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I have terrific news for folks with the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard!
I spoke to a Citi representative this morning and can confirm it’s TRUE! Effective immediately, any Citi AAdvantage Executive authorized user can access 50+ Admirals Club lounges without being accompanied by the primary cardholder!
I’ll share what I know and help you decide if you should get the card!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Citi AAdvantage Executive Card
Until now, only Citi AAdvantage Executive primary cardholders could enter Admirals Club lounges on their own. You could bring in immediate family members or up to 2 guests, but authorized users weren’t given the same access.
Emily and I experimented with this in Los Angeles when I 1st got the card. Authorized users had to be accompanied by the primary cardholder to enter the lounge.
Effective December 13, 2015, Citi AAdvantage Executive authorized users can access Admirals Club lounges on their own by presenting their card.
And they’re also allowed to bring their immediate family members (spouse / domestic partner and up to 3 children under age 18) or up to 2 guests. There’s no requirement to be flying American Airlines that day.
This is an incredible new perk! The Citi representative I spoke to said they received the email about it yesterday. And it’s so new that it’s not yet reflected on the Citi AAdvantage Executive benefits page.
Are There Restrictions?
Only a few.
It does NOT cost any extra to add an authorized user to your Citi AAdvantage Executive card. And you can add more than 1 if you wish.
However, authorized users do NOT get full Admirals Club membership privileges. They can only access American Airlines Admirals Club lounges. But they can NOT enter:
- The Arrivals Lounge at London – Heathrow
- Flagship Lounges (Chicago, London – Heathrow, Los Angeles, and New York – JFK)
- Lounges operated by oneworld and other partners that have a reciprocal agreement with American Airlines
Plus, authorized users do NOT receive discounts on conference room bookings.
Note: Unlike primary cardholders, an authorized user’s Admirals Club lounge access is NOT linked to their American Airlines frequent flyer number. They must present their authorized user card to enter the lounge.
Why Visit Admirals Club Lounges?
When you visit an Admirals Club lounge, you’ll get a quiet place to unwind and relax before (or after) your flight.
It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the airport! And the agents in the lounge can help you with reservations, re-bookings, and special requests.
You’ll get complimentary:
- House wine, beer, and spirits, plus coffee, specialty coffee, tea, and soft drinks
- Light snacks
- Work areas with access to copiers and printers
- Personal computers, children’s play areas, and showers (certain lounges only)
You can also pay for more substantial meals (free at international locations) or premium drinks. My favorite thing about Admirals Club lounges is that I’m able to get work done away from the noise of the airport.
Oh, and the free food. 😉
Is This a Good Deal?
I have the Citi AAdvantage Executive card and happily pay the $450 annual fee because I use Admirals Club lounges a LOT.
Admirals Club membership normally costs $500 for new members. And a new household membership costs $825.
The $450 annual fee (not waived the 1st year) on the Citi AAdvantage Executive card was already a good deal for primary cardholders who use Admirals Club lounges often. Plus the card gets you (and up to 8 traveling companions) a free checked bag on domestic American Airlines flights.
Now, if your authorized users visit Admirals Club lounges frequently, you can very easily make up for the annual fee!
With the Citi AAdvantage Executive card, you’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
And you’ll also get:
- First checked bag free (for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation) on American Airlines domestic itineraries (worth $25 per bag)
- 25% discount on in-flight purchases (like food, drink, and headsets) on American Airlines
- Priority check-in, security (where available), and boarding
- 10,000 elite-qualifying miles if you spend $40,000 or more on the card in a calendar year
- 2 American Airlines miles per $1 you spend on American Airlines
- 1 American Airlines mile per $1 you spend on everything else
- No foreign transaction fees
For folks who already have this card, it’s a no-brainer to add trusted family or friends as an authorized user if they can use the Admirals Club lounge access.
If you’re thinking about applying, this is an excellent new reason to consider the Citi AAdvantage Executive card. And remember, authorized users can help you meet minimum spending requirements!
But keep in mind you’re responsible for any charges your authorized user makes. So be careful who you add!
I don’t know if these offers will return, but if you’re not in a hurry to get the card, it might be worth waiting for an improved offer.
Check out my series on how to book American Airlines award flights like a pro! And find out all the ways to earn American Airlines miles.
Even better, an authorized user can bring in their immediate family (spouse / domestic partner and up to 3 children under age 18) or 2 guests for free. They do not have to be flying American Airlines that day.
It’s free to add an authorized user! This is an incredibly generous new benefit, and a great way to introduce your trusted family and friends to getting Big Travel with Small Money!
What do you think of this new perk? Will you share your Admirals Club access by adding an authorized user to your Citi AAdvantage Executive card?