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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.
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) with a same-day boarding pass for an eligible flight (authorized users don’t have access to partner lounges)
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (every five years)
- Priority check-in, security (where available), and boarding
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.
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 (not full access however), 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?
Who Is Eligible for the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card?
Remember, Citi will NOT let you earn the sign-up bonus from more than one personal card of the same “brand” within 24 months. For example, if you’ve opened or closed the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® in the past 24 months, you would NOT be eligible for the Citi American Airlines Executive card sign-up bonus.
However, there’s an exception if you’ve had the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® in the past 24 months. You CAN earn the sign-up bonus on the Citi American Airlines Executive card, because Citi says:
American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.
It’s still possible to apply and get approved for a new card within the same family. But you’ll miss out on the sign-up bonus. And completing a product change (downgrade) will NOT re-start the clock if you keep the same account number.
Credit Cards Similar to the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card
If you don’t think you’ll benefit from the perks offered by the Citi AAdvantage Executive card and are hesitant about paying the hefty $450 annual fee, consider these cards:
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® – Earn 65,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – Earn 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
With both the personal and business version of the Citi American Airlines Platinum cards, the annual fees ($99 for both) are waived the first year
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:
- American Airlines miles review
- American Airlines miles value
- American Airlines status
- Best use of AA miles
- How to earn AA miles
- How to setup an American Airlines account
- How to use American Airlines miles
- AA award chart
- Do American Airlines miles expire?
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