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

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard® is now offering publicly available sign-up bonuses for 60,000 miles (the business version of this card is offering this as well). This is double the standard offer of 30,000 miles and can present a lot of potential for value. Here’s my take on the card.

Update: Some offers are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!

Quick look

  • 60,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
  • $95 annual fee waived the first year
  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines domestic flights
  • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10, 000 AAdvantage®miles each calendar year.
  • Receive a 25% savings on eligible in–flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights (I don’t see this in the terms for the 60,000 offer but I’m assuming it’s still there)
  • Reduced Mileage Awards — Fly to great destinations on American Airlines operated flights for up to 7,500 fewer AAdvantage® miles for flights in the US and to/from Canada.
I used AA miles to fly British Airways first class from OSL to IAH.

Sign-up bonus

The standard public offer for this card is actually 50% of this bonus — only 30,000 miles. Something that you might now know about this card is that the 50,000 offer is often available even when it’s not advertised. Something else you might not know is that when you get that 50,000 offer, it’s historically been easy to get matched to the 60,000 offer via secured message, so getting 60,000 AA miles from Citi isn’t exactly a rarity. Still, it’s an extremely solid bonus and it’s nice that it’s conveniently available to the public.

With 60,000 miles you could cover a roundtrip domestic ticket in first class or even a roundtrip in business class to Mexico or northern South America. You could also cover a roundtrip economy ticket to Europe or a one-way business class fare to Europe.

The biggest issue with AA miles is the lack of SAAver availability. For that reason, I often spend my AA miles on oneworld partner awards. I’ve used them for the likes of Qatar, Etihad, and even British Airways. The first class awards to destinations served by some of those airlines (i.e., the Middle East), can be pricey but the great thing about AA is you have several earning options.

Supplement your AA balance with other cards

You can easily supplement your 60,000 mile bonus by picking up the 40,000 miles bonus from Barclaycard’s AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red World Elite MasterCard. All that is required to receive that bonus is to make a single purchase on the card within 90 days of opening and pay the $95 annual fee. So just like that, you’d have 100,000 AA miles.

You could then take your earnings one step further and pick up the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®, which is the business version that also currently comes with a 60,000 miles bonus and an annual fee waived the first year.

So that’s a pretty easy way to pick up 160,000 AA miles while only being forced to pay one $95 annual fee and spend about $6,000 on minimum spends. That’s a fantastic deal and could really open up some sweet redemptions.

The Etihad Apartment, booked with AA miles.

For example, with those miles you could book:

  • Etihad First Class Apartment or Qatar first class for one way to or from the Middle East at 115,000 miles
  • Etihad or Qatar business class roundtrip to or from the Middle East at 140,000
  • Cathay Pacific business class roundtrip to Asia at 140,000
  • Roundtrip business class to Europe at 115,000
  • Roundtrip in business class to Africa at 150,000
  •  Two roundtrip business class tickets to Hawaii at 160,000

The fact that you could book those while only paying $95 is phenomenal value.

10% rebate

The annually capped 10% rebate is a nice feature, too. It means that after you redeem your 60,000 miles you’ll receive an additional 6,000 miles in your account so the sign-up bonus for the Citi Platinum Select is more like a 66,000 miles sign-up bonus. Unfortunately, you cannot stack this perk with the Aviator — your rebate is capped annually at 10% across all AA co-branded credit cards.

Additional perks

The card also comes with the following perks:

  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines domestic flights
  • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • 25% savings on eligible in–flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights

These are nice but my biggest complaint with this card is that the benefits are limited to domestic flights. Still, these status-like benefits are nice to have if you frequently fly American and they could easily end up saving you and others a couple of hundred bucks if utilized a few times. (Each first checked bag would cost $25.)

Reduced mileage awards

One of the perks of this card is that it offers reduced milage awards. The way it works is that if you have the Platinum Select, you can save 7,500 miles discount on flights more than 500 miles and
2,000 miles on flights 500 miles or less. The problem is that these discounts only apply to flights to certain destinations so you won’t always be able to take advantage of it. Read more about this perk here.

Citi application rules

You definitely need to be aware of the application rules for Citi credit cards before applying. Read about the Citi 8/65 rule and 24 month rule that this card is subjected to. Note that sometimes links are offered for this card that are not restricted by the 24 month language.

Final word

While SAAver availability is always an issue now-a-days with AA, there’s still tremendous ways to redeem AA miles for substantial value. With the Platinum Select you can quickly earn 60,000 AA miles and by combining this card with one or two others, you’d be set to redeem your miles for some of the best premium cabins in the world like the Etihad Apartment.

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