Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Review [2022]

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a popular premium airlines credit card that’s perfect if you’re eyeing elite status with American Airlines or you are interested in Admirals Club access.

In this article, I’ll go over the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard benefits likes its bonus, airport lounge access, free checked baggage, priority boarding, and more!

Welcome bonus

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® currently offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

50,000 miles could cover a round trip in domestic first class, which could net you over $1,200 in value!

We’ve also had some great flights thanks to AA miles, especially on partners like Etihad, Qatar, British Airways, etc. where 50,000 AA miles got us closer to $4,000 and $5,000 in value in first class!

While a higher bonus could return, 50,000 miles is a pretty sweet offer and this card is more about the benefits than anything.

Book partners like Qatar with AA miles.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Application rules

Citi has somewhat complicated application rules which is something that WalletFlo can help you automate.

In addition to standard Citi application rules, once you pick up a bonus on this card, you can’t get its bonus again for 48 months, as the rules state:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive account in the past 48 months.

The good news is this means that you can get other AA cards without violating this rule and really build up a huge balance of AA miles!

Credit card strategy tip

Although the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a great card, I’d be sure to hit up the best Chase cards first like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which offers 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

That’s because once you’ve opened five cards in the past 24 months, you will no longer be eligible for cards like the Sapphire Preferred.

So it usually makes sense to go for those cards first and then tap cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

Bonus earning & Loyalty Points

The Citi AAdvantage Executive earns the following rates:

  • 2X on purchases on American Airlines
  • 1X on all other purchases

The Citi AAdvantage Executive is not a great card for bonus category spend since it only offers 2X on AA purchases.

But the awesome thing about this card is that for every dollar you spend you earn one Loyalty Point which is the new American Airlines loyalty program currency. This means that you can spend your way into elite status.

Here’s a look at the elite levels and the corresponding threshold for Loyalty Points.

Elite StatusLoyalty Points
AAdvantage Gold®30,000
AAdvantage Platinum®75,000
AAdvantage Platinum Pro®125,000
AAdvantage Executive Platinum®200,000

There are a few things to note about Loyalty Points:

  • You can earn Loyalty Points with all AAdvantage cards but you only earn Loyalty Points per base dollar spent — you don’t earn extra Loyalty Points for special bonus multipliers.
  • There is a special perk on this card that allows you to earn a bonus of 10,000 Loyalty Points if you spend $40,000 in qualifying year (defined as beginning on March 1st and ending on February 28th).
  • The welcome bonus does NOT count towards Loyalty Points.
  • You can supplement your earnings with spending through things like: AAdvantage eShopping, SimplyMiles, AAdvantage Dining, etc.

Admirals Club membership

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard grants cardholders 18 years of age or older with full membership privileges to Admirals Club lounges, which may also include access to other airline lounges and clubs (e.g., Alaska, Qantas Clubs, oneworld or partner lounges, etc.).

This membership is worth up to $650 so getting it as a perk is a huge deal! 

Note: same-day boarding passes on American Airlines or partner airlines will be required for entry.

Admirals Club lounges are pretty standard domestic lounges.

In these you might expect to find comfortable spots to relax in along with modern and fresh decor. As far as drinks go, you’ll find coffee, tea, soft drinks, house wine, beer, and spirits (premium drinks will cost you).

And for complimentary food, it’s usually lighter snacks, fruits, yogurt, breads, oatmeal, although some will serve up something special like avocado toast. You can also order dishes from the menu but you’ll generally have to pay for those.

Some Admirals Club lounges will have shower suites and children play areas. You can read more about my Admirals Club experience here. 

Admirals Club breakfast.

Authorized users

Authorized users can get into the Admirals Clubs but they don’t get the full membership.

Citi states, “Full Admirals Club® membership privileges do not apply to a credit card authorized user,” so authorized users don’t get access to the partner lounges.

To access an Admirals Club lounge, authorized users must present their credit card (along with other needed things like an ID, boarding pass, etc.).

Primary cardmembers need only show their AAdvantage number and ID/boarding pass.

Flagship Lounges

Neither membership nor the credit card authorized user access benefit provides access privileges to the Arrivals Lounge, International First Class Lounges, or Flagship Lounge facilities, including Flagship First Dining.

Guest policy

This card has a pretty good guest policy for lounges.

You can get your immediate family members in for free (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) or you can bring along up to two guests traveling with the primary credit cardmember or authorized user. 

