Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Citi is an MMS advertising partner.
Million Mile Secrets reader, David, commented:
Am I better off paying for American Airlines Admirals Club lounge membership and keeping an existing card like the Capital One Venture? Or adding another card like the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard?
My 2nd question is, if I have the membership and NOT the card can I still access the Admirals Club when I’m not flying American Airlines?
Let’s take a look.
What’s Admirals Club?
Link: Admirals Club Membership
An Admirals Club membership gives you access to American Airlines Admirals Club airport lounges. This is a great perk for those long days at the airport because you get:
- A comfy place to sit
- Free drinks & snacks at the lounge
- Free Wi-Fi
You can get this benefit by paying for an Admirals Club membership, or by signing-up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card.
With both, you can get into Admirals Club airport lounges even when you aren’t flying on American Airlines or US Airways. And you can bring your immediate family or up to 2 guests with you for free!
Should You Sign-Up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card for Admirals Club Lounge Access?
Link: My Review of the Citi AAdvantage Executive
Yes. The Citi AAdvantage Executive card is the way to go for most folks interested in Admirals Club access.
That’s because you’ll get entry into Admirals Club lounges by paying the $450 annual fee on the Citi AAdvantage Executive card, which is less than the price you’d pay for a new (renewals are also $450) Admirals Club membership though American Airlines.
Plus, you’ll also currently earn an increased sign-up bonus of 75,000 American Airlines miles with the Citi AAdvantage Executive card when you spend $7,500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. [THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED]
With all those added perks, it makes sense for Dave to sign-up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive card to gain access to the Admirals Club lounges, instead of paying for a membership.
That said, if David’s spouse or partner is an authorized user on his card, she or he can NOT enter Admirals Club lounges on their own.
If a couple each want Admirals Club membership for their solo travels, it could make more sense to purchase a household membership from American Airlines ($825 new, $775 renewal) instead of having 2 Citi AAdvantage Executive accounts ($450 annual fee X 2 = $900).
The Citi AAdvantage Executive card is an excellent value for folks who want access to Admirals Club lounges. That’s because you’ll get entry into airport lounges, 75,000 American Airlines miles when you complete the minimum spending, and other card perks, all for a $450 annual fee.
That’s a lower price than what you’d pay for an Admirals Club membership directly through American Airlines and with more benefits!