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Why Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Is Great for American Airlines Travelers

Dec. 5, 2018
Airline Credit Cards, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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If you’re a frequent flyer on American Airlines, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® might be the credit card for you.

With perks for loyal travelers such as a free checked bag and priority boarding, plus phenomenal bonus mile offers across categories, this card could be a great asset for any traveler.

Here’s what you need to know about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®.

First checked bag is free

You get a free checked bag for yourself and up to four companions. At $30 per bag on domestic flights, the savings can add up to $150 on one flight.

The caveats are you must be a cardholder and have your AAdvantage number listed on the reservation at least seven days before you travel. The free first bag perk applies only to flights operated by American Airlines and American Eagle. You don’t qualify if your ticket is operated by another carrier, even if purchased through American Airlines.

Convenient ways to earn bonus miles

You earn two AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on bonus miles on most American Airlines, restaurant and gas purchases.

» Learn more: How to get started with frequent flyer programs

There are a few exceptions. For instance, gas purchases made at a wholesaler may be coded as a retail purchase instead of as a gas purchase. Also, purchasing a catering service from a company that isn’t a restaurant doesn’t count as a restaurant purchase.

On other purchases, you’ll earn one mile per dollar spent.

Large sign-up bonus

You’ll earn 40,000 AAdvantage miles after completing $2,000 in purchases in the first three months of being a cardholder. Then, you’ll earn an additional 10,000 miles after making $6,000 in purchases during the first year.

With at least 56,000 in frequent flyer miles from the first year, you could score at least two domestic tickets and possibly have miles left for a one-way, first-class upgrade.

You won’t qualify for the sign-up bonus if you opened or closed another Citi card that earned American Airlines AAdvantage® miles within 24 months of opening the new card.

No annual fee for the first year

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has an annual fee of $99. The first year that fee is waived.

The second year, there is an annual fee charged, but if you spend $20,000 or more in your first year, cardmembers earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount. That covers your annual fee.

» Learn more: Best travel credit cards with no annual fee

You’re rewarded for regularly using your card

You have to be dedicated to charging most of your daily expenses and paying them off each month to get the full value out of this card. You’re rewarded for consistent use with bonuses.

While $20,000 for a $100 flight discount may sound a lot, it’s less than $2,000 per month of average spending.

Set up automatic payments for bills with this card, and use it when possible to pay your rent, mortgage, groceries and attach it to your Venmo and PayPal accounts. You’ll be amazed at how many flights you earn without increasing your budget.

Discounts on in-flight purchases

In the years since free in-flight meals ended, food and beverage purchases add up. Citi cardholders get 25% off when purchasing food and beverage purchases with their card.

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 2018, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Best travel credit cards of 2018
American Airlines AAdvantage program: The complete guide
This strategy is how I started earning major travel rewards

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