Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® — Full Review [2021]

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Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® — Full Review [2021]

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"A Premium Card with Admirals Club Membership"

Tons of bonus miles, access to Admirals Club lounges worldwide, and plenty of domestic and international travel benefits make this card ideal for frequent travelers who enjoy "extras."

Learn More (at our partner's secure site)

 Traveling is in your blood…and in your business. Which means you spend a lot of time in airports.

Whether you are waiting for a domestic flight or getting ready to head overseas, you want the most comfortable experience possible on the ground and in the air.

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is your go-to card because it provides exclusive perks and benefits for people who love to fly American Airlines.

And who doesn’t? American flies to 350 destinations in 50 countries!

AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card — Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard Has Airport Perks
The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card makes all your time in the airport a little more comfortable with its many perks. Image Credit: KieferPix via Shutterstock

Sign-up Bonus, Earning Categories, and Miles

The current sign-up bonus for this card can be seen above in the card summary table.

That’s a ton of points to get you started, especially when an AAnytime Level 1 award starts at just 20,000 miles!

You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases. You can redeem those miles for free flights, upgrades, hotels, car rentals, and more!

Add authorized users at no extra cost and earn miles for their purchases too!

Bottom Line: Earn 2 miles per dollar for all American Airlines purchases with the AAdvantage Executive World Elite cardand 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases.

Welcome to the (Admirals) Club

By far, the biggest benefit of the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card is a membership to the Admirals Club. It gives you access to 50 Admirals Club lounges and almost 40 partner lounges at airports around the world.

This would be a good place to mention that the annual fee for this credit card is $450, which is certainly an investment. But the Admirals Club benefit alone makes this card worth it since an individual membership starts at $450-$550 per person!

So what kind of perks can you enjoy in Admirals Club lounges? For starters, you get light snacks and house drinks. You’ll also get free Wi-Fi and access to power ports so you can catch up on work or binge-watch your favorite shows.

Some lounges even have shower suites, computers, copiers, and printers!

You can bring 2 guests or immediate family with you, including your spouse, domestic partner, or children under 18.

Plus, if you are already an Admirals Club member, you may be eligible for a prorated refund of your membership fee.

Bottom Line: The Admirals Club benefit more than makes up for the $450 annual fee of the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card.

International Travel Benefits on the AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card

The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card is designed for domestic and international travelers.

It offers you VIP airport experiences where available, including priority check-in, priority airport screening, and priority boarding.

This benefit applies to you and up to 8 companions listed on your reservation.

EMV smart chip integration makes international purchases hassle-free in places like Europe and Asia where the technology is standard. Plus, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees, which is another big savings.

In addition, you’ll receive Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

Bottom Line: EMV smart chip, Global Entry application fee credit, and no foreign transaction fees make the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card great for international travel.

More AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card Benefits

Because it’s a Citi AAdvantage card, you get a variety of extra travel benefits. For instance, you (and up to 8 travel companions) get your first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights.

One of the best benefits is the big spend bonus. Spend $40,000 in a year, and you’ll earn 10,000 bonus AAdvantage Elite Qualifying miles. While you can’t use these miles for flight rewards, you put yourself closer to Executive Platinum status!

Want a beverage, snack, or headphones while in the sky? Save 25% on many inflight purchases.

Plus, with reduced mileage awards you can fly to select destinations for 7,500 fewer miles. That way you can get even more value out of the miles you earn

Finally, the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card includes a dedicated concierge for help 24/7 with your shopping, entertainment, and dining needs during foreign or domestic travel.

Bottom Line: The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card has a host of extras like a free first checked bag, 25% discount on in-flight purchases, and more.

Great Card If

  • American Airlines is your preferred airline
  • You will take advantage of the Admiral Club membership
  • You want to earn tons of miles
  • You spend at least $40,000 per year on your card

Don't Get If

  • You aren’t a frequent flyer
  • You travel with a variety of airlines
  • You don’t have an American Airlines hub located nearby

AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card — Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $450
  • Interest Rates
    • 15.99% - 24.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfers
    • 15.99% - 24.99% Variable
    • Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 25.24% Variable
    • Fee: 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum.

