Frequent flyers on American Airlines will appreciate the rewards-earning opportunities of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and enjoy the added perks that go along with being a cardholder (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser).
Two miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.
One mile for every other $1 spent.
10 percent of your AAdvantage® miles back when you redeem (up to 10,000 miles annually).
Notice that the introductory bonus lets you add up the miles quickly. For a limited time, you earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles by spending $3,000 in the first three months; that's a low spending threshold to earn enough miles for a couple of round-trip domestic flights.
As you would expect with airline miles, you can redeem them for free flights with American Airlines and American Eagle as well as with OneWord partners such as British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qantas and airberlin and several others, or you can upgrade your ticket to the next cabin. But you have other redemption options, too. AAdvantage® miles can also be redeemed for hotel rooms, rental cars rent a car, or book a vacation through American Airlines Vacations.
And, if none of those redemption options interest you, the card also allows you to use your miles for magazines, newspapers, gift cards and identify theft protection. Or you can even donate your miles to a charity.
Basically, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is an airline rewards credit card with a lot more to offer than airline rewards.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers many benefits that will interest American Airlines fliers, of course. Your first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four traveling companions on the same itinerary. The card also offers you preferred boarding on flights (hello, overhead bin space!) and 25 percent savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases.
Let's face it, those perks alone may interest frequent flyers even more than the rewards program.
But the rewards program is healthy as well. You can get those 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, which means you can rack up the points quickly. Then, if this card is your regular credit card used for everyday purchases, you'll notice that one mile per $1 spent everywhere can quickly multiply into free flights or at least some upgrades here and there.
Plus, the other options for redeeming your points can help defray some of the additional costs of your vacation or business trip. Redeem miles for hotel rooms, car rentals, vacation packages or even donate them to charity. And, keep in mind that you'll receive 10 percent of your miles back each time you redeem them, up to 10,000 miles per year.
Offsetting some of those annoying fees associated with travel, such as check bag fees, also make the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® an attractive option for the frequent American Airlines guest. Consider this, put that "free first checked bag" benefit to use just four times each year and you more than offset the $95 annual fee that kicks in after your first 12 months as a card member.
Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees, so you can travel internationally without worrying about the added fee on your purchases.
There is a $95 annual fee, which the card waives for the first year, so you'll want to be sure your reaping enough benefits with the card to offset the fee. Since it's waived for your first year, you'll have some time to test out the card and see if it works for you.
Additionally, the mile rewards program isn't as generous as some other airline rewards cards that offer three or even more miles per dollar spent with their respective airlines. That said, if you always fly American Airlines, this card's perks will likely be worth not getting as many miles from other airlines cards.
Lastly, there is a 3 percent balance transfer fee and no introductory no-interest period with this card, so if you need to transfer a balance from another card or make a big purchase with some time to pay it off, this card might not be right for your situation.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard® vs. The JetBlue Card® (This card is not currently available on CardRatings
The JetBlue Card offers more points for JetBlue charges than the American Airlines card – three points per $1 spent with JetBlue compared to two miles per $1 spent with American Airlines. The JetBlue Card also rewards you with two points for every $1 spent on restaurant and grocery store purchases and one point for all other purchases.
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so you can shop internationally without worries either way.
The JetBlue Card doesn't have an annual fee, while the American Airlines card charges $95 annually after your first year.
All this said, the JetBlue Card only offers 10,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months, which is much less than the American Airlines card's 60,000 miles after spending $3,000.
A key consideration between these two cards, is the airline affiliation and access. JetBlue serves a limited number of airports currently (though it is expanding), while American Airlines or one of its oneworld partners can likely help you get just about anywhere in the world.
Additionally, you can only redeem JetBlue Card points for JetBlue flights or donate them to charity.
If you fly JetBlue often, the JetBlue Card® is the better option. If you only fly American Airlines, it's best to go with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard®.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard® vs. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
The two cards are nearly identical in terms of what they offer on an ongoing basis; the difference is the airline and the bonuses.
Both have $95 annual fees after the first year. The Delta card is offering 30,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first three months. With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you can also receive a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in that first three months. (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser).
They both offer two miles for every $1 spent with the affiliated airlines and one mile for all other purchases, and neither card charges foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
You can redeem your SkyMiles® for Delta flights or trips with affiliated airlines, much like you can do with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard®.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express also includes the "first-bag-free" on Delta trips for up to four people perk. The American Airlines card actually covers up to five people per trip with this perk.
All this considered, these cards are so similar that which one is better for you will likely depend on which airline you fly.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard® vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice if you want a travel rewards credit card without restrictions and don't care so much about a particular airline.
The card offers you two miles per $1 spent on every purchase, with no caps or expiration dates.
You can redeem your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card miles for any travel-related purchase, including hotel rooms, flights, rental cars and more.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has the same annual fee of $95, which the card waives for the first year, and you get a 50,000-mile bonus, worth $500 in travel, if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
However, you don't get American Airlines-specific (or any airline specific) perks with this card, so that means you're paying all your luggage fees and paying full price for in-flight purchases, too.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard® is likely your better bet if you usually fly American Airlines and will really put the airline-specific perks to use. Otherwise, if you're just looking for a general travel rewards card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is probably a better fit.
Like any airline-specific card, whether the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is right for you depends on whether you frequently fly the affiliated airline, in this case American Airlines or one of its partners.
You only benefit from extra miles if you book American Airlines flights, so you should only choose this card if you fly the airline regularly.
The card does have a pretty extensive redemption list including car rentals, hotel rooms and other options, in addition to American Airlines flights. That allows you flexibility to use the miles for what works for you at any given time. So, you may save up your miles for a trip one time, but a few months later you may want to redeem the miles to try out a new magazine subscription.
There is an annual fee after the first year, but if you fly American Airlines, this card gives you miles and perks that would easily offset that fee.