How to Get into American Airlines Admirals Club

Elite members, premium cabin flyers and certain cardholders can get access without paying a daily or annual fee.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

In the midst of a crowded and hectic airport, a lounge can feel like an oasis — the kind that has complimentary Wi-Fi and cocktails. It’s a great place for travelers to recharge before heading back into the wilderness of a busy terminal.

Those flying on American Airlines will find Admirals Club lounges in about 50 locations worldwide. Inside, you’ll find snacks, beverages, shower suites, a business center and personal travel assistance.

So, how do you get into an American Airlines Admirals Club? You’ve got multiple options.

1. Fly in a premium cabin on American Airlines or a Oneworld airline

Admirals Club lounge access is complimentary if you fly in business or first class on eligible departing or arriving flights operated by American Airlines or a Oneworld alliance partner.

Select international, transcontinental and Hawaii routes grant you lounge access. First-class passengers flying internationally can bring one guest at no charge.

2. Fly internationally as an AA elite member

If you hold Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro or Platinum elite status in the AAdvantage loyalty program, you and a guest can enter an Admirals Club on departure or arrival of qualifying international flights operated by American Airlines or a Oneworld partner.

You don’t have to fly business or first class to enter the lounge.

3. Fly internationally as a Oneworld elite member

Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members are eligible for Admirals Club access in conjunction with a same-day boarding pass on select routes. You don’t have to be a premium-cabin passenger to be eligible for lounge entry.

4. Purchase a day pass

A one-day Admirals Club pass costs $59 or 5,900 AAdvantage miles. Up to three children under 18 years old can enter the club for free with a parent using the day pass. The pass can be used at multiple club locations within 24 hours of activation (first entry into a lounge).

To use an Admirals Club day pass, your name must be printed on the pass and you must fly a same-day flight operated by American Airlines, a Oneworld carrier or JetBlue Airways (with the exception of JetBlue flights to or from Europe).

5. Purchase an annual membership

If you fly American often enough, it might be worth it to pay for an annual membership that allows you to enter the lounge every time you fly the airline or one of its partners.

The cost of the annual Admirals Club membership varies and depends on your elite status level and whether you’re purchasing a new membership or renewing an existing one.

Expect to pay the following rates for an American Airlines Admirals Club membership:

Membership type

AAdvantage Member

AAdvantage Gold

AAdvantage Platinum

AAdvantage Platinum Pro

AAdvantage Executive Platinum

Individual – new

$650.

$625.

$600.

$575.

$550.

Individual – renewal

$600.

$575.

$550.

$525.

$500.

Household – new

$1,250.

$1,225.

$1,200.

$1,175.

$1,150.

Household – renewal

$1,200.

$1,175.

$1,150.

$1,125.

$1,100.

An individual membership grants the primary member access to the Admirals Club, along with their immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18 years old) or two guests. In all cases, the member is required to be present for the others to enter.

A household membership provides entry to the primary member and their spouse or domestic partner, whether the primary member is traveling or not. Should the primary member’s membership be canceled or not renewed, the entire household membership is no longer valid.

Instead of paying cash, you can also redeem AAdvantage miles at a rate of one cent per mile for any membership type listed above. For example, you can get the $650 annual fee for a new individual membership with no elite status for 65,000 AAdvantage miles. Likewise, a household membership renewal, which costs $1,200, will set you back 120,000 miles.

7. Carry the right card

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Only one co-branded American Airlines credit card gets you lounge access. If you hold the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, you get complimentary Admirals Club membership for the primary cardholder. The card itself charges an annual fee of $450, but if you consider the yearly cost of the Admirals Club membership, it’s practically a bargain.

As a cardholder you also get the following benefits:

  • Free first checked bag for up to eight travelers booked on the same itinerary.

  • Priority boarding on American Airlines flights.

  • 25% discount on in-flight purchases when you fly American Airlines.

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment fee credit every five years.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express Platinum Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Although The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t come with Admirals Club membership directly, you can use it to access the lounge at no cost anyway.

The The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a $200 airline fee credit, which is issued as a statement credit and can be used for incidentals, such as checked bags or seat selection charges. Admirals Club annual membership and day passes also qualify as eligible charges. Unfortunately, $200 won’t cover the entire cost of annual membership, but the credit will cover three one-day passes fully and one pass partially.

Make sure to enroll in the benefit and select American Airlines as your preferred airline before making incidental charges with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Terms apply.

8. Show your military ID

American Airlines thanks U.S. military personnel for their service by offering complimentary Admirals Club access to those traveling in uniform on American flights. Immediate family and/or up to two guests are also eligible for access as long as they’re traveling with the uniformed individual. Make sure to present a military ID and same-day boarding pass at the door.

The ways to access American Airlines Admirals Clubs, recapped

Many travelers enjoy airport lounge access. Admirals Club is a good choice for passengers traveling with American Airlines or another Oneworld airline.

You can access an Admirals Club by flying in a premium cabin on American or one of its partners, holding elite status, purchasing a day pass or an annual membership, using the right travel card or being a military service member.

Uncertain you can get into a lounge? Make sure to check the Admirals Club access page for eligible routes and ticket types.

Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.