Best Way to Maximize AAdvantage Miles

The quickest way to stockpile miles with the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card is to use it for all of your American Airlines flights and purchases to get 2x miles.

Remember, you get a 25% discount on most in-flight purchases too.

There are also other ways to earn tons of American Airlines miles with the card, as you will see in our list of tips:

Tip #1: Earn elite status in the AAdvantage loyalty program to get bonus miles. Each of the tiers earns a percentage bonus: Gold (40%), Platinum (60%), and Executive Platinum (120%).

You’ll also get other perks for elite status. For instance, with Gold status, you get free upgrades, complimentary same-day standby, priority check-in, and more.

You will need elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) to reach elite status: Gold (25,000), Platinum (50,000) and Executive Platinum (100,000).

Tip #2: When you open a BankDirect Account, you will have the potential to earn thousands of bonus miles.

For example, open a new Mileage Checking or Mileage Money account for 1,000 miles. Then earn 10,000 miles after a full payroll direct deposit from your employer is posted to the account.

You can also receive 1,000 more AAdvantage miles when you refer a friend who opens an account.

Tip #3: Earn miles for making purchases through the eShopping Mall. Shop at online stores like Sears, BestBuy, Kohl’s, and more. Look for sales, coupons, and free shipping deals.

Tip #4: Enroll in Audience Rewards to earn up to 2,500 miles per ticket to performance art shows. Purchase tickets to operas, Broadway and off-Broadway shows, cabarets, and other events in participating cities.

Tip #5: The American Airlines AAdvantage loyalty program has a variety of hotel partners, and you can earn miles by booking stays with them. See the chart below for all of the offers (find the latest at AA’s website).

Partner HotelMiles Earned
La Quinta Inns & Suites, Best Western,  Park Inn, Choice Hotels, Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson250 miles/stay
Melia Hotels International, Millennium Hotels and ResortsUp to 500 miles/stay
Quorvus Collection, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, New Otani Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Nikko Hotels International, Swissotel Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt, Park Plaza, Preferred Hotel Group500 miles/stay
Fiesta Americana Hotels and ResortsUp to 1,000 miles
WORLDHOTELSUp to 2,000 miles
PointsHoundUp to 6,000 miles
Hilton Portfolio Hotels1 mile/$1
Marriott Hotels, InterContinental HotelsUp to 2 miles/$1
Wyndham Hotel Group2 miles/$1 or 500 miles

Tip #6: The AAdvantage program also has several car rental partners. Earn up to 500 points per rental depending on the agency. Budget and Avis offer the most miles per rental because they are preferred partners.

You can earn extra miles if you have elite status with AAdvantage. Platinum and Gold members earn 1,000 points per rental!

We created the table below to show you all of the possibilities (check their sites for the most updated offers):

Rental CompanyMilesRental CompanyMilesRental CompanyMiles
Alamo50 per dayEuropcar50 per dayNational50 per day
Avis500 per rental (useK817100)ExecuCar150 each waySixt500 per rental
Budget500 per rental (use UO72400)GroundLink200 each rideSuperShuttle50 each way
CarmelUp to 100, plus 2 miles/$1Hertz1 mile/$1Thrifty50 per day
Dollar50 per day

Tip #7: Earn miles for flights on American Airlines, Oneworld partner airlines, and non-alliance partner airlines. See a table of current airline partners below:

Oneworld Airline Partners
Malaysia AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
LATAM AirlinesQantas Airlines
Air BerlinIberia
S7 AirlinesCathay Pacific
FinnairQatar Airways
Japan AirlinesBritish Airways
Royal Jordanian Airlines
Additional Airline Partners
Seaborne AirlinesFiji Airways
Alaska AirlinesEtihad Airways
Air Tahiti NuiHawaiian Airlines
Gulf AirWestJet
Cape Air Airlines

Hot Tip: Bonus Tip:  Earning 100k AAdvantage miles in 90 days is possible!

