Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Benefits – Free Admirals Club Access (September 2023)
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You don’t have to constantly be flying American Airlines to get maximum value from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, although it certainly helps. This card is an excellent option if you want complimentary Admirals Club® access or waiving incidental airline fees.
If you’re on the lookout for an underrated premium travel credit card, the Citi Executive Card can fit the description.
Table of Contents
Who is the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard For?
There are three primary reasons to consider the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard:
- Admirals Club membership
- Up to nine free checked bags
- Up to 10 free additional cards
This card can also be great if you consistently fly on American Airlines. Plus, you can earn bonus miles on purchases and enjoy other travel-related discounts and airport security benefits.
You may also consider applying if you want help with earning AAdvantage elite status since you have the opportunity to earn bonus Loyalty Points.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|Annual Fee: $450|
Current Bonus: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
4x AAdvantage® miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases (through December 31, 2022, then earn 2x AAdvantage® miles per dollar spent)
1x miles per dollar spent on all remaining purchases
1 Loyalty Point for every mile earned on purchases
10,000 bonus Loyalty Points after $40,000 in annual card spending
Complimentary Admirals Club membership (up to $650 value)
First Checked Bag Free for the cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation
25% Savings on Inflight Food and Beverage
Up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits
Enhanced Airport Experience with priority check-in, screening, and boarding
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Up to 10 Free Additional Cardholders (all given Admirals Club access)
Good or Excellent credit score required (700+)
Featured Citi/AAdvantage Executive Benefits
Here are the Citi Executive Card’s most valuable offerings.
50,000 Miles Signup Bonus
Eligible applicants can earn 50,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after making $5,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.
This offer can be available when you haven’t earned a Citi/AAdvantage Executive new account bonus in the past 48 months.
Depending on your destination, 50,000 American Airlines miles is enough to cover the cost of a domestic roundtrip flight for a variety of routes.
Admirals Club Membership
Complimentary access to the Admirals Club network of approximately 50 lounge spots can be the best reason to carry this card in your wallet.
New individual memberships cost as much as $650, so you have an instant savings of $200.
Primary cardmembers and authorized users can access a lounge. In addition, you can bring in up to two guests or immediate family.
It’s also possible to enjoy reciprocal lounge benefits with other American Airlines partners plus special conference room pricing. As a disclaimer, these perks are only available to the primary user.
Learn more: Best Credit Cards for Airport Lounges
10 Free Additional Cards – Includes Admirals Club Access
Typically, additional cards are a hidden fee for premium rewards cards. However, that’s not the case with the Citi/AAdvantage Executive as you can add up to 10 free authorized users.
This incredibly generous limit makes it easier for your family to be eligible for airport lounge access.
Authorized users can enter Admirals Club lounges for free without the primary cardholder present. They can also bring in immediate family or up to two guests on the same itinerary. Since you can add 10 authorized users for free and each gets two guests, you can essentially get 33 people, including yourself, in the lounge.
Please note, only the primary cardholder is an actual member of the Admirals Club. Authorized users just have access and must show their cards upon entry, while members can enter without their card (as long as their boarding pass is linked to their AAdvantage membership)
Additional users won’t be able to get free checked bags or enhanced airport security benefits unless the primary member’s American Airlines AAdvantage number is on the itinerary.
Free First Checked Bag
It’s possible to have up to nine free checked bags on domestic American Airlines itineraries.
The primary cardholder and up to eight companions on the same itinerary can check the first bag for free.
Flights operated by American Airlines and American Eagle® regional operators are eligible for this benefit.
Learn more: American Airlines baggage fees
25% Inflight Savings
Purchasing food and beverages on American Airlines flights will receive a 25% savings through a statement credit. Unfortunately, other inflight purchases like WiFi do not qualify.
