Like most other credit card issuers, Citi offers multiple versions of its frequent flier cards with its partner American Airlines. In fact, it offers three different cards:
- Citi / AAdvantage American Express Card with a $50 annual fee.
- Citi Gold / AAdvantage Visa Signature Card also with a $50 annual fee.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® with a $95 annual fee.
So why should applicants pay $45 more for the Platinum Select cards? Here are six great reasons:
1. First year’s annual fee waived. Platinum Select cardholders will have that fee waived the first year, so the $45 difference only comes into play a year later.
2. Future annual fees may be waived as well. As with all credit cards, cardholders should at least ask to have their annual fee waived. In many cases, banks will grant that request after the cardholders completes some additional transactions.
3. Checked bag fee waiver. Only the Platinum Select version offers to waive checked baggage fees for the cardholders and up to four other travelers on the same reservation. Considering that these fees normally amount to $25 per bag, each way, it is easy for just one traveler to realize a $50 savings during just one trip with one bag.
4. Priority boarding. One of the benefits of the Platinum Select card that the other two don’t offer is priority boarding. In the age of checked baggage fees, more people are carrying more bags on, and those with this benefit are the most likely to find available space in the overhead bins.
5. 10% mileage refund. Another of the benefits of the Platinum Select card that the other two don’t offer is a 10% mileage refund on redeemed miles, up to 10,000 per year. It’s not much, but it is something.
6. $100 discount award. Finally, Platinum Select cardholders earn a $100 discount on a paid flight each year that they make $30,000 in purchases and renew their card. This discount by itself can be worth more than twice the annual fee difference.
- Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines and US Airways flights for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
- Enjoy boarding privileges with Group 1 on American Airlines flights and Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights*
- Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines and US Airways flights*
- Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines and US Airways purchases*
- Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back - up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
13.99% - 21.99% (Variable)*
$95, waived for first 12 months*
It might seem like it is always a good idea to pay less for a credit card, but that is not always the case. By offering superior value at a slightly higher price, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® becomes the card to have.