Partnerships are a Great Way to Earn Miles in AAdvantage
Using the airline partnerships is a great way to earn AAdvantage miles. There are a lot of different partnerships between Oneworld and its direct partners. Image Credit: cate_89 via Shutterstock

Best Way to Redeem AAdvantage Miles

You spend a lot of time earning miles on your AAdvantage Executive World Elite card, so when it’s time to redeem them you want to get as much value as you can.

Here are some tips for redeeming your AA points:

Tip #1: Miles & Cash allows you to combine the miles you’ve earned with cash to redeem car rentals and hotel stays with no blackout dates!  Each reservation requires at least 1,000 miles.

You can even redeem miles for car rentals and hotel stays to give to friends and family members. Just enter their information during the redemption process.

Find car rentals, hotels, and vacations at the American Airlines AAdvantage site.

Tip #2: When redeeming miles for American Airlines flights, international travel will provide the best value. Unfortunately, you can’t transfer your miles directly to the partner airlines.

Instead, you’ll need to call AAdvantage (1-800-433-7300) to book flights. Although a $25 booking fee applies, you can ask the representative to waive it.

The following table shows some of the many redemptions available for seats in the main cabin and business class for both domestic and international travel.

DestinationMain Cabin SeatBusiness Seat
Contiguous 48 states12,50025,000
Canada & Alaska15,00030,000
Central America/Mexico/Caribbean17,50027,500

See the American Airline AAdvantage site for a complete list.

Tip #3: Take advantage of Reduced Mileage Awards. You can save 7,500 on select round-trip domestic travel once every other month.

Tip #4: With the 500-mile upgrade program from AAdvantage, you can upgrade to a higher cabin on American Airlines and American Eagle full-fare economy flights.

Redeem 40,000 miles and receive 8 upgrades. You can also buy 500-mile upgrades for $40 by phone (800-882-8880), online at, at the airport, and American Airlines ticketing locations.

Executive Platinum members receive free upgrades on all flights. Platinum and Gold members receive complimentary upgrades on flights 500 miles or less.

Platinum and Gold members earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 12,500 EQMs earned during the membership year. These can be used for upgrades on flights of more than 500 miles.

Tip #5: Redeem miles for magazines, newspapers, and gift cards. Choose gift cards from stores like Home Depot, Target, Sears, and many more.

Tip #6: Donate your miles to one of American Airlines’ partner organizations: Miles for Kids in Need, Miles for All Who Serve, Miles of Hope. There is a minimum donation of 1,000 miles, and processing can take 48 hours.

These donations are not tax-deductible.

Hot Tip: For even more ideas on redeeming your AAdvantage Miles, check out our post on the best of the best ways to redeem 100K miles.

Oneworld Partners: Japan Airlines, S7 Airlines, Qantas Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Airberlin, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines.

Additional American Airline AAdvantage Partners: Air Tahiti Nui, Seaborne Airlines, Gulf Air, WestJet, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air, Etihad Airways, EL AL, Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Cape Air.

Hotel Partners: WORLDHOTELS, Melia Hotels International, Nikko Hotels International, Hilton Portfolio,  Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Marriott Hotels, InterContinental Hotels, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, New Otani Hotels, Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts, Park Inn, Hotel JAL City, Hyatt, Langham Hospitality Group, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Best Western, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Park Plaza, PointsHound, Preferred Hotel Group, Quorvus Collection, Radisson, Radisson Blu, Rocketmiles, and Swissotel Hotels & Resorts. (more information on hotel partners)

Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Avalon Waterways, Celebrity Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Uniworld River Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Royal Caribbean, AmaWaterways, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Viking River Cruises, and Princess Cruises. (more information on cruise partners)

Rental Car Partners: Thrifty, National, Dollar, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Alamo, Hertz, Carmel, SuperShuttle, GroundLink, and Sixt. (more information on car partners)

Alternative Cards to the AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card

As long as you fly American Airlines, there isn’t much not to like about the card. Of course, if you prefer another airline, then you won’t find any value to this card at all.

