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.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
$0 intro for the first year, then $99
15.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
Recommended Credit Score
- Designed for businesses.
- Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line.
Pros & Cons
No foreign transaction fee
Has annual fee
Needs excellent credit
Alternate Pick: Lounge access
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Admirals Club membership included
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® isn't a small-business credit card, but it's the best option if you're looking for a card that offers access to American's Admirals Club lounges. This card gets you and up to two guests or immediate family members into the clubs, where you can spread out and relax. The catch? A $450 annual fee.
If your business has you flying American Airlines regularly, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® 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.
Among business credit cards from major airlines with similar annual fees, this card rates highly. Its main competition, however, will be general travel cards, which offer more flexibility for earning and spending rewards outside of American Airlines.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Basics
Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $99. (The fee is deductible as a business expense.)
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 gas stations.
1 AAdvantage mile per dollar on all other purchases.
NerdWallet values American miles at 1 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1 cent or more in value from your American miles.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 15.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
First checked bag free for you and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation.
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® Mastercard®
Free checked bags
American Airlines charges $30 on domestic flights for a first checked bag each way. So the savings on just two round trips (or one with a colleague) cover this card's annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99.
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® allows you to board the plane earlier in the process. 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.
Every 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 February 2020, 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
Aside from earning bonus miles on purchases from American Airlines, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® also earns 2 miles per dollar on several common business expenses, including telecommunications, gas and rental cars (terms apply). Plus, this card starts you off right with a meaty sign-up bonus: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. While bonuses can change, this one usually comes with a hefty spending requirement.
Why you might want a different card
Locked into the aadvantage program
As an airline-branded credit card, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® limits how you can redeem miles. If you fly American often, 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.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a great option. It 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. The sign-up bonus is potentially huge if you can spend enough to earn it: New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The annual fee is $95.
Bonus categories might not be useful
For many small businesses, the bulk of spending won’t fall under the bonus categories on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. That's when a card with flat-rate rewards could be much more valuable.
Consider the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, for example. It 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. There's a great sign-up bonus, too: 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. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
No lounge access
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® doesn't get you into American Airlines Admirals Club airport lounges. If you're in airports often, lounge access can be a nerves-soother. The airline's premium card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, includes Admirals Club access for you and up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you. It comes at a cost, however. The annual fee is $450. It isn’t specifically a business credit card, but it’s the best choice for getting into American Airlines lounges.
Is the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® right for you?
American Airlines loyalists will easily squeeze enough value from the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® to justify its annual fee. The main question is whether you’re OK being locked into the American Airlines rewards system, which has unique perks, as opposed to earning flexible rewards with a general travel card.
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