New Citi American Airlines benefits & bonus coming soon

12

Citi has announced that there are new benefits (and a there will be a new signup bonus) coming soon on the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, including 2x at restaurants and gas stations. These benefits will go live for new cardmembers on May 3rd, though existing cardholders will have to wait until July 22nd to take advantage of the new benefits. Along with these changes in benefits, the card’s annual fee will be increasing, from $95 today to $99 when these changes take effect.

The Deal

  • Beginning for new applicants on May 3rd and existing cardmembers on July 22nd, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard will offer the following benefits:
    • 2x at restaurants and gas stations
    • $100 AA flight discount after $20,000 in purchases within a year and card is renewed
  • The annual fee will also be increasing from $95 per year to $99

Key Card Details

  • Earn 2x on American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1x everywhere else (though note the new bonus categories of restaurants and gas stations beginning May 3rd for new applications and July 22nd for existing cardholders)
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back each year on up to 100,000 redeemed miles
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 4 companions on domestic AA flights
  • Priority boarding
  • 25% discount on in-flight purchases with your card
  • $95 annual fee now, scheduled to increase to $99 (often waived the first year, including under the current offer on our Best Offers page)

Quick Thoughts

It’s certainly nice to earn more miles when you can. Whether or not 2x at restaurants and gas stations is a stronger value than other cards that earn the Best Category Bonuses at those places is a matter of your personal valuation of American Airlines miles. Our Reasonable Redemption Values has American miles pegged at 1.4 cents each — see Airline Miles are worth 1.4 cents each. A simplified approach to Reasonable Redemption Values. for more on why. Based on that metric, a 2x return does not beat the return available through other cards in those categories. On the other hand, if you’re saving up for a valuable redemption that will give you much more value than 1.4 cents per mile, you might be happy to earn a bonus on dining out and filling up.

The $100 AA flight discount after $20K in purchases is nice if you are already spending $20K on an AA card, but is a relatively weak Big Spend Bonus. It must be used on itineraries that originate in the US, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, but it can be used for oneworld codeshares booked through aa.com.

Keep in mind that these new benefits will be available for new applicants beginning May 3rd, but existing cardholders will have to wait until July 22nd to take advantage of the new category bonuses and big spend bonus. Currently, the annual fee is waived the first year and is listed at $95 thereafter. It may be possible to apply now and lock in the $95 fee at first renewal, but I’m not certain that they won’t just send a notice indicating that your fee will go up upon renewal, so I’m not sure there is an advantage to applying now (especially if you would like to have the bonus categories available during the minimum spend period, as though categories will take effect July 22nd for existing cardholders but will be available to new cardholders who apply after May 3rd).

While some will certainly bemoan the difficulty of using American Airlines miles, I find that it really depends on your routes and dates and miles are worth more to some people than others based on their intended redemptions. Bonus categories aren’t very common on legacy airline credit cards, so a little something extra is a welcome change, if not an amazing return.

Email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

12 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments