Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Select Credit Card Review

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The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card offers nice travel benefits plus an attractive welcome bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles for casual American Airlines flyers. 

Flying with American gets you a free first checked bag on domestic itineraries, preferred boarding benefit, and a 25% savings on food and drinks you buy on board. 

Spending on your Platinum Select card also helps you get closer to elite status by earning AAdvantage Loyalty Points. 

Let’s explore everything the Platinum Select card offers so you can get an idea if this card suits your travel needs.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum
  • Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Miles
  • 2x Miles on American Airlines
  • 2x Miles at Gas Stations and Restaurants
  • Earn Loyalty Points Towards Elite Status
  • Free Checked Bag for You & Four Companions on Domestic Flights
  • Preferred Boarding
  • 25% In-Flight Savings on Food and Drinks
Learn More

1. Welcome Bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

New cardmembers receive a generous sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening. 

2. $99 Annual Fee

The Citi Platinum Select card has a $99 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

After the first year, you can offset the annual fee with free checked bags and a 25% in-flight discount.

3. Free First Checked Bag

When you hold the Platinum Select card, you and up to four companions on the same reservation can check your first bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries.

This is a great perk if you’re a frequent American flyer as American typically charges $30 for the first checked bag. You can save more than $100 on a one-way trip when traveling with your family.

4. Preferred Boarding

When you have the Platinum Select card, you and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation can board with Group 5 (Preferred Boarding). This gives you enough time to access some overhead bin space for your carry-on luggage and enjoy a smoother journey.

5. 2X Miles on American Airlines Purchases and at Gas Stations and Restaurants

Cardmembers earn 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and at gas stations and restaurants.

6. 1X Miles Everywhere Else

All other eligible purchases earn you 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar.

7. Earn Loyalty Points Through Credit Card Spending

Citi has several co-branded AAdvantage cards that earn Loyalty Points, including the Platinum Select card. 

The revamped AAdvantage loyalty program now makes it easier to earn AAdvantage status through everyday credit card spending. 

Simply use your AAdvantage Platnum card to book flights with American Airlines and partner airlines.

Plus, you also earn Loyalty Points by engaging with AAdvantage partners through e-shopping at the AA shopping portal, staying in partner hotels, booking qualifying cruises, and a lot more. 

Each eligible AAdvantage mile earns you one Loyalty Point. Welcome bonuses and bonus points in bonus categories do not earn Loyalty Points. 

8. 25% In-Flight Savings

You’ll get 25% savings as statement credits if you buy food and drinks on American flights using your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card.

9. No Foreign Transaction Fees

This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.

10. $125 Discount on American Airlines Flights

You can earn a $125 American Airlines discount when you spend $20,000 in a single year.

11. 90-Day Purchase Protection

Purchase protection can save you a lot of money if you bought an eligible item that is damaged or stolen within 90-days.

For example, if accidentally dropped your new phone or laptop and broke the screen, you could file a claim to get it replaced if it was purchased within the last 90 days.

Coverage for this benefit is limited to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder.

12. Extended Warranty

The Citi Platinum Select adds up to 24 months of warranty to an existing manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item.

13. ShopRunner Membership

Having a World Elite Mastercard entitles you to cool perks like complimentary ShopRunner Membership, which offers free two-day shipping and free return shipping at 100+ online retailers.

Which American Airlines Card Is Better?

American Airlines partners with both Citi and Barclays to issue their credit cards, which was a product of the American Airlines and U.S. Airways merger in 2015.

Each American Airlines credit card has some unique features like lounge access or lower spending requirements for the welcome bonus.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red vs. Citi Platinum

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select and Barclays Red Aviator are both very similar. Both cards have a $99 annual fee and provide free checked bags and preferred boarding.

The main difference is that the Barclays Aviator Red awards the welcome bonus after a single purchase, so a cup of coffee could earn you a lot of American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

But the annual fee is waived the first year with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum.

