On Tuesday I first wrote about the incredible new lounge access perk being offered on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. This is American’s premium co-branded credit card, which has a $450 annual fee, but comes with quite a few perks which help offset that.
The most significant benefit is that you receive an Admirals Club membership if you’re the primary cardmember. Historically only the primary cardmember received Admirals Club access, though that finally changed. As of a couple of days ago, authorized users on the card get Admirals Club access as well.
As I explained yesterday, the crazy part is that you can add 10 authorized users on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card at no additional cost. Each cardmember can take up to two guests into the lounge, meaning in theory you could bring a group of 33 into the lounge (if the primary cardmember and 10 authorized users are all maxing out their guesting privileges). Of course I doubt that will ever happen, but in theory…
While I had shared the media press release I was sent regarding the new perk, there wasn’t very much public info about the new perk, including the official terms.
Well, American finally sent an email to those with the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card explaining the perks in more detail:
Your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® benefits just got better. We are pleased to announce authorized users on your account are now allowed access to the Admirals Club® even when you aren’t with them.1
You and your authorized users have access to more than 50 Admirals Club® lounge locations worldwide. Complimentary lounge amenities include drink and light snacks, Wi-Fi access, personal travel assistance with your reservations and much more.
To access the Admirals Club® lounge, your authorized user must present their valid Citi® / AAdvantage®Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, along with his or her current government-issued I.D. if not accompanied by the primary cardmember.
Here are the full terms of the authorized user benefit, which are interesting (as I’ll explain below):
1 Only Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® primary cardmembers who are eighteen (18) years of age or older will receive full membership access privileges to Admirals Club® lounges. An Authorized User of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® credit card will receive access privileges to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges. Full Admirals Club® membership privileges do not apply to an Authorized User. An Admirals Club® membership includes access to other airline lounges and clubs with which American Airlines may have reciprocal lounge or club access privileges including lounges operated by oneworld® carriers. Membership also includes special pricing on conference rooms and other special offers that are available exclusively to Admirals Club® members. These benefits are not extended to an Authorized User. To locate a current list of Admirals Club® lounges please visit aa.com/Admiralsclub.
To access an Admirals Club® lounge, the primary cardmember must present: (i) his or her (a) AAdvantage® number or (b) active and valid Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®; (ii) his or her current government-issued I.D.; and (iii) any additional required documentation. Either immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner and children under eighteen (18) years of age) or up to two (2) guests traveling with the primary cardmember may be admitted for free when accompanied by the primary cardmember. All persons must be of valid drinking age, based on applicable law, to consume alcohol. If the primary cardmember is an Admirals Club® member on the date his or her Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® card account is approved by Citi® and has sixty (60) or more days remaining on such current Admirals Club® membership, he or she is eligible to receive a prorated refund from American Airlines for any unused portion of his or her current Admirals Club® membership fee. The refund will be a prorated amount of the annual membership fee calculated based on the number of days remaining on such primary cardmember’s current Admirals Club® membership as of the date his or her Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® card account is approved by Citi®. Refunds will be automatically made in the original form of payment within twelve (12) weeks of becoming a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® cardmember. Lifetime Admirals Club® members and AirPass® members with Admirals Club® privileges are not eligible for a refund. Upon closure of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® account, all Admirals Club® benefits and access associated with the account will be immediately terminated. All Admirals Club®membership rules, terms and conditions apply. AMERICAN AIRLINES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY ANY OR ALL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. SUCH MODIFICATIONS SHALL BE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND INCORPORATED INTO THIS AGREEMENT. BY ACCESSING ANY ADMIRALS CLUB® LOUNGE YOU SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE ACCEPTED THE ADMIRALS CLUB® TERMS AND CONDITIONS. To review the complete Admirals Club® membership terms and conditions, visit aa.com/Admiralsclub.
The way I interpret it:
- Only primary cardmembers on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card will receive an Admirals Club membership (as was the case before)
- Authorized users on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card will receive Admirals Club access with standard guesting privileges (immediate family or two guests), and can be flying on any airline to access the lounge
- Authorized users don’t receive an Admirals Club membership, however; this means that authorized users don’t get access to partner airline lounges (like Alaska Board Rooms), and also don’t get special pricing on conference rooms in Admirals Clubs
Authorized users won’t get access to partner lounges, like Alaska Board Rooms
This perk really does seem to be as good as it sounds. I think this is a brilliant move on Citi’s part, as it will cause more people to hold onto the card.