Reader Jacob asked the following question regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®:
My wife and I are both EXP with American, and she already has the Executive AA Card, and I’m an authorized user. I am tempted to apply for the card because of the increased bonus, but is there any value in me getting it since I am already an authorized user?
The Citi AAdvantage Executive Card is offering an increased welcome bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 within three months. That’s a great bonus, especially as it comes at a time where this card is the best way to access Admirals Clubs. The card has a $450 annual fee (which is the same as the lowest possible cost for an annual membership for an Executive Platinum member), but the greatest perk is that you can add up to 10 authorized users at no additional cost.
Clearly Jacob is already aware of the last part, as he’s an authorized user on his wife’s card. So, is there any value to applying for the Advantage Executive Card if you’re already an authorized user? Yes and no.
On one hand, the welcome bonus on the card is big, so you can potentially earn a lot of miles by completing the minimum spend. The value of that will cover the annual fee for a few years, by my math. But in general, if you’re already an authorized user on someone else’s Citi AAdvantage Executive Card, what are the benefits of applying yourself?
- While even authorized users get Admirals Club access when flying other airlines, only the primary cardmember gets an actual Admirals Club membership, which includes access to select partner lounges, like Alaska Lounges, Qantas Clubs, etc. If you’d get a lot of value out of that, that’s potentially worthwhile.
- While this presumably doesn’t apply to Jacob since his wife has the card, if you’re an authorized user on a friend’s card, getting your own means that you can add your own authorized users. Obviously you have to trust the people you add as authorized users since they’ll have access to your credit line.
- If you’re short on elite qualifying miles, only the primary cardmember can earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles by spending $40,000 on purchases in a year.
- Only the primary cardmember gets a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fee credit once every five years, so that can potentially also help offset the annual fee (you can actually use it for anyone, but it’s one per primary cardmember).
- Only the primary cardmember gets free checked bags and priority boarding, etc., while authorized users don’t.
So everyone has to decide for themselves what’s best. The 50,000 mile welcome bonus on the Advantage Executive Card is certainly a big incentive to apply for the card, and if you can get value out of the Admirals Club membership perks, the ability to add more authorized users, premium benefits at the airport, etc., it could be worth applying for your own card.
However, the authorized user benefit on this card is one of the best out there, so there’s not really a card where you’re getting more rewards as an authorized user.