The fact that authorized users can bring in up to two guests is pretty awesome.

Admirals Club at IAH.

Authorized users

One of the biggest features of this card is that you can add up to 10 authorized users to your account for no additional cost.

That’s some crazy value when you consider how many people could get Admiral’s Club access for essentially nothing.

But note: authorized users do not receive the first checked bag free or boarding benefits.

First checked bag free

Primary credit cardmembers may check one bag and avoid AA baggage fees when traveling on domestic itineraries.

All flights on the itinerary must be domestic flights marketed by American Airlines and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle.

(This benefit will not be available for travel on codeshare flights booked with an American Airlines flight number but operated by another airline — see the terms and conditions for more on eligible airlines.)

The cool thing about this perk is that it offers the free first checked bag to up to eight companions traveling with the eligible primary credit cardmember (as long as they are listed in the same reservation). That’s a ton of value if you can utilize this perk for a large group of people.

Airport experience

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® can help upgrade your airport experience with the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in (where available)
  • Priority airport screening (where available)
  • Priority boarding privileges

Up to eight companions traveling with the eligible primary credit cardmember will also get these perks if they are listed in the same reservation.

For benefits to apply, your account must be open seven days prior to air travel and the reservation must include the primary credit cardmember’s AAdvantage number seven days prior to travel.

These benefits apply when traveling on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines, or on flights marketed by American Airlines and operated as other eligible airlines.

Priority check-in (where available)

Priority check-in offers you a special counter area for you to check in at many airports. These check-in areas (seen below) can have much smaller crowds than the standard check-in areas so you can save a lot of time.

American Airlines priority check-in at DFW.

Priority airport screening (where available)

Priority airport screening will allow you to bypass the main security line. This can save you a lot of time in some cases but I’d generally just go with the TSA Pre-Check line or even CLEAR if you have it.

Priority boarding privileges

The priority boarding benefit will display on your American Airlines boarding pass as “Group 4.”

This is the final group in the priority boarding group, so you’ll be boarding before all the economy passengers but you’ll still have some first class and elites in boarding in front of you. To find out more about the American Airline boarding groups click here. 

American Airlines boarding area at IAH.

25% Discount

The Citi AAdvantage Executive offers a 25% savings on inflight purchases of food and beverages on flights operated by American Airlines when you use your Citi AAdvantage Executive card.

Keep in mind that the discount does not apply to any other inflight purchases like in-flight wifi. 

Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit

The Executive will grant you a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check application fee, every five years up to $100.

TSA Pre-Check is a program that costs $85 to join and allows approved passengers to go through a separate security screening process that is less demanding than the security screening open to the public.

Meanwhile, Global Entry provides you with TSA Pre-Check in addition to expedited entry back into the US. You can read about how to get approved here.

No foreign transaction fees

This card has no foreign transaction fees which is pretty standard for a major airline cobranded credit card.

Annual fee

  • $450

This is a very reasonable annual fee considering how much lounge membership is worth and the fact that you could add up to ten authorized users for free.

Benefits and protections

Citibank dropped pretty much every major travel benefits and protection from their cards as of September 22, 2019. Some of the benefits and protections that were dropped consisted of:

  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
  • Citi Price Rewind
  • Trip Delay Protection
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Baggage Protection
  • Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service

For this reason, you don’t want to use this card for purchases that you really need or want built-in travel insurance/protections for.

So when it comes to purchasing flights and prepaid hotels, you would be much better off with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred which provides you with much better protections.

Final word

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is the card to get if you’re interested in AAdvantage elite status, Admirals Club access, and/or have a family or group of people who want in on the travel savings.

If you have people you trust as authorized users, the ceiling for your value with the Citi AAdvantage Executive can be very high.

It’s also great for groups because you can get all of those travel perks for up to eight companions, which again means a lot of value.

Advertiser Disclosure: UponArriving has partnered with affiliate partners and may receive a commission from card issuers. UponArriving does not display all credit card offers and affiliate relationships may impact how offers are presented. 

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analysis & recommendations are UponArriving’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

5 comments

  1. So if you purchase the tickets with your chase card to get travel insurance benefits then you wouldn’t be able to tale advantage of citi bank world executive card benefits since you didn’t buy the tickets though yhat card correct?

    1. Hi Linda, you can still take advantage of the Citi Executive benefits like lounge access, free checked bag, etc. even if you don’t use that card to purchase your ticket. You have to use the card for the 25% flight discount though.

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