Travelers can choose from several rewards credit cards to earn American Airlines miles and benefits. But only one of them provides entrance to Admirals Club airport lounges.
That card is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, which provides premium benefits with a price tag to match. Here’s how to decide if this card is right for you.
Benefits of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers many valuable benefits, some of which are comparable to other AAdvantage credit cards. Other benefits are exclusive to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®:
The welcome bonus for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is enough for two round-trip domestic economy tickets: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Admirals Club lounge benefits
A membership to the Admirals Club lounge can cost up to $650 per year. With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, membership is included with your annual fee. There are over 50 domestic and international Admirals Club locations to choose from.
You may bring immediate family members and children under 18 years or two guests with you into the lounge. The primary cardholder also has complimentary access to over 60 partner lounges.
» Learn more: Citi AAdvantage Executive review: Your key to the club
Earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward status
For travelers who value elite status, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® will help you get there. When you spend $40,000 or more each calendar year, you’ll receive 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs). It takes 25,000 EQMs to achieve AAdvantage Gold elite status.
Priority boarding on American Airlines
With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’ll receive Group 4 boarding. Other eligible American Airlines credit card holders board after you, in Group 5.
Priority check-in and security screening
At participating airports, you’ll receive priority check-in at the American Airlines counter. Additionally, you’ll enjoy priority airport security screening where available.
Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement
Global Entry and TSA Precheck help you speed through airport security and customs while traveling. You’ll receive reimbursement up to $100 every five years when you use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® to pay your application fee.
» Learn more: TSA Precheck vs. Global Entry: Which is right for you?
First checked bag for free
You’ll receive the first checked bag for free for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same itinerary. With first checked bag fees of $30 per person each way, you can save up to $540 per domestic round-trip flight.
In-flight savings on food and beverages
If you get hungry or thirsty while flying on American Airlines, use your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® to pay for snacks and drinks. You’ll receive a statement credit of 25% off of your charges.
No foreign transaction fees
When making international purchases and paying in the local currency, there are no foreign transaction fees. Some credit cards charge 3% on these purchases, which can really add up over the course of your trip.
Authorized user cards at no charge
Unlink other premium credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, there is no charge for adding authorized users.
Authorized users receive access to Admirals Club lounge benefits when flying American Airlines or one of its partners, though not full membership privileges (like some reciprocal lounge access). Still, having access as an authorized user is a savings of up to $650 per person per year.
Who is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® right for?
As you can see, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers numerous benefits that frequent travelers love.
In addition, frequent travelers who want to earn AAdvantage elite status have an easier path with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, since you can earn up to 10,000 EQMs each year while earning 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases.
If you travel with American Airlines on a regular basis and value these benefits, then it makes sense to apply for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and pay the $450 annual fee.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
American Airlines AAdvantage program: The complete guide
Which American Airlines credit card should you choose?
Find the best travel credit card for you