Editorial Review

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Review: A Must for American Airlines Loyalists

Earn 2 miles per dollar on purchases with the airline as well as in common business spending categories. Free checked bags, preferred boarding and other perks add value.

Paul Soucy, Erin El IssaJune 27, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.7

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: If your business has you flying American on the regular, this card ought to be in your wallet. The checked-bag perk alone can easily pay for the annual fee. If you spread your airline business around, though, look to a general travel card.

Citibank CitiBusiness AAdvantage Business Credit Card

on Citibank's application

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $99

Regular APR

17.99% - 25.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Has annual fee

Alternate Pick: Lounge access

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Admirals Club membership included

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has a lot to offer, but it doesn't get you into American's Admirals Club lounges. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, on the other hand, gets you and your guests into the clubs, where you can spread out and relax. The catch? A $450 annual fee.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $99

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

17.99% - 25.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

19.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

18.24% - 23.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

If your business has you flying American Airlines regularly, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is almost a must-have — especially if you're checking bags. The card boasts a competitive sign-up bonus, high travel rewards and a slew of AA-specific perks. Plus, it gives extra rewards on several categories of common business purchases.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: Basics

Card type: Small business and airline.

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $99. (Keep in mind that the fee is deductible as a business expense.)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases in first 3 months of account opening*.

Rewards:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.

  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar on all other purchases.

  • According to NerdWallet valuations, AAdvantage miles are worth an average of 1 cent apiece for domestic travel, and 5 cents internationally.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 17.99% - 25.99% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Noteworthy perks: 

  • First checked bag free for you and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation.

  • Preferred boarding.

  • 25% savings on in-flight purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi service.

  • American Airlines Companion Certificate each year you spend $30,000 or more.

Why you might want the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Free checked bags

American Airlines usually charges domestic passengers $30 for their first checked bag each way. So the money you'd save on just two roundtrips (or one with a colleague) can cover this card's annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $99.

Preferred boarding

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® allows you to board the plane earlier in the  process — after the "priority" passengers but before the rest of economy class. That gives you time to settle in before takeoff and almost guarantees you overhead bin space for your carry-on. This saves you from frantically trying to shove your luggage into a bin that’s clearly full while the flight attendants look on disapprovingly.

Companion certificate

For each year you spend $30,000, you’ll receive a $99 companion certificate. This means you can take someone with you on a domestic economy trip for $99 plus applicable taxes and fees (as of November 2018, taxes and fees were $21.60 to $43.20, depending on itinerary, according to American's website). Keep in mind that you need to renew your card membership — and pay the annual fee — to take advantage of this perk.

2X MILES and a great bonus

Airline credit cards have traditionally paid out higher rewards only for purchases with the airline itself, but the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® also earns 2 miles per dollar on several common business expenses, including telecommunications, gas and rental cards (terms apply). Plus, this card starts you off right with a meaty sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases in first 3 months of account opening*.

Why you might want a different card

No lounge access

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® doesn't get you into American Airlines' Admirals Club airport lounges. If you're on the road all the time, lounge access can be a lifesaver (or at least a nerves-soother). The airline's premium card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, includes Admirals Club access for you and guests traveling with you. It comes at a cost, however: The annual fee is $450.

Redemption Limitations

As an airline-branded credit card, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® obviously limits how you can redeem your miles. If you fly American all the time, then it's no problem. But if you want the flexibility of redeeming rewards for flights on any airline, or for other travel expenses, consider a general-purpose business travel card. Two excellent options:

  • The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business earns an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for statement credit against any travel purchase. Book however you want, then use miles to pay for it, with no blackout dates or restrictions. Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

  • The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel and select business categories, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase. There's a giant sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Annual fee: $95.

Is the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® right for you?

American Airlines loyalists will easily squeeze more than enough value from of the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® to justify its annual fee. The only question has to do with timing. Look at the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus. If you can meet it with your usual business spending, then pull the trigger. If not, then maybe wait till you have expenses coming up that will push you over the threshold.