Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Review [2024]: Miles, Lounges, and Expedited Security

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® provides airport lounge access and helps you earn TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry statement credit. (Citi is a FinanceBuzz partner.)
Updated Feb. 20, 2024
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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a luxury airline credit card that offers cardholders various benefits. This includes free first checked bags on domestic American Airlines for the primary cardholder and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. You also get complimentary access to the Admirals Club lounges and partner lounges across the globe.

However, this credit card has an annual fee of $595 and doesn’t offer elevated rewards rates for regular everyday categories, such as gas or groceries.

Let’s explore this card’s benefits and drawbacks in our Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard review to help you determine if it fits your needs.

Admirals Club Membership and More

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
4.8

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Current Offer

Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening (limited time offer)

Annual Fee

$595

Rewards Rate

10X miles on hotels booked through aa.com/hotels and eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars, 4X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases (after spending $150,000 per calendar year this increases to 5X for the remainder of the calendar year), and 1X miles for every $1 spent on other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard review

Key takeaways

  • The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® helps you earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening (limited time offer).
  • This card has an annual fee of $595, so it's essential to assess your travel habits and needs to justify the cost.
  • Card benefits include Admirals Club membership, loyalty points toward elite status, TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry statement credit, free checked bag, in-flight purchase savings, and more.
  • This card's drawbacks include its high annual fee, relatively low earnings rate on non-airline purchases, and the absence of an introductory APR offer.

Who should get the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard?

This card has an annual fee of $595, so it takes a specific traveler to justify its cost. But if you travel a number of times each year with American Airlines or its airline partners, you could offset the cost of the annual fee.

With the points you earn from this card, you can choose to book flights with oneworld airline alliance partners such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and more. American Airlines also has non-alliance partners you could 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 Airlines or its partners, you might want to consider other credit cards with a smaller annual fee.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Citi
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $595
Welcome offer Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening (limited time offer)
Rewards rate 10X miles on hotels booked through aa.com/hotels and eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars, 4X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases (after spending $150,000 per calendar year this increases to 5X for the remainder of the calendar year), and 1X miles for every $1 spent on other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Why we like the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard: benefits and perks

  • Outstanding sign-up bonus: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening (limited time offer).
  • American Airlines Admirals Club membership: The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard provides complimentary Admirals Club membership and access to partner lounges for the primary cardholder. The Admirals Club membership alone offers a value of up to $850. Keep in mind that authorized users don't receive Admirals Club access. 
  • Progress toward elite status: The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard helps you earn one Loyalty Point for each eligible mile earned from purchases. You can use Loyalty Points to earn American Airlines AAdvantage elite status.
  • Loyalty Points bonuses: You can earn 10,000 Loyalty Points after reaching 50,000 Loyalty Points in a status qualification year and another 10,000 Loyalty Points after reaching 90,000 Loyalty Points in the same year.
  • TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry statement credit: You can earn up to $100 statement credit every four years when you use this credit card to pay for the TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee. These programs allow you access to expedited security at many U.S. airports.
  • Free checked bag: With the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you can save on checked bag fees by getting the first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation.
  • Travel protections and insurance: This credit card provides you with trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip delay protection, lost baggage protection, and car rental insurance coverage.
  • Up to $120 Lyft credit: You can earn a $10 Lyft credit after taking three eligible rides every month, for a total of up to $120 in Lyft credit each year.
  • Up to $120 Grubhub credit: You can earn a statement credit of up to $10 per billing statement on eligible Grubhub purchases, for a total of up to $120 for every 12 billing statements.
  • Up to $120 car rental statement credit: You can earn $1 statement credit per $1 spent on eligible Avis and Budget car rental purchases, up to $120 every year.
  • 25% savings on in-flight purchases: When you use your Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you will save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases.
  • Additional airport perks: Cardmembers get perks like priority check-in, priority boarding, and priority airport screening on eligible flights operated by American Airlines. These perks also apply to up to eight other travelers on the same reservation.
  • Concierge service: This card comes with a dedicated concierge service, which can help you with your travel, shopping, and dining needs.

What we don't like about the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard: drawbacks

  • Annual fee: While this card does offer some valuable perks, it also has an annual fee of $595. It might be difficult to offset this cost if you aren't a frequent American Airlines flyer or cannot take advantage of all the perks this card offers.
  • Low earnings rate: Cardmembers earn 10X miles on hotels booked through aa.com/hotels and eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars, 4X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases (after spending $150,000 per calendar year this increases to 5X for the remainder of the calendar year), and 1X miles for every $1 spent on other purchases. While this offers elevated rewards rates for specific hotel, car rental, and airline purchases, other cards may offer higher earnings rates for more common purchases.
  • No intro APR: Some cards offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first several months of account opening. But the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard isn't a 0% APR credit card, so it doesn't offer this benefit.

