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Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® review

High-level rewards for the busiest travelers.

  • Get this card if you often fly American Airlines.
  • Pick something else if you prefer other airlines or you want a general travel credit card.
  • Apply with an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Please note: Citi is an advertising partner of finder.com

All information about this card has been collected independently by Finder.

2x miles on American Airlines and 1x miles on everything else

Rewards

$450

Annual fee

15.99% to 24.99% variable

Purchase APR

670

Minimum Credit Score

Details

Annual fee$450
Welcome offer50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards2x miles on American Airlines and 1x miles on everything else
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR15.99% to 24.99% variable
Minimum Credit Score670
IssuerMastercard

Review by


Steven Dashiell is a writer at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.

Expert review

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is the American Airlines luxury offering from Citi and sports the price and benefits you’d come to expect from a luxury card. It costs $450 annually, comes with a 50,000 mile welcome offer after you spend $5,000 on purchases within your first 3 months, and earns 2x miles on American Airlines purchases. It also comes with an assortment of perks, including complimentary Admirals Club membership, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, priority boarding, your first checked bag free, and anniversary Elite Qualifying Miles.

Like with most luxury travel cards, the perks the card brings to the table has to outvalue the card’s annual fee to make the card worth it, and the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite manages this. Take advantage of your free checked bags, use your priority boarding and visit the Admirals Club every few months and you can clear that annual fee with just a few family vacations. Something that sticks out to us in 2021 however is the lack of travel credits. Many competing travel card options at the luxury level offer several hundred dollars worth of travel credits in some form, which makes it much easier to not just negate the annual fee of your card, but also generate value. The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite has to work a bit harder than most cards to do this.

Despite this, the card is still an excellent pick if you frequently fly with American Airlines and want to rack up some mile while enjoying some luxury perks on your flights.

How to apply for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

To apply for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old and you must have a Social Security number. If you meet these requirements:

  1. Go to the Citi website and click Apply now.
  2. Fill out the application form with all of the required information.
  3. Review your application and submit.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll increase your chances of approval with an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

Download the Citi Mobile app

Use the Citibank app to make transfers and pay your bills, lock and unlock your card, find ATMs and more.

The basics

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® — offered by Citi, a finder.com advertising partner — might be the card for you if you often travel with American Airlines and are looking for premium rewards. These rewards include Admiral Club Membership, a global concierge service, priority check-in and boarding, no foreign transaction fees and more. You’ll also get the chance to earn a generous signup bonus.

But with premium perks, expect to pay a premium annual fee.

Card benefits

  • Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
  • AAdvantage miles. Earn 2x miles on American Airlines purchases and 1x miles on everything else you buy.
  • Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs). Spend $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year and earn 10,000 EQMs. EQMs can help you reach elite status tiers, which come with even more perks and benefits.
  • Admirals Club membership. Enjoy complimentary access to nearly 50 Admirals Club lounges worldwide. This includes you and your immediate family, or up to two guests traveling with you. For everyone else, a one-day pass costs $59.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. Once every five years, you get up to $100 in statement credit as a reimbursement for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • Priority boarding. Settle into your seat faster with priority boarding. Up to eight passengers traveling on your reservation will also get to enjoy priority screening and check-in. A family of four can save $240 on a round-trip flight.
  • First checked bag free. Save $30 on first checked bag per person per flight. This perk is available for up to eight passengers traveling on your reservation.
  • Add authorized users. You can add up to 10 authorized users without additional costs. Authorized users also get access to Admirals Club, even when they’re not traveling with you.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee. To use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® perks and benefits, you’ll have to pay $450 annually.
  • Taxes and fees on award flights. When redeeming award flights, you have to pay taxes and fees from $30 per person per award flight.
  • Penalty APR. One late or returned payment can cause your rates to bump up to a penalty APR of 29.99% variable. Once incurred, the penalty APR may last indefinitely.
  • No intro APR period. Airline credit cards rarely come with an intro APR period. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out 0% intro APR credit cards.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Since this is an expensive card to own, it’s important you get a higher value than you’re paying for the card.

For the first year, you can easily offset the annual fee by clearing the signup bonus. But starting from the second year, make sure to:

  • Fly at least once every two months to save $180 on your first checked bag.
  • Visit Admirals Club once every two months to save $354 on daily passes.

If you only use these two perks, you’ve already saved $534, which is more than the annual fee of $450. Every mile you earn will just increase the gap between the value you get and the money you pay for the card.

Compare airline credit cards

If the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® doesn’t meet your needs, compare other airline credit cards.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Welcome offer Rewards Filter values
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
None
100,000 miles after you spend $10,000 in your first 6 months of account opening
10x miles on hotel and rental car purchases booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on every other purchase

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
None
10,000 miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months
2x miles at restaurants and on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on other eligible purchases
Earn 2x miles on Delta purchases and dining with this simple, entry-level Delta card, and pay no annual fee. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
None
40,000 miles after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months.
Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on other eligible purchases
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I redeem miles from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®?

To redeem your miles, log in to your online AAdvantage account and choose from:

  • Award flights
  • Seat upgrades
  • Car rentals
  • Hotels stays
  • Vacations
  • Admirals Club membership
  • Gift cards
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Charitable donations

Bottom line

If you fly at least once every two months with American Airlines or any of their partners, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® could be a solid choice. You can offset the annual fee by saving money on first checked bags, priority boarding and Admirals Club visits.

In addition, you get to earn miles that you can redeem for flights, seat upgrades, hotel stays and more. And you get to earn a generous signup bonus you can redeem for up to five flights.

But if it’s not the right fit for you, consider similar credit cards and compare your options.

Frequently asked questions

How much are American Airlines miles worth?
Depending on what you redeem your miles for, AAdvantage miles can be worth up to 1.5 cents each.

Do American Airlines miles expire?
Yes, after 18 months of no activity on your AAdvantage account, your miles will expire.

Do I earn miles on authorized user purchases?
Yes, you earn AAdvantage miles every time your authorized users make a purchase.

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