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If you own the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Card or thinking about applying for it, there are a few changes you need to know about. It’ll be easier to earn bonus miles and American Airlines travel credits, but you’ll also see a slight increase in the annual fee. Overall, the changes can help add more value to the Platinum Select for your daily purchases.
Cardholders that spend more than $20,000 a year in total card purchases will benefit the most from the new card upgrades. Even if you only own this card for the complimentary American Airlines perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, these benefits remain intact and you have nothing to fear!
If you’re an aspiring cardholder, you will also have the opportunity to earn a higher sign-up bonus too!
When Do These Changes Take Effect?
The changes outlined below have two different rollout dates depending on whether you’re an existing or new cardholder.
Existing cardholders can start capitalizing on the new changes on July 22, 2018.
New cardholders begin enjoying the new benefits on May 3, 2018. At this time, the sign-up bonus offer increases to 60,000 bonus miles for a limited time. The current offer is only for 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months.
On these two dates, the annual fee increases from $95 to $99. An increase in annual fees is never good news, but it’s still small enough that the new benefit additions will easily pay for the increase if you use this card on a semi-regular basis.
Earn 2x Points on Flights, Dining, and Gas
Currently, you only earn double points on American Airlines purchases. Once the card upgrades go into effect, you’ll begin earning an unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on the following purchase categories:
- American Airlines purchases
- Gas Stations
All remaining purchases will earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.
Receive a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount
After spending $20,000 in a card membership year, you will automatically receive a $100 American Airlines flight discount.
Card purchases from existing cardholders will begin counting toward the $20,000 spending requirement on June 22, 2018. So if you have any large purchases to make, wait until after this date to help you earn the flight discount.
If the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Card is your primary credit card, you should have no problem meeting the $20,000 spending requirement. This benefit alone “waives” the annual fee, plus you’ll also enjoy the additional purchase rewards miles that can be redeemed for free flights too.
These American Airlines Benefits Won’t Disappear
Citi and American Airlines aren’t taking away or devaluing any card benefits during this period. You will still enjoy these additional card benefits:
- First checked bag fee waived for you and up to four travel companions
- Preferred boarding
- 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
You can also enjoy other Citi benefits like Citi Concierge that helps you get exclusive 24/7 assistance for travel, restaurant, and entertainment experiences to help you plan your next evening out or weekend trip.
As always, your AAdvantage miles will never expire as long as you own the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Card.
Redeeming Your AAdvantage Miles
Now that you have more ways to earn bonus AAdvantage Miles, how can you redeem them for the highest possible value?
Domestic U.S. Flights for 7,500 Miles
If you only need to fly less than 500 miles, see if American flies to your destination. If so, you might have one of the lowest cost short-haul award flights for domestic U.S. and Canada flights. This is because American only charges 7,500 AAdvantage miles for flights shorter than 500 miles.
Other off-peak season flights cost 12,500 miles in economy class if you need to fly within the continental United States.
International Flights to Europe
Off-peak flights from the U.S. to Europe start at 22,500 for economy class or 57,500 miles for business class each way.
You won’t pay a fuel surcharge to American Airlines on long-haul flights which can help you save a large chunk of change in fees and taxes. If you must book an economy seat to Europe in the peak season, you’ll still only pay 30,000 miles – the same amount as United in the peak and off-peak season.
Booking partner flights with American Airlines miles with the Oneworld alliance partners including British Airways, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, and LATAM can be a valuable use of your miles if you want to go somewhere that American doesn’t directly service.
You may have to call American Airlines to book the partner flight, but it’s still better than paying cash. Here are some of the routes you can book with your AAdvantage Miles for a one-way flight:
- Japan Airlines to Japan: 35,000 miles economy or 80,000 miles first class
- Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi: 40,000 miles economy or 115,000 miles first class
- Qatar Airways to Africa or Doha: 40,000 miles economy or 120,000 miles first class
You might even be able to avoid the fuel surcharges by using your AAdvantage miles instead of paying cash for the exact same seat. This is most likely going to be the case if you can fly Japan Airlines.
The Continental United States to Hawaii
American doesn’t offer the cheapest award flights to Hawaii, but it’s still more affordable than some of the other legacy carries.
Your best American Airlines awards flights to Hawaii are in the economy section. An off-peak season flight only costs 20,000 miles each way. The off-peak dates to Hawaii in 2018 include:
- December 29-March 12
- August 11-November 18
- November 24-December 10
During the peak season, a single economy seat costs 22,500 AAdvantage miles. It isn’t bad but you should consider all your options before booking directly through American.
Summary: Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Card Changes
These changes to the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Card are a positive change for most, especially if you spend more than $20,000 a year. It’s a bummer that the annual fee increases $4, but since you can now earn bonus miles on dining and gas stations (two of the most common expenses whether you’re at home or traveling), you can easily earn more points to book American award flights sooner than before.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.