New 50K Bonus On My Favorite Airline Credit Card

Filed Under: American, Citi
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50K welcome bonus on Citi AAdvantage Executive Card

The $450 annual fee Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® has a welcome bonus of 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 within three months. We’ve seen this bonus a few times in the past, most recently last summer.

Personally I value American miles at ~1.3 cents each, so to me the 50,000 miles are worth ~$650, which is a big bonus. There are so many great ways to use American miles, and 50,000 miles is more than enough for a one-way business class ticket from the US to Asia, the Middle East, India, etc.


Redeem AAdvantage miles for travel in Qatar Airways Qsuites

Why the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card is awesome

While that’s a significant minimum spend requirement, this is also a big welcome bonus. Furthermore, the reason you get this card isn’t because of the welcome bonus, but rather because of the perks it offers. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers an Admirals Club membership for the primary cardmember, which is an excellent benefit. This means that you can visit Admirals Clubs regardless of which airline you’re flying, and you can bring in two guests or immediate family members at no extra cost.


Admirals Club Sao Paulo Airport

Typically the lowest cost for an Admirals Club membership is $450, and that assumes you’re an Executive Platinum member:

Admirals-Club-Membership-Fees

As far as I’m concerned that makes the card a no brainer for anyone who would otherwise consider an Admirals Club membership. But there’s a really incredible perk on top of that, which is almost too good to be true.

With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® you can add up to 10 authorized users to the card at no additional cost, and they get Admirals Club access as well. Those people can then access Admirals Clubs with up to two guests or immediate family members even when they’re not flying American.

This is such an outrageously good value. I use this card as my Admirals Club membership, and then have nearly 10 authorized users, so all my family and some friends have Admirals Club access when they travel. Put another way, it’s like paying as little as ~$41 per person annually for Admirals Club access (since you can have a primary cardmember plus 10 authorized users), which is less than the cost of a day pass. I picked up this card last year, and find it to be well worth it.

This card also offers some other perks, including:

  • Priority check-in, airport screening, and early boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 10,000 elite qualifying miles when you spend $40,000 on purchases in a year

Citi AAdvantage Executive Card eligibility

As far as eligibility for this card goes, here are the relevant terms:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage®card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Then Citi has a general restriction of typically only approving people for one Citi card every eight days, and two Citi cards every 65 days.

Current bonuses on Citi AAdvantage Platinum Cards

If you’re looking for a business card, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® continues to offer a welcome bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months. The card has a $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. That’s a fantastic welcome bonus, especially since the card has the annual fee waived for the first year.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 within three months, with the $99 annual fee waived for the first year.

Bottom line

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is the airline credit card that I get the most value out of, given that it offers an Admirals Club membership for the primary cardmember, plus Admirals Club access for up to 10 authorized users. It’s ideal to pick up this card when it has an increased offer, as it does now.

You can also nicely pair that card with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, which has the annual fee waived for the first year, and a big 60,000 mile welcome bonus. Just make sure you apply for the cards at least eight days apart, and don’t apply for more than two Citi cards in a 65 day period.

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Comments
  1. Flying out of Atlanta as I do, I’ve found using AA miles for Europe difficult as almost all are on BA through LHR, and domestic routes have ridiculous stopovers, no non-stop directs. If I lived on the west coast I might be tempted.

  2. @ Kirk Benson — They’re definitely not the best program for Europe, though AAdvantage miles are much more valuable for travel to Asia, the Middle East, India, etc.

  3. Yawn. The spend requirement is too high and the restrictions too painful. Airline points are becoming irrelevant to all but a few frequent flyers that fly premium international flights and can generate very large cash flows through their rewards credit cards. Boring cash back cards with decent returns that and no annual fee that exceed the returns of airline point reward cards for most folks are stealing the show. Lucky, I am a regular reader of your post and a fan, but the point industry is getting too greedy printing their own easily devalued point currencies for the easy profits. So far, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is an exception but any devaluation of the Ultimate Rewards program will likely alter consumer behavior.

