Updated Sep 09, 2021 | Published Jul 29, 2020 • 11 min read
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The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard provides decent rewards for American Airlines flyers, as well as some useful benefits like in-flight discounts and preferred boarding.
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Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® 4 out 5 Stars. It’ll reward you not only for your American Airlines flights, but also for everyday purchases like gas and dining. It even provides a few time-and-money-saving perks like preferred boarding and your first checked bag free.
Why We Like It
25% in-flight discount
Preferred boarding and first checked bag free for you and four traveling companions
Can earn $125 off an American Airlines flight
50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
If you fly often with American Airlines, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard might prove useful to you. The rewards aren’t very high, but the benefits could save you some hassle and a little money.
You’ll get points on purchases you make through AA, as well as on dining and gas. That’ll make earning the decent-sized welcome bonus a little more rewarding if you’ll be spending outside AA.
Fly the skies: You’ll earn 2X miles per dollar on purchases made with American Airlines from the card, so don’t be afraid to buy some snacks or that neck pillow you’ve been eyeing. AA flights will also earn a minimum of 5 more miles per dollar, from your member status.
Earn on daily buys: You’ll be rewarded for eating out and buying gas, both things you may find yourself doing quite often on vacation.
Hit the welcome bonus: You could get a nice chunk of miles, and if you’re a frequent traveler, it might not be overly tough to reach the spending requirement.
Use your discount: There’s a 25% discount on in-flight purchases, so you’ll save a little money if you decide to get a snack or a drink.
Be the first to board: With Group 5 Preferred Boarding, you and up to four people traveling with you won’t have to shimmy along a crowded aisle to get to your seat.
Check your bags: Bring along a bag to check — you and up to four traveling companions won’t be charged for your first one.
Qualify for an annual gift: When you spend $20,000 or more in a cardmember year, you’ll receive a $125 discount for an American Airlines flight.
You’ll earn the same number of miles in all of the bonus categories: 2X miles per dollar for purchases made with AA, at restaurants, and on gas. These miles are in addition to the 5X miles you’ll receive per flight, just from being an American Airlines AAdvantage member, bringing the total miles per AA flights to 7X.
If your points are worth around 1–2 cents, you’re looking at a cash back equivalent of 2%-4%, assuming you’re earning in the 2X bonus categories, and 7%–14% for AA flights.
2X AAdvantage miles per dollar at:
1X AAdvantage mile per dollar everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
You’ll also earn five miles for each dollar spent on American Airlines flights as a basic AA member, in addition to the rewards you’ll get from the card. Higher members, like Gold and Platinum, will earn more miles per dollar.
So you’ve earned all these miles and now you’re wondering what to do with them. It’s pretty simple: You take your miles and turn them into excursions, for business or pleasure. You’ll likely see the best mile value when you redeem them for award flights.
Head on over to the American Airlines website and search for the flight you’re looking for. You can check the Redeem Miles box to search for award flights, and then pay using your miles rather than your cash.
You can only redeem for seats in the main cabin or first class, so you won’t have to worry about flying in economy seating. We looked at a few one-way flights to give you an idea of the kind of per-mile value you might see:
New York City (JFK) to Chicago (CHI)
12,500 + $5.60
Orlando (ORL) to Houston (HOU)
18,000 + $5.60
Denver (DEN) to Los Angeles (LAX)
15,000 + $5.60
Phoenix (PHX) to Nashville (BNA)
15,000 + $5.60
Indianapolis (IND) to Rochester (ROC)
15,000 + $5.60
From those examples, it looks like you could see a mile value of about 1–2 cents. That’s a pretty decent return on your spending. From NYC to Chicago, you’re looking at a cash back equivalent of about 16.3%, which is pretty great.
On the low end however, flying from Denver to LA would net you a cash back equivalent of about 5%. That’s obviously less impressive, but still solid.
Flight prices are fairly volatile, so your mile values won’t be set in stone. If you figure out the mile value (the cost of the ticket divided by the mile requirement) before you choose your ticket, you can ensure you’re getting the value you want. And if you aren’t, you could check back later to see if it’s improved, look for other flights, or simply use your card to buy the ticket and save your miles for another time.
