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!
Card Summary Table
- Card Bonus & Info
- Card Provider
- Card Type(s):
- Card Focus:
- Annual Fee
- Rewards Center
- Goes Well With
- Foreign Transaction FeesNone
- Typical UsersFrequent Travelers, Hobby Travelers, International Travelers
- Customer Service Number
- Login Link
- PartnersOneworld Partners: Japan Airlines, S7 Airlines, Qantas Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Airberlin, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Royal Jordanian Airlines, TAM Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines.
- Interest Rates ?
- 15.99% APR
- Late fees ?
- Up to $35
- 29.99% APR
- Balance Transfers
- $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- 15.99% APR
- Cash Forwarding
- $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- 25.99% APR
The Ideal Cardholder
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!
Welcome to the (Admirals) Club
By far, the biggest benefit of the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard 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.
International Travel Benefits on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard 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.
More Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 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 in-flight 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 Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard includes a dedicated concierge for help 24/7 with your shopping, entertainment, and dining needs during foreign or domestic travel.
Drawbacks and Alternatives to the 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®.
Its annual fee is only $95, and you earn 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases. The sign-up bonus is 30,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
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
U.P. Pro Tips
Register your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® with the AAdvantage Miles Dining Program to earn points for something you probably already do–eat at restaurants!
Earn 1 mile per every $1 you spent at participating restaurants. If you agree to receive emails from the program, earn 3 miles per dollar. Make 12 qualified dining transactions in a calendar year and get 5 miles per $1!
That’s a lot of miles on top of the miles you are already earning with the card!
Plus, you can enroll up to 5 credit cards in the program, and they don’t have to be American Airlines cards.
You just can’t enroll cards that are already enrolled in a miles-earning dining program.
How To Use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: The Upgraded Way
Best Way To Maximize Points
The quickest way to stockpile miles with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 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).
However, if you are having trouble reaching the tiers, you may want to consider taking part in an Elite Status Challenge.
Participating in the 2016 Elite Status Challenge requires a $120 (Gold) or $200 (Platinum) fee. Earn 7,000 EQMs in 90 days to achieve Gold status and 12,500 EQMs in 90 days to achieve Platinum status.
So, for $120 you can earn Gold status with only 7,000 EQMs, compared to 25,000 EQMs!
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.
|Partner Hotel||Miles Earned|
|La Quinta Inns & Suites, Best Western, Park Inn, Choice Hotels, Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson||250 miles/stay|
|Melia Hotels International, Millennium Hotels and Resorts||Up 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 Group||500 miles/stay|
|Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts||Up to 1,000 miles|
|WORLDHOTELS||Up to 2,000 miles|
|PointsHound||Up to 6,000 miles|
|Hilton Portfolio Hotels||1 mile/$1|
|Marriott Hotels, InterContinental Hotels||Up to 2 miles/$1|
|Starwood Hotels||2 miles/$1|
|Wyndham Hotel Group||2 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:
|Rental Company||Miles||Rental Company||Miles||Rental Company||Miles|
|Alamo||50 per day||Europcar||50 per day||National||50 per day|
|Avis||500 per rental (useK817100)||ExecuCar||150 each way||Sixt||500 per rental|
|Budget||500 per rental (use UO72400)||GroundLink||200 each ride||SuperShuttle||50 each way|
|Carmel||Up to 100, plus 2 miles/$1||Hertz||1 mile/$1||Thrifty||50 per day|
|Dollar||50 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 Airlines||SriLankan Airlines|
|LAN Airlines||Qantas Airlines|
|S7 Airlines||Cathay Pacific|
|TAM Airlines||Qatar Airways|
|Japan Airlines||British Airways|
|Royal Jordanian Airlines||Finnair|
|Additional Airline Partners|
|Seaborne Airlines||Fiji Airways|
|Alaska Airlines||Etihad Airways|
|Air Tahiti Nui||Hawaiian Airlines|
|Cape Air Airlines|
Bonus Tip: Earning 100k AAdvantage miles in 90 days is possible!
Best Way To Redeem Points
You spend a lot of time earning miles on your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, 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.
|Destination||Main Cabin Seat||Business Seat|
|Contiguous 48 states||12,500||25,000|
|Canada & Alaska||15,000||30,000|
|Central America / Mexico / Caribbean||17,500||27,500|
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 aa.com, 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 Points.com gift cards. Choose gift cards from stores like Home Depot, Target, Sears, and many more.
