Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card Review

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Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Rewards rate:

2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. 1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases*

  • Intro bonus: 50,000 miles
  • Annual fee: $450
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a premier travel rewards card geared toward frequent American Airlines flyers. It has a $450 annual fee but comes with perks like priority boarding, 25% off in-flight purchases on American Airlines, access to American’s Admirals Club lounges, and a fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

At a Glance

  • 2x AAdvantage® miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases
  • 1x AAdvantage miles on everything else
  • 50,000 AAdvantage miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Admirals Club lounge access
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit
  • Priority boarding on American Airlines
  • 25% off in-flight purchases on American Airlines
  • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee
  • 15.99% to 24.99% variable APR

Pros

  • Welcome offer

  • Admirals Club lounge access

  • Many added airport and flight benefits for American Airlines flyers

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • AAdvantage rewards not as valuable for those who prefer other airlines

Additional Card Details

In addition to some of the travel perks outlined above, the card also comes with more benefits to help offset the high price tag. 

You’ll get a dedicated concierge to help with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and household needs. When you fly American Airlines, you’ll be eligible for  priority boarding and 25% off in-flight purchases, such as food and beverage, on American Airlines. And when you travel abroad, you’ll pay no foreign transaction fees.

Also get your first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights. That applies to yourself and up to eight companions traveling with you, as long as they’re booked on the same reservation.

Additionally, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles after you spend $40,000 on purchases within a calendar year. Those are the miles that count towards qualification for AAdvantage elite status. As you reach different levels of elite status with the airline, you’ll increasingly earn more perks when you fly.

Should You Get This Card?

This card is best for dedicated American Airlines customers. If you live near an American Airlines hub or you travel often along routes the airline offers, it may be a great value — if you travel enough to offset the cost. 

With a $450 annual fee, it’s aimed squarely at people who fly American Airlines often enough to value the elevated travel benefits in exchange for the high annual fee — such as complimentary Admirals Club access to grab a bite and relax before a flight. 

You may also find extra value in this card if you often travel with others. Not only can you enjoy priority check-in, priority airport screenings (where available) and priority boarding, as well as your first checked bag free, but those privileges also extend to up to eight travel companions. 

If you typically fly other airlines such as Delta or United, you won’t get much use out of this card. However, if you fly American Airlines frequently and want to add more perks to your flying experience, this card is worth a look.

How to Use the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card

If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer, you’ll likely get a lot of use out of this card not just in terms of the benefits it gets you onboard and at the airport, but also when earning miles to use on future American flights.

Begin maximizing this card by spending $5,000 in the first three months from account opening, to earn the 50,000 AAdvantage miles welcome bonus. Just be careful not to spend more than you normally would (or can afford) to get the bonus; the high interest payments you’ll accrue carrying credit card debt can quickly offset any rewards value.   

You’ll want to use this card to book your American Airlines flights, since it earns 2x miles on those purchases. That strategy, combined with using the American Airlines AAdvantage shopping portal for online purchases, can help you rack up miles quickly — and really help you save once it’s safe to travel freely again.

Since the card only earns 1x mile per dollar on everything else, it’s not a particularly good choice to earn rewards on everyday spending. For that, you might want to use a card that provides bonus points on the categories you spend on most often — for example an American Express card, since Amex points can be transferred to American Airlines to book flights.

Another card earning bonus points on common everyday spending categories is the Chase Freedom Unlimited. However, Chase points do not transfer to AAdvantage miles (although you can use them to book travel on the Chase portal).

And don’t forget to take advantage of this card’s many benefits to save yourself time and money while traveling. 

The TSA PreCheck credit of $100 every five years covers the fee for the application to, or renewal of, membership in the expedited screening program that gets you through airport security faster and with more ease. Alternatively, the credit can be used to apply for, or renew, membership in Global Entry, which expedites immigration procedures for returning to the U.S. at airports equipped with Global Entry kiosks. Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, so we recommend that people who fly internationally often apply for the latter. 

Since you get complimentary Admirals Club access, you can head to an airport lounge before your flight to grab some food and drink. This is a great way to save money on dining while at the airport or traveling. American Airlines has almost 50 of those airport lounges worldwide, plus 60 operated by partners around the world. (Keep in mind that some may be closed or feature altered service because of the pandemic, so check in advance.)  

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card also comes with priority boarding. Once on board, be sure to use the card on any in-flight purchases (such as food, beverage and even Wi-Fi) to get 25% off.

This card does not charge foreign transaction fees, so it could be worth taking it with you on any international trips once it’s safe to travel again.

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card Compared to Other Cards

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

  • Intro bonus:
    50,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $450
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Intro bonus:
    75,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Intro bonus:
    50,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

The Citi Aadvantage Executive World Elite Card can be a helpful card for frequent American Airlines travelers. It has a high annual fee ($450), but comes with perks like Admirals Club lounge access, priority boarding, and a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit that can help offset the cost. If you fly — or plan to fly — American Airlines frequently, this card can make a great addition to your wallet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card have an annual fee?

Yes, it has a $450 annual fee.

What credit score do you need to be approved for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Card?

You’ll need good-to-excellent credit, or a credit score of at least 690, for the best chances of approval for this card.