How to Maximize the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

This business credit card can make traveling more convenient and cheaper for you and your companions.

Elina GellerJune 24, 2020

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The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is designed for business owners who want to earn American Airlines miles for their everyday purchases. The card comes with a slew of travel related benefits, bonus miles for shopping in select business-related categories and more.

For an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has the following welcome offer: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

Nerd tip: As long as the offer is for 50,000 or more, it makes sense to apply. It has been as high as 70,000 miles, so time your application when the deal is the most lucrative.

Here's a look at how you can maximize your points, rewards and perks with this card in a variety of ways:

1. Use the welcome offer to book award tickets on American and its partner airlines

American Airlines remains the last of the three legacy U.S.-based carriers that continues to publish a region-based award chart, and as a member of Oneworld, there are plenty of opportunities for award redemptions.

American’s participation in Oneworld (which includes 13 member airlines) and its relationships with other independent carriers mean American miles can be used to book award tickets on 22 airlines. This network of carriers offers numerous possibilities for using the card's welcome offer on award tickets with American and partner airlines.

As a holder of one of American’s co-branded credit cards, you are able to book reduced mileage awards, which are discounted award tickets available exclusively to cardholders. Those who hold the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® can save up to 7,500 miles on a round-trip award ticket.

American Airlines also offers Web Special Awards, which are discounted award seats in economy and business class and have been recently seen for as few as 6,000 miles. The caveat for these tickets is that they are more restrictive than the airline’s MileSAAVer or AAnytime awards. Web Specials should only be booked when you know you won’t need to make any changes.

American also offers off-peak awards, which are location-specific flight discounts valid during certain dates. Off-peak awards are only available in economy, so if you’d like to try out the airline’s first or business class cabin, you’ll have to wait for a discounted Web Special to your destination of choice.

2. Know the bonus categories and charge accordingly

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® allows you to earn 2 American miles per $1 on the following categories:

  • American Airlines purchases.

  • Cable and satellite providers (including website hosting and IT services).

  • Telecommunications merchants (mobile phones, services, plans and equipment).

  • Car rentals.

  • Gas stations.

This is a good selection of business-related bonus categories, and the inclusion of car rentals and gas station purchases is helpful for those who drive to work or travel for business and often need to rent a car.

A 2x earn rate on American Airlines purchases is standard for a business credit card, and it's in line with United and Delta’s airline business cards including the United℠ Business Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card. All other purchases earn 1 American mile per $1.

Nerd tip: Save a list of categories offering bonus miles in your phone so that you can strategically plan which card you will use for certain purchases to maximize the number of miles earned.

3. Get your first checked bag free on domestic flights

Checked bag fees can add up fast. Although the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® includes the first bag free for you and up to four companions, this perk is only available on domestic flights.

When flying domestically, you would pay $30 to check your first bag when flying in economy. That means the card provides a savings of $30 per flight for you, up to $150 in total if you’re traveling with four companions. The usefulness of this benefit depends on how often you fly domestically on American Airlines and how many people accompany you on your reservation.

Nerd tip: If you’re flying with companions, make sure to include them on your reservation so that they can benefit from the free checked bag perk provided by the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®.

4. Get on the plane sooner with preferred boarding

Airlines have a specific order in which they board their customers; American has 10 boarding groups for its passengers.

Holders of the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and other eligible AAdvantage credit cards are in Group 5. In this group, you’ll board before the other economy passengers and get to take advantage of some overhead bin space in economy before it fills up.

Nerd tip: If you’re traveling with up to four companions, they can also benefit from your boarding privileges as long as their flights are included on your reservation. Keep this benefit in mind when booking flights on American Airlines with your friends or family.

5. Save 25% on in-flight food, beverages and Wi-Fi

Food, beverages and Wi-Fi can be really expensive on flights, and if you have the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, you can save 25% when you use the card to make purchases in these categories. The Wi-Fi discount applies to services offered through Gogo, Viasat, Panasonic and American Airlines’ Wi-Fi Subscription Plan.

If you’re a frequent flyer with American Airlines, the savings from this benefit can add up quickly.

6. Use your companion certificate

If you spend $30,000 on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® in a calendar year and keep the card open for at least 45 days after the anniversary date, you will receive a $99 domestic round-trip economy fare companion certificate. The certificate will also incur from $21.60 to $43.20 in government taxes and fees, for a total cost of between $120.60 to $142.20.

The certificate is valid for round-trip economy travel within the continental U.S. or flights from Hawaii/Alaska when flying to the continental U.S. on American Airlines. It is valid for one year after it is issued.

The value of this certificate could be significant, especially if the economy ticket you’re buying is expensive. To get the most out of a companion certificate you've earned, consider your travel plans and try to use it when you’re traveling with a companion on the most expensive economy class ticket.

The bottom line

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a solid business credit card from American Airlines. The card offers a variety of useful benefits, such as preferred boarding, first bag free on domestic flights, in-flight food and Wi-Fi savings and much more.

The inclusion of the 2x bonus categories is helpful, especially those that relate to business purchases. If you’re a business owner and American Airlines is your carrier of choice, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a good option to consider, especially when the welcome offer is at or above 50,000 miles.

* Note: The free checked bag, 25% savings on in flight food and Wi-Fi, preferred boarding and companion certificate benefits apply to all flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or on flights marketed by American Airlines and operated as American Eagle flights by Compass Airlines, LLC, Envoy Air Inc., Republic Airways Inc., SkyWest Airlines, Inc., Mesa Airlines, Inc., PSA Airlines, Inc., or Piedmont Airlines, Inc. Oneworld airlines are not included.

The information related to the United℠ Business Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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