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*
- 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*
The first special feature on 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 and Global Entry 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 even give your spouse or trusted friend/family an authorized user card and they’ll get lounge access too, even while traveling separately from you.
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 hot showers), but mostly it just makes the overall flying experience more pleasant. I’ve been to Admiral’s Club with special kids rooms; perfect for delays or layovers. You can enjoy this for an entire year before you have to pay the next year’s $450 annual year.
The second special feature on this card is for the American Airlines elite qualifying miles if you know you can generate the required $40,000 in spending in a calendar year. 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 elite qualifying flight miles is like going from Honolulu to Los Angeles, roundtrip, twice.
This is a niche premium card; If you don’t care about lounge access and aren’t trying to achieve elite status on American, this card is not for you.
Note the bonus fine print if you’ve had this exact card before:
American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles not available if you have had a Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM MasterCard® opened or closed in the past 24 months.
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. (This is how I’ve been checking out all the Admiral lounges.) 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.
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