The other major differences are:

  • The Citi AAdvantage Platinum earns 2x miles at restaurants and gas stations, instead of 1x miles per dollar with the Barclays Aviator.
  • The Barclays Aviator offers a yearly $25 in-flight Wi-Fi credit.
  • If you spend $20,000 in a calendar year, the Citi Platinum Select offers a $125 flight discount versus the Aviator Red offers a companion certificate for $99 + taxes and fees.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red
  • Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Points
  • Free Checked Bag for You and Four Companions
  • Preferred Boarding
  • $25 In-Flight Wi-Fi Credit
  • 25% In-Flight Savings
  • $99 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review

Citi AAdvantage Platinum vs. AAdvantage Executive

The Citi AAdvantage Executive is a great choice if you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer who wants airport lounge access.

This card features an Admirals Club membership (worth $650) that allows the primary cardholder and up to two guests with a same-day boarding pass to enter American Airlines Admirals Club lounges when flying American Airlines, a OneWorld airline (including Alaska Airlines), or JetBlue (excluding flights to Europe). 

Plus, the primary cardholder enjoys access to over 50 partner lounges worldwide.

The annual fee is $450, but you can add up to 10 authorized users for free, who also enjoy Admirals Club lounge access with two guests.

If you maximize this benefit, you effectively pay only $41 per person for a yearly Admirals Club membership ($450 divided by 11 people).

Citi AAdvantage Executive
  • Welcome Bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage Miles
  • Admirals Club Lounge Membership for Cardholders and Up to 10 Authorized Users with Two Guests
  • Free Checked Bag (for you and 8 travel companions) on Domestics Flights
  • Priority Boarding (for you and 8 travel companions)
  • Priority Check-In (for you and 8 travel companions)
  • Global Entry / TSA Pre-Check Credit
  • $450 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review

Whether to go with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select or the Citi Executive will depend on how often you can take advantage of the Admirals Club access for you, your authorized users, and guests.

The Platinum Select is better for people who fly American Airlines a few times a year and can take advantage of the free checked bag and priority boarding benefits.

The Citi AAdvantage Executive card is great if you can take advantage of the Admirals Club lounge access.

I suggest putting the value of each lounge visit at $25, so you would need 18 visits to the Admirals Club to make the annual fee worth it.

Eighteen visits sound like a lot, but when you have guests or add authorized users, you can easily hit this number.

For example, a family of four could exceed the suggested eighteen visits with three round-trip flights (four people x two visits per roundtrip x three roundtrips equals 24 visits equivalent to $18.75 per person per visit) . 

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Credit Card vs. Citi AAdvantage MileUp Credit Card

The Citi AAdvantage MileUp is great for people who want to earn American Airlines miles without an annual fee. 

The MileUp card doesn’t offer a big welcome mileage bonus, free checked bags, or priority boarding like other American Airlines credit cards.

But MileUp cardmembers earn 2x miles on American Airlines and at grocery stores, and receive a 25% in-flight savings on food and drinks.

No Annual Fee
Citi AAdvantage MileUp
  • Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Miles
  • 2x Miles on American Airlines and Groceries
  • Earns Loyalty Points Towards Elite Status
  • 25% In-Flight Savings on Food and Drinks
  • No Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review

Is the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Worth It?

Advantages of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select

Platinum Select offers a solid welcome bonus and valuable travel benefits that can make the card a keeper, especially if you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer. 

The card’s low annual fee is waived for the first 12 months, which means you practically get to try the card at no extra cost for a year. 

Free checked bags, priority boarding, and a 25% discount on eligible onboard purchases easily offset the $99 annual fee. 

Plus, spending on your Platinum Select card counts toward earning AAdvantage status, which is great news if you don’t have elite status yet and you want to achieve higher elite status tiers. 

Disadvantages of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select

Free first checked bags are limited to domestic flights only and not applicable to international flights. 

Also, you’ll find other travel rewards credit cards that earn you more points when booking flights and include trip delay insurance. 

You’ll also likely find better travel cards with trip delay insurance that earn you more points with paid airfare. 

For example, you could earn more points on flights and receive valuable trip delay insurance with the American Express Platinum, Capital One Venture X, or Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum
  • Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Miles
  • 2x Miles on American Airlines
  • 2x Miles at Gas Stations and Restaurants
  • Earn Loyalty Points Towards Elite Status
  • Free Checked Bag for You & Four Companions on Domestic Flights
  • Preferred Boarding
  • 25% In-Flight Savings on Food and Drinks
Learn More