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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
In addition to personal credit cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite 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.
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.
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 Elite 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 World Elite Mastercard is also offering a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 within the first three months.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming changes? Share your comments below!
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards