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With travel rewards cards more lucrative than ever before and multiple cards offering bonuses of 100,000+ points or miles, airlines are feeling some pressure to improve their cobranded credit card offerings. The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard was refreshed about a year ago, but it is currently offering an increased limited-time sign-up bonus and waiving its $99 annual fee for the first year.
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card offers a number of benefits that make flying American Airlines more pleasant, but it’s also a great pick for anyone looking to diversify their loyalty portfolio. Here are the top seven reasons why you may want to pick it up.
1. Sizable Sign-Up Bonus
For a limited time, the card is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, these 60,000 miles are worth about $840. From round-trip first-class flights to Alaska, to one-way business-class flights to Europe or Asia, there are plenty of ways to make excellent use of those miles — especially when redeeming for partner awards in and out of the Oneworld alliance.
2. Free Checked Bags
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card waives the first checked bag fee on domestic American Airlines operated itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation. While this benefit isn’t particularly unique for an airline credit card, it can be incredibly valuable for those who don’t hold American elite status.
Since American now charges $30 for the first checked bag on domestic itineraries, it only takes four avoided first checked bag fees each year to offset the card’s $99 annual fee (which is waived for the first year). Best of all, the benefit becomes linked to your AAdvantage account, so you can still book and pay for your tickets any way you’d like.
3. Preferred Boarding
As a card holder, you and up to four customers traveling on the same reservation will receive Preferred Boarding for your flights, which means you’ll board in Group 5. This perk is especially beneficial when flying basic economy on American, since it means you’ll have early access to overhead bin space and get to keep your usual carry-on allowance.
4. Access to Reduced Mileage Awards
One of the lesser-known, yet valuable perks of the card is access to reduced mileage awards. With reduced mileage awards, you can save up to 7,500 miles per round-trip saver award (or up to 3,750 off a one-way saver award) to or from any of the airports listed in the current quarter’s promotion. TPG does an in-depth analysis of the eligible award routes when they’re released each quarter, but just to give you an idea, the current list has 139 airports available for at least one month from April through July, and 43 airports for all four months. You do have to call to book though.
5. Ability to Earn a $125 Flight Discount
The recent refresh of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card added a $100 American Airlines flight discount after you make $20,000 in purchases in a cardmember year and keep your account open for at least one billing cycle after your annual fee is billed. But, the card recently increased the discount to $125 while leaving the other requirements the same. The certificate is redeemable for flights marketed by American and must be used on itineraries that originate in the US, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.
6. 25% Discount on Inflight Purchases
If you frequently fly American domestically and purchase food or drinks on board, this benefit could save you some serious cash. You’ll get 25% savings — applied via a statement credit — each time you use your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card to purchase inflight food and beverages. Savings only apply on domestic flights marketed by American Airlines and operated by American or any of American’s regional airlines.
7. Bonus Miles at Restaurants and Gas Stations
In addition to 2x miles on purchases with American and 1 mile per dollar for all other everyday spend, the card now offers 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and 2 miles per dollar spent at gas stations. This means you’ll get a 2.8% return on American Airlines purchases, purchases at gas stations and spending at restaurants. While these returns aren’t industry-leading — and you can do better in each category with other cards — having bonus categories beyond extra points on AA purchases can come in handy when working to rack up AAdvantage miles.
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is the way to go for occasional AA flyers and anyone looking to score valuable premium-cabin redemptions on American’s partners such as Cathay Pacific, Etihad and Japan Airlines. Besides the perks mentioned here, the card comes with a slew of lesser-known benefits — including trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, secondary car rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, Price Rewind protection and no foreign-transaction fees — that apply when you use your card for purchases.
For more information on the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card, check out the following stories:
- Card Review: Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
- 5 Lesser-Known Benefits of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Mastercard
- Who Should (and Who Shouldn’t) Get The Citi AAdvantage Card?
- Choosing the Best Card for American Airlines Flyers
Ready to apply? Here’s the official application link: Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
Featured image by @TonyTheTigersSon via Twenty20.
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