Review: Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard – Bonus Miles, Free Bags and More

Do you fly a lot, particularly on American Airlines?  Then you might want to consider this card.

Having an airline’s branded card tends to offer more than just extra miles these days.  You’ll usually find other perks for having their card that will make your flights more enjoyable and the Citi® Platinum Select®/AAdvantage® World MasterCard® is no exception.

Off the bat, the Citi® Platinum Select®/AAdvantage® World MasterCard® credit card is currently offering a nice welcome bonus of 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. (You have to spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months to get it.)  Double miles and perks when you fly are some other benefits of this card. 

Now let’s break the Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard down a little further…


There is a $95 yearly fee on this card, which is waived for the first 12 months.

The APR is variable, but you don’t care about that because you pay your bill in full, and know that these miles are worthless if you carry a balance (you know that, right?).  The penalty APR is a whopping 29.9%, and may be applied indefinitely, so paying your bill on time is a must. (You also, of course, get hit with the $35 late fee.)

Earn Miles

Earn 1 mile per $1 charged on the card of everyday purchases.  Only the primary cardmember is eligible to earn miles.  Meaning, if you get multiple cards on your account for your family, their purchases don’t count— a major bummer, in my opinion but that only means something if you tend to get multiple cards.

Earn 2 miles per $1 of American Airlines purchases charged on the card.  Again, only the primary cardmember is eligible to earn miles. (Car rentals and hotel reservations through American Airlines, AmericanAirlines Vacation packages, purchases of American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, duty free purchases and AA Cargo products and services all don’t count towards these miles.) Miles will be posted to your AAdvantage® account 8–10 weeks after a qualifying purchase.

No Blackout Dates

There are no restricted dates for travel with your miles.  Seats for award travel are limited, however, and may not be available on all flights.

Perks at the Airport

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With this card you and up to four of your travel companions check your bag free when you’re all on the same reservation.  You and up to four on your reservation will also have Priority Boarding.  Your ticket will read “Group 1,” and you can all board the plane with Group 1 when they call while all the sad people wait at the gate (maybe not that sad but probably wishing they were boarding sooner).

Get a $100 Flight Discount

plane_taking_offThis one could be a stretch, especially if you don’t plan on putting all your expenses on this card.  You earn a $100 discount on American Airlines air travel when you spend $30,000 or more in purchases after every 12 months (your account has to remain open for at least 45 days after that).  The Flight Discount expires one year from the date you receive it.

Be forewarned: if you change or cancel your flight you bought with the discount, you lose the discount and have to pay the difference and associated fees.  They won’t replace the discount for any reason!  This is another benefit that doesn’t give instant gratification: it takes 8-12 weeks after the initial 45 days to get your discount. 

Earn Your Used Miles Back (!)

Here’s a nifty feature of this card: it rewards you for using your miles up.  You will get back 10% of the total AAdvantage® miles you redeem.  The maximum number of miles you can earn from this benefit is 10,000 per calendar year.  Yet again, this benefit only applies to AAdvantage® miles redeemed from the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.  Be prepared to wait again…for  6-8 weeks after your redemption for the bonus miles to post to your account.

Perks on the Plane

You will receive a 25% discount on in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and headsets on American Airlines flights when you use the card.  That’s a pretty hefty discount!  You don’t get the discount on any other in-flight purchases (e.g. wireless internet access, SkyMallTM and DutyFree).  Boo — even this one has a delay: your discount savings will appear as a statement credit 6–8 weeks after the charge is posted to your account.

Travel Benefits (I found these nuggets in the fine print!)

With the Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard, there are a number of decent perks of just being a cardmember.

Here are some complementary benefits you get that are related to travel and travel purchases.  Note that certain conditions, restrictions and exclusions apply to most of these benefits.

– Car Rental Insurance
This automatic free insurance pays for damages to a rental car when you initiate and pay for an entire car rental with your card and you decline the rental company’s collision, loss/damage waiver.  Not all vehicles are covered.

– Lost Luggage Coverage
Charge your entire fare to the card and get up to $3,000 in lost luggage coverage. This benefit covers permanently lost, stolen or damaged checked baggage or personal items. (Coverage is limited to $2,000 to New York residents.)

– Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Coverage
If you’re prevented from taking or continuing a trip you billed to the card, you are eligible to receive up to $1,500 in Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption coverage.

– Travel Assistance Services
In the U.S. and abroad, you get assistance with medical and legal referrals, lost luggage assistance, emergency transportation and more.

– Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
Charge plane, train or bus tickets to your card and you, your spouse and your dependents are automatically covered for Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance at no additional cost.

Protect Your Stuff

The card also does pretty well with the complementary protections and services it provides related to your purchases.

– Retail Purchase Protection
Most items purchased with your card are eligible for protection against theft, fire or accidental breakage of up to $1,000 for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. (You are protected up to $50,000 per year.)

– Citi® Price Rewind
Here’s a fun feature that will set bargain hunters’ hearts aflutter: Register your purchases (bought with the card) at citi.com/pricerewind and Citi® Price Rewind will search hundreds of retailers’ web sites for 30 calendar days from the date of purchase to help find a lower price. If one is found that’s lower by at least $25, you can get the price difference back. (Refunds are limited to $250 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.)

– Extended Warranty
The terms of the original manufacturers’ U.S. warranties (of one year or less) may be extended up to one additional year on most items purchased on your card.

– Peace of Mind
Here are some features offered for people who are concerned about security and identity theft – and who isn’t?

– $0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges
With $0 Liability you won’t pay for any unauthorized charges made with your card.

– Chip Technology
The card contains an embedded microchip that encrypts your information to increase data security when used at a merchant with the Chip reader.  It supposedly makes card cloning and fraud more difficult.  This only works with stores that have the Chip reader; with everyone else, you just do the usual swipe-and-sign.  Overseas this technology is used more often making this card a little easier to use internationally.

Is the Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard the Right Card For You?

Double miles is nice, though it does seem like there are a lot of restrictions and wait times on this one.  There are no blackout dates though, which is always good.  If you fly American Airlines frequently, it could definitely be worth it for the double miles, the 10% bonus you get on used miles, the $100 flight discount each year (if you spend enough on the card), as well as the free bag checks and priority boarding.

Be aware though that you will need excellent credit for this card.

Consider the many travel and purchase-related perks along with this and it might be just the card for some American Airlines fans.  And don’t forget the 30,000 free miles you get right off the bat…sweet.

See this and other cards here

*Be smart and make sure you understand the terms of a credit card before you sign up.  See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions.  Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information.  However all credit card information is presented without warranty.

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Published or updated November 3, 2013.

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