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An Admirals Club membership is now useful to a LOT less of us.
American Airlines is increasing the price of membership, and it’s dramatically reducing the folks who are eligible to enter. If you don’t regularly fly American Airlines but have an Admirals Club membership, these changes are going to hurt.
For those of you with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® you know it comes with an Admirals Club membership. On the one hand, it makes this perk less valuable because you can use it less often. But… the lounges won’t be crowded so you’ll find it easier to get a comfortable chair and cozy up with complimentary food and adult beverages in peace and quiet.
Changes Coming to American Airlines Admiral’s Club Lounges
Here’s what’s happening.
1. Limited Access for All Members
A membership to American Airlines Admirals Club means that you can enter any Admirals Club lounge whenever you want. But that definition will change in a little over a year.
Starting November 1, 2019, you’ll need to show a same day boarding pass on American Airlines or its partners to have access to a lounge. That’s a bummer for folks who like Admirals Club lounges but don’t fly American Airlines often.
The policy change makes membership much less valuable.
2. More Expensive Membership
On February 1, 2019, folks who pay for an annual American Airlines membership will now have to pay $100 more per year. New prices will be:
- $650 for members without elite status
- $625 for members with Gold status
- $600 for members with Platinum status
- $575 for members with Platinum Pro status
- $550 for members with Executive Platinum status
If you’re renewing your membership, you’ll pay $50 less.
In contrast, if you’re using miles to renew your membership, you’ll see that prices have actually gone down:
- 65,000 miles (20,000 miles less) for members without elite status
- 62,500 miles (12,500 miles less) for members with Gold status
- 60,000 miles (10,000 miles less) for members with Platinum status
- 57,500 miles (7,500 miles less) for members with Platinum Pro status
- 55,000 miles (5,000 miles less) for members with Executive Platinum status
If you’re renewing your membership, you’ll pay 5,000 miles less.
Despite the decrease, this is still a horrible way to use your miles. You’ll get a value of just 1 cent per mile.
Note: If you’re a member with Concierge Key (the super fancy invite-only American Airlines status), your membership will remain free.
The Secret Way to Paying WAY Less for an Admirals Club Membership
You can get an Admirals Club membership for much less by opening the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. It’s got a $450 annual fee, and comes with an Admirals Club membership for the primary cardholder and authorized users. And you can add up to 10 authorized users for free!
That’s an immediate savings of at least $200 once these new prices go into effect ($650 new membership price – $450 Citi American Airlines Executive annual fee). Hopefully these increased lounge membership prices don’t drive up the card’s annual fee.
And if you just want to give American Airlines a shot to see if they’re your cup of tea, consider opening a no-risk American Airlines card like the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card. It’s got NO annual fee, and comes with a $50 statement credit and 10,000 bonus American Airlines miles after meeting minimum spending requirements. That’s as low-risk as it gets!
Let us know what you plan to do with these announced changes to the Admirals Club membership program! And while you’re here, subscribe to our newsletter and get money saving travel deals delivered straight to your inbox!