Is the CitiBusiness American Airlines Platinum Select worth it?

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Aside from a great sign-up bonus of 65,000 American Airlines miles after meeting minimum spending requirements, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is worth it for small business owners who like to fly American Airlines.

You can read our full CitiBusiness AAdvantage review here. It’s a great choice if you don’t have other American Airlines cards, because you can earn miles with the big welcome offer and regular business spending.

  • Spend a lot in the bonus categories, including American Airlines flights, telecommunications, cable, car rentals and gas stations
  • Check bags on American Airlines domestic flights and don’t have American Airlines status
  • Want to get cards for employees to earn more American Airlines miles
  • Enjoy preferred boarding and saving 25% off in-flight food, drinks, and Wi-Fi
  • Want to keep your small business spending separate from your personal expenses
  • Are concerned about your Chase 5/24 status, or getting Citi’s personal American Airlines cards in the future

Plus, there’s a $99 annual fee that’s waived the first 12 months.

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you like preferred boarding & free checked bags, or spend a lot on the 2X categories, the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Business Card is worth it for small business owners (Photo by BCFC/Shutterstock)

Is the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select worth it?

When you sign-up for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select small business card, you’ll earn 65,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first four months of account opening. After you meet minimum spending, you’ll have at least 69,000 miles. That’s a wildest-dreams-come-true size bonus. Some of the best uses of AA miles are 60,000 miles for a round-trip coach flight to anywhere in Europe or 60,000 miles for a round-trip coach flight to Patagonia. And you’d have earned the 65,000 miles you need for a one-way flight to Doha in Qatar Airways’ opulent Q-Suites.

Qsuites The Points Guy
Qatar Q-Suites regularly cost $5,000+ each way. (Photo by Emily McNutt )

You can read our comprehensive post on how to use American Airlines miles. The bonus is great on its own, but let’s see if the card is worth keeping year after year.

2X American Airlines miles for common small business spending

This card has generous bonus categories that blow other American Airlines cards out of the water. You’ll earn:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2 American Airlines miles per dollar spent at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations
  • 1 American Airlines mile per dollar spent on other purchases

American Airlines flights, car rentals and gas stations are straightforward, but the other 2X categories are ambiguous. Citi defines “telecommunications merchants” as:

Merchants that sell telecommunications equipment such as telephones, fax machines, pagers, and cellular phones, along with providers of telecommunications services including local and long-distance telephone calls and fax services.

Cable and satellite providers include:

Merchants that provide the connection and ongoing delivery of television, internet (computer network, information services, email website hosting services), telephone, and radio programming via cable or satellite on a subscription or fee basis.

So most cable, internet, and phone services should earn 2X American Airlines miles. If any of these, along with rental cars and gas, are big expenses to run your small business, you can keep the American Airlines miles flowing in nicely. And of course, you can use your CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select to earn 2 miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases.

Other travel and small business perks add to the value of the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select

You’ll also be privy to special perks when you fly American Airlines:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation (domestic American Airlines flights only)
  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • 25% savings on in-flight food, drinks, and Wi-Fi purchased with your card

Preferred boarding doesn’t have a tangible price, but I enjoy getting to my seat before the rest of the coach cabin boards — I like to put my bag right over my seat and pull out my Kindle before I’m hip-to-hip with fellow travelers.

Also, if you check bags domestically, you can save $60 per round-trip flight for up to five people (you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation). That’s a huge savings that can easily make the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select well worth the annual fee.

Finally, employee cards are free. Not only can you track each card’s spending, but each purchase earns American Airlines miles that go to your loyalty account – which is pretty sweet. Having this card also assures you can keep your business spending apart from personal spending, which is helpful if you’re using accounting software or itemizing your expenses for tax time – especially if you get a lot of 1099 forms.

The CitiBusiness AAdvantage won’t hurt your chances of opening other cards

Nowadays, opening one card usually means foregoing others.

Luckily, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select won’t change your Chase 5/24 status because it won’t show up on your personal credit report. That’s helpful for folks who still want to open the best Chase cards down the road.

Crunch the numbers to decide if the CitiBusiness AAdvantage is for you

If you fly American Airlines semi-regularly and don’t have elite status, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select is definitely worthwhile – particularly if you like earning American Airlines miles. And the free checked bag and preferred boarding are excellent benefits if you’ll use them.

If you spend a lot in the 2X bonus categories, you can rack up American Airlines miles at double speed. And if you want to give cards to your employees, or just keep better track of your business spending, having a small business account is an easy way to keep things in one place.

American Airlines miles value is difficult to pin down, but we estimate you shouldn’t have a hard time receiving 1.4 cents per mile. That makes this bonus worth over $1,000 after you meet minimum spending (74,000 miles X 1.4 cents each). Additionally, if you and a partner take just a single round-trip flight each year, you’ll save $120 on checked bags. That perk alone is worth paying the card’s annual fee each year. Personally, I have the card and save $180+ each year on checked bags.

Bottom line

You might make a spot in your wallet for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select if you:

  • Like the 2X earning categories (on eligible American Airlines purchases, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations)
  • Want American Airlines travel perks, like preferred boarding and a free first checked bag on domestic flights (for you and up to four companions on the same reservation)
  • Want to keep your small business spending separate for tracking and accounting reasons
  • Are trying to stay below Chase 5/24, or want other Citi American Airlines personal cards

If any of these fit your situation, you can do well with the card. Plus, the $99 annual fee is waived the first 12 months, so you can see how you like it before paying for it.

Are you planning to add the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select to your collection?

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets email newsletter.

Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

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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