The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®, from our partner Citi, is their premium American Airlines co-branded card and the sign-up bonus has been bumped up for a limited-time. The highlights:
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
- Admirals Club® membership for you with guest privileges*
- New – Complimentary Admirals Club® Lounge Access for authorized users
- 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines after $40,000 spent on purchases every year (January through December billing statement)*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
In my opinion, the primary reason to get this card is the flexible Admirals Club lounge membership. The 50,000 miles are nice and can be converted to several hundred dollars (or more) worth of airfare. $100 for TSA PreCheck is nice. But the annual fee is a hefty $450. The thing that tips the scales is the Admirals Club membership, which usually costs $500 on its own and allows you and your immediate family (or up to two traveling guests that accompany you) to access over 50 Admirals Club locations worldwide. You don’t even need to be on an American Airlines flight! You can be flying on any airline, and if that airport has an Admirals Club you and your family can go inside. Lounge access might save you money on certain things like food/drinks and WiFi (and sometimes showers), but mostly it just makes the overall flying experience more pleasant. You can enjoy this for an entire year before you have to the next year’s $450 annual year.
The secondary reason to get this card is for the American Airlines elite qualifying miles. I’ve given up status chasing for the time being, but if you’re an elite on American, you probably already know the value of accumulating these type of miles. 10,000 “butt-in-seat” flight miles is like going from Honolulu to Los Angeles, roundtrip, twice. Valuable if you can generate the required $40,000 in spending in a calendar year.
I like credit card offers that add up to at least $500 in net value during the first year. Here’s how the value would work out for me. 50,000 miles conservatively valued at 1 cent per mile would be $500, plus $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, plus Admirals Club value which I would definitely pay at least $100 cash for, plus free first checked bag per person, (I am putting the 10,000 elite qualifying mile opportunity at zero since I’m not chasing status this year), all minus the $450 annual fee is a little better than half the $500 value I’m looking for. OK, but not great.
If you fly on American but neither of the two bolded reasons above are attractive to you, I would look into the Citi ThankYou Prestige card instead. There are no elite qualifying miles and you need to have a American Airlines boarding pass to gain club lounge access, but it also offers a variety of alternative perks that are more easily redeemed like $600 towards any American airfare plus another $250 in airfare credit on any carrier. Definitely compare the two offers first before picking one or the other.
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