16 Benefits of the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Credit Card

American-Airlines Flagship First Dining

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If you’re an American Airlines loyalist and fly frequently on the airline, you’ve probably given thought to securing an American Airlines AAdvantage® credit card. Having an AAdvantage branded credit card allows you to earn AAdvantage miles quickly, receive basic flight benefits, and save money on inflight purchases.

However, some AAdvantage branded credit cards come with more benefits than others. For example, if having airport lounge access is important to you, there is only one AAdvantage credit card that delivers this valuable benefit complimentary.

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® comes with all the expected priority flight benefits, in-flight savings, and accelerated earnings on American Airlines purchases. It also offers an extraordinary Admirals Club lounge access benefit that extends to your traveling companions and authorized users.

And unlike many AAdvantage branded credit cards the AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard can even help you reach elite status.

In this article, you’ll find a deep dive into all the benefits that come with the card and see if the card delivers the value proposition you’re looking for as a frequent American Airlines flyer.

1. Welcome Bonus Miles

You can count on thousands of AAdvantage frequent flyer bonus miles when you are approved for the AAdvantage Executive World Elite card and complete the initial spending requirements in the first 3 months after card approval.

Do note that the welcome bonus miles are not offered to those consumers who have had a personal AAdvantage credit card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

2. Admirals Club Membership

Admirals Club Bar
The Citi/AAdvantage Executive card comes with complimentary Admirals Club access. Image courtesy of news.aa.com.

The Value of Complimentary Lounge Access

Depending on your level of American Airlines AAdvantage elite status and the type of lounge membership you select, the cost of an annual Admirals Club membership can vary greatly.

Membership LevelAAdvantage MemberAAdvantage Gold Elite MemberAAdvantage Platinum Elite MemberAAdvantage Platinum Pro Elite MemberAAdvantage Executive Platinum Member
Individual New$650$625$600$575$550
Individual Renewal$600$575$550$525$500
Household New$1,250$1,225$1,200$1,175$1,150
Household Renewal$1,200$1.175$1,150$1,125$1,100

If you are currently paying for an annual Admirals Club membership, securing the Executive World Elite card can make good economic sense.

Since complimentary Admirals Club access comes with the card, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars by having the card versus purchasing an Admirals Club membership. The card charges an annual fee of $450.

Plus, with the Executive World Elite card, you can bring in 2 guests or your entire immediate family. Additionally, authorized users receive the same Admirals Club lounge privileges, including access for their guests. Another big bonus is that authorized users cost nothing to add.

With over 50 Admirals Clubs and 60 affiliated partner lounges worldwide, having complimentary access is a huge benefit. Find out more about Admirals Clubs and the amenities they offer in our complete guide.

3. Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit

Receive up to $100 reimbursement, as a statement credit, when paying your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee with your card. You will be eligible for the credit once every 5 years.

4. Flight Benefits

Free Checked Bag

  • Free checked bag for the cardholder and up to 8 travel companions on the same domestic American Airlines, and subsidiaries, reservation. With a checked bag costing $25 one-way, this benefit is a real money saver.

Priority Boarding

  • Early boarding ensures space for your bags and a chance to get settled on board ahead of the crowd. You and up to 8 traveling companions can enjoy the priority boarding privileges that come with the card.

Priority Check-In

  • Avoid the crowds when checking in for your flight when you use the business or first class priority check-in lane, regardless of the class you are flying on American. You and up to 8 additional travelers, on the same reservation, can use the priority check-in lane.

Priority TSA Screening Lines

  • Receive TSA PreCheck when traveling on American Airlines operated flights.

5. Savings on In-Flight Purchases

In flight food purchase
Receive a 25% discount on all in-flight food and beverage purchases. Image courtesy of news.aa.com.

Hot Tip: Use your Executive World Elite credit card to purchase in-flight food and beverage on American domestic flights and receive a 25% statement credit on your purchase. The discount is unlimited.

6. A Faster Path to AAdvantage Elite Status

Qualifying for AAdvantage elite status requires flying a specific number of miles per year. The term, Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM), is used for indicating miles flown that count toward elite status. When you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, you will receive 10,000 EQM that count toward this elite status qualification.

7. Earn Double Miles on American Airlines Purchases

Use your card for purchases on American Airlines and receive 2 miles for every dollar spent.

