If you’re a frequent traveler looking for a credit card that rewards you for your spending, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select might be your ideal card. With a $99 annual fee that dramatically undercuts most other providers, the Platinum Select is a great, cost-effective addition to your wallet. Offering a generous points program, some great insurance options and some sweet savings on your next AA flight, you’d be hard pushed to find many cards that offer such generous travel perks for such little investment. That said, the card is just as handy for those who don’t travel as it is for those that do. With an extended warranty, price protection and a host of other non-travel related benefits, the card is as useful for daily expenditures as it is for flights. To find out 20 of the card’s key benefits, keep reading.
1. A Generous Sign-up Bonus
Citi wants you as a customer – a fact they make more than clear by their very sizable sign-up bonus. Citi is offering new customers the chance to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2500 in the first 3 months of account opening. Based on the current redemption value of points, that’s around $700 towards your next flight- better make it a long one!
2. Big Rewards
In addition to the 50,000 bonus miles you can earn just by signing up (and spending $3000, of course), the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select allows you to continue reaping the rewards of your cardholder status for just as long as you keep spending. Its generous membership rewards scheme allows you to earn 2 x AAdvantage miles for every dollar you spend at a gas station, 2 x AAdvantage for every dollar you spend at restaurants, and another 2 x AAdvantage for every dollar you spend on eligible American Airlines purchases. As The Points Guy notes, that’s effectively a 2.8% return on all your spending.
3. Free Checked Bag
If you’re a frequent flyer who’s sick of paying American Airlines $30 fee for checking your first bag, you’ll be pleased to know that as the owner of a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select, you can wave goodbye to the charges on domestic AA flights once and for all. If you fly more than 4 times a year, the savings you’ll make will more then cover the $99 Citi charges in annual fees. As an added extra, the benefit extends to up to four companions traveling on the same reservation as you. If you were looking to improve your popularity, this will do the job for you.
4. Preferred Boarding
Tired of watching other passengers board while you’re stuck sweating it out in a mile-long queue? Not anymore you’re not. Owners of a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select (along with up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation) can now enjoy the rare treat of preferred boarding on all AA flights. This may be especially useful on economy or typically busy flights where finding space for your carry-on allowance can be a fraught experience. Getting onto the plane first means you’ll also get first dibs at the overhead locker space.
5. 25% Discount on Inflight Purchases
If you like to indulge yourself with some en-route snacks and beverages, you’re in for a tasty treat. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select cardholders qualify for a 25% discount on all food and drink items bought onboard domestic American Airlines flights. If you’re a frequent flyer (or even just a voracious eater), the savings this benefit affords will soon start to rack up. Just one caveat to remember– the discount will only apply if you use your card to make the purchase. Don’t expect to see a return on cash payments.
6. $125 American Airlines Flight Discount
The next benefit on our list is a real incentive for frequent flyers, and one of the reasons the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is such a popular travel card. As soon as you reach a $20,000 minimum spending threshold in a cardmember year, you’ll qualify for a very sweet $125 flight discount that can be redeemed against any American Airlines flights that originate in the US, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands. Even if you were to only use this one benefit and ignore the rest, it’s generous enough to take care of that $99 annual fee, and then some.
7. Reduced Mileage Rewards
As The Points Guy notes, one of the less well-known benefits of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is the access it offers cardholders to reduced mileage awards. The program offers lower than average prices to a range of international and national destinations. The flights can’t be booked online, but if you ask for a reduced mileage award and make the payment with your Platinum Select, you’ll be able to make the booking over the phone without being stung by the $30 booking fee.
8. No Foreign Transaction Fee
As the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is essentially a travel card designed for the specific needs of frequent flyers in mind, you’d expect Citi to do as much as possible to reduce the unwanted fees that are often part and parcel of traveling abroad. Fortunately, you’d be right. Citi has taken the foreign transaction fees that other providers often charge for the privilege of using their cards abroad and scrapped them. With usual fees averaging anything from 3-5%, you’ll soon start to see the savings of this convenient little benefit stack up.
9. Price Rewind Protection
One of the best, non-travel related perks of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is its Price Rewind Protection benefit. The benefit works by having Citi automatically check through a list of merchants for lower prices each time you use your card to pay for registered items at participating online merchants. If they (or indeed you) find the same item at a lower price within 60 days of the original purchase date, you may qualify for reimbursement against the difference. The reimbursement is capped at $200 per item or $1000 per calendar year. If you want to take advantage of the benefit, you’ll need to be quick – Citi is planning on following the lead of most other providers by withdrawing Price Protection in September 2019.