Earning & redeeming American Airlines miles 

Potential earnings in year one

Here's a look at how your miles can add up with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. To calculate these earnings, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $440

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending, the sign-up bonus, and the annual fee.

The value above only accounts for earnings from general travel spending and doesn't reflect the bonus miles you'd earn from American Airlines 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'll earn.

Categories Rewards rate
Hotels booked through aa.com/hotels and eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars 10X
Eligible American Airlines purchases (after spending $150,000 per calendar year this goes up to 5X for the remainder of the calendar year) 4X
Other purchases 1X

You can also enroll in the AAdvantage Dining Program to multiply your miles earnings. Enrolling in the dining program 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's what you can use your American Airlines AAdvantage program miles on:

  • American Airlines flights or flights with airline partners
  • Flight upgrades on American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia
  • Booking rental cars
  • Booking hotels

While can also redeem your miles for gift cards and hotel stays, these options won't generally get you the best value. American Airlines miles are typically best redeemed for flights. Whether you are looking to earn miles for a luxury first-class ticket or want to stretch the value of your miles by booking in economy, redeeming your miles for airfare could get you a great value for your dollars spent.

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard transfer partners

American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance, which means Executive World Elite cardholders can redeem their American Airlines AAdvantage program miles with over a dozen airlines in the alliance. Additionally, American Airlines also has several non-alliance partners with whom you can redeem your miles.

Here's a list of AAdvantage oneworld partner airlines:

  • Alaska Airways
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

Here's a list of non-alliance partners:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Cape Air
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • IndiGo
  • JetBlue
  • JetSMART

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard FAQ

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 could be one of the best airline credit cards for you 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 premium travel card with flexible rewards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($550 annual fee) or The Platinum Card® from American Express ($695 annual fee).

Can I upgrade my Citi AAdvantage card?

It might be possible to upgrade your Citi AAdvantage card. However, this can only happen if you receive an email invitation. If you receive one of these, visit the Citi card upgrade to start the upgrade process.

Which American Airlines credit card is the best?

The best American Airlines credit card for you depends on your unique needs and situation. Some may appreciate the perks the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers. But there are also other cards you could use to earn AAdvantage miles — and without a large annual fee. Here are a couple of other options to consider:

Other cards to consider

The annual fee of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard can be tough to digest. If it doesn't seem like the best credit card for you, here are two other options.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can earn miles that can be used with several American Airlines partners, including Qantas and British Airways. To add to the earnings, you will have the chance to earn earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. You will also have up to 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.

Read our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great card if you want to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most valuable and flexible travel rewards currencies available. You can use your points to book flights with American and other popular carriers through the Chase portal or transfer them to several airline and hotel partners. This card offers a generous welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $95, but as a cardmember, you get valuable perks such as car rental insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and extended warranty protection.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

Admirals Club Membership and More

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
4.8

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Why We Like It

Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening (limited time offer)

See how these cards compare:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 19.99% - 29.99% (variable) purchase APR
  • Rates and fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard: bottom line

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® can be a great choice for avid American Airlines travelers who value premium perks and are willing to pay its annual fee of $595. With benefits like Admirals Club membership, a generous sign-up bonus, and TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry statement credit, this card offers a wealth of travel benefits.

You also get a free checked bag benefit and the ability to boost your Loyalty Points with qualifying activity. However, this card may not be suitable for occasional flyers or those who prefer more flexible rewards. For more options, explore our lists of the best credit cards for American Airlines fliers or the best travel credit cards.

Author Details

Brett Holzhauer Brett Holzhauer is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He writes about using points & miles for travel, travel industry news, utilizing credit cards as financial leverage, and investing for the future. He has been featured in publications such as The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets, The Money Manual, Recruiter, Travel Pulse, and Bald Thoughts. He is a full-time digital nomad with his wife, Kiersten.
Yahia Barakah, CEPF Yahia Barakah, CEPF, is a Senior Editor at FinanceBuzz and has created finance-focused content since 2011. As a Certified Educator of Personal Finance, he has a background in institutional investment and asset management, as well as a deep passion for financial literacy.

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