CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Review
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn 65,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in the first four months from account opening. That's enough for several domestic round-trip tickets.
- Unlike most branded cards, this card allows you to earn double miles in categories beyond purchases made directly with the brand. In this case, you'll earn two miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases as well as on purchases with telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.
- Spend at least $30,000 annually on the card and you'll receive a $99 companion ticket for domestic travel.
- The annual fee means this card only makes sense for the truly American Airlines loyal who will earn enough miles (and redeem them enough) to offset the fee.
Helping you gain rewards fast, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a must for business owners loyal to the American Airlines brand. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.
With an opportunity to earn a 65,000-mile welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first four months, and double mile earnings on eligible American Airlines purchases, gas, and select business purchases, it doesn't take long for miles to start adding up. Plus, employee cards are available at no additional cost and also earn AAdvantage miles, further helping your miles-earning potential. As if that wasn't enough, you also receive an American Airlines Companion Certificate for a domestic ticket each year after spending $30,000 or more with your card.
Other notable CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® features include:
- No annual fee for the first year ($99 after that).
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Discounted American Airlines flights to select destinations with Reduced Mileage Awards – users can save up to 7,500 miles per round-trip flight.
- First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries.
- Preferred boarding privileges.
- Receive 25% off in-flight WiFi when you pay with your card.
- Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- No Annual Fee
WHAT OUR EDITORS LIKE MOST ABOUT THE CITIBUSINESS® / AADVANTAGE® PLATINUM SELECT® MASTERCARD®
Staying loyal to a particular airline can have its perks, and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® makes those perks worth the loyalty.
To start, this card makes it easy for cardholders to quickly rack up miles to use with the AAdvantage® loyalty program. In addition to gaining 65,000 miles as a welcome bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first four months, American Airlines ticket purchases will gain cardholders two miles for each $1 spent, as will purchases within select business categories such as those with telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. Beyond that, you earn one mile for each $1 spent on everything else. For those who frequently buy American Airlines plane tickets or use their card for things like car rentals or gas, it'll take no time at all for users to see a significant mile gain. Miles can then be used to reserve a hotel, rent a car, upgrade a ticket, book a regular flight or to book a flight through the MileSAAver awards program, which is one of our favorite perks of the card.
Here's the deal: If your plans are flexible, MileSAAver flights are available for as low as 7,500 miles each way (plus any applicable taxes and carrier-imposed fees), and even though MileSAAver flights can be booked by anyone using miles, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® cardholders have access to even greater savings. Depending on the dates and destination, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® can save cardholders up to 7,500 miles on flights of more than 500 miles, and 2,000 miles on flights of less than 500 miles. If planned well, this perk can allow cardholders to book a round-trip flight for as few as 11,000 miles.
Beyond MileSAAver flights, another nice feature of AAdvantage® miles redemption is that these miles can be redeemed for flights on oneworld® participating airlines. Airlines in that contingent include British Airways, Qantas and numerous others that can take you to more than 1,000 destinations worldwide.
And let's not forget about that companion ticket you'll earn each year you spend at least $30,000 on your card and renew your membership. That ticket alone could offset the annual fee after the first year.
To learn more about the numerous benefits of the AAdvantage rewards program and how earning and redeeming miles works, check out our American Airlines AAdvantage® program guide.
Though the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has some great perks, cardholders won't reap the full benefit of these bonuses unless the card is used often.
For example, the American Airlines Companion Certificate is a great reward, but users must spend at least $30,000 in a year to receive it. Frequent users of the card shouldn't have trouble reaching this goal, but if the card is only used occasionally, users might miss out. We should also note that the companion ticket is limited to domestic travel and there will be a $99 fee to use it along with the required government taxes. It should still save you money, but you really can't think of it as a free ticket.
Another downfall is the $99 a year fee (after the first year). While this fee can easily be offset by card perks, for those not using the card often enough, the fee may not feel worth it.
HOW THE CITIBUSINESS® / AADVANTAGE® PLATINUM SELECT® MASTERCARD® COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® vs. Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Love the perks of the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® but your loyalty lies with Delta? The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card may be the card for you. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
In many ways, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card is similar to the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, with loyalty to Delta instead of American Airlines.
New Delta cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months.. On an ongoing basis, earn two miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases, and on every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants; earn one mile per $1 on all other eligible purchases; and enjoy main cabin 1 priority boarding and one free checked bag on every Delta flight. There are also no foreign transaction fees and a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 each year after that.
If you are thinking this sounds a lot like the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, you wouldn't be completely off, but besides the airline loyalty difference and number of introductory bonus miles, there are a few other differences to note.
Sure, new cardholders can earn a nice welcome bonus, but unlike with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card cardholders won't earn double the rewards on purchases like car rentals and gas, and there is no Delta companion certificate reward or discounted ticket access.
When it comes down to it, these cards are very similar. If your decision is between these two options, it might ultimately depend on which airline you prefer.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
What this card lacks in brand-specific perks, it makes up for in flexibility. With the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business, cardholders earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, plus 5 miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel™, which means that businesses with varied spending can still rack up rewards that can then be redeemed for free or discounted travel.
Perhaps the biggest difference here is that the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business doesn't charge an annual fee and it DOES offer introductory 0% APR on purchases for nine months (then, 14.49% - 22.49% (Variable)).
If your business needs flexibility more than it does travel perks like a free checked bag or priority boarding, a general miles rewards card like the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business could be a better value. That said, if you spend disproportionately on travel with American Airlines or even on the other two-mile earning categories of the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® (with telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, rental car merchants and at gas stations), that card could be a better value even with the annual fee after the first year.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you still want a nice bonus opportunity like what's offered with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® but want more flexibility with which airline you fly, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is worth considering even though it isn't specifically a small business credit card.
The great thing about the Venture card is that you'll earn two miles for every $1 spent, no matter your purchase, unlike the with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, which restricts double rewards earnings to select categories. Plus, with the Capital One Venture, you can fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime and not have to worry about blackout dates. Plus, you can transfer your miles to numerous leading travel loyalty programs. This is a huge plus for those looking for flexibility with which airline they travel.
New Venture; members can earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months (worth up to $500 in travel) and another 50,000 miles after spending $20,000 within the first 12 months, totaling 100,000 bonus miles. The annual fee is similar as with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® ($95 a year with the Capital One card; with the Citi card, $99, waived for first 12 months) and even though there is still a fee, the rewards-earning ease and flexible redemption offers certainly make it worth it.
The biggest drawback here is that since this isn't a business card, and you won't have the same business tools or access to employee cards that you have with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, so it might be best for smaller businesses.
Those who make frequent business purchases, want to distribute cards without a fee to employees, and who are loyal to the American Airlines brand will reap the most benefits from the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. The key with any branded credit card is to be honest about your level of loyalty. If you aren't a frequent American Airlines traveler, you might be better off with a more general travel rewards credit card.
To see the rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees.