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Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®


Intro offer

80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening


Rewards

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

Citi Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®


Intro offer

80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening


Rewards

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

This is a terrific card for frequent American Airlines flyers who can take advantage of its included Admirals Club membership and other day-of-travel perks to offset the high annual fee. Authorized users also get Admirals Club access, so there’s extra value to be had there, too. However, it’s not the best card for earning AA miles on everyday spending, and the lack of travel protections isn’t ideal for an airline credit card.


Rewards

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases


Intro offer

80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening


Recommended Credit

Excellent


Regular APR

18.99% – 27.99% Variable

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
may appear expensive, but it can more than pay for itself, especially with Admirals Club airport lounge access, and a new elevated welcome bonus. With that and other perks, such as a statement credit to cover the Global Entry/TSA PreCeck application fee, this card can be a steal for American Airlines flyers. Citi is an advertising partner. 

Review: Is the Citi Executive Card the best credit card for you?

Do you fly with American Airlines often? Do you constantly spend lengthy stretches at the airport, wishing you could escape to somewhere more quiet and comfortable while you wait? If so, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is definitely worth considering.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® may seem pricey with its annual fee of $450, but it comes with access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs. Membership will normally set you back $650 if you’re not an elite member of the airline, which makes this credit card a much better deal. Even better, you can add up to 10 authorized users to the card for free — and they’ll all get Admirals Club access, as well.

Moreover, for a limited time, the card is offering 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus is worth around $1,120 in travel, based on Insider’s valuations, and can be used in a bunch of different ways (such as international round trips and business class seats). 

Unfortunately, the card only provides 1 mile per dollar spent on non-American Airlines purchases — so the initial welcome bonus is where the ease of earning ends.

This card is also one of the best for earning American Airlines elite status through spending thanks to its 10,000-Loyalty Point bonus after spending $40,000 during the qualifying status year.

If you’re not a frequent American Airlines flyer (or if you don’t value Admirals Club lounge access), there are other American Airlines credit cards with more palatable annual fees. For example, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® comes with an annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months and gives you a handful of similar benefits, including your first checked bag free, preferred boarding, and discounts on inflight purchases.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

Compare American Airlines credit cards

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80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

$99, waived for first 12 months

65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers. Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent at gas stations. Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants. Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on car rentals. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

$99, waived for first 12 months

10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores. Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

How to earn rewards from the Citi Executive Card

Admittedly, the Citi AAdvantage Executive isn’t a miles-earning virtuoso. You’ll earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases (1x on all other eligible purchases). 

The bonus categories are both sparse and underwhelming. Cards with significantly lower annual fees have the ability to rack up rewards just as quickly — and for more common purchases. For example:

  • The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® earns 2x miles on telecommunications merchant, cable/satellite provider, rental car agency, and gas station purchases
  • The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® earns 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and gas stations
  • The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Mastercard
    earns 2 miles per dollar at grocery stores

However, the Citi AAdvantage Executive does have an earning skill you won’t find on these other cards. You’ll be awarded 10,000 Loyalty Points after spending $40,000 on purchases during each qualifying status year.

Loyalty Points are American Airlines’ new system of earning elite status. You can earn points through flying, via the AA shopping portal, and through spending on an American Airlines credit card. Here’s what you’ll have to earn to achieve status:

You’ll earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar spent on AA credit cards — so the opportunity to accrue 10,000 Loyalty Points with this card is a big deal. By spending $40,000 on the card, you’ll have at least 50,000 Loyalty Points.

How to use American Airlines miles

If your goal is to use miles for flights around the world, racking up rewards in the American AAdvantage program makes a lot of sense. Once you have a stash of miles, you can redeem them with American Airlines and various Oneworld alliance partners including British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar, and plenty of others.

American Airlines uses a method called “dynamic pricing” for its award flights. In short, this means you won’t know exactly how much your desired flight will cost unless you search for the specific route and date. Here are some examples of what you can find, however:

  • One-way domestic flight within the US in economy class on American Airlines for 6,000 miles
  • Round-trip economy class flights to Europe on American Airlines for 60,000 miles
  • One-way business class flight to Doha on Qatar Airways for 70,000 miles
  • One-way business class flight to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui for 80,000 miles

Benefits and features

Admirals Club membership

If you’re wondering why anyone would pay $450 for an airline credit card, the answer is simple. The Admirals Club lounge membership this card offers normally costs $650 per year, although you can get a discount if you’re an elite member of the American AAdvantage program. You can bring either two guests or immediate family into the lounge with you at no cost.

Unfortunately, you do have to show a same-day boarding pass that proves you’re flying with American or one of its partners in order to access the lounge. For that reason, this card and membership are best if you’re someone who flies with American Airlines or its partners all the time anyway.

Free authorized users (with tons of benefits)

You can add up to 10 authorized users to the Citi AAdvantage Executive for free. Each authorized user will receive the same Admirals Club airport lounge access as the primary cardholder — including guest privileges. However, they won’t receive select benefits of a full-fledged membership as primary cardholder, including:

  • Access privileges to the Arrivals Lounge or Flagship Lounge facilities
  • Airline lounges or clubs with which AA has reciprocal privileges, such as Oneworld airline lounges
  • Special pricing on conference rooms
  • Any other special offers

Remember, this same membership can cost $650 in cash. The ability to add up to 10 free authorized users could conceivably provide up to $6,500 in value. 

Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is a trusted traveler program that allows you to speed through US airport security without removing your laptop from your bag and without taking off your shoes, belt, and light jacket. Global Entry lets you skip immigration when returning to the US from abroad.

This statement credit offsets the cost of the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85). It’s worth noting that Global Entry membership includes TSA PreCheck, so it’s the better one to apply for. It’s notably more difficult to acquire, however.

This credit replenishes every five years, which is the length of each respective membership. As long as you’ve got this card, you should never have to pay for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck from your own pocket.

Free checked bag

You and up to eight companions on the same reservation will receive your first checked bag for free. You don’t have to pay with the card; as long as your AAdvantage number is on your reservation, AA should automatically waive these fees. Here are some things to be aware of:

  • Your American Airlines loyalty number must be attached to your reservation seven days before your departure date.
  • The card only provides a free checked bag for “domestic flights,” which AA defines as flights within the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Priority check-in/screening

When flying on American Airlines, priority screening and check-in will help you to get through security and reach your gate faster. Again, you don’t have to pay for your flight with your card — AA will know you’re a cardmember. Just be sure your loyalty number has been added to your reservation within seven days of your travel date. Up to eight companions on your reservation will receive this perk.

Priority boarding

The Citi AAdvantage Executive gives you Group 4 boarding privileges on American Airlines flights. That’s one group higher than other Citi American Airlines cards such as the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select.

You don’t have to pay for your flight with the card to get this benefit, and up to eight companions on your reservation will receive this perk.

Earn Loyalty Points faster

You’ll receive 10,000 Loyalty Points after spending $40,000 on purchases during a qualifying status year. This card otherwise earns 1 Loyalty Point per dollar for spending, so a 10,000-point bonus is equivalent to another $10,000 in spending.

Again, it’s also possible to earn Loyalty Points from activities like making purchases through the AA Shopping Portal, flying, and spending with the airline’s partners.

Inflight discounts

You’ll receive a statement credit equal to 25% of the cost of your inflight purchases like food, drink, and Wi-Fi on domestic AA flights. You must use your eligible card to get this discount. You’ll receive your statement credit within 10 weeks of your purchase.

Citi Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®


Intro offer

80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening


Rewards

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

Citi Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®


Intro offer

80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening


Rewards

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

This is a terrific card for frequent American Airlines flyers who can take advantage of its included Admirals Club membership and other day-of-travel perks to offset the high annual fee. Authorized users also get Admirals Club access, so there’s extra value to be had there, too. However, it’s not the best card for earning AA miles on everyday spending, and the lack of travel protections isn’t ideal for an airline credit card.


Rewards

Earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1x mile for every $1 spent on other purchases


Intro offer

80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first 3 months of account opening


Recommended Credit

Excellent


Regular APR

18.99% – 27.99% Variable

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Fees and costs

The biggest cost you’ll face with this credit card is the $450 annual fee but it’s easily worth it if you’re someone who would pay for Admirals Club membership anyway. In fact, this card gives you membership for less than you would pay without it. This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees.

Other fees this card charges are avoidable. For example, if you don’t carry a balance, you won’t be subject to this card’s high-interest rates. Other fees include a 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) and a 5% cash advance fee ($10).

Comparison: Citi Executive Card vs other Citi American Airlines credit cards

Citi Executive Card vs other premium airline credit cards

Citi AAdvantage Executive card frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You can upgrade a less-premium Citi AA credit card to the Citi AAdvantage Executive — however, you’ll have to call Citi to do it. Citi must approve you for an upgrade, and will even proactively invite its cardholders to upgrade if it deems them worthy.

Citi credit cards are notorious for a lack of travel insurance. You won’t find baggage delay insurance, trip delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, etc., making them poor choices for actually booking travel.

Other cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card come with critical travel benefits like this for a much lower price tag.

If you’d otherwise pay for American Airlines Admirals Club access, this card is a no-brainer. And if you have the need to add authorized users to this card, it’s one of the best values in the credit card market. The card is also particularly handy for those trying to achieve AA elite status through spending.

The banner feature of this card is that authorized users get Admirals Club lounge access with guest privileges. As long as you have a same-day AA flight, you can bring two guests (or immediate family) into the lounge at no charge.



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