12 Reasons You Need the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

If you're not using this card's concierge service or discounted award flights, you're missing out.
Elina Geller
Natasha Etzel
By Natasha Etzel and  Elina Geller 
Edited by Jeanette Margle
Underrated Reasons Why You Need a Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

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There is a lot to love about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. With a desirable welcome bonus and extra perks for American Airlines loyalists, it’s no wonder so many people find this card is worth its $595 annual fee.

But there are also some lesser-known benefits why this card is a great choice. Here are some reasons why you need a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

Why get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®?

Some of the best Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® benefits include:

1. Sizeable welcome offer

For a limited time, earn 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $10,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

2. Loyalists are rewarded

Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases. The card also earns 1 Loyalty Point per 1 eligible mile purchase — the only metric that matters for earning elite status in the airline loyalty program. For a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022.

3. No foreign transaction fees

Take this card with you on your next trip abroad and enjoy savings of up to 3% per transaction.

4. Credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee every five years

If you, too, love breezing through airport security, then this perk will come in handy. Get the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership reimbursed once every five years.

5. Admirals Club lounge membership

Live the lux lounge life. Admirals Club membership is complimentary for you and includes access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you.

6. Priority boarding and priority check-in

American's boarding process is notoriously lengthy, with no fewer than 9 boarding groups. Cardholders get at least Group 4 boarding (the last group of priority boarding).

7. Admirals Club membership for up to 10 authorized users

While you may already be aware that the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® comes with an Admirals Club lounge membership, you might not realize that those benefits can extend to 10 additional people.

How can you use this perk? Add up to 10 authorized users to your account. There’s no charge. Your authorized users will have access to all Admirals Clubs, just like you, even when you're not flying with them. Many other premium credit cards charge a fee to add an authorized user.

Regardless of whether you add authorized users, you can bring two guests with you for free when entering an Admirals Club lounge.

You can view Admirals Club locations here.

8. Concierge services

Another underrated benefit of this card is the included concierge service. You can use this concierge service to handle travel, dining, shopping and entertainment purchases.

9. Priority airport screening

When you fly American, you can take advantage of priority airport screening where available. This perk extends to up to eight traveling companions if they’re on the same reservation.

10. Free first checked bag for you and up to eight guests

If you like to check a bag when you travel, this benefit will come in handy. You and up to eight companions can get a free first checked bag when flying domestically. Your travel companions must be on the same reservation to use this perk. The first checked bag fee on a domestic flight costs $30 one way, $60 round trip. Using this card perk can result in significant savings.

11. 25% discount on in-flight purchases

If you’re already loyal to American Airlines and you typically make in-flight purchases when traveling, this is a great card to consider. You’ll get a 25% discount on in-flight food and drink purchases on American flights, but the discount doesn't extend to Wi-Fi purchases. Your discount will come in the form of a statement credit eight to 10 weeks after the transaction.

12. Earn 10,000 Loyalty Points by spending $40,000 each year

Spend $40,000 on this card and you’ll earn 10,000 Loyalty Points. That can help you work your way up in elite status membership tiers to take advantage of extra perks when flying with American Airlines.

Frequently asked questions

Those who are loyal to American Airlines and value the Admirals Club membership ($650 to join) will get the most use out of the card. Aside from the $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit every five years, there are no other credits that offset the $595.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is made of metal. The card is designed for American Airlines devotees who value the Admirals Club membership, which normally costs $650. For a card that carries a $595 annual fee, the metal design is a nice touch

Holders of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® and up to two guests, annual and lifetime Admirals Club members, ConciergeKey members and AirPass members with Admirals Club privileges can visit the lounges. In addition, passengers flying on qualifying first and business class routes, American Airlines elites (Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum) flying on certain international flights, Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire elites, and military personnel in uniform can access lounges.

An upgrade request can be submitted on the Citi Card Upgrade page. You will need to input your invitation code that would be printed on your targeted invitation, your last name, the last four digits of your social security number and billing zip code. To qualify, you must have an existing Citi account and be the primary cardmember.

The bottom line

When considering the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, keep in mind all the underrated benefits. If you live near an American Airlines hub and fly often, it may make sense for you to apply for this premium card even with its high annual fee.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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