Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Review

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Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
GOOD FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES TRAVELERS

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

Editor’s Score: (3.65/5)
Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Rewards rate:

Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 50,000 miles
  • Annual fee: $99, waived for first 12 months
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

If you prefer flying with American Airlines or its oneworld partners, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® can be a valuable tool for earning miles toward future travel. The initial signup bonus is generous, and the frequent flyer benefits included could save you hundreds of dollars per year. 

At a Glance

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,500 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2x miles at restaurants and gas stations
  • Earn 1x miles on everything else
  • Frequent flyer perks include a free checked bag, preferred boarding, and discounts on in-flight purchases
  • $99 annual fee, waived the first 12 months
  • 15.99% to 24.99% variable APR, based on your creditworthiness

Pros

  • Generous intro bonus and rewards on everyday spending

  • Valuable frequent flyer benefits when you fly American

  • No annual fee the first year

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $99 annual fee (after the first year)

  • High APR for purchases

  • No elite qualifying miles toward elite status

Additional Card Details

The biggest draw of the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is the bonus miles you can earn toward American Airlines’ loyalty program, but there are a few additional benefits that can offset the annual fee and help you maximize value. 

With this card, you and up to four companions on the same reservation get your first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights. You’ll also get preferred boarding when you fly with the airline, and 25% off in-flight food and beverage purchases when you pay with your card.

And each calendar year you spend $20,000 or more with your card, you’ll qualify for a $125 American Airlines flight discount, redeemable toward flights with American or its partners — which include international airlines like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, and Japan Airlines.

Should You Get this Card?

This card is a great option for American Airlines loyalists, but may offer enough value to offset the annual fee even if you only fly with the airline a few times each year. 

The free first checked bag benefit alone is worth $30 per person one-way; if you use this perk on just two round-trip flights per year, you’ll make up the $99 fee. The 50,000 bonus miles you can earn as a welcome bonus are enough for two round-trip domestic MileSAAver flights (American Airlines’ basic economy award fare) or one round-trip MileSAAver off-peak flight to Europe. Plus, the annual fee is waived the first year, so you get 12 months to rack up rewards and try out the frequent flyer benefits before the cost kicks in.

If you aren’t near an American Airlines hub, consider similarly-priced cards from other large domestic airlines, like Delta Air Lines or United Airlines. Both the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and the United℠ Explorer offer comparable rewards and benefits toward your flights on those airlines.

But if you’re not loyal to any single carrier, you may find more value from a general travel rewards credit card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or American Express® Gold Card. You can earn rewards in similar categories (dining, travel, groceries), but have the option to redeem your rewards with a wider range of airlines.

How to Use the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard 

Once you’re approved for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, you can begin maximizing value by spending $2,500 on your card within three months of account opening to earn the 50,000-mile welcome bonus. That’s equal to $834 per month for three consecutive months. 

If that’s in line with your typical budget, you may be able to reach it (and earn bonus miles) by charging groceries, gas and regular purchases to your card. Otherwise, consider applying when you’re ready to book your next trip or make another large upcoming purchase.

Since you earn double miles on gas and dining in addition to American Airlines purchases, increase your points balance over time with your regular spending in these categories. You can also maximize rewards by signing up for American Airlines AAdvantage shopping and using the American AAdvantage dining program.

The other way to make the most of this card is by making sure you add your American AAdvantage number to your reservation each time you fly. Not only will you ensure you earn miles on your flight, but this will be key to enjoying your card’s free checked bag and preferred boarding benefits.

Pro Tip

The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers a free checked bag benefit for cardholders. Plus, book up to four companions on your reservation and all five of you will receive this perk.

You can earn additional value by spending at least $20,000 on the card each year (around $1,667 per month) to qualify for the annual $125 flight discount with American. Depending on how this fits with your budget and regular spending, this benefit alone can offset the annual fee.

Finally, make sure you spend only what you can afford, and pay your credit card bill in full each month. Any interest you accrue at this card’s high variable APR (15.99% to 24.99% based on your creditworthiness) can quickly wipe out the value of any airline miles you earn on spending.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Compared to Other Cards

  • Intro bonus:
    50,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $99, waived for first 12 months
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
  • Intro bonus:
    50,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $450
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard can be a great option for earning rewards on travel and everyday spending, as well as enjoying flight benefits with American Airlines. There’s no annual fee the first year, and the generous welcome bonus alone is potentially worth multiple round-trip flights. 

But before you apply, consider whether a co-branded card with American Airlines makes sense for your future travel, or whether a more general travel credit card may offer rewards and perks that better suit your spending and travel habits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What credit score is needed for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard?

For the best chances of qualifying for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, you’ll need a credit score of 670 or higher.

What does 50,000 miles get you on American Airlines?

How you spend 50,000 American AAdvantage miles is up to you. However, based on American Airlines’ current award chart, 50,000 miles is enough for:

  • Four one-way (or two round-trip) MileSAAver award flights within the continental U.S. & Canada
  • One round-trip MileSAAver off-peak flight from the United States to Europe
  • A round-trip MileSAAver award flight from the continental U.S. to Hawaii

Does American Airlines have a credit card with no annual fee?

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card from Citi is American Airlines’ no annual fee option. With this card, you’ll earn 2x AAdvantage miles at grocery stores and on eligible American Airlines purchases.