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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is one of a family of American Airlines co-branded cards. It provides a sign-up bonus, free checked bags and a variety of other benefits and perks. This card is a great choice for individuals (and especially families) who frequently fly domestic on American and can get the most out of the checked bag benefit. Here are the top benefits of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®:
1. Sign-up bonus
The card’s most valuable benefit is the sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This is slightly lower than other mid-tier airline cards, but it's still a respectable offer. Though redemption values vary, this should be enough for a round-trip flight anywhere within North America. MileSAAver awards can be had for as little as 15,000 points round-trip in North America and top out at 45,000 if you’re headed to Hawaii.
2. Waived checked bag fees on domestic flights
This card entitles you and up to four of your traveling companions (on the same reservation) to a free checked bag each on an American Airlines domestic trip. A checked bag runs $30, so the value of this benefit can add up quickly, especially if you’re maxing out the five-person-per-itinerary limit with your family. Even for those who travel less frequently, the free checked bag provides a way to defeat one of the drawbacks of basic economy on American Airlines: no free checked bag. If you don’t mind the middle seat (so you avoid the seat selection fee), you can book your cheaper basic economy ticket with this card and also avoid the baggage fee.
3. Early boarding
One of the card’s unique benefits is early boarding before the rest of the economy-class passengers, but after business and those with elite status on American. While some solo travelers may prefer to board as late as possible, those looking for overhead bin space or wanting to get settled into their seats early will enjoy being among the first to walk down the aisle.
4. Waived first-year annual fee
This card has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. If you are still unsure whether the benefits are worth the fee, this provides an opportunity to try the card for the first year at no cost. Whether you keep the card after a year depends on the value you receive from the benefits.
5. Double bonus points
The card earns 2x bonus miles in three categories: gas stations, grocery stores and eligible American Airlines purchases. While customers can likely obtain better spending category bonuses with a combination of other cards, these are still reasonable if you value the card’s other American benefits. The double points are also versatile in the sense that you can earn 2x whether you’re at home (gas and groceries) or back out traveling on American when the time is right.
6. Flight voucher
If this becomes a primary card for you and you spend more than $20,000 per year (about $1,667 per month), you’ll be rewarded with a $125 flight voucher on American. That’s on top of whatever AAdvantage points you earn over the course of your $20,000 in spending.
» Learn more: American Airlines AAdvantage program: The complete guide
7. No foreign transaction fees
Finally, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has no foreign transaction fees. Compared with other cards, this can save you anywhere from 1%-3% when using your card internationally.
Alternative options for American Airlines customers
Citi offers a family of AAdvantage co-branded cards for both individuals and small business owners:
If you want a card that still earns AAdvantage miles and can live without the checked bag benefit in exchange for no annual fee, you might want to consider the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card.
If Admirals Club access is important to you and you can handle a higher fee, consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
Small-business owners may want to consider the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® or the competing Barclay’s AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®.
The bottom line
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® may have a mouthful of a name, but it provides valuable benefits for regular passengers on American Airlines. The checked bag benefit can easily cover the annual fee if you utilize it. And while the card may not earn as many miles on gas or travel compared with other cards, its unique AAdvantage benefits still make it an attractive option.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card