Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Credit Card Review

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From Seek Capital - Best for American Flyers

Welcome Offer

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $2,500 on purchases in your first 3 Months

Earn

2xMiles
Earn 2 AAdvantage Miles for every dollar spent on airlines, gas stations, and restaurants
1xMiles
Earn 1 AAdvantage Mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases
$100American Airlines Flight Discount
Earn $100 American Airlines flight discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card.
FreeChecked Bag
First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation

Citi AAdvantage Platinum

If you regularly fly American Airlines or you are in a city with an American Airlines hub (by the way, who isn't with hubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and New York) a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card is the card for you.  The signup bonus is no joke. You will get 30,000 bonus miles just for getting approved for this card and spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. But the fun does not end there. Citi continues to give you amazing perks whenever you swipe this card too.  When you jump in an Uber to go to the airport to catch your next flight, you will be thrilled that you have this card in your wallet.

Rewards Highlights

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Introductory Annual Fee
  • 2x Aadvantage Miles on Travel Expenses
  • 1x Aadvantage Miles on Everything Else

Expert Review

The Pros

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Introductory Annual Fee
  • 2x Aadvantage Miles on Travel Expenses
  • 1x Aadvantage Miles on Everything Else

The Cons

  • Strict Approval Requirements

Recommended Credit Profile

Rates & Fees

  • Annual Fee$99
  • Intro Annual Membership Fee$0
  • Regular APR17.99% to 25.99%
  • Great ForAmerican AirlinesHotelsRestaurants
  • Regular Purchase APR17.99% to 25.99%
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR17.99% to 25.99%
  • Cash Advance APR27.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3%
  • Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee0%

Super Sign Up Bonus

Citi is well known for its excellent customer service, and that starts as soon as you open the Advantage Platinum card. The sign on bonus is a crazy 30,000 bonus miles for American Airlines if you use the card for just $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. That’s approximately $333 a month, $84 a week or just $12 a day, which is a ridiculously easy target to hit if you just make this your main swiping card for all your regular purchases. Use the Advantage Platinum to just buy your gas and groceries, and the average family will qualify for the sign on bonus in two months, and that’s with conservative numbers!

Earning and Redeeming Points Made Simple

Earning points with the Citi Advantage Platinum card is super easy. You get 2x Advantage miles for every $1 you spend on purchases with American Airlines, but you also get 1 Advantage mile for every $1 you spend anywhere else. Anywhere means your favorite restaurant, boutique or sporting goods store. And the best part is, there’s no cap on how many miles you can earn! I love this because it means I can use this as my primary card for everything I’d already be buying anyway and earn like crazy in the process.

The simplicity of the reward system means you always know how many points you’re racking up and how close you’re getting to your next dream vacation. Here’s an example scenario of how the math might work out for just the first three months you have the card:

  • Let’s say you spend $200 a month in gas, $1,000 a month in groceries, $400 a month eating out.
  • That’s $1,600 a month or $4,800 over the course of the 3-month introductory period. One mile for every dollar gives you 4,800 miles so far.
  • Now, maybe you take one business trip with American Airlines in the first three months, spending $300. That’s another 600 points, which takes us up to 5,400 miles so far.
  • But you’ve also more than qualified for the sign-up bonus, making the grand total 35,400 miles at the end of three months.

What does that get you? A whole lot.

The 35,400 miles is enough to fly nearly anywhere in the contiguous United States on a qualifying flight through American Airlines — Vegas or New York City anyone? — or you could make a trip all the way to Aruba or the Cayman Islands. Tropical beach or picturesque mountains, it’s your call.

As an added bonus, American Airlines lets you use your miles in the MileSAAver program, which gives you discounted rates on flights so you spend less of your points. With the MileSAAver program, you can get a discount of up to 7,500 miles for a round-trip flight or 3,500 miles on a one-way ticket — as long as the flight is longer than 500 miles and goes through the qualifying airports. These change quarterly, so you’ll want to check the program before solidifying your travel arrangements.

Perks, Perks, Perks

The Advantage Platinum card is already awesome for its generous sign up bonus and easy earning/redeeming system, but it’s also one of the best credit cards out there when it comes to extra perks. The place where this shines best is when it comes to traveling. First, you get 10 percent back on the miles you redeem, so you can start building up miles for your next trip when booking one today. Say you redeem 30,000 miles; that’s 3,000 miles right back in your account.

Other travel-related perks include:

  • Preferred boarding: You and up to three others traveling with you get automatic access to boarding group five out of nine, which means better access to overhead storage and faster boarding.
  • One free checked bag: This perk only applies to domestic American Airlines flights, but it can mean big savings.
  • A full 25 percent off eligible in-flight food and beverages: All you have to do to get this perk is pay with your Advantage Platinum card. Bonus: you’ll also get 2x miles back on these buys.
  • Trip delay protection: If you’re carrier delays your flight 12 hours or more, you’re automatically covered with $500 to handle your transportation, lodging, meals and other related expenses while you wait. This benefit applies to any flight purchased with the card or redeemed with your miles, which means if you’re flying your family in for the holidays and the weather delays the flight, they’re covered.
  • Trip interruption/cancellation protection: Sometimes plans just don’t work out, but with the Advantage Platinum card you don’t have to worry about losing money in the process. If your trip gets interrupted or canceled, you can get up to $5,000 back per person per trip as long as you paid with the card. Qualifying scenarios include someone getting sick or hurt, losing their job or being called to military service. It also covers you in situations with severe weather or mandatory evacuations.
  • Baggage protection: You can get $100 in reimbursement funds if your baggage is delayed by at least 6 hours, and if it’s lost altogether, the reimbursement goes up to $3,000 per person with a maximum payout of $10,000 per trip.

Other non-travel perks include getting an extended warranty on most items purchased with the Advantage Platinum card and access to Apple Pay, which lets you make purchases at over 200,00 stores with just one touch.

Crunching the Numbers

The Advantage Platinum card does come with an annual fee of $95, which is pretty standard within the industry, but the value far outweighs the charge. If you qualify for the sign-up bonus, you’ve already saved three to four times the cost, depending on your destination location. Also, Citi waives the fee for the first year, so the miles you earn for the first 12 months are all gravy.

This card also comes with $0 foreign transaction fees, which make it even more perfect for frequent flyers. Basically, when you use a regular card, the bank charges you an extra fee every time you swipe out of the country. The average foreign transaction fee is around 3 percent of the purchase total. So, if you spend $100 a day over the course of a 14-day vacation (or $1,400), the Advantage Platinum card is saving you $42, which is almost half the annual fee right there.

Overall, the Citi Advantage Card is a top choice for anyone who wants a workhorse, everyday swiping card that also offers killer perks and rewards for domestic and international travel.

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