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New Citi AAdvantage Benefits Coming Soon

Citi recently emailed AAdvantage Platinum Select cardholders to inform them of changes coming to the card. Sometimes these emails mean nothing good for the card holder (in the case of a devaluation or removal of benefits), but this update was generally positive. Starting on July 22, 2018 (for existing cardholders) and today for new cardholders, you can earn 2x on restaurants and gas stations with your card. Prior to this update, the card would only earn 2x on American Airlines purchases and 1x on everything else. In addition, they’re now offering a $100 American Airlines flight discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card. Before we decide if this makes the card worth it to signup for, lets look at the existing perks.

Existing AAdvantage Platinum Select Benefits

  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • 25% savings on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases
  • Priority boarding (Group 5)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Reduced mileage awards

So whats the verdict?

I’ve had this card in my wallet for some time as it was the subject of a post I did about cancelling my American Airlines credit card. The folks at Citi gave me a retention bonus and so I decided not to cancel it. That being said, its not a daily driver in terms of spend and im not sure these changes will do much to move the needle in that direction. 2x at restaurants is good but not as good as the 2x you’d get with the Sapphire Preferred, and definitely not as good as the 3x you’d get with the Sapphire Reserve. For the gas bonus, there are other cards such as the Bank of America Cash Rewards card which earns 3% on gas purchases, the Chase Freedom sometimes offers 5% back with their rotating categories, or if you don’t mind fulfilling the eligibility requirements the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature card earns an unlimited 4.3% cash-back on gas purchases.

As for the $100 savings after spending $20,000, its a nice touch, but its hardly a needle mover. If you’re a bigger spender and looking for value you could consider something like the Delta Platinum Amex which has a bonus for hitting $25k and $50k spend which value far exceeds $100. There are plenty of cards where you can spend upwards of $20k and be awarded elite status and/or bonus rewards exceeding $100 in value.

The current publicly available sign-up bonus for this card is 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and the $99 annual fee is waived for the first year. If you’re looking to capture the bonus then these new perks could be considered an added bonus. However, I don’t think these changes are enough to make this card a daily driver for me, and my opinion is that you can probably do better on your restaurant and gas station purchases.

 

Am I wrong? Do you have this card? Let me know in the comment section below.

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