 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles. It’s a great deal, as you can spend less than $1,000 each month to meet the spending requirement and, based on our calculations, this bonus is worth up to $1,475 if the miles are used to book flights. That makes it one of the most valuable airline credit card sign-up bonuses on the market right now. 

You aren’t eligible for the sign-up bonus if you have received a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select bonus for another account within the past 48 months.

Earning Points & Rewards

With the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines, restaurant, and gas station purchases. Outside of those categories, you’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent. Double miles on airline brand purchases is a solid earning rate and typical for branded travel cards. 

You can also earn miles on flights on 24 partner airlines, which include Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas, as long as you buy the flight through American Airlines. Earning rates will vary among partner airlines. Watch the AAdvantage portal for ways to earn extra miles on vacation, dining, and online shopping purchases, too. 

This card offers unlimited earning potential, and AAdvantage miles don’t expire as long as you earn or redeem miles at least once every 18 months. 

Redeeming Rewards

Our valuation research found that AAdvantage miles are best used for flights booked directly with American Airlines or partner airlines via the AAdvantage portal or American Airlines app. In addition to flights, you can also upgrade tickets using miles. 

American Airlines makes it relatively easy to understand your options because it posts miles redemption charts, award flight rules, and peak travel dates online.

Seats for award travel are limited and may not be available on all flights, according to AAdvantage program terms. Planning flexibility will be key when using this card.  

These are some of the other items you can redeem miles for:

  • Rental cars and hotel stays
  • Vacation packages 
  • Gift cards

AAdvantage Miles can’t be redeemed for cash, statement credits, checks, or direct deposit. 

How To Get The Most Out Of This Card

Spend $2,500 in three months to earn the valuable sign-up bonus. To ensure you’re earning extra miles on an ongoing basis, use this card for all restaurant, gas, and travel booked through American Airlines. Also, take advantage of the free checked bag benefit on at least two round-trip flights per year to make up for the annual fee. 

When it comes to redeeming miles, only use them to book flights through American Airlines to ensure you’re getting the most out of these high-value airline rewards. MileSAAver flights will stretch your miles the furthest, so snatch those flights up when you can. 

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard’s Excellent Perks 

Besides the free checked bag, the card gives you these other benefits, which our editors deem superior to typical travel rewards card benefits:

  • $125 American Airlines flight credit: Spend $20,000 or more on purchases in a year to earn this offer. The credit will be good for a full year. 
  • Preferred boarding: Board flights after Priority boarding and before economy passengers. This benefit applies to you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation, and gives you a better chance of getting space in the overhead bin for your carry-ons. 

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard’s Other Features 

The only other perk you get with the card is a 25% discount on in-flight purchases.

Effective Sept. 22, 2019, Citi no longer offers trip delay, interruption, and cancelation insurance; travel accident insurance; coverage for lost and delayed baggage; auto rental collision damage waiver; Citi Price Rewind; or purchase return protection for purchases made on or after that date. Coverage for purchases made before that date are still available.

Customer Experience

Citibank ranks No. 6 for customer satisfaction among 11 major card-issuing banks, according to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. It scored 799 points out of 1,000, falling below the industry average of 806.

That said, one nice customer benefit is that Citi provides a free FICO credit score, which you can access online and in the app. 

Security Features 

Citi’s Fraud Early Warning system will notify you of suspicious account activity. For additional protection, Citi can generate a virtual, temporary card number to use instead of your real one while shopping online. 

If your card is lost or stolen, use the mobile app to instantly lock it to prevent fraud. This feature conveniently allows recurring transactions to proceed uninterrupted until the matter is resolved. If your identity is compromised, Citi Identity Theft Solutions can help you deal with compromised accounts and file police reports.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Fees 

This card charges an annual fee, which is really the only fee you need to watch for. Fortunately, that cost is easily recouped thanks to the free checked bag benefit and hefty bonus offer. Other than that, international travelers will like that they can use this card outside the U.S. without being charged foreign transaction fees. 

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

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CURRENT CARD
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
overall rating
4.2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, eligible American Airlines purchases, and restaurants.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.