Update: These offers for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
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For a limited time, Citi is offering big increased welcome bonuses on their co-branded American Airlines credit cards:
- The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is offering a bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months; $99 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months
- The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is offering a bonus of 70,000 AAdvantage miles after making $4,000 of purchases within the first four months; $95 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months
Those are huge welcome bonuses, and you’re potentially eligible for both of those cards, meaning you could be looking at 130,000+ American AAdvantage bonus miles upon completing minimum spend, which could go a long way towards premium cabin redemptions.
On top of that, both cards come with quite a few useful perks that could more than justify the annual fees on the cards. For example, both cards offer preferred boarding on domestic American Airlines flights, as well as a first checked bag free on domestic itineraries for the cardmember and up to four companions on the same reservation.
The cards both have annual fees of under $100, so when you consider that American charges $25 per checked bag per direction, the savings on those fees can quickly more than cover the annual fees (which are waived for the first year on both cards).
Those benefits are great for non-elite members, but sometimes I’ll get comments from AAdvantage elite members saying “well I get all of those things anyway, so this card has no value to me long term.”
Arguably the more loyal you are to American, the more value you’ll get out of my favorite perk on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. Specifically, only the personal version of the card offers a 10% refund on redeemed miles, for a total of up to 10,000 refunded miles per year.
Put another way, if you redeem at least 100,000 miles per year then you’ll get 10,000 miles back per year, which I value at more than the $99 annual fee.
To look at it another way, if you were to actually redeem the 60,000 miles you earned with the welcome bonus then you’d receive a refund of 6,000 miles, meaning that welcome bonus would get you the equivalent value of 66,000 miles.
Or if you got both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® and earned 130,000 miles, then you’d receive 10,000 miles back when you redeemed them (or if you redeemed the balance over two calendar years, you could get 13,000 miles back).
Here’s what you need to know about the 10% refund on redeemed miles:
- The mileage refund posts automatically as long as you have the personal version of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card; you don’t even have to pay the award ticket taxes with the card
- The 10,000 mile limit is per calendar year
- The terms state that miles will be refunded within 6-8 weeks, though in practice they usually post shortly after the miles are debited
- Virtually any type of mileage refund would be eligible for this, including award tickets, upgrades, redeeming miles for Admirals Club memberships, etc.
- This benefit is no longer listed as a marketing bullet on the card, but it is still available (this has been confirmed by American and Citi)
The current welcome bonuses on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® make this a great time to sign up for these cards. While the cards have great perks for those who don’t have status, just about anyone should benefit from the 10% refund on redeemed miles that’s offered on the personal version of the card.