Tip #6: Receive a 6-month membership to LifeLock for identity theft protection when you redeem 2,500 miles. Membership includes alerts and help replacing lost or stolen cards anywhere in the world.
Tip #7: 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.
Oneworld Partners: Japan Airlines, S7 Airlines, Qantas Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Airberlin, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Royal Jordanian Airlines, TAM 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, Starwood Hotels, 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.
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.
Rental Car Partners: Thrifty, National, Dollar, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Alamo, Hertz, Carmel, SuperShuttle, GroundLink, and Sixt.
We’ve covered a lot up to this point in our review of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. In addition to the benefits of the card, we’ve explored how to get the most value from earning and redeeming points.
We hope you have found this information helpful.
Next, we’ll look at the overall value of the card based on the numbers.
A Quick Recap
Let’s quickly recap the cost and earning potential of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®:
|Annual Fee||Miles Earned on American Airlines flights and purchases||Miles Earned Everywhere Else|
Calculating the Miles Earned Using Model Spending Families
Now let’s use our fictitious families to perform some calculations based on their yearly purchases.
Note that we realize the fares will include taxes and fees, but to make it simple we will not include them in our calculations.
|Family||Spending on Flights (2x)||Other Spending (1x)|
|Kennedys||$2,400 x 2 = 4,800||$42,900 = 42,900|
|Jetsons||$6,000 x 2 = 12,000||$56,500 = 56,500|
|Hartnells||$7,800 x 2 = 15,600||$109,900 = 109,900|
Adding the total miles earned with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® results in the following totals:
|Family||Total Miles Earned|
That means our families have plenty of miles to spend! With American AAdvantage flight awards starting at 7,500, the Kennedys can purchase 6 one-way MileSAAver awards.
AAnytime awards start at 20,000 miles, which means they could get 2 awards with the miles they’ve earned.
Meanwhile, the Hartnell family, who spend even more on the card, could qualify for 16 MileSAAver awards or 6 AAnytime awards.
During our research of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, we determined the value of each AAdvantage mile to be between $0.01 and $0.02.
Let’s look at the monetary value of our families’ miles.
|Family||Miles Earned||Monetary Value|
|Kennedys||47,700||$477 – $954|
|Jetsons||68,500||$685 – $1,370|
|Hartnells||125,500||$1,255 – $2,510|
Even after subtracting the $450 annual fee, that is a lot of value for the card!
However, if you prefer to fly a variety of airlines instead of being limited to American Airlines, then you may get more value for your points with another card.
For example, the Citi Prestige® Card also grants access to lounges, but you can no longer get access to the Admirals Club. However, you do get a Priority Pass Select membership for access to hundreds of other VIP lounges around the world.
Both cards have a $450 annual fee, but the Citi Prestige® Card comes with a $250 airline travel credit which offsets more than half of this. You can apply the credit to the cost of a ticket or any flight-related expenses charged to the 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% in-flight 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.
Citi Price Rewind – This program automatically searches for a lower price on the items you register after purchasing them from hundreds of online merchants. You may receive the difference between prices if an item is found at a lower price within 60 days.
Trip cancellation & interruption protection – Get reimbursed for non-refundable trip expenses such as change fees when you pay for the trip with your Citi card.
Worldwide travel accident insurance – Provides financial help after an accident.
Worldwide car rental insurance – Get coverage against rental car theft or damage when you decline the rental company’s collision loss/damage insurance.
Lost baggage protection – Receive the purchase price of missing items or the cost to replace them if your carry-on luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged by the common carrier.
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.
Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Female Traveler in Airport: KieferPix/Shutterstock
Friends Enjoying a Cheers: gpointstudio/Shutterstock
All Hands In: cate_89/Shutterstock
Rewards Bubble: garagestock/Shutterstock
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
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What are the benefits of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®?
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 in-flight purchases, and a dedicated concierge.
In addition, members enjoy VIP airport experiences where available, which includes priority check-in, screening, and boarding.
Does the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® have a sign-up bonus?
Typically, see the card summary table above or special offer below.
How do you earn miles with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®?
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 Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 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?
Yes, there is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®, and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.
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, Air Berlin, 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, Gulf Air, 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 Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 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 $95 which is waived for the first year. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 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.