5 Things to Do When You Get the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Rand ShoafFebruary 6, 2020

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is an excellent card option for the more casual American Airlines flyer. It offers several benefits to make flying with American Airlines more enjoyable — and to help you maximize your mileage earnings.

In the guide below, you’ll find five things to know about and take advantage of once you have your new Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® in hand.

1. Enjoy preferred boarding and free checked bags

The perks of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® are geared toward making flying on American Airlines more rewarding and enjoyable, too. As a cardholder, you get preferred boarding and one free checked bag on domestic American Airlines flights for yourself and up to four travel companions on the same reservation.

You’ll board with Group 5 — while that isn't at the front of the pack, you’ll trim off some wait time. It’s worth noting that your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® account must be open at least seven days for this benefit to apply.

2. Earn the welcome bonus

The card is currently offering the following welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. We value American AAdvantage miles at 1 cent each, so this welcome offer is worth plenty.

That said, with a little extra research and planning, you’ll be able to squeeze even more value from these miles.

Based on American's current award chart, you could redeem your welcome bonus for two round-trip flights within the U.S. (excluding Alaska or Hawaii) at the MileSAAver level. Another excellent redemption idea would be to book an off-peak economy award to Europe for 45,000 miles round trip.

3. Score the big spend bonus

With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® you'll earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount each year when you spend at least $20,000 and renew your account.

If you find it worth going for this bonus, the best way to maximize it further is by taking advantage of the card’s 2X bonus categories.

Here’s the breakdown of the card’s earning rates:

  • 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.

  • 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and gas stations.

  • 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else.

Earning the extra flight discount is a nice perk for those who regularly fly with American Airlines on paid fares.

However, an important point to note is that there are better cards out there for restaurant and gas station purchases. For example, the Citi Prestige® Card (annual fee: $495) earns 5 points per $1 at restaurants, and the Citi Premier℠ Card (annual fee: $95) earns 3 points per $1 at gas stations.

4. Use your card on in-flight purchases

Another card perk that can save American Airlines flyers some money is the 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases. You’ll get the discount in the form of a statement credit when using the card to pay for in-flight food and beverages on American Airlines.

Although this perk isn't a game-changer, it can save you some cash if you're a loyal American Airlines flyer who regularly buys in-flight food and drinks.

5. Take advantage of reduced mileage awards

One of the most overlooked perks of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is that you get access to American Airlines reduced mileage awards. As a cardholder, you can save up to 7,500 miles on round-trip MileSAAver® awards. The discount depends on the total distance flown and the type of American Airlines credit card you have.

The breakdown looks like this for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®:

  • You’ll get a discount of 7,500 miles round trip or 3,750 miles one way on flights over 500 miles.

  • You’ll get a discount of 2,000 miles round trip or 1,000 miles one way on flights under 500 miles.

To take advantage of reduced mileage awards, you’ll first need to find an eligible destination during the month you want to travel. American Airlines’ reduced mileage award page has a chart.

Then, search on AA.com and check for “Economy Web Special” fares. Proceed with booking your award as usual.

When your travel plans line up, reduced mileage awards are an excellent way to save miles on American Airlines award flights.

The information related to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®Citi Prestige® Card and Citi Premier℠ Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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