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This card’s sign-up bonus is enough for 2 round-trip coach tickets within the U.S. or a business-class ticket to the Caribbean or Mexico

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This card’s sign-up bonus is enough for 2 round-trip coach tickets within the U.S. or a business-class ticket to the Caribbean or Mexico

Meghan HunterThis card’s sign-up bonus is enough for 2 round-trip coach tickets within the U.S. or a business-class ticket to the Caribbean or MexicoMillion Mile Secrets Team

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With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® you could save more than $1,000 on American Airlines flights.

You’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles as a sign-up bonus after you complete the card’s minimum spending requirements. That’s enough miles for two round-trip coach award tickets within the U.S. or one round-trip business-class ticket to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America.

The $450 annual fee is not waived for the first year but this is a good opportunity to earn lots of American Airlines miles. It’s especially valuable if you fly American Airlines often and enjoy premium perks like free checked bags, Admirals Club lounge access and priority check-in and boarding.

I’ll dig into the details of the Citi American Airlines Executive card and help you decide whether it’s worth applying for.

You can apply for the Citi American Airlines Executive card here.

Citi AAdvantage Executive
A 50,000-mile bonus of American Airlines miles is more than enough for a round-trip ticket to Central America. (Photo courtesy of Damocean/iStock.)

Citi AAdvantage Executive review

You’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles when you’re approved for the Citi AAdvantage Executive card and spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.

You’ll also get:

  • American Airlines Admirals Club membership (worth $550) which gives you and your immediate family (spouse/domestic parter and children up to 18) or two guests access to Admirals Club lounges when on a same-day American Airlines flight
  • Authorized users (free to add) can also access Admirals Club lounges (without the primary cardholder)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (every five years)
  • Priority check-in, security (where available), and boarding
Citi AAdvantage Executive
Primary cardholders get a free checked bag on American Airlines domestic flights for themselves and up to eight companions on the same reservation. (Photo courtesy of Peshkova/Shutterstock)

The $450 annual fee is not waived the first year. But the Admirals Club membership and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit can more than offset the annual fee. Plus, with this card you’ll have access to American Airlines reduced mileage awards.

How to earn miles with the Citi AAdvantage Executive card

With the American Airlines Executive card you’ll earn:

  • 2x American Airlines miles per $1 you spend on American Airlines
  • 1x American Airlines mile per $1 you spend on everything else

You’ll also get 10,000 elite-qualifying miles if you spend $40,000 or more on the card in a calendar year.

What can you do with 50,000 American Airlines miles?

Those 50,000 American Airlines miles are enough for two round-trip saver-award coach tickets within the mainland U.S., which cost 25,000 American Airlines miles each. That alone could be worth $1,000 or more.

Or 50,000 American Airlines miles are more than enough for saver-award flights like:

  • Six one-way coach flights of 500 miles or less within the mainland U.S. or Canada (7,500 American Airlines miles per ticket)
  • Two one-way, off-peak coach flights from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii (20,000 American Airlines miles per ticket)
  • One one-way coach ticket to Asia (35,000 American Airlines miles)
  • One round-trip business-class ticket to the Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America (50,000 American Airlines miles)
  • One round-trip coach ticket to South America Region 1 (40,000 American Airlines miles per ticket)
  • Two round-trip off-peak coach tickets to Europe (22,500 American Airlines miles each way)

Plus, you can use American Airlines miles for flights on American Airlines’ oneworld partner airlines (like Cathay Pacific and Qantas) and other partners like Etihad.

Citi AAdvantage Executive
The sign-up bonus alone is more than enough to fly to Guatemala, to Visit the Magical City of Antigua. (Photo courtesy of SL_Photography/iStock)

Is the Citi AAdvantage Executive worth the annual fee?

You can get lots of travel with 50,000 American Airlines miles, especially if you have a particular ticket in mind. But with a $450 annual fee, you’ll have to decide whether the Citi American Airlines Executive card makes sense for your particular travel goals.

This card will likely work for someone who travels a lot on American Airlines and can make the most of the card’s ongoing perks, like American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access, free checked bags, and the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. A yearly Admirals Club membership will soon cost $650 and the Citi AAdvantage Executive is the only credit card that offers membership.

Plus, you can add up to 10 (free) authorized users to your Citi American Airlines Executive card, and they too will have lounge access, even if you’re not traveling with them. You can read more about why signing up for the Citi American Airlines Executive card is better than just buying an Admirals Club membership here.

Getting a free checked bag for yourself and up to eight companions traveling on your domestic American Airlines reservation can also save you tons of money, especially if you fly domestically a lot.

Does the Citi AAdvantage card offer a free checked bag?

Yes, for you and up to eght companions traveling on the same reservation on a American Airlines domestic itinerary.

Does the Citi AAdvantage card charge foreign transaction fees?

No.

Bottom line

You can earn 50,000 American Airlines miles when you sign up for the Citi American Airlines Executive card and spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

You can get lots of travel with 50,000 American Airlines miles, like two round-trip coach tickets within the U.S. or two one-way off-peak coach flights from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii or a round-trip business-class ticket to the Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America.

Plus, you’ll get perks like free checked bags, Admirals Club lounge access (worth up to $550) and priority boarding. But the $450 annual fee is not waived the first year.

For more information on earning and using American Airlines miles, check out these guides:

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for guests traveling with you
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 17.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I am thinking of re-applying for this card. I closed out my account in July 2016, so I believe I am good to get the bonus again based on that. However, my wife closed her account in August 2018, for which I was an authorized user. I’m leaning towards that I would be eligible for the bonus, but want to make sure before I dive into the $450 annual fee!

“And completing a product change (downgrade) will NOT re-start the clock if you keep the same account number.”

Im new to this , so i have never completed a product change and really only have one or two credit cards in my wallet that I use often (older accounts). I also do not have any Citi cards. I do have the AA Barclay card (authorized user from husbands account), and was thinking about trying this card at some point. If I end up keeping it or not I’m not sure yet…So my question is, whats the ways to become eligible for a new Citi card of this “brand” if I decide to not keep it. ie…for future bonus potential intact?

Do they automatically let you keep the same account number, or does this just depend on which card you switch too? Im assuming I want to avoid restarting the clock.

If the account number stay the same, then this doesn’t count as new for 5/24 for chase, right? If its different, then do I have a new account towards my 5/24?

Do I PC before the new year fee or after?

Would the retention offer be better before fee hits?

Is the fee refundable at any point after its paid?

Trying to plan and know my options before making blunders…=)

Thanks for your time