New Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature

by James Andrew Scott on April 2, 2012

in AAdvantage, American Airlines, Citi, Visa Signature

Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa CardReview of the New Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage Card

40,000 mile bonus, Priority Boading, Free Checked Bag, and 2x Miles on American

Citi and American Airlines have a new card out.  The Citi® Platinum Select®/ AAdvantage® Visa Signature Card matches other airline cards like the United MileagePlus Explorer card and the Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex by offering free first checked bags and priority boarding, as well as 2x miles on American purchases.

The new cardholder bonus is 40,000 miles which requires $3,000 in spending within the first 3 months to obtain. The card pays you back 10% of the miles you redeemed the previous year. Cardholders can earn another 10,000 mile bonus (for 50,000 total) by spending $10,000 on the card within the first 12 months as a cardholder.

Finally, cardholders can earn a $100 discount towards an American Airlines flight every year, but this requires a $30,000 annual spend, which is very steep.  Annual fee is $95 (waived first year).

Advantages of the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Card:

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines, 1 mile per dollar on everthing else.
  • Miles bonus every year equal to 10% of the miles redeemed in the prior year, up to 10,000 miles.
  • No blackout dates; however award seats are limited and may not be available on all flights.
  • Perks like priority boarding and first checked bag free (for card holder and up to 4 traveling companions).

Disadvantages:

  • The foreign transaction fee of 3% if you are a frequent foreign traveler.

Book a trip to London from the US for just 40,000 miles on an off-peak MileSAAver® ticket, available from October 15 to May 15.  When I checked, this fare was available on 20 of the 29 days in April.  Taxes are $182.50.  The cheapest flight I could find on any airline during the entire month of April (using Kayak) from IAD to LHR was $801 on British Airways.   This works out to 1.54 cents per mile, net after taxes.

Earning Miles:

  • 2 miles per dollar for on American Airlines purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Using Miles:

  • Domestic round-trips as low as 25,000 miles; to Europe round-trip as low as 40,000 with a MileSAAver® off-peak ticket.
  • No blackout dates, however award seats are limited and may not be available on all flights.
  • Points do not expire with account activity within 18 months, any purchase with the card counts.

Fees:

  • Waived for first year; then $95 annually.
  • Foreign transaction fee:  3%
  • $75 fee for awards tickets redeemed less than 21 days from departure (waived for AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® and AAdvantage Gold®)

Perks:

  • Priority boarding.
  • First checked bag free for cardholder and up to 4 traveling companions.
  • 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases.
  • Visa Signature Cardholder benefits, including 24/7 access to a concierge (800-953-7392), 90 days purchase protection due to theft or vandalism (up to $500/claim), the Visa Signature Hotel Collection benefits, Year-End Summary Statements, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, and more.
  • Zero fraud liability.
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