8. Earn Miles on Every Purchase

All other purchases you make with your card earn 1 mile per dollar spent.

9. Redeem Miles on Partner Airlines

The AAdvantage miles you earn on your Executive World Elite card can be redeemed for flights on American Airlines but also on a large network of Oneworld Alliance and partner airlines such as British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and more.

10. No Charge for Authorized Users

Flagship Lounge
Share Admirals Club access with travel companions and authorized users.  Image courtesy of American Airlines.

You can add up to 10 authorized users to your Executive World Elite card for no additional charge. Authorized users enjoy the same access to Admirals Club lounges as the primary cardholder including the ability to bring 2 guests or immediate family.

11. No Foreign Transaction Fees

Take your card with you when you travel the world as there are no transaction fees charged on foreign purchases.

12. Concierge Services

Enjoy the services of a dedicated concierge to assist you with travel plans, shopping, entertainment, or dining arrangements.

13. Citi Private Pass®

Given that the card is backed by Citi, cardholders receive special access to a wide variety of dining and entertainment events such as concerts, sporting events, and theater tickets. Cardholders also receive invitations for unique experiences and exclusive offers.

14. Purchase Protection

Purchase a covered item with your Executive World Elite card and receive theft and damage coverage for 120 days, 90 days for New York residents, from the date of purchase. You’re covered for up to $10,000 per item, and totaling no more than $50,000 per year.

Hot Tip: If purchase protection is an important requirement for you, there are many credit cards that will give you this coverage.

15. Extended Warranty

Pay for an eligible item in whole or in part with your Executive World Elite card and have a maximum of 24 months added to the manufacturer’s warranty. Coverage is limited to the amount charged on your card or $10,000, whichever is less.

16. World Elite Mastercard Benefits

World Elite MasterCard Savings
Save up to 25% on premium airfare for select airlines and flights with World Elite Mastercard benefits. Image courtesy of Mastercard.

World Elite Mastercard benefits are many but often overlooked. Here’s a summary of the extra benefits you can expect from the World Elite Mastercard program.

  • Discounts on premium airfare from 5% to 25% with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Etihad Airways, and Air New Zealand
  • Complimentary room upgrades, breakfast, and other amenities at over 2,000 luxury hotels
  • Hotel lowest rate guarantee
  • 24/7 travel assistance
  • Car rental savings and elite status
  • Savings on vacations, private jets, hotels, cruises, and more

You can review the benefits of the World Elite Mastercard program here and sign up for benefits here. Also be sure to take a look at the best Mastercard credit cards for benefits and points.

Final Thoughts

The biggest benefit of having the Citi/AAdvantage Executive Card is complimentary lounge access to the Admirals Club and affiliated lounges. An annual household membership to the Admirals Club alone can cost as much as $1,250.

Because complimentary lounge access allows 2 guests or immediate family to enter with the cardholder, this access benefit can be effectively the same as having a household membership. Especially since you can add a family member as an authorized user for no additional charge and your entire traveling party, related or not, can have access.

If lounge access isn’t important to you, but you still frequent American Airlines, the Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard with its $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first year, might be a good alternative selection for an AAdvantage branded credit card.

Or if you fly a lot of different airlines, find value in earning rewards, and enjoy receiving additional travel benefits, a general travel rewards credit card could be a viable consideration.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite card worth it?

If you are currently paying for an annual Admirals Club membership, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars just by having the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

An individual Admirals Club membership alone can cost more than $650 and the card charges an annual fee of just $450.

If lounge access is not important to you, you may be better off with another AAdvantage branded card with a lower annual fee or a general travel rewards credit card.

How does Admirals Club lounge access work?

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard card comes with complimentary access to Admirals Club and network lounges worldwide for the cardholder and 2 guests or their immediate family.

For example, if the cardholder is traveling with their spouse and two teenage children, which is a total of 3 guests, they would all be allowed to enter because they are all immediate family.

Authorized users on the card also receive complimentary Admirals Club lounge access and can bring in 2 additional guests or their immediate family.

Cardholders can add up to 10 additional authorized users at no additional charge.

Do authorized users receive a free checked bag?

No, authorized users on the card do not receive flight benefits such as a free checked bag or priority boarding.