10. Extended Warranty
With the cost of store-bought extended warranties reaching almost criminal levels, most of us would rather take our chances by going without. When it comes to larger and particularly pricey items, this can sometimes be a risky business. Fortunately, Citi is on hand to provide protection without the cost. Any eligible items purchased with your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select will benefit from up to 24 months extended warranty on top of the existing manufacturer’s warranty, provided the total coverage doesn’t exceed 7 years.
11. 90 Day Return Protection
We’ve all encountered that particular breed of retailer who refuses to accept the return of goods under any circumstances, no matter how desperately you plead. If you’ve bought an item and regretted it, you’ll be pleased to know that provided you used your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select to pay for it, you’re covered. Citi will refund the cost of any eligible item within 90 days of the original purchase date. Coverage is capped at a generous $300 per item or a total of $1000 per year. If you needed a reason to start using your card for your daily expenditures, this could be all the justification you need.
12. Baggage Delay and Lost Baggage Insurance
Ever had that sinking feeling in your stomach when you see the last bag emerge onto the carousel, only to find it’s not yours? We’ve all been there, but fortunately for Citi cardholders, the experience no longer needs to be quite so traumatic. Owners of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select can claim up to $100 if their baggage is delayed by 6 hours or more. If the baggage never arrives or is damaged when it does, this increases to $3000 per person per trip or $1000 in total for all covered travelers. The one caveat– you’ll need to have used your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select to pay for at least part of the trip, otherwise, Citi is unlikely to help.
13. Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage
If your trip is canceled or interrupted for any eligible reason (including natural disasters, severe weather, and certain illnesses or unavoidable personal circumstances), you may be able to claim back up to $5000 per covered traveler per trip, on the provision you paid for at least part of it on your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select. Bear in mind that if you only used your card to pay for a partial amount of the total cost, you’ll only be able to claim a refund against the actual amount you charged to the card. Still, a pretty handy perk to have, nonetheless.
14. Trip Delay Protection
Delayed flights are the bane of every frequent traveler’s existence- if you have a meeting to make or a connecting flight to take, the last thing you want is to see that flashing ‘delayed’ notice pop up on the overhead screens. While Citi can’t do much about the delay itself, they can at least mitigate against some of the inconvenience by reimbursing up to $500 per covered traveler for any delays lasting 12 hours or more… more than sufficient to cover any accommodation, transportation, food or incidental costs necessitated by the delay.
15. Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
Wave goodbye to excessive car collision insurance fees by charging your entire car rental costs to your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select. This will give you an automatic, 31-day cover against damage or theft for up to $50,000. One thing to bear in mind is that the insurance is primary for car rentals outside the US, but only secondary for rentals within the States. Still, if you’re looking for basic cover without the costs, it’s a great option to have.
16. Roadside Dispatch
If you get into trouble while out and about, never fear. As MMS advises, call 866-918-4670 and Citi will dispatch someone to help. Whether you need towing or winching, a jumpstart, a tire change, a lock-out service or a fuel refill, Citi’s helpful roadside dispatch will make sure you get home safely. The one downfall to note is that this isn’t a free service, so make sure to request, and agree to, a quote before availing yourself of the service.
17. No Annual Fee for the First Year
Let’s face it, the $99 annual fee charged by Citi is peanuts compared to what you’d have to spend on a lot of other cards. That said, if the thought of spending just short of 100 dollars before you get the chance to assess the card’s benefits has you foaming at the gills, you can relax. Citi has been generous enough to waive the first year’s annual fee, meaning you get to test out its perks before having to part with your cash.
18. Digital Wallet
If you like the idea of popping to the shops without being burdened by your purse, you’re in luck. Citi allows you to pay easily and simply using nothing more than your cell phone. Sign up to the Citi Mobile App and you’ll not only be able to access all your bank and credit card accounts in one swipe of your finger, but you’ll also be able to speed through checkouts without digging around in your wallet. You’ll also be able to link in your loyalty program to the app, meaning you never have to worry about losing out on those handy reward points.
19. EMV Chip Technology
In this day and age, you can never be too safe. Fortunately, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select cards come with EMV Chip Technology, offering enhanced security and easier acceptance when using your card abroad.
20. Account Alerts
If you like to stay on top of your finances, you’ll enjoy the option to receive account alerts from Citi. Citi will monitor your account and depending on your preset preferences, it will alert you to any payments, purchases, and transactions that go out on your card.
Written by Bill Vix
Read more posts by Bill Vix