Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?

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Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?

DevonIs the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?Million Mile Secrets Team

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® waives the annual fee for the first year for new cardholders.  And they’ve even increased the welcome bonus to 60,000 American Airlines miles, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.  After the first year, the annual fee is $99.

Sometimes it can be hard to know if paying an annual fee is worth it for you.  That’s why we love cards that have the first year’s annual fee waived!  With no annual fee for the first year, you can try out the card, as well as its perks and benefits, then decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?
Try Out This Card and Fly to Belize With a Friend Using the Welcome Bonus!

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has an increased welcome bonus and great perks.  Let’s examine the benefits to see if its worth keeping and paying the annual fee after the first year!

Citi American Airlines Platinum Select 60,000-Mile Offer

Apply Here:   Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Our Review of the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Card

When you sign-up for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’ll earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

And cardholders earn:

  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1X American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases

There’s also a benefit for big spenders.  You’ll earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount after spending $20,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card.

Plus, you’ll get perks like:

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports
  • No additional charge to add an Authorized User

Make the Most of Your Welcome Bonus!

American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance which means you can redeem your newly earned welcome bonus for award flights on American Airlines or any partner airline.  This gives you access to:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways 
  • Etihad
  • Iberia 
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • and many more!!

The easiest way to see what award possibilities lay in store is to head to the American Airlines Award Map.  Enter in your departure location, arrival region/general interest, departure date, return date, passengers, and the 60,000 American Airlines miles earned from the welcome bonus.  The result is a plethora of flights that match your criteria.

You can also use the American Airlines Award Chart to figure out how many miles are needed for your flight.  American Airlines awards are region based so you can easily see where 60,000 American Airlines miles can take you!

Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?
American Airlines Makes It Easy to Search for Award Travel Within Regions or Interests!

In a sample search, I found 2 round-trip tickets to Belize for 50,000 American Airlines miles plus taxes and fees!  The cash cost of the same flight would be ~$1,100 after taxes and fees.  Remember, as a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® holder, you may be eligible for reduced mileage awards based on your destination.

You also get 10% of your redeemed American Airlines miles back for every award trip booked up to 10,000 miles per calendar year.  For the example Belize trip, you would get back 5,000 miles as a cardholder!  You could use the 5,000 mile rebate plus the 10,000 miles left over from the welcome bonus for 1 round-trip award flight in the US that’s 500 miles or less.  Even if the annual fee of $99 wasn’t waived for the first year, the savings alone from this example flight far outweigh the annual fee!

Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?
The Award Map Found a Flight to Belize for 2 Round-Trip Tickets Equivalent to ~$1,100!

The Amazing Value From Perks and Benefits Is Greater Than the Annual Fee

Not only does the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® come with a generous welcome bonus, it also comes packed with perks for everyone!

Free Checked Bags

One of the most valuable perks offered by this card is the free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same domestic reservation.  American Airlines currently charges $25 per bag each way for domestic flights.  For 1 person with a round-trip reservation, you will save $50.  If you have a family of 5 checking 1 bag each on a round-trip vacation, you will save $250.  If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer or flying with a group, these savings will add up quick!

Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?
Get the Benefits of First Class While Flying Basic Economy!

Basic Economy Bonuses

American Airlines’ basic economy can be affordable, but the person flying has to sacrifice things like seat assignment, a carry-on, and time to board.  With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® you can enjoy almost all of these benefits even when flying basic economy!  You’ll get a free checked bag, priority boarding, and a carry-on.  The savings from flying basic economy on American Airlines average around ~$40 round-trip.

Travel Insurance, Extended Warranty, and Price Rewind

Aside from the awesome American Airlines perks, you also get Citi benefits with your card.  Citi offers travel insurance, warranty extensions, and Price Rewind at no extra charge to the primary cardholder.

Trip cancellation, trip delay, baggage delay, and lost baggage all fall under Citi’s travel insurance.  For example, United Airlines offers trip insurance for $14 on a one-way domestic flight.  Having this Citi card gives you comparable coverage included with the annual fee!  I always decline extra coverage because I know my card will cover me.

Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?
You Can Decline Travel Insurance From Airlines and Rental Agencies Because the Citi Card Comes With Travel Insurance Included!

Citi also automatically extends all manufacturer warranties by 24 months!  A 2-year extended warranty on an electronic product from Target valued at $450-$499, costs $63.  If you’re planning on buying a TV, appliance, or expensive product in the future, this Citi card could save you from purchasing an extended warranty!

And remember that expensive product you just bought?  Citi has a program called Price Rewind that will check to see if the price you paid was the lowest, and may refund you the difference, up to 60 days from the purchase date.  The maximum benefit you can currently claim is $500, but will change to $200 for purchases made after July 29, 2018 up to $1,000 per calendar year. We’ve had readers save over $500 using this service!

Is the Citi American Airlines Platinum Card Worth the Annual Fee for YOU?
The Price Rewind Feature Could Save You Up to $1,000 Per Year!

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® isn’t for everyone.  If you don’t think you will redeem the American Airlines miles, take advantage of free checked bags, or use the travel insurance and other Citi benefits, this card might not be the right fit for you after the first year.  Keep in mind, it’s easy to cancel a card by just picking up the phone and calling the bank.  The process is quick and hassle free.

Bottom Line

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers an increased 60,000 American Airlines miles welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements, in addition to the perks offered by both American Airlines and Citi!

It is easy for almost anyone to find value with this card, especially because the annual fee of $99 is waived for the first year!

For being a cardholder, you get:

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same domestic reservation (save $25 per bag each way!)
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports
  • Citi Benefits like travel insurance, extended warranty, and Price Rewind

Team member Scott swore he’d never pay an annual fee for a credit card.  Now he has paid 1 credit card’s annual fee 4 times!  The free checked baggage perk alone could be enough to make the card worth keeping.

Because the annual fee is waived for the first year, you can try out this card and its perks for ~11 months while you decide if it’s the right fit for you.  If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer, keeping the card is a no-brainer!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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In the past, I have been able to downgrade this to the Bronze no-fee card, keeping credit history intact. Got it again, bonus just posted, and hope to do the same when fee comes due since I have the Barclay AAviator with same perks.