There aren’t too many perks attached to the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select, but what it does have could prove useful for cardholders. Their focus is saving you time and money while traveling, and who doesn’t want that? However, it provides few shopping protections and no travel protections.
25% in-flight food and beverage discount: Save some money on in-flight snacks and drinks, making your flight just a little better.
Preferred boarding for AA flights: With preferred boarding you and four companions will be able to board with Group 5 when it comes time to enter the plane.
First checked bag free: You and up to four travel companions will have the fee for your first checked bags waived on eligible domestic flights.
Reduced mileage award: You’ll get a discount when redeeming your miles for flights. If your flight is 500 or more miles, you’ll get a 7,500-mile discount. For flights under 500 miles, you’ll get a 2,000-mile discount.
$125 American Airlines flight discount: Once you spend $20,000 in a cardmember year and renew your card, you’ll earn $125 off an American Airlines flight.
10% AA vacation discount: You’ll get a 10% discount when booking a combination of two or more travel methods through American Airlines. These include hotel stays, car rentals, or flights.
Purchase Protection: Your eligible new purchases are covered against damage and theft for the first 120 days, up to $10,000 per incident and $50,000 per year.
Extended Warranty: You’ll gain an extra two years on eligible manufacturers’ warranties.
So earning rewards won’t be a problem, but the value you get for your miles will vary and you won’t get any travel protections.
The benefits that you do have, however, will remove some hassle for American Airlines flights, and save you a little money. But you’ll need to spend quite a bit to reach the $125 flight discount, so that one might not prove too useful for people who don’t fly the skies often.
If you’re an infrequent traveler, it could be worth looking into a general-use travel rewards card. Some of them provide higher point values thanks to varied redemption options, and feature more protections. And, you won’t be tied to one airline alone. Or, take a look at one of the alternative cards we’ve compiled below.
How Do I Apply for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard?
Simply follow the link below to apply now. You’ll fill out an application on the credit card issuer’s secure website, and you should typically hear back instantly if you’ve been approved or not.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard?
Good credit scores are recommended for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.
That means you’ll want scores of at least 670 for FICO or 700 for VantageScore.
But don’t fret too much if your credit scores aren’t exactly there. Sometimes credit card issuers will still approve you even if you’re not at the recommended credit level. Other factors, such as income and monthly rent or mortgage payments, weigh into the issuer’s decision.
Qualifications and Requirements
Must be 18 to apply
Personal identifying information: Name, birth date, Social Security number, country of citizenship
Address and contact information: Email, phone number, address
Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage/rent payment, type of accounts
You can also check out some of our other top travel cards that might offer a selection of travel and shopping protections.
What are my AAdvantage miles worth?
Your miles are worth around 1–2 cents, which means your cash back equivalent in the 2X miles categories would be about 2%–4%. American Airlines flight purchases will also earn a minimum of 5X more miles per dollar, for a total of 7X, bringing your cash back equivalent to 7%–14%.
It expands on the benefits that the Platinum Select offers, adding valuable perks like priority boarding and airport screening, Admirals Club airport lounge access, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application credit. It allows your free checked bag and priority boarding perk to be extended to eight travelers instead of four, and it features a larger welcome bonus. Its benefits beat the Platinum Select on nearly all fronts.
But it does come with a larger price tag, so it’s best to only consider it if you find yourself flying with AA quite often.
Enhanced Airport Experience: Receive priority boarding, priority check-in where available, and priority airport screening to save you some time while you travel.
First checked bag free: For you and up to eight of your traveling companions, your first checked bag will be free of charge.
25% in-flight discount: The food and beverages you buy during your flight will cost you 25% less.
Reduced mileage award: You’ll get a discount when redeeming your miles for flights. If your flight is 500 or more miles, you’ll get a 7,500 mile discount. For flights under 500 miles, you’ll get a 2,000 mile discount.
Bonus Elite Qualifying Miles: Get 10,000 EQMs when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year. These help advance you into American Airlines elite status.
Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
The JetBlue Plus Card, like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum card, provides rewards and benefits focused on one specific airline. In this case, it’s JetBlue.