Can I transfer American Airline AAdvantage miles to other airlines?

No, you cannot transfer AAdvantage frequent flyer miles to other airlines, but you can use your miles to book award flights with a large network of partner airlines.

You can also redeem miles for an Admirals Club membership, car rentals, vacations, hotels, gift cards, magazines, or donate your miles to charity.

Will my miles expire if I cancel the card?

Miles will not expire if you cancel your AAdvantage credit card as long as the miles you have earned have been transferred to your AAdvantage frequent flyer account.

Each statement period when miles are earned, they are transferred into your AAdvantage frequent flyer account when the monthly statement closes. If you are going to cancel your card, be sure all of the miles you’ve earned have been transferred into your AAdvantage account first before canceling your card.

Any miles not transferred into your AAdvantage account could be lost.

Once miles have been deposited into your AAdvantage account (from your credit card), they are subject to the AAdvantage program rules which state that miles do not expire as long as there is current activity.

If your account goes 18 months without activity, your miles will expire.

Current activity is defined as earning or redeeming miles. Once you have a qualifying activity, the 18 month period starts over and your miles are safe for another 18 months.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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  1. I am very confused over the list of benefits listed for the AA Advantage Executive World Elite card. I pay $450 for this card and the only real benefits I see are the Admirals Club and earning EQMs.

    You have gone on to list 27 benefits that I do not believe exist with this card. When did they add Trip cancellation or trip delay? Or baggage delay? Or lost baggage? Price rewind? Travel and emergency assistance? These are NOT listed as benefits of this card but are still available on the Prestige card and soon to be revoked by Citi. Can you clarify? I have searched many Citi pages for these benefits and cannot find them listed for the World Elite. I hope you are right but I doubt it.


    • Hi Sandy. One of the sources for this article is the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Guide to Protection benefits. You can find this guide by logging into your Citicard.com account and click on this specific card (if you have more than one Citi card). Once you click on the name of the card, you will see the benefit page. On the left side, a “Guide to Protection Benefits effective 7/29/18” is listed. When you click on this link, you will be able to access a PDF version of the guide. You will find all of these benefits listed plus the terms and conditions of each one. When you received your card, there was also a guide included. As you mentioned, however, Citi will be removing benefits effective later this year so we will be adjusting our benefit lists on all Citi cards.


  2. Are you still eligible for the main cabin if you are no longer gold but have the executive master card?


    • Hi Linda,

      Are you referring to the ability to have free seat selection within 24 hours of your flight? If so, that is not a benefit of the Citi Executive card.


  3. Joseph Canterbury March 4, 2020

    What are the cancelled trip benefits? Due to my wife’s illness we had to cancel a trip to Israel the day we were scheduled to leave DFW. Thanks, Joe


  4. AA Advantage Executive World Elite card: I have this card and I notice what’s most conspicuous about this write-up is WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED. Benefits we expect, especially from an almost $500 card but not included are: Car Rental Insurance & Trip Interruption Insurance!!!


  5. Christine, how do the upgrades work while at the terminal?


  6. Malcolm Thompson June 9, 2021

    Hi. I see that one of the benefits is TSA Precheck on American Airlines flights. How do I get this benefit? Do I show my card at the TSA counter or is the boarding pass automatically issued with TSA precheck indicated? If the latter is the case, I would assume I need to use that card to pay for my flights.


    • Hi Malcolm. While the card does still state that TSA PreCheck (priority screening) is a benefit for cardholders on AA flights, American Airlines issued a statement that the TSA has been limiting PreCheck access to those travelers who are enrolled in a trusted traveler program or the TSA PreCheck program. The card does come with up to $100 in fee reimbursement for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Here is the statement from AA: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/security/tsa-precheck.jsp To answer your question, however, TSA PreCheck appears automatically on your boarding pass and there is no stated requirement that the flight must be paid for with the card. You just need to make sure your AAdvantage number is on the reservation.


  7. Christine,

    Great article. Will AA claw back the bonus miles if I cancel the card before the annual fee posts?




    • Thanks, Rob. If you’re referring to canceling prior to the first annual renewal fee, no problem. If you’re referring to fulfilling the minimum required spending in order to secure the welcome bonus and then canceling prior to the initial annual fee posting, I can’t recommend that.


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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