7 Reasons to Get the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

Apr 18, 2019

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The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard 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. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select 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.

1. Sizable Sign-Up Bonus

The card is offering an bonus of 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, these 50,000 miles are worth about $700. 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.

Baggage arrives from Delta Air Lines Inc. flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2019 Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy
Having the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card will let you check your first bag for free on American Airlines operated domestic itineraries. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/The Points Guy)

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.

Photo by aabejon / Getty Images.
(Photo by aabejon / Getty Images)

Bottom Line

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:

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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