Review: Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

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The Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard offers many benefits for frequent American Airlines (AA) flyers. Currently, the card also has a great sign-up bonus that deserves attention from even infrequent AA flyers. Below, we analyze the Platinum Select's earn rate and benefits, and we explain why this card makes sense for anyone looking to boost their AAdvantage miles balance.

Current Offer

The Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard currently offers 65,000 AA miles after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 4 months from account opening. The annual fee is $99, which is waived for first the first year.

Citi will approve you for at most one card every eight days, and two cards every 65 days. Also, if you earned a sign-up bonus for this card in the past, you cannot earn a sign-up bonus for it again for 48 months.

Earn Rate

The Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard earns 2 AA miles for every $1 spent on eligible AA purchases, as well as on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. The card also earns 1x on all other purchases.

Card Benefits

The Platinum Select card offers some great benefits for AA frequent flyers.  The Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard offers a free checked bag on domestic routes (including up to 4 companions on same reservation). AA charges $30 for a first checked bag per one-way trip. The card also offers 25% savings on AA inflight Wi-Fi, food, and beverage purchases when you use your card.

In addition, you and up to four travel companions on your same reservation can board AA flights in Group 5. This is after elite passengers but before most of economy passengers. Also, the Platinum Select card has no foreign transaction fees.

Platinum Select cardholders can earn a companion certificate each year after spending at least $30,000 after cardmember renewal. Redeeming the certificate costs $99 for a “ticketing fee” plus government taxes and fees that range between $21.60 to $43.20. This means you can bring a companion on a flight for somewhere between $120.60 and $142.20.

Our Analysis

The Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard is a great card for the current sign-up bonus alone. With no annual fee in the first 12 months, offers an easy way to boost your AA miles balance. AA miles are some of the hardest airline miles to earn, so a 65,000-mile sign-up bonus is always welcome. In fact, when combined with the $4,000 minimum spend requirement, the sign-up bonus is basically enough for a one-way business class flight on Q Suites to the Maldives or the Middle East at 70,000 miles!

Beyond the sign-up bonus, this is still a pretty good card that AA flyers should consider keeping long-term. The free checked bag, 25% savings on inflight purchases, and preferred boarding are all helpful perks that are easy to use. Cardholders can derive all these benefits by simply holding their card (and using it inflight for the 25% savings). The free checked bag alone can offset the $99 annual fee if used more than three times in a year.

The companion certificate could be a nice benefit, but the $30,000 spending requirement makes it not really worth pursuing. The $99 ticketing fee plus government taxes and fees are similar to Alaska Airlines' companion fare, where cardholders may purchase one round-trip coach companion fare on Alaska Airlines from $99 base fare plus applicable taxes and fees. Unlike AA, though, Alaska Airlines does not impose a burdensome spending requirement for cardholders to receive the companion fare.

When it comes to earning AA miles, the Platinum Select is as good as it gets with 2x earning on multiple categories, including gas stations. AA does not have any bank transfer partners. So those looking for a constant source of AA miles should consider the Platinum Select. Alternatively, you could rely on earning Marriott Bonvoy points, such as through the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card. However, Bonvoy points transfer at a rate of 3:1 (or 2.4:1 if you transfer in 60,000 increments). This means that spending on the Platinum Select makes more sense usually.

Final Thoughts

The Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard is a great option for those looking to earn a lot of AA miles through credit card spend, especially with its generous 65,000-mile sign-up bonus. After the first year, the card is very useful for frequent AA flyers. Benefits that should help flyers include one free checked bag, 25% savings on inflight purchases, and preferred boarding. This makes the Citi Business / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard a great business card to add to your wallet if you're looking to boost your stash of AA miles or fly AA often.

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Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities

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