It earns a greater number of rewards than the AAdvantage card on JetBlue purchases (6X), and just as many in its other bonus categories. The JetBlue points you’ll earn will have just about the same value as your AA miles would, but because you earn more of them, your cash back equivalent will be around 12%–18% for most JetBlue flights. That’s a little better than the 7%–14% you’d likely see from the AAdvantage Platinum on AA flights. But you won’t have access to the oneworld airline alliance, limiting your point transfer options.
It’ll cost you the same per year, though the annual fee isn’t waived initially, but the benefits are a little more impressive. The in-flight discount is 50% rather than 25%. There’s no preferred boarding, but you’ll still get your first checked bag free, and get 10% of your points back when you redeem them for JetBlue flights.
So if you prefer JetBlue over American Airlines, perhaps this is the travel card for you.
60,000 bonus points for paying the annual fee and spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
In addition to the rewards from the card, you earn 3X points per dollar on most JetBlue fares, and 1X point on Blue Basic fares. You can earn another 3X points if you book online with JetBlue’s website, or through the JetBlue app.
So if you book online, that’ll bring your total to 12X points per dollar on JetBlue flights; 6X points from the card, 3X points from your fare, and 3X points for booking online. That’ll give you a cash back equivalent of around 12%–18%.
It does have a higher annual fee than what you would pay for the AAdvantage Platinum Select, but the benefits are better and the point values are a little more consistent. And don’t worry too much about the annual fee, because there’s an annual $75 travel credit that effectively drops it to $74, which is actually less than the AAdvantage Platinum Select.
In addition to the travel credit, you’ll receive 7,500 points per year, along with four upgraded boardings, an in-flight discount, and a slew of travel protections. Some of them, like baggage delay insurance and rental car insurance, could end up saving you a good deal of cash in a pinch.
$75 annual Southwest travel credit: Receive a $75 annual travel credit to use to book your flights, Rapid Rewards hotel stays, or car rentals each year.
7,500 anniversary points: Every year you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points.
Four upgraded boardings: Snag an A1–A15 seat, without the hassle. Each anniversary year, you’ll be reimbursed for up to four Upgraded Boardings for A1 through A15 seats. The price of an Upgraded Boarding varies depending on your flight, but usually costs between $30 and $50.
20% back on in-flight purchases: You’ll receive 20% back on in-flight Southwest purchases like drinks, meals, entertainment, and WiFi.
Travel protections: Rental car insurance, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and travel and emergency assistance
Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
It has very similar rewards to the AAdvantage Platinum Select card, but the value for your miles will be slightly less. You’re looking at a cash back equivalent of around 7%–10.5% for Delta flights, compared to the 7%–14% for American Airlines flights.
The benefits are also pretty on-par, with a few small differences that work to the Delta SkyMiles’ advantage. Instead of preferred boarding you’ll get priority boarding, which will get you on your plane faster, and both that benefit and your first checked bag free benefit extend to eight other travelers rather than four. Additionally, it’ll be a little easier to earn an annual flight credit, with a $10,000 spending requirement rather than the $20,000 yearly requirement of the AAdvantage Platinum Select.
First checked bag free: Use your Delta SkyMiles number when booking your flight to waive the price ($30) of your first checked bag. This benefit extends to up to eight other passengers flying on your itinerary.
Main Cabin 1 priority boarding: Get to your seat and settle in earlier when you reserve with your SkyMiles number. This benefit extends to up to eight other passengers on your itinerary.
20% back on in-flight purchases: Save 20%, in the form of a statement credit, on in-flight purchases like food and alcoholic beverages. Excludes WiFi and associated services.
$100 Delta flight credit: Spend $10,000 in a calendar year to earn a $100 credit good for Delta flight and vacation package reservations.
Global Assist Hotline: Receive assistance with medical and legal referrals, cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage, and more when you’re more than 100 miles from home.
Entertainment Access: Purchase tickets to your favorite events with exclusive presale access and explore exclusive cardmember events near you.
ShopRunner: Enjoy free two-day shipping at a variety of online retailers with a complimentary ShopRunner membership.
No foreign transaction fee
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.
Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.
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