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Changes to CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard Benefits

Oct. 09, 2015
4 min read
Changes to CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard Benefits
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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. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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.
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.

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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!

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