New Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage With Improved Card Benefits

Citi has stepped up its game a little bit with its American Airlines cards.  To be clear, for everyday spending, the Starwood American Express is still a better option (earn up to 1.25 AA points per dollar spent), but with these added features, you might want to make room in your wallet for this new card.

The sign up bonus for the card remains the same.  Get up to  50,000 bonus with $10,000 in spending in the first year.

So, what are the new benefits?

New Citi Platinum Select Cardholder Benefits

I’ll list them in order of my favorites. (It was hard to know which should be #1 and which should be #2 on my list!)

1.  Free checked bag for the card holder and up to four passengers booked on the same itinerary.

This feature is only valid for flights booked and ticketed after April 2nd, 2012.

I was actually really excited about this benefit until I read the ticketing restriction.  Our family has a couple of AA domestic flights this year, and this could easily save us $100 in baggage fees.

Here are the official terms and conditions:

For benefit to apply, at the time of booking, Citi® / AAdvantage® account must have been open at least 7 days and reservation must include the primary cardmember’s American Airlines AAdvantage® number. This benefit is valid for travel booked and ticketed on or after April 2, 2012. If your credit card account is closed for any reason, this benefit will be cancelled. Eligible Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmembers may check one bag free of charge when traveling on American Airlines, American Eagle or the AmericanConnection® carrier to select domestic destinations. Up to four customers traveling with the eligible primary credit cardmember will also get their first checked bag free of charge if they are listed in the same reservation. Waiver does not apply to overweight or oversized bags. This benefit cannot be combined with any existing AAdvantage® elite program benefits, including any waiver of baggage charges. Please see AA.com for baggage weight and size restrictions. Additional terms, conditions and restrictions may apply. Applicable terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

2.  10% back on redeemed AAdvantage Rewards.

When you book your award seats, you’ll be able to get a 10% mileage credit up to 10,000 miles per year.

For example, if you book a 50,000 mile flight, you’ll get 5,000 miles back – which is like getting the 50,000 mile flight for 45,000 miles.

I think this is a pretty amazing benefit.

Considering both my wife and I had this card last year and both of us booked over 100,000 miles worth of awards, it would have been nice to each get a 10,000 mile credit.  At least going forward this benefit will apply.

Here are the official terms and conditions:

For benefit to apply, your Citi® / AAdvantage® account must be open and active at the time of redemption. The American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles you earn through this benefit will be based on 10% of the total AAdvantage® miles you redeem each month during the calendar year. The maximum number of AAdvantage®bonus miles you can earn annually from this benefit  is 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles per calendar year, regardless of how many AAdvantage® miles you redeem in that calendar year. This benefit only applies to AAdvantage® miles redeemed from the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account. Discover all the ways to redeem AAdvantage® miles at www.aa.com/redeem. Please allow 6-8 weeks after your redemption for the American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles to post to the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.

3.  Priority Boarding

This benefit also applies to you and up to four traveling companions.  Since AA does charge for checked bags, you can be sure that overhead bin space is going to be short.

4.  25% off in-flight purchases

So far I’ve never purchased anything on board any aircraft (that I can remember).  However, later in the year, we have a seven hour flight to Hawaii.  With three young kids, someone is bound to get hungry. As I understand it, there is no meal service on the flight.

My dilemma is this:  I’ve selected American Airlines as my designated airline with my American Express Platinum card.  I get up to $200 each year reimbursed for things like checked baggage and on-flight purchases.  I’d love the 25% off discount this card offers, but I may just use the $200 towards it, and get it for free.

Beyond these new benefits, the other benefits like one mile per dollar spent (2 on AA flights) still applies.

This card has an $95 annual fee and is waived for the first year.

You can use my link for a lower minimum spend or this link for a bigger bonus.

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