Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®
The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard is a premium travel rewards card geared toward American Airlines frequent flyers. New card members get a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles, which is enough for two round-trip domestic flights.
This card may not be the best earner — most purchases earn only one mile per dollar spent—but it makes up for its $450 annual fee with an extensive list of airline and travel benefits. Because of the high annual fee, this card is not for everybody. It would best for frequent American Airlines flyers that check bags, enjoy lounge access and are chasing elite status. A casual traveler might be better off with the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard since it has a lower annual fee.
The miles earned with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard can be used to book award flights on American Airlines and other oneworld alliance member airlines.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® offers and the value of the Citi AAdvantage® miles you earn.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months after account opening. The spending requirement is on the higher side when it comes to co-branded airline cards, but it’s possible to reach the threshold without spending any more money than you typically would by prepaying some bills in advance, for example.
Cardholders who spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year will receive 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), which count toward elite status on American Airlines. The miles post every account anniversary that the spending requirement is met.
What You Get
- Earn 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months
- 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after spending $40,000 in a calendar year
- Admirals Club lounge access for you and your immediate family or two guests
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Free checked bag for you and up to 8 traveling companions
- Priority check-in, security screening and boarding
- 25% off in-flight purchases
- Access to Reduced Mileage Awards offering up to 7,500 miles off
- 2 miles per dollar spent with American Airlines
AAdvantage miles do not expire as long as the card is active and not in default. As per airline terms, a qualifying activity extends the miles’ shelf life by 18 months from the most recent earning date. Flying on the airline or its partners, booking award flights, shopping at the AAdvantage eShopping mall, eating out with AAdvantage Dining and, of course, using any co-branded American Airlines credit card will keep your miles from expiring.
What is the value of the AAdvantage® Miles?
Citi AAdvantage Executive card earns AAdvantage miles, which can be redeemed for award flights operated by American Airlines, its partners in the oneworld alliance or non-alliance partners. American implements a zone-based award chart, and the best redemptions are at the MileSAAver level, if you can secure them.
The program is known for making few low-level awards available, and it’s best to book those seats as far in advance as possible if your plans are set in stone. I recommend avoiding AAnytime awards because they are quite pricey and therefore don’t yield that much value for your miles.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem AAdvantage Miles
You can book four award types with AAdvantage miles: Off-Peak, MileSAAver, AAnytime Level 1 and AAnytime Level 2. If your travel dates are flexible, you can achieve great value with Off-Peak awards. For example, 25,000 miles can fly you round-trip from the U.S. to Costa Rica or to an island in the Caribbean in economy class, which is a much lower redemption rate than other airlines offer. Peak travel dates require 30,000 AAdvantage miles — still a great deal. Most programs charge at least 35,000 miles for a round-trip award flight to these places in economy class.
Oakland–Los AngelesEconomy classMiles price7,500miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$445
New York–PittsburgEconomy classMiles price7,500miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$241
Seattle–HonoluluEconomy classMiles price40,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$888
Boston–MexicoEconomy classMiles price15,000miles+$80.6 feeDollars price$531
San Francisco–Hong KongEconomy classMiles price35,000miles+$80.6 feeDollars price$1,108
New York–ParisEconomy classMiles price30,000miles+$80.6 feeDollars price$1,098
Chicago–MiamiBusiness classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$761
Denver–ClevelandBusiness classMiles price45,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$981
San Francisco–MauiBusiness classMiles price67,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,591
Miami–LimaBusiness classMiles price35,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$3,495
Boston–DublinBusiness classMiles price57,500miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$6,291
Fort Lauderdale–SydneyBusiness classMiles price175,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$821
Other ways you can redeem miles
Hotel Stays30 partners30 part.
AAdvantage members can redeem their miles for hotel rooms at more than 150,000 hotel properties worldwide. It’s possible to use miles or a combination of cash and miles to pay for a stay.
Car Rental13 partners13 part.
It’s possible to redeem miles earned with the AAdvantage credit card for car rentals, but the value isn’t as high as redeeming them for flights.
An option to redeem AAdvantage miles for merchant gift cards is available to Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum elite members, or those members with a minimum balance of 25,000 miles.
The AA Executive card earns double miles with American Airlines and one mile per dollar for everything else. It is a standard rewards earning rate for co-branded airline cards. There’s no limit to how many miles you can earn with the Citi Executive Card, and earning miles at least once per month keeps them from expiring for as long as the card is open.
- American Airline Purchases
- All Other Purchases
Admirals Club Membership
Lounge membership includes access for the cardholder and their immediate family or two guests. Authorized users, which can be added at no cost, also get full lounge access.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Cardholders who apply for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) can get their application fees reimbursed once every five years.
Free Checked Bag
Primary cardholders and up to eight companions can each check a bag at no cost when booked on the same reservation.
Cardholders receive Group 4 boarding on domestic American Airlines-operated flights.
Receive a 25 percent discount in the form of a credit statement on in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights.
Reduced Mileage Awards
Save between 2,000 and 7,500 AAdvantage miles when booking one-way and round-trip flights on select routes.
Save time when searching for travel, dining options, entertainment tickets or shopping ideas by enlisting help of the Citi Concierge service.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard charges an annual fee of $450, and it is not waived for the first year. If you value AAdvantage miles at 1.56 cents each, you’d have to spend $28,847 on the Executive card annually to break even with the fee, which is quite a bit of spending. To really justify keeping the card year after year, you have to be using the card’s travel benefits, such as Admirals Club membership and free checked bags.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $35
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $9,616 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
If you make $28,847 in purchases a year, you’ll cover the cost of the card. That’s because you’ll earn at least 28,847 miles, and they’re worth at least 1.56 cents each. If you spend about $2,000 a month, you’ll pay off the card in 15 months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
The Citi Executive AAdvantage card comes with an array of benefits, which you’d expect for a premium travel card with a high fee. Let’s take a look at some of the best perks.
- Sign-Up Bonus: You will earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months. The bonus is enough to book two round-trip flights within the U.S. or to the Caribbean.
- Free Checked Bags: Most co-branded airline cards offer this perk, and the Citi AA Executive Card is no exception. Check a bag for yourself and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation.
- Admirals Club Membership: Escape the busy terminal and enjoy an adult beverage and free Wi-Fi while you relax in a quiet lounge.
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit: Enroll in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and receive an application fee reimbursement once every five years.
- Reduced Mileage Awards: Cardholders can redeem miles for flights to certain destinations that vary month to month and save anywhere between 2,000 and 7,500 miles per ticket.
Should You Get the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard?
If you live in an American Airlines’ hub city, such as Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, and fly with the airline often, then the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard could be a good option for you. If you’re looking for airline perks, the card has got you covered with free checked bags, priority boarding and complimentary lounge access.
The downside for many travelers is the card’s high annual fee and weak rewards earning structure. Unless you pay for airfare often, it might take a while to accumulate enough miles for an award ticket. However, frequent flyers can easily justify the $450 fee by using Admirals Club lounges every time they travel.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Lounge access is hands down one of the most appealing perks of the AA Executive Card. The best part is that you don’t even have to travel with American Airlines to access one of these airport lounges. All you have to do is present an AAdvantage number, an ID and a boarding pass on any airline.Card members can bring up to two guests or their immediate family into the lounge for free. All authorized users on the card are also granted lounge privileges, even when the primary cardholder is not traveling. The other best part? Authorized user cards cost absolutely nothing! The perk can go a long way for you and anyone else you add to your account.
- Citibank allows you to earn multiple bonuses for the same cards, but the issuer implements a cooling period of 24 months between opening or closing credit cards. For example, if you opened a Citi AAdvantage card, received the welcome offer and closed it a year later, you cannot qualify for another welcome offer within 24 months of closing the account. If you received the miles but kept the card open, it’s possible to qualify for another bonus on the same card 24 months after opening the original account.Additionally, the 24-month rule includes the whole family of cards, which means all cards in the AAdvantage lineup fall under the same rule. Card members who opened or closed the AAdvantage Gold, Platinum or Executive cards in the last 24 months are not eligible for the bonus.
- No, the Citi Executive World Elite MasterCard does not charge foreign transaction fees, which makes this card a great option for those who travel internationally. The AAdvantage card is also a MasterCard and is widely accepted everywhere in the world.Depending on the card issuer and the card network, foreign transaction fees can be as high as 3 percent per transaction, which can add up fast. Carrying a card that waives foreign transaction fees can help save a substantial amount of money on purchases made overseas.
Compare American Airlines AAdvantage Cards
American Airlines offers a few other co-branded credit cards issued by both Citi and Barclays. Let’s take a closer look at the cards’ similarities and differences.