There’s also the matter of the $450 fee, but again this is offset by the Admirals Club benefit.

If you don’t think you’ll use the Admirals Club but still want to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles, you can try the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.

With this card, the annual fee is only $99 (waived for the first 12 months), and you earn 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases. There is usually a relatively valuable sign-up bonus after meeting certain spending requirements when you’re approved for the card.

Bottom Line: You have to fly American Airlines to get true value from the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card.

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need to Know

In order to take advantage of most of the benefits with the card, your American Airlines AAdvantage account must be open for at least 7 days.

Other Unique Features

Sign-up bonus miles – Bonus miles post to your account in 8-10 weeks. You must be a new cardmember to receive this bonus. It is not offered to cardmembers who have opened or closed a card in the past 24 months.

First checked bag free – This benefit does not apply to flights booked with an American Airlines flight number but operated by another airline. It also does not apply to overweight or oversized bags.

25% inflight discount – The 25% discount appears as a statement credit 6-8 weeks after the transaction is posted to the account.

Miles expiration – Miles will not expire as long as you earn or redeem miles on American Airlines, an affiliated carrier, or an American Airlines participant once every 18 months.

Damage & theft protection – Get reimbursed the cost of repairs or refund if an item is stolen or damaged within 120 days of purchase (90 days in NY).

Extended warranty – Extend the manufacturer’s warranty on your purchases.

Unauthorized charges protection – $0 liability for unauthorized charges.

Apple Pay – Pay in-app or at over 200,000 stores with the iPhone 6, or in-app with the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card?

There are many benefits for people who travel regularly with American Airlines, but the biggest plus is a membership to the Admirals Club. Members receive access to 50 Admirals Club lounges and nearly 40 partner lounges around the world.

Other benefits of the card are a free first checked bag, 25% discount on inflight purchases, and a dedicated concierge.

In addition, members enjoy VIP airport experiences where available, which includes priority check-in, screening, and boarding.

Does the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card have a sign-up bonus?

Typically it does — see the card summary table above or special offer below.

How do you earn miles with the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card?

Use the card for American Airlines purchases to earn 2 miles per dollar spent. Also, earn 1 mile per dollar for all purchases. Redeem miles for free flights, upgrades, hotels, car rentals, and more!

Does the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card have any foreign transaction fees?

No. There are no foreign transaction fees with the card.

Can American Airlines AAdvantage miles be transferred?

No. You cannot transfer American Airlines AAdvantage miles to partner airlines. However, you can redeem miles for award flights with partner airlines and other benefits.

What are American Airlines AAdvantage miles worth?

American Airlines AAdvantage miles are typically valued at an average of 1.7 cents per point. This means a $100 flight ticket can be awarded for the equivalent of about 5,800 American Airlines miles.

Are there other American Airlines credit cards?

How many American Airlines miles are required for a free flight?

For as few as 7,500 American AAdvantage miles, you can obtain a free flight in the contiguous U.S.

Who are the American Airlines AAdvantage airline partners?

American Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance, so they are partners with all Oneworld carriers, including:

SriLankan Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, S7 Airlines, Iberia, Finnair, LAN Airlines, Qantas Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Japan Airlines, TAM Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines.

Additional partners include: Hawaiian Airlines, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Seaborne Airlines, Cape Air Airlines, and WestJet.

When do American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire?

American Airlines AAdvantage miles never expire as long as you earn or redeem miles every 18 months.

What is the difference between the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®?

Both cards earn 2x miles for American Airlines, but the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® also earns 2x miles at car rental agencies and for telecommunication services.

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has an annual fee of $99 which is waived for the first year. The AAdvantage Executive World Elite card has a $450 annual fee but includes membership to the Admirals Club.

How quickly will my AAdvantage miles be deducted from my account if I redeem them for hotel or car awards?

Although miles are immediately deducted, it can take up to 24 hours for the transaction to appear in your American AAdvantage mileage summary.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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