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Changes to CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard Benefits

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

In addition to personal credit cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard and the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, Citibank offers a business credit card co-branded with American Airlines: the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard. It’s one of the best mileage-earning business credit cards out there, and one of the top credit card choices for American Airlines flyers.

Though the card’s current sign-up bonus is 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 within three months, it regularly jumps to 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in three months.

The card also currently carries a variety of other perks including:

  • 2x miles for every $1 spent on office supplies, telecommunications, and car rentals
  • 2x miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines and US Airways purchases
  • Checked baggage fee waiver and Group 1 boarding (on AA flights, Zone 2 on US Airways flights) for cardholders and up to 4 companions on the same reservation
  • 5% mileage bonus based on purchases each year upon renewal
  • $99 companion certificate for travel in the continental United States each cardmembership year when spending $30,000 or more
  • 25% discount for in-flight food and beverage purchases
  • Reduced mileage awards (by up to 7,500 miles)
  • Annual fee: $95 (waived for the first 12 months)

This week, though, Citi sent out mailers to cardholders announcing upcoming changes to some of those benefits that will go into effect November 15, 2015. The changes include:

  • Discontinuation of 5% mileage bonus starting on your cardmember anniversary date after November 15.
  • Double miles on office supplies is being replaced with double miles on gas purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees after November 15.
The card's new bonus category will be gas stations. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
The card’s new bonus category will be gas stations. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

These changes are major but not earth-shattering. If you’re a small business and put a lot of your expenses on this card, then that 5% mileage bonus discontinuation could have a big impact on your bottom line, but probably not. 5% isn’t a huge amount — if you spend $100,000 in a year, you’re only raking in 5,000 bonus miles — but still something to consider.

The more interesting change is the replacement of the double mileage category from office supplies to gas stations. For individuals and sole proprietorships, this might not be a huge shift in your bonus earning, but if you operate a small business with office supplies as a major monthly expense, this could also represent a huge blow to your points-earning opportunities.

It also pales in comparison to the bonuses offered by a primary competitor, the Ink Plus from Chase, which offers not only 2x points per $1 on gas and hotels up to $50,000 spending per year, but also 5x points per $1 on telecommunications and office supply stores up to $50,000 spending per year – a much better proposition.

As for the foreign transaction fee waiver … it’s about time! Most of the premium points- and miles-earning cards on the market — and certainly those that charge a $95 annual fee like this one does — already waive these pesky fees, so at least Citi is catching up to the pack.

Though it’s often useful to have separate personal and business credit card accounts, in this case, you might want to consider either the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard or keeping the Barclaycard Aviator Red or Silver cards if you have those instead. Not only do they offer similar elite-status-style benefits like free checked bags; boarding privileges; a 10% mileage refund on award redemptions; in-flight discounts; and reduced-mileage awards, but the Aviator cards also waive forex fees (the Citi card does not). So depending on your spending style and history, you might better off with one of those.

If you’re applying for a new card at the moment, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard is also offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months, so that’s more attractive as well.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming changes? Share your comments below!

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

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  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Admirals Club® membership for you with guest privileges*
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines after $40,000 spent on purchases every year (January through December billing statement)*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.49% (Variable) $450 0% Excellent Credit