Review of the Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Jul 28, 2014 | Updated Oct 02, 2015

The Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® is a travel rewards card affiliated with American Airlines. It’s accompanied by a business version, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®.

These cards are very similar, with just a few differences that make the latter more useful for business owners.

Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Interest Rate: 13.99%, 15.99%, 17.99%, 19.99%, or 21.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines and US Airways flights for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy boarding privileges with Group 1 on American Airlines flights and Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines and US Airways flights*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines and US Airways purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back - up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*

CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® World MasterCard®

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95
  • Interest Rate: 15.24% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Designed for businesses with an established credit history
  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines and US Airways flights for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy boarding privileges with Group 1 on American Airlines flights and Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines® and US Airways purchases, and select business categories
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases.*
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines and US Airways flights*

The Rewards

The rewards offered by these two cards are almost identical, with the business card offering some additional rewards for business-related purchases and activities.

Both cards provide 2 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles for every dollar spent with American Airlines, with 1 mile awarded for every other purchase. For the business card alone, double miles are also awarded for purchases at eligible telecommunications, car rental, and office supply merchants.

For both cards, if you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the card you’ll receive 30,000 bonus miles.

Cardholders of the Citi Platinum will earn 10% of their miles back at the end of the year if the card membership is renewed, up to 10,000 miles.

With the CitiBusiness card, you’ll only earn 5% of of those miles back at the end of the year.

The Benefits

Both cards offer a number of useful travel benefits to help cardholders save time and money.

With both cards, you’ll get your first eligible checked bag for free, and so will up to 4 traveling companions. Group 1 boarding is also provided automatically on American Airlines flights, letting cardholders board and stow away their luggage before the general boarding crowd arrives.

A 25% discount is also applied for some in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights, covering food, beverages, and headsets.

With the Citi Platinum card, you can earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every year if you spend at least $30,000 in 1 year and renew your card membership. This card also comes with Chip-and-PIN technology for increased access and security when visiting merchants in foreign countries.

The CitiBusiness card has a different annual reward, as well as some business-related benefits. If you spend at least $30,000 in 1 year on purchases, you’ll receive a $99 American Airlines Companion Certificate, good for reducing the cost of a companion’s airfare.

Additional employee cards can be issued as well, and each can be given its own credit line. Account summaries are available at quarterly and annual intervals, in which transactions can be tracked by employee and category.

Phone assistance is available 24/7, from both a Personal Business Assistant and Small Business customer services. The personal assistant is there to help with all of the auxiliary tasks involved with running a business, like travel, hotel, and dining arrangements.

Purchase protection is available for eligible items purchased with the CitiBusiness card, up to $10,000 per incident and $50,000 per year.

The Costs

Both cards have an annual fee of $95 which is waived for the first year.

The rates for these cards are quite different.

The Citi Platinum card has a purchase and balance transfer APR of 13.99%, 17.99%, or 21.99%, based on your credit score. The APR for cash advances is 25.24%

Balance transfers also incur a fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. Cash advances cost $10 or 5% of the transaction, and foreign transactions cost 3% of the transaction.

For the CitiBusiness card, the purchase and balance transfer APR is 15.24%. Cash advances have an APR of 21.99%.

With this card, balance transfers also cost 3% of the transaction or $5, but cash advances are cheaper at 3% of the transaction or $5. Foreign purchases cost 3% of the transaction.

Each card has a penalty APR of 29.99% that may be applied if a late or returned payment is made. For the Citi Platinum card, late and returned payments cost up to $35; for the CitiBusiness card, they cost up to $39.

The Bottom Line

These are both good travel cards for relatively heavy spenders. If you travel enough to spend over $30,000 with them per year and can manage the annual fee, you can end up earning a lot of miles with the bonus percentage awarded at the end of the year.

Frequent traveling becomes even more rewarding with the extra benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding status. Business owners can easily issue and track multiple employee cards, and get access to special assistance from business services and consultants.

Unfortunately, both cards do include a 3% foreign transaction fee, so they won’t be as valuable when used outside the U.S.

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