10,000 Additional Loyalty Points
It’s possible to “buy” AAdvantage elite status through the annual Loyalty Points bonus. In addition to earning 1x Loyalty Points for every mile you earn on purchases, you can receive 10,000 bonus Loyalty Points after $40,000 in annual spending. While American Airlines purchases earn 4x AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent (through December 31, 2022, then earn 2x miles), they only earn 1 loyalty point per dollar spent, so you cannot earn extra by flying a lot.
As each purchase earns at least 1x points per dollar spent, it’s possible to earn AAdvantage Gold® (30,000 Loyalty Points) and get close to AAdvantage Platinum® (75,000 Loyalty Points) by earning this bonus.
For example, earning the 10,000 loyalty point bonus gives you a total of 50,000 loyalty points (40,000 loyalty points for the $40,000 spend and the 10,000 loyalty point bonus). That is already enough to qualify for AAdvantage Gold® status and only 25,000 loyalty points away from AAdvantage Platinum® status.
The 2022 qualifying year spending period is from January 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023. Starting in 2023, the spending window begins on March 1 and ends on February 28 for a 12-month period.
Further reading: American Airlines AAdvantage Loyalty Program.
Additional Citi/AAdvantage Executive Benefits
You can also benefit from these perks that can help you save on select expenses and also earn travel rewards.
Up to 4x AAdvantage Miles (through December 31, 2022)
Eligible American Airlines purchases earn 4x miles (through December 31, 2022, then earn 2x) and all non-bonus spending earns 1x. You can earn unlimited miles for all purchase categories.
While earning double miles on qualifying purchases is nice, the rewards categories are lackluster as many airline credit cards now award bonus miles on daily expenses.
Earning AAdvantage miles is a nice perk if you’re an American Airlines loyalist. However, the card’s other benefits such as lounge access and free checked bags are more compelling.
Earn Loyalty Points
You will also earn Loyalty Points for every dollar spent with your card. Unfortunately, you will only earn 1x loyalty points per dollar spent, regardless of the category. That includes bonus categories like American Airlines purchases where you earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent. Those purchase only earn 1 loyalty point per dollar spent.
Enhanced Airport Experience
Domestic and international flights operated by American Airlines and American Eagle are eligible for the enhanced airport experience benefits.
Where available, the priority experience can include:
- Airport screening
- Group 4 priority boarding
The primary cardmember and up to eight companions can enjoy these privileges.
Group 4 boarding is especially valuable for full planes and securing overhead bin space. Those in Groups 1-4 enter through a separate queue than those in Groups 5-9.
Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees are eligible for reimbursement every five years. There is only one credit regardless of the number of additional users and the first eligible charge is reimbursed as a statement credit.
Thankfully, there are multiple credit cards with free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck if you have several household members applying for Trusted Traveler status.
Citigold Banking Relationship Annual Credit
Cardholders with a Citigold account receive a $145 statement credit after paying the $450 annual fee. Not every premium card offers banking relationship discounts, so this perk makes it one of the cheapest luxury credit cards. That essentially drops the net annual fee down to only $305.
World Elite Mastercard Benefits
In addition to the Citi-provided benefits, there are several amenities for travel, retail, and entertainment exclusively for Mastercard World Elite products.
Some of the featured benefits include:
- Airport concierge
- Mastercard luxury hotel and resorts portfolio (see: best hotel credit cards)
- PGA TOUR® experiences
- Private jet discounts
After applying for the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you can begin enjoying these perks.
Redeeming AAdvantage Miles
Each card purchase earns AAdvantage miles that you can redeem for:
- Award flights on American Airlines, oneworld® airlines, and partner airlines
- Upgrades on flights operated by American Airlines
- Car rentals
- Luxury experiences
Award flights will be the most valuable redemption option with an average value between 1-3 cents. You can scoop up additional value by booking MileSAAver or Web Special awards.
Here are some of the Citi/AAdvantage Executive fees you might encounter:
- Annual Fee: $450
- Additional Cards: $0 for the first 10
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Late Payment: Up to $41
- Balance Transfer: $5 or 5% of the balance (whichever is higher)
- Cash Advance: $10 or 5% (whichever is higher)
As a reminder, Citigold clients receive a $145 banking relationship credit after paying the annual fee and keeping the card account open.
Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Compared to Similar Cards
These rewards cards can provide comparable air travel benefits. You may also enjoy more flexibility. Some of these options have a lower annual fee, making them better for casual travelers. None of the following cards have unlimited Admirals Club access, so they make great complements to the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The American Express Platinum Card is the creme de la creme for travel credit cards as it’s loaded with luxury benefits.
First, you have access to multiple lounge networks:
- Centurion Lounge
- Priority Pass Select (enrollment required)
- Delta Sky Club
- Plaza Premium
As a bit of dismay, Platinum cardholders must begin paying $50 per guest to enter Centurion lounges starting in February 2023. Therefore, you may consider a different card to continue enjoying airport lounges with group travel.
Several other travel benefits include an annual up to $200 airline fee credit per calendar year (via statement credits at one select airline), up to $200 in Uber Cash annually, and free CLEAR® Plus Membership (Up to $189 per year).
The annual fee is $695 for the basic card. Next, you pay a flat $175 for up to three secondary cards and then $175 each for the 4th or more additional card. See Rates & Fees.
Its annual fee is higher than the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite, but it is easy to offset with a variety of travel and lifestyle credits.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards offers optimal flexibility and several premium travel benefits:
- Up to $300 annual credit for Capital One Travel purchases (via statement credits)
- Priority Pass and Capital One Lounge access
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- 10,000 miles anniversary bonus
- Earn 10x miles on hotels and car rentals through Capital One Travel
- 5x miles on flight purchases through Capital One Travel
- 2x miles on all remaining purchases
You can redeem your miles as a travel statement credit for eligible purchases made within the last 90 days. It’s also possible to book upcoming trips through Capital One Travel or transfer to an airline or hotel transfer partner.
The annual fee is $395 for the primary card and the first four authorized cards are free.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is the mid-tier option of the American Airlines credit cards. You won’t get Admirals Club access but can enjoy several flight perks:
- First checked bag is free for the primary member and up to four companions
- Preferred boarding for up to four companions (Group 5)
- 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases
- $125 American Airlines flight discount after $20,000 in annual card purchases
This card also offers several bonus categories to earn 2x miles:
- American Airlines purchases
- Gas stations
All remaining purchases earn 1x miles. You will also earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar spent.
The annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months and then $99. Adding authorized users is free but additional cards are ineligible for the free checked bag and preferred boarding benefits.
Additional cardholders can visit Admirals Club lounges free of charge and bring up to two guests. However, partner lounges are inaccessible. Additionally, their card purchases can also earn up to 4x AAdvantage miles (through December 31, 2022).
The free first checked bag and enhanced airport experience features are only for the primary cardholder.
The primary cardholder and up to eight companions can waive the first checked bag fee for domestic flights on American Airlines and its regional subsidiaries. Additionally, the primary member’s AAdvantage loyalty number must be on the itinerary.
The primary cardholder and up to eight companions on the same itinerary can enjoy priority check-in and Group 4 priority boarding privileges. Where available, priority security screening is available.
Additionally, the card reimburses up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees every five years. This Trusted Traveler credential can help you breeze through security when you’re not using this card’s enhanced benefits.
Unfortunately, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive discontinued offering trip cancellation/interruption and rental car insurance in 2019. As a result, it only provides extended warranty and purchase protection coverage.
Yes, the Citi Executive Card is made of metal.
It’s best to apply with a good credit score above 700 although it’s possible to qualify with a score in the high 600s.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite is worth it if you or your 10 free authorized users plan on visiting the Admirals Club regularly or you constantly fly on American Airlines.
Its other add-on benefits such as up to nine free checked bags and the Loyalty Points bonus also add value.
However, this card probably isn’t your best choice if you want several bonus categories to earn more miles or want flexible redemption options. Instead, consider another travel rewards credit card if you fall into either of these categories.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
All information about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by The Vacationer. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is no longer available through The Vacationer.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply
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