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The offer mentioned below was accurate at the time of publication, but as of July 28, 2023, is no longer available.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a premium, cobranded credit card from American Airlines, catering to loyalists who value access to Admirals Club lounges and an enhanced airport experience. (Hello, early boarding and first checked bag free on domestic flights!) Despite a $595 annual fee, the card maintains popularity thanks to the complimentary Admirals Club membership it provides (which would cost $850 annually otherwise), plus the option to add three more cardholders (for a total of $175), all of whom can also get lounge access.
As American remains busy reimagining its lounges, the card is also courting new customers with a best-ever 100,000-mile welcome offer after they spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months.
Here’s why those who fly (or plan to fly) American Airlines regularly should consider getting this card now.
The biggest welcome offer ever
As of July 23, 2023, the introductory bonus on Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard allows new cardholders to earn 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first three months. The card’s typical welcome offer is 50,000 miles and rarely deviates from it. We’ve occasionally seen 75,000 miles, and in 2022 it hit 80,000 bonus miles, the greatest amount in over five years.
If used wisely, 100,000 AAdvantage miles can go very far. As a oneworld Alliance founding member, American Airlines has access to award inventory of fellow alliance members, such as Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar Airways. The best use of AAdvantage miles in our office last year was a business-class ticket from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Harare, Zimbabwe, for 70,000 miles. The ticket, which went from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) to Doha (DOH) to Harare (HRE), was entirely in business and included a 14-hour leg in a Q-suite on Qatar Airways.
Admirals Club access for you, the family, and more
If purchased outright, an Admirals Club membership costs $850 annually currently. (It was previously $650; the price increased on July 23, 2023.) But membership comes as a complimentary perk of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. Full Admirals Club Membership grants access to nearly 50 AA-branded lounges for the cardholder plus two guests or immediate family members traveling with the cardholder. It also grants access to more than 50 partner oneworld lounges, from the Alaska Lounge in Anchorage to the Qantas Club in Melbourne, Australia.
Moreover, the card has an exceptional policy when it comes to additional cardholders. Up to three cardholders can be added for a total of $175 (less than $60 apiece), each receiving Admirals Club access (with two guests, no less) but not access to oneworld partner lounges. Additional cardholders beyond the initial three cost $175 each.
Earn loyalty points and status on American Airlines
Aside from the upped introductory bonus, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard allows new cardholders the opportunity to rack up points for elite status. American’s elite status program, revised in 2022, entails earning a certain number of Loyalty Points during the status year to reach Gold (40,000), Platinum (75,000), Platinum Pro (125,000), or Executive Platinum (200,000). Every dollar spent on the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is another AA mile banked plus another Loyalty Point toward status.
As of July 23, 2023, the card has a new earning structure for AAdvantage miles on specific purchases: Earn 4x AAdvantage Miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 10x AAdvantage Miles per dollar spent on eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars and eligible hotels booked through aa.com/hotels. Earn 1x AAdvantage Mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases (same as prior to July 23, 2023).
Additionally, the card is now offering Loyalty Point bonuses to make reaching AAdvantage status easier. Cardholders can get a bonus of 10,000 Loyalty Points after reaching 50,000 Loyalty Points in a status qualification year and another 10,000 Loyalty Points bonus after reaching 90,000 Loyalty Points in a status qualification year. Bonuses are not tied to amounts spent solely on the Citi card—the Loyalty Points can also be accrued through actual AA flights and partner offers. Overall, these boosts come in very handy for loyalists trying to reach the highest tiers of elite status.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit
A Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit (every four to five years) is common among credit cards with high annual fees, and the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is no exception. Charge either application fee to your card and the amount will be refunded as a statement credit. Note that this benefit is for the primary cardholder only and does not extend to additional cardholders.
Benefits on American Airlines and travel insurance
On American Airlines flights, the primary cardholder can expect one free checked bag for his- or herself and up to eight travel companions on the same itinerary. Cardholders will also get an enhanced airport experience, including priority check-in and early boarding when flying American Airlines. Also look forward to 25 percent savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases.
Starting July 23, 2023, the card implemented a number of implicit travel insurances when charging travel to the card. These include trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip delay protection, lost baggage protection, and worldwide car rental insurance coverage.
The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is a smart choice for those who fly American Airlines often and frequent airports with Admirals Club lounges. A record-breaking welcome bonus of 100,000 miles, a free checked bag, and an improved earnings structure for extra miles and Loyalty Points seal the deal. The card’s typical welcome offer is 50,000 miles and rarely deviates from it. The current offer of 100,000 miles is the best we’ve ever seen and won’t last for long.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available. This article was originally published in 2022, it was updated on July 28, 2023, with current information.