Other American Airlines AAdvantaget cards
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®||AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite MasterCard®||Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®|
|Sign-up bonus||60,000 miles||50,000 miles||60,000 miles||25,000 miles|
|Annual Fee||$0 first year, then $95||$450||$95||$0 first year, then $50|
|APR On Purchases||16.99% to 24.99% Variable±||16.74% to 24.74% Variable±||16.99% to 25.99% Variable±||16.99% to 24.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$374||$374||$374||$374|
The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard offers new customers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles after making the first purchase and charges a $95 annual fee. The card earns two miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and offers a 10 percent rebate on redeemed miles (up to 10,000 miles per calendar year). It’s a great card for a frequent American Airlines traveler.
The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard issued by Barclays is similar to the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card. It offers free checked bags, earns double miles on AA purchases and returns 10 percent of your redeemed miles. The card’s offers a 60,000 miles sign-up bonus and is also a great choice for passengers who fly on American Airlines a few times per year.
The Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard is an entry-level rewards credit card for American Airlines passengers. The card earns one mile per dollar spent on all purchases, and there’s no earning bonus on purchases made directly with AA. The card has a low annual fee of $50, but don’t expect any other benefits from this co-branded card. There are no free bags or priority boarding. You’ll even have to pay foreign transaction fees with this card.
Compare Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard to Other Cards
The AAdvantage cards are not the only co-branded airline cards on the market. Let’s take a look at a few other cards from different airlines.
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
30,000 miles offerRead Review
- SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card
15,000 miles offerRead Review
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
35,000 miles offerRead Review
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card from Bank of America is a great card for travelers who live in Alaska Airlines or Virgin America hubs. The card comes with a bonus of 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 and earns three miles per dollar spent with both airlines, which is a decent earning rate for a co-branded airline card. Additionally, the Alaska card comes with a Companion Fare, which allows the primary cardholder to buy a second ticket for a friend or a family member on the same flight for just $99 plus taxes.
The Skypass Visa Signature card is Korean Air’s co-branded credit card. Card members earn double miles by spending directly with Korean Air, but every dollar spent on everyday purchases earns one mile. The card is a decent option for those travelers who frequently fly with Korean Air, but casual flyers would be better off with a different card.
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card from American Express earns two miles per dollar spent with Delta Air Lines and one mile per dollar spent on everything else. This card is good for someone who flies frequently and values elite status with the airline. Each year the card is renewed, it comes with a domestic companion certificate that lets passengers book another ticket for a travel buddy. The annual fee of $195 is not waived for the first year.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this World Elite MasterCard.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.74% to 24.74% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 23 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Extends the manufacturer’s warranty so you can feel more confident when you make purchases with your Citi card.
- Damage & Theft Purchase Protection:
- Shop with more confidence knowing that Citi covers you for repairs or a refund if purchases made with your card are damaged or stolen within 120 days.
- Citi Price Rewind:
- Citi searches for a lower price on the registered items you pay for with your card at hundreds of online merchants. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found by Citi Price Rewind.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The Citi AA card offers its cardholders a high level of security for added peace of mind. You’ll get zero liability for unauthorized charges, Chip + Signature technology and mobile banking — all of which help protect you against fraudulent charges and identity theft.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- Mobile Banking:
- Track your account with the Citi Mobile App.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
The AAdvantage Executive card is compatible with Apple Pay—a mobile wallet service that provides a quick and easy way to make payments at participating merchants. Purchase protection, such as damage and theft, applies every time you use mobile wallet apps to pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Citi provides cardholders with secondary coverage for theft or accidents involving a rental car that’s paid for with your card. The coverage becomes primary outside of the U.S., even if you have an existing insurance policy. Maximum coverage is $100,000.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Traveling card members whose baggage is delayed by three hours or more can get reimbursed for essentials, such as toiletries and clothing. Cardholders can get up to $500 per passenger per trip.
- Lost Baggage Protection:
- Eligible card members whose baggage is lost can get up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags for a maximum of $10,000 per trip. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service:
- Call 866-918-4670 when you need 24/7 roadside assistance sent to your vehicle’s location in any of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Services include towing, winching, jumpstarts, flat tire changes, lockout service and delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- This benefit covers unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of limbs or life when using a common carrier to travel. To be covered, card members must purchase the entire fare with their AAdvantage card. The plan pays up to $1,000,000 in compensation for loss of a limb, sight, speech, hearing or life.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Citi offers assistance to help cardholders make emergency travel arrangements; transfer cash from a family member, friend or a business account; find visa and immunizations information; and monitor global threats.