  4. Lucky – I’ve tried searching for the question but can’t find a great answer. I already have the card but opened it 24 months ago (got my 2nd annual fee with my statement 2 days ago). Can I apply for a second card and still be eligible for the bonus? I would not have opened nor closed an account in 24 months, I would just have two of the same. (Presumably if this works, I could also then cancel the card I had first and avoid paying two annual fees. Although I’m planning a trip to Australia in Feb/Mar so would happily eat the second fee for the 82.5k points that will give me enough to book a J flight on the return).

  5. @ Tim — Citi’s policy is based on whether you’ve opened or closed the card in that period, so they do typically let you get the second of a card as long as one hasn’t been opened or closed in that period.

  6. Do authorized users physically need to have a card to access the admirals club? I trust my family and friends but sometimes you never know.

  7. Do you have to:
    A. Have opened another AA card
    B. Have met minimum spend, or
    C. Have received points on the new card

    before cancelling another older Citi card in the AA family of cards?

  8. What about the DL Reserve as a comparison point? Same price, club access, but companion certificate each year. Good for First or Coach. So if you buy a $1000 A fare for domestic first class, you can save $1,000 by applying a certificate for the second passenger. Also the spend requirements are more reasonable. 15,000 miles for $30,000. And another 15,000 for another $30,000. The only point this card would seem to win on is adding folks for club access.

  9. @ Dave — The primary cardmember doesn’t physically need the card since the membership is linked to their AAdvantage account, but authorized users do physically need the card.

  10. @ dcaflyer — It all depends on what you’re looking for, of course. The Delta Reserve gets only one person into SkyClubs, and you even have to pay for guests. Meanwhile this card comes with an Admirals Club membership, and the ability to add 10 authorized users and get them lounge access. So it all depends on what you’re looking for, but the Delta Reserve gets up to one person lounge access, while this card gets up to 33 people lounge access.

  11. @ James — I’m not 100% sure, maybe someone else can chime in. I think it’s based on having opened the card when the other one is open, though to be on the safe side I’d keep it a bit longer. Maybe someone can chime in with certainty.

  12. @James Once you are approved for a new card, you are safe to cancel the prior one. No need to wait for spend, or posted miles. If your AF on the older card isn’t due quite yet, you may as well wait to get the new card in the mail, as Lucky said “just to be safe”. But once you’re approved, you are approved, and the miles should (‘should’, after all it’s Citi we are talking about) be automatic once you complete the spend on time.

  13. @ lucky – zero QR availability on all routes out of DOH from June 20, 2019 thru end of BA schedule, confirmed with a call to AA this morning since they can see up to June 20. Tons of space up until June 19. What do you think is going on?

  14. Problem is there are only a handful of Admiral lounges and with the AA Executive you are not allowed on their partner lounges 🙁

  15. @ Ricardo — While the lack of partner lounges isn’t ideal, there are over 50 Admirals Clubs around the world, so I’d call that more than a handful, personally.

  16. @Lucky – I think you should mention that to in order to get the most out of the 75,000 miles you need the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select or BarclayCard Aviator Red/Silver for a 10% rebate on redemption.

  17. Lucky, do you have to have a confirmed space ticket-in-hand to access the AC (like with Centurion Clubs)?

    Also, does this card offer 10% back AA miles on award travel like the AA personal card? Thanks

  18. @ Pam — As long as you can get past security there’s no boarding pass required, since you don’t have to be flying American. This card doesn’t offer the 10% back on awards, unfortunately.

  19. Are there any other benefits for authorized users other than Admirals Club? I couldn’t find anything about free bag or priority boarding, so I assume that AUs don’t receive those.

  20. @ Rico — Nope, the other major benefits are for the primary cardmember. Authorized users get Admirals Club access, which I’d say is a pretty big perk.

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