American Airlines Co-Branded Card: Take Maximum from Your Frequent Flights

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® photo
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Recommended credit score: Excellent
See terms

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is a travel credit card co-branded with American Airlines. It has quite high annual fee and its reward rate is lower than rate offered by many other travel credit cards. However, for the frequent American Airlines traveler this card is an ultimate highway to the comfort and coziness of travel.

  • Nice 50,000 signup bonus;
  • Good rewards rate for purchases;
  • No foreign transaction fee;
  • Travel benefits for those who flies with American Airlines.
  • High annual fee;
  • Excellent score required.

Rewards and benefits

Signup bonus and miles. You earn 50,000 miles signup bonus if you spend $5,000 on this card within first 3 months. Also you get additional 10,000 miles bonus if you manage to spend $40,000 on this card within a year.

For each $1 spent eligible American Airlines purchases you get 2 miles. For all other purchases you get 1 mile per $1. Category of eligible purchases include purchases bought at American Airlines as a merchant, or through American Airlines merchant channels. Important, that car rentals and hotel reservations, as well as American Airlines Cargo® services are not eligible for points earning. There is no limit on amount of miles you can earn and your miles never expire. Just make sure that you keep your card active at least for every 18 months. In fact every 18 months you have to perform at least one points earning or redemption activity.

Users authorized to your card earn miles at the same rate as the primary cardholder.

Admirals Club® membership. With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® you automatically get Admirals Club® membership. Admirals Club® membership grants you an access to the more than 50 luxurious airport lounge zones worldwide. When visiting Admirals Club® lounge, you can take two friends with you for free, and more than two people if they are your immediate family members – parents, spouse, siblings, children. What is also important is that although the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is a co-branded card, it does not require you to flight with American Airlines to access Admirals Club® lounges. It’s a full-fledged memberships and you can access lounges whenever you want.

In fact, automatic Admirals Club® membership is an extremely valuable bonus  especially since you are allowed to bring your friends and family members with you. It significantly inflates costs of this credit card. Wondering why? Just take a look below at the price of Admirals Club® membership which you have to pay if your credit card doesn’t include membership as complimentary bonus.

Type of membership

Annual price

Individual – new


Individual – renew


Household – new


Household – renew


In fact, with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® you get a household membership because your family members can visit lounge zones with you. The only difference from household membership is that your family members cannot visit lounge zones separately from you. However, users authorized to your card can visit Admirals Club® lounges without you at no price.

Airport and In-flight Benefits. When you travel with group of people, pay for the whole itinerary where your travel companions are indicated with your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. If you do so, the first checked bag for you and up to 8 persons will be free. This option works only for domestic flights and of course if luggage meets size and weight requirements.

Also, during your flight with American Airlines in-flight meals (including beverages) that you pay using this card will cost 25% less. To be precise, you will pay the full price 25% of which will later come back to your account as statement credit. Unfortunately, in-flight discount works only for meals, but not on other types of in-flight purchases (for example, Wi-Fi).

Moreover, cardmembers of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® can experience priority security screening, priority check-in (at eligible airports), as well as priority boarding.

Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Application Fee Credit. As a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive cardholder each five years you can receive up to $100 that are eiligble to spend towards either Global Entry TSA Pre✓® application fee. Global Entry is a program that provides expedited clearance to the travelers who were approved as a low-risk ones.

Mastercard® Benefits. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive card belongs to the World Elite Mastercard® payment program, and its holder can enjoy all World Elite benefits. Read our review of World Elite Mastercard® to learn more about its features.

Reduced Mileage Awards. With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® you are eligible to receive discount on miles redemption on airfare with MileSAAver® awards. Destinations with discounts are changing every month, and depending on the length of the flight you get either 2,000 points discount for round-trip (1,000 points discount for one-way trip) if length is 500 miles or less, or 7,500 points discount for round-trip (3,750 points for one-way) if length is more than 500 miles.

How much it costs

Annual fee on purchases is $450. Variable 16.74% - 24.74% APR applies based on your creditworthiness. APR for cash advances is 26.24%. Foreign transaction fee is 0%. A 29.99% penalty APR might apply if you make any payment late or payment returns.

Comparison with other cards: is this card worth its fee?

Overall, we recommend this card to the customers who prefer travel comfort and flight-related perks and benefits over the lucrative rewards for purchases. In general, you have to consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® as top priority if you meet next conditions:

  • You fly frequently with American Airlines;
  • You strive for comfort and like to spend time at lounge zones;
  • Reward points is not your priority, but just a nice bonus to the other benefits of a credit card.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is a typical co-branded travel card and grants its best to the American Airlines dedicated customers. If frequent flights with American Airlines are not about you, you may want to consider another credit cards to apply.

Great rewards for purchases. If this is one of your priorities and you don’t really care which airline to fly with, apply for Citi Prestige® Card. This card earns you 3 ThankYou® points for travel, 2 ThankYou® points for dining out and entertainment, and 1 ThankYou® point on all other purchases. Plus, if you redeem points for travel, you get a 25% redemption rate increase.

The Citi Prestige® Card includes a membership in Priority Pass Select program. With Priority Pass Select you can visit around 1000 airport lounges worldwide. They are not that much comfortable and luxurious as Admirals Club® lounges, but still great. Plus, Admirals Club® membership grants you the access to 50 lounges only.

Note that the Citi Prestige® Card has the same $450 annual fee.

Same benefits for lower price. Do you prefer to fly with American Airlines? Are you interested in flight-related benefits, but are not ready to pay high annual fee? If you answer “yes” on these questions, consider applying to another American Airlines co-branded card. This card is a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. It is a bit different version of the card described in this review, and has a $95 annual fee waived for the first year. Plus, its signup bonus is 10,000 bigger, but does not include Admirals Club® membership at all. Of course other travel-related perks and benefits basically remain the same.

The bottom line

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is a co-branded credit card which makes it quite specific one. From one side, it has a high annual fee and benefits targeted to the very specific group of customers. From another side, if you belong to this group – American Airlines frequent fliers striving for comfort and flight benefits – this card will become your ultimate travel helper and is number one to apply.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® photo
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Recommended credit score: Excellent
See terms
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