Review of the Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and the CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Jul 28, 2014 | Updated Aug 20, 2019

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

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

The Rewards

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Spending Rewards
  • 2X AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on:
    • American Airlines
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1X AAdvantage mile per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
    • Value: $500–$750 (assuming 1–1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 20%–30%

Citi / Business Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Spending Rewards
  • 2X AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on:
    • American Airlines
    • Cable and satellite providers
    • Gas stations
    • Select telecommunications merchants
    • Car rentals
  • 1X AAdvantage mile per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
    • Value: $600–$900 (assuming 1–1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 20%–30%

The rewards offered by these two cards are fairly similar, 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. For the business card alone, double miles are also awarded for purchases on telecommunications, car rentals, gas stations, and cable and satellite providers. The personal Platinum Select card delivers double miles for gas stations and restaurants. All other purchases on either card garner 1 mile per dollar.

Both cards offer a strong introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus miles for spending $2,500 in the first 3 months with the consumer card, and 60,000 miles for $3,000 in spending during the first 3 months with the business card.

The Benefits

The Platinum Select 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. Preferred boarding is also provided automatically on American Airlines flights, letting cardholders board and stow away their luggage after those with Priority boarding privileges, but 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 personal Platinum Select card, you can earn a $125 American Airlines flight discount every year if you spend at least $20,000 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 an 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.

The Costs

Both cards have an annual fee of $99 which is waived for the first year.

The rates for these cards are quite different.

The personal Platinum Select card has a purchase and balance transfer APR of 17.99% - 25.99%* (Variable), based on your credit score. The APR for cash advances is 27.24% (Variable).

There are no foreign transaction fees.

For the CitiBusiness card, the purchase and balance transfer APR is 17.74%-25.74%* (Variable).

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 Preferred boarding status. Business owners can easily issue and track multiple employee cards, and get access to special assistance from business services and consultants.

Plus, neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so they both maintain their value when used outside the U.S.

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