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Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Review

Our review of the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard looks at the rewards program and travel benefits for frequent American Airlines flyers.
(4 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

An airline rewards credit card could be a good addition to your wallet if you're a frequent flyer.

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is one option to consider if you prefer American Airlines to other airlines.

You could use this card to earn miles toward free flights.

In addition to earning miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, this card comes packed with features and benefits that enhance its value. Those help to offset the card's $450 annual fee.

If you're in the market for a new travel rewards card, learn more about what the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard has to offer.

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard® Card Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Enjoy a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Priority check-in and priority boarding
  • The $450 annual fee may not be justified if you don't travel regularly
  • This card is less rewarding when you book flights with airlines other than American Airlines

Earn Miles Toward American Airlines Flights

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard allows you to earn miles on every purchase. But you can get more rewards when you use your card at American Airlines.

Here's how rewards work at a glance:

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles after making $40,000 in purchases within the year

This card does offer an introductory welcome bonus to help you increase your miles earnings. You'll need to meet a minimum spending requirement but this is an easy way to bank some miles right away.

The AAdvantage program also expands your opportunities to earn miles.

For example, you can earn up to 5 miles per $1 when you order food delivery from participating AAdvantage Dining restaurants with your card. You can earn miles with personalized shopping and travel offers when you register your card with SimplyMiles.

There's no cap on the number of miles you can earn.

Your miles don't expire as long as you make a redemption at least once every 18 months.

Redemptions

Generally, you'll get the most redemption value when you use your miles for American Airlines flights.

You can use your miles to travel to nearly 1,000 destinations worldwide with American Airlines, American Eagle, oneworld airlines and partner airlines.

Partner airlines include:

  • Alaska Airlines/Cape Air
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysian Airlines
  • Qantas

If you're planning to book with a travel partner, check out the award chart first to see how many miles you'll need.

Other options for redeeming miles include:

  • Flight upgrades
  • Vacation packages
  • Admirals Club membership
  • Luxury experiences

Again, check the redemption values to see how much your miles are worth when choosing these options.

Take Advantage of Travel Benefits and Features

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers a slew of travel benefits that make the card more appealing. Some of the key benefits include:

Admirals Club membership

If you like hitting the airport lounge on long trips, you'll appreciate Admirals Club membership. This benefit offers access to nearly 50 lounge locations worldwide for you and up to two guests.

Ordinarily, the fee for Admirals Club membership starts at $550.

So, having this benefit built into your card is a nice feature to have if you spend time in the airport lounge.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit

Like other premium travel rewards cards, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck -- these programs can make life easier at the airport.

You can use this benefit once every four years for Global Entry membership or once every four and half years for TSA PreCheck. It's worth up to $100.

Airport benefits

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard can make getting through the airport easier.

This card includes priority check-in, priority screening and priority boarding as automatic member benefits.

Those benefits cover you and up to eight guests on your reservation.

What Else Do You Get With the Card?

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard comes with a few additional benefits you might appreciate:

  • 25% inflight savings on eligible purchases made with your card
  • Earn a $145 annual statement credit when you have a qualifying Citigold account
  • Citi Entertainment benefits
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • Dedicated concierge service

Each of those benefits can make the card more valuable.

Fees

The most important fee to keep in mind is the annual fee. At $450, this card doesn't come cheap.

Consider how often you plan to travel and earn rewards when weighing the fee.

Notably:

If you plan to take full advantage of the card's benefits, such as Admirals Club membership or the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit, those can help offset some of the cost.

On the other hand, if you don't travel as often the fee may not be justified. Or if you fly airlines other than American, you might benefit more from a general travel rewards card.

Compared to Other Travel Rewards Cards

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is just one travel rewards card you might consider.

Take a look at these other card options for earning travel rewards.

Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

The Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers some of the same benefits as the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard with a lower annual fee.

This card lets you earn:

  • 2 miles per $1 at restaurants and gas stations
  • 2 miles per $1 on American Airlines purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases

The introductory miles bonus is the same for this card, though it has a lower minimum spending requirement. Other travel benefits include preferred boarding, a 25% inflight discount and your first checked bag free.

You won't get Admirals Club membership or a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit. But you can get a $125 American Airlines flight discount when you make $20,000 in purchases a year.

The annual fee for this card is $99 and it's waived the first 12 months. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Read the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard editor's review.

Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is a premium travel rewards credit card.

This card offers:

  • 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year
  • 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked with amextravel.com
  • 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 on all other eligible purchases

American Express is also offering a special promotion that allows you to earn more points on purchases at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets during your first six months of card membership.

The Platinum Card comes with a sizable introductory welcome bonus. You also get other benefits, such as a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit, lounge access when airport lounges are open, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold status.

There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. But you will pay a significant $550 annual fee.

Read the American Express Platinum Card editor's review.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card could be a good fit if you want flexibility with redeeming travel rewards.

This card lets you earn 3 points per $1 on travel and dining purchases worldwide, along with 1 point per dollar on everything else. When you use your points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get 50% more redemption value.

Plus, you can transfer points to Chase travel partners on a 1:1 basis. That's good if you're not necessarily loyal to any one airline when you travel.

You also get a $300 annual travel statement credit. And you may qualify for a solid introductory bonus.

But this card does have a $550 annual fee. You'll pay $75 for each authorized user you add to your account.

Read the Chase Sapphire Reserve card editor's review.

Final Verdict

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard could be a good fit if you fly American Airlines regularly and you don't mind paying a higher annual fee.

This card comes with some nice travel benefits that could save you money and make flights more comfortable. The Admirals Club membership alone can offset the annual fee.

On the other hand, you may want to consider another card if you don't fly exclusively with American. Or you may prefer a travel rewards card with a lower annual fee if you don't travel as often.