The revamped Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has certainly caused a stir in the miles and points community, and for good reason. While it’s true that the card’s annual fee has undergone an eyebrow-raising hike from $450 to $595, and some new fees for authorized users have crept in, let’s not jump ship just yet. This card has pulled out some tricks from its sleeve that could make it a compelling choice for frequent travelers, even despite the initial sticker shock.
But first things first, let’s talk about the star of the show – the 100,000 AAdvantage bonus miles on the table for those who manage to meet the minimum spending requirements. If that doesn’t immediately grab your attention, well, it should. This is a “best ever” bonus for this card, and given Citi’s 48-month rule on grabbing signup bonuses, the time to pull the trigger is now.
Of course, the welcome bonus isn’t the only selling point here. If you’ve ever found yourself yearning for the tranquility and convenience of an Admirals Club membership, this card is waving that perk right in front of you. And while the increase in the annual fee might make you blink twice, consider this: the fee actually comes in cheaper than a standalone Admirals Club membership. Even in spite of recent fee hikes, this is still a great deal for regular AA fliers.
But wait, there’s more. If you don’t yet have AAdvantage status, this card carries a bevy of status-like benefits, and the ability to defeat some aspects of basic economy. How about a complimentary first checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation when you’re jetting off on domestic American Airlines flights? Plus, with priority check-in, security, and early boarding on the menu for American Airlines flights, you’ll be breezing through the airport like a seasoned traveler, leaving those long lines and hassles behind. If you’re working towards AAdvantage elite status, this is great way to gain early access to some of those perks & make your journey to status more comfortable.
Oh, and let’s not forget those bonus Loyalty Points – a potential 20,000 of them a year, not tied to your spending. Rack up 50,000 Loyalty Points with AAdvantage and you’ll be showered with an extra 10,000 bonus Loyalty Points. And if you’re aiming even higher, hitting the 90,000 Loyalty Points mark will add yet another 10,000 bonus Loyalty Points to your stash. While not game changing by any means, it’s a nice little boost on your journey to the next tier of AAdvantage status.
But it doesn’t stop there. The card is essentially throwing you an assortment of credits worth up to $360 annually. Whether you’re planning to hit the road with Avis or Budget, craving some Grubhub delights, or catching a Lyft, these credits have got your back. And if you’re a fan of smooth airport experiences, the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every four years is a nice perk.
New travel protections are woven into the card’s fabric too, covering everything from trip cancellations to rental car mishaps. This is one of the most interesting changes on the newly-revamped card; many of you will remember that Citi dropped most travel protections across their lineup of cards back in 2019. And for those looking to elevate their hotel and car bookings, earning 10x AAdvantage miles on eligible bookings through the card’s portals could very well be the icing on the travel cake – though even in light of this benefit, we still generally advise booking direct with hotels to receive elite benefits and avoid any mishaps with a third-party booking.
So yes, the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card has morphed into something quite intriguing. While the $595 annual fee might make you raise an eyebrow, the multitude of benefits can easily turn that skepticism into intrigue. And if you’ve been eyeing this card from a distance, there’s no denying that this could very well be your moment to seize that 100,000 AAdvantage bonus miles offer and set off on a journey of extraordinary perks and possibilities.