Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Review [2021]: Free Checked Bags and 2X Miles on Dining

You don’t need to pay a lot to get major perks from this American Airlines credit card.
Last updated Aug 17, 2021 | By Robin Kavanagh

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American Airlines fans have several credit cards to choose from if they’re looking to earn extra miles with their everyday purchases. The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is one that offers some significant perks and bonuses for very little work on the cardholder’s part. With a low annual fee, free checked bag privileges, and bonus miles for dining out and getting gas, this card definitely deserves some consideration.

Here is a closer look at what the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers American Airlines customers.

Free checked bags & more

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Intro Offer

50,000 miles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 2X miles

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 50,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles at gas stations, restaurants, and on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee after first year
  • Best for frequent American Airlines travelers
Card Details
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and unlimited 1X miles on all other purchases

In this Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard review

Who should get the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard?

This card is a great fit for those who want a way to quickly and consistently earn miles with the purchases they make every day. It’s also good for customers who want a large welcome bonus from their airline card and a low annual fee.

Because this card earns American Airlines miles, also known as AAdvantage Miles, you’ll want to make sure you fly with the airline at least occasionally so you can use the rewards you earn. The card’s other perks, such as free checked luggage or preferred boarding, are also only good on the airline, so if you rarely fly with American you may not get much use from those benefits.

This card typically requires excellent credit for approval, so applicants with healthy credit may have a greater chance of success.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Citi
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $99 (waived first year)
Intro bonus Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
Reward rate 2X miles at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and unlimited 1X miles on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: American Airlines has a very generous welcome offer that’s relatively easy to attain. You’ll get 50,000 miles after you spend $2,500 in purchases within first 3 months of account opening. That’s enough miles to get you up to two round-trip flights to almost anywhere in the contiguous 48 states in the U.S. and Canada, depending on your flexibility.
  • Easy miles with everyday spending: You can easily grow your bank of miles by doing your everyday shopping with the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. You’ll earn 2X miles at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and unlimited 1X miles on all other purchases. Those bonus categories can rack up miles quickly.
  • Flight perks: This card gives you some cool perks when flying. The first is one free checked bag for you and up to four companions when flying domestically. You’ll also get preferred boarding on American Airlines flights. If you want lounge access to the Admirals Club, however, you'll need to opt for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard instead.
  • Discounts: You’ll get some nice discounts when using the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. First, you’ll get 25% off beverage purchases and other in-flight purchases when flying American Airlines. You can also earn a $125 American Airlines flight discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases in one year and renew your card membership. Citi World and World Elite cardmembers get a free ShopRunner membership which offers free shipping and free returns at over 100 stores.
  • Reduced Mileage Award program: As a cardholder, you'll have access to this money-saving program. If you use your miles for eligible round-trip domestic MileSAAver award flights, you'll be given a discount of either 2,000 miles (on flights uner 500 miles) or 7,500 miles (on flights of 500 miles or more).
  • No foreign transaction fees: This card charges no foreign transaction fees, so you can use it on your international travels without racking up added expenses.

Drawbacks to this card

  • Lack of flexibility with rewards: This card will primarily be best for people who regularly travel with American Airlines or its Oneworld Alliance partner airlines. Unlike some travel rewards credit cards, you won't be able to transfer your miles to a range of airlines outside the Oneworld network. This can be a drawback for frequent travelers looking to fly on other airlines or with other alliances.
  • Annual fee: Though it's not a big fee at $99 (waived first year), you will have to pay each year you hold this card. Make sure the travel benefits you're enjoying end up being worth more than the fee.

Earning & redeeming Aadvantage Miles

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look how your AAdvantage miles can add up with the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent per mile.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $859

Year two earnings: $260

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the sign-up bonus, and the annual fee. If you are able to use the various credit and travel perks that come with this card, you'll experience far more earnings.

In addition, the "travel" spending used to calculate these numbers did not include any American Airlines spending or spending with their partner airlines. Of course, with this card you are likely to book with American and its hospitality partners. So your earnings in your first year and second year would potentially be much higher than what is projected here.

Best ways to earn

Earning miles is easy with the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. When you use your card at gas stations, restaurants, and eligible American Airlines purchases, you get 2X miles per dollar spent. Those are common spending categories for many families, so you could earn miles quickly depending on your budget.

For all other eligible purchases, you’ll get 1X per dollar spent.

Categories Rewards rate
Gas stations, restaurants, and eligible American Airlines purchases 2X
All other eligible purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

The ease of redeeming miles is certainly a big plus with the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. American Airlines has flexible fare options as low as 7,500 miles each way, which makes earning enough miles to get free or discounted airfare pretty easy. To really score a deal, however, try to have flexible travel dates. If you can travel on cheaper days (typically mid-week) you could stretch your miles further.

However, it’s the other perks that come with this card that really deliver the value. First is the free checked bags on American Airlines flights. This can save you at least $60 on a roundtrip domestic flight, were you to need a bag bigger than a carry-on. If you’re a frequent flyer, this can really add up for you.

You’ll also get preferred boarding, which places you behind priority boarding passengers but before economy tickets, so you’ll also save some time — and get more access to those overhead bins! — because of your card privileges.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard FAQs

What credit score do you need for Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select?

You’ll need an excellent credit score to qualify for a Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select. Generally speaking, any score that is at least a 700 or above is considered good. If your score is 800 or above, you have an excellent score.

Can you upgrade a Citi AAdvantage credit card?

Yes. Citibank has a policy that allows cardholders to request upgrades and downgrades to their existing cards. Some cardholders may also be invited by Citi to upgrade their card. If you haven’t been given such an invitation, contact customer service to see if you’re eligible to upgrade your card and what is involved with making that change. Your creditworthiness and other factors will likely be considered.

How much does it cost to check a bag on American Airlines?

These charges depend on where you’re traveling to and the size of your bag. The following are rates for bags that meet standard size and weight regulations when flying domestically:

  • First bag: $30
  • Second bag: $40
  • Third bag: $150
  • Four or more bags: $200 each

Which American Airlines credit card is best?

Your individual needs and how you spend and travel will determine which American Airlines credit card is best for you. American has a variety of credit card offers choose from, which makes doing your research before applying very important if you’re looking to get a card that works for you. American Airlines also offers the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard for business owners looking to earn miles on work-related travel.

Other cards to consider

If it’s sounding like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard isn't the best airline credit card or travel card for you, here are two other card offers to consider.

The Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is very similar to the Citi card, but has some significantly upgraded perks. First is a larger welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee. You can also earn a $99 companion fare certificate after making one purchase and paying the annual fee within the first 90 days. You'll also enjoy statement credits like 25% off in-flight food or beverage purchases and $25 per year toward in-flight WiFi.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an overall great travel credit card that delivers perks and benefits beyond one single airline. It has a welcome offer of 100,000 points after you meet the spending requirement of $4,000 within the first 3 months after account opening. That’s worth over a thousand dollars that you can cash in for travel expenses, not to mention extra savings when you book travel, hotel, or car rental reservations through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Free checked bags & more

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Special Offer

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
  • 60,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers
  • Inflight savings options
  • No foreign transaction fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Best offer ever! 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Author Details

Robin Kavanagh Robin is a freelance writer who lives on the South Carolina beach. She has spent the last 20 years writing about all kinds of topics for publications such as The New York Times, Yes! Magazine, Next Tribe, Parenting, and various trade magazines. On FinanceBuzz.com, you’ll find her mostly writing about smart ways to use credit cards, navigating personal loans, how to save when traveling, and ways to improve your financial health.