Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Review: Miles, Lounges, and Expedited Security [2020]

If you regularly fly American Airlines, adding the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard to your wallet could change your entire flying experience — and save you money.
Last updated Sep 19, 2020 | By Brett Holzhauer

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Flying regularly is one of the best ways to earn a large amount of frequent flyer miles. If you can pair your flying experience with the best airline credit card, it can enhance your earnings and experience at the same time.  

With the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you will have a long list of perks that can earn you more American Airlines miles for your next flight and add to the experience of traveling with American Airlines. In this Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard review, you will learn about the benefits of this card, and then you can choose whether the card fits your needs.

Admirals Club Membership and More

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Benefits

  • 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free
  • Admirals Club membership and priority check-in

Drawbacks

  • Has high annual fee


Who should get this card?

This card has an annual fee of $450, so it takes a specific traveler to justify the cost. But if you travel a few times per year or more with American Airlines or any of American’s many airline partners, you can very quickly see the value of the annual fee.

With the points you earn from this card, you can book flights on oneworld airline partners such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and more. American also has non-alliance partners you can use your AAdvantage miles with such as Air Tahiti Nui, Hawaiian Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Fiji Airways.

If you only fly once or twice per year or aren’t expecting to fly with American or its partners, you may want to consider other credit cards with a smaller annual fee.

Card basics

Card Type Travel
Card Issuer Citi
Annual Fee $450
Intro Bonus Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent
Foreign Transaction Fees None

Top card benefits

  • Outstanding sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of being a cardholder.
  • Admirals Club membership: The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard will give you access to a long list of lounges when you fly American Airlines. You will have access to Admirals Clubs and 60 other partner lounges across the globe. If you have an authorized user on this card, they will have access to the Admirals Club as well, but not the partner lounges. This lounge perk alone is worth $650, which is more than the annual fee of the card.
  • Elite qualifying miles: When you fly regularly, you have the chance to earn airline status. To earn status with American Airlines, you typically have to fly a mixture of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) plus Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD). With the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you will earn 10,000 EQM after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year, which gives you a great start toward achieving status. Once you achieve status with American Airlines, you will have the ability to earn free upgrades, priority check-in, access to an exclusive service desk, and more.
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit: You will have a $100 credit applied to either a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee. These programs allow you access to expedited security at many airports both domestically and internationally.
  • First checked bag free: With the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you can save on checked bag fees since you will get your first checked bag free. This perk is good for domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight other travelers on the same booking.
  • 25% savings on in-flight purchases: When you use your Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you will save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases.

Earning & redeeming

With the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you will be able to earn AAdvantage miles toward your next flight on American Airlines and its airline partners by using the card for your everyday purchases.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn American Airlines miles with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is to simply use the card as your preferred method of spending, both for your travel with American and on your regular purchases. The more you spend, the more you will earn.

Categories Rewards rate
American Airlines purchase 2X
all other purchases 1X

You can also enroll in the AAdvantage Dining Program to multiply your miles earnings. Enrolling in the dining program just takes three easy steps:

  1. Sign up for the program (it’s free)
  2. Link your Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard to your dining program profile
  3. Dine at restaurants within the program

After that, all it takes is a swipe of your Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard to earn extra miles through the AAdvantage Dining Program. These miles will be stacked on top of the miles you earn with the credit card itself. And while not all restaurants participate in the AAdvantage Dining Program, their list of places to eat can be a great start if you’re searching for a new place in town and want to earn miles at the same time.

Maximizing your redemptions

As for redeeming, you have several options. Here are the various things you can use your American Airlines AAdvantages miles on:

  • Flights on American Airlines and 19 other airlines
  • Flight upgrades on American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia
  • Booking rental cars
  • Booking hotels

While you have redemption options such as buying gift cards and booking hotels, these options will not get you the best value for your miles. American Airlines miles are best redeemed for flights as you can save a significant amount of money. Whether you are looking to earn miles for a luxury first-class ticket or want to stretch your miles by booking in economy, American Airlines miles will get you a great value for your dollars spent.

For example, the 50,000 miles you can earn from this card’s sign-up bonus can get you a round-trip ticket in business class from Los Angeles, CA, to New York City.

AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Common questions

Is the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard metal?

Yes, it is. This is a great perk as the metal will prevent the card from bending or becoming damaged easily.

Does the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard have foreign transaction fees?

No, it does not. So if you are outside of the United States, you can spend away without incurring any unnecessary costs.

Is the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard worth it?

The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is worth it if you fly with American Airlines on a regular basis. If you don’t regularly fly with American, you won’t be able to get much use of the card’s perks. If you do fly regularly but not with one particular airline, consider a more universal travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Can I upgrade my Citi AAdvantage card?

Yes, you can. However, this can only happen if you receive an email invitation. If you receive one of these, visit the Citi card upgrade to move forward with the upgrade process.

Which American Airlines credit card is the best?

The annual fee of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard can be tough to digest. However, there are other ways to earn miles you can use with American and its partners — and without a large annual fee. Here are two options for you.


Other cards to consider

The annual fee of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard can be tough to digest. However, there are other ways to earn miles you can use with American and its partners — and without a large annual fee. Here are two options for you.

With the Capital One® Venture Rewards® Credit Card, you will earn miles that can be used on a number of American Airlines partners including Qantas and Qatar Airways. To add to the earnings, you will have the chance to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. You will also have a $100 statement credit to use toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck, no foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty.

The AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® is a great card if you want to earn American Airlines miles and a low annual fee. With this card, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee. The annual fee is $99, but you will also have perks such as your first checked bag free, preferred boarding, and up to $25 back in a statement credit on inflight Wi-Fi purchases.

Admirals Club Membership and More

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Special Offer

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
  • 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free
  • Admirals Club membership and priority check-in
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
  • 60,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers
  • Inflight savings options
  • No foreign transaction fees