MoneyGeek's Take

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Review

For $450 a year, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard can provide frequent American Airline flyers with premier travel perks, including access to the Admirals Club airport lounges. You can also get access to concierge help if needed.

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 5/5/2022
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Last Updated: 5/5/2022

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is packed with travel benefits to make up for its annual fee of $450. Big spenders will also find themselves on the fast-track to elite status thanks to the card being part of American’s suite of co-branded credit cards.

Card Details to Know Up Front
  • Bonus, Fee or Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard at a Glance

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers membership to American Airlines’ exclusive Admirals Club. No other credit card offers this perk. It also offers your first checked bag free and the ability to add authorized users at no additional cost.

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

    The best card for access to the Admirals Club

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $450Annual Fee
    • 1–2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 1xRewards Rate on Gas

Pros & Cons Explained

The biggest advantage of the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is its access to the Admirals Club. While the card does have other perks, it does have some downsides as well.


  • Benefits
  • Admirals Club Membership
    Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard cardholders get a membership to the Admirals Club. This grants you access to lounges and complimentary amenities like shower suites and business centers.
  • Elite status boost
    If you’re a big spender aiming for an elite status, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) on the first $40,000 spent in eligible purchases per calendar year.
  • Travel perks
    Get your first checked bag free for yourself and up to eight companions, along with priority check-in, airport screening and boarding privileges.
  • Authorized users
    Add up to 10 authorized users, free of charge. Users can also get access, but not membership, to the Admirals Club lounges and bring two travel companions.


  • Drawbacks
  • High annual fee
    The card comes with a whopping $450 annual fee.
  • Low ongoing rewards rate
    If you aim to amass a lot of frequent flyer miles, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is not the best choice. The ongoing rewards rate is 2 miles for every $1 spent on an American Airlines purchase and 1 mile for all other purchases. To earn miles, there are other cards with lower annual fees that have more popular bonus categories.
  • Limited airline choices
    As an airline card, you can only redeem your miles at American Airlines or their Oneworld partners. This may prove to be inconvenient if you often fly with airlines outside of their network.
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If you are looking to earn miles, gain travel perks at a lower cost or just want to compare the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard with other credit cards, review MoneyGeek’s list of the best travel credit cards in 2022.

Bonuses & Rewards Explained

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard benefits grant frequent flyers an added level of comfort. Review exactly what this card has to offer below.


Membership to the Admirals Club

By simply having the card, you can get access to almost 50 Admirals Club lounges worldwide with your immediate family or up to two traveling guests. You also get to save on costs, as their annual membership can go up to $650 a year, while their day passes cost $59. On that note, make sure you visit the Admiral Club lounges at least eight times a year to maximize your membership.


Rewards rate

For every $1 spent on eligible purchases at American Airlines, you can earn two miles. All other purchases get one mile per $1 spent.


Welcome bonus

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard has a welcome bonus that offers 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening your account.


World Elite Mastercard benefits

There are a host of benefits that come with the World Elite Mastercard program. You can get exclusive offers for ridesharing, dining, entertainment, shopping and more.

Other Features Explained

While the Admirals Club membership is the winning feature of the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, this card has some notable behind-the-scenes perks.

  • Card Feature
  • Customer service
    If you have any questions or concerns, Citi offers customer service online, over the phone or in any of their branches.
  • Purchase protection
    Get up to $10,000 of coverage per item for 120 days from purchase, with a limit of $50,000 a year.
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
    If a purchase was made on your card that you did not authorize, be it online or in-person, you are not responsible for it.
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If you’re on any American Airlines flight, remember to use your Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard to pay for food or beverages to get 25% back in the form of a statement credit. There is no limit to how often you can apply this.

Understanding the Fine Print

The high annual fee of the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is something that requires considerable evaluation. Take a look at all the details that come with owning this card.

  • Card Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
  • Annual Fee
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Rewards Rate
    1–2 Miles per $1*
  • Airline Benefits
  • This is an icon

    Annual fee

    In order to obtain the card, you must pay an annual fee of $450.

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    Regular APR

    There are no 0% introductory APR periods for this card, and the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard comes with a relatively high variable APR of 15.99% to 24.99%. Your exact rate depends on the market prime rate along with your creditworthiness at the time of approval.

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    Balance transfers

    For every balance transfer, a fee of $5 or 3% of the amount is paid, whichever is greater. The APR is also similar to the regular APR of the card, at 15.99% to 24.99%.

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    Cash advances

    An APR of 25.24% is applied to cash advances, along with a fee of $10 or 5% of the amount that was advanced, whichever is greater.

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    Penalty fees

    If you make a late payment or have a payment that gets returned, a fee of $40 will apply along with a 29.99% APR. This APR may be applied indefinitely, but you can always plead your case if either occurrence were a one-time thing.

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To find out if the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is best for you, make sure to compare its travel perks and annual fee against other rewards cards. Look for these details on the card provider’s website or via the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s credit card agreement database.

Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard?


Other Considerations for Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Traveling with the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard in your wallet will grant you extra comfort thanks to its perks, but how this benefits you will ultimately depend on your financial habits.

Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card

Alone, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is a costly credit card that provides valuable but limited travel perks. The card’s most appealing aspect is that it offers Admirals Club membership. However, if you don’t frequently travel, it may be difficult to justify the annual cost. It also isn’t ideal to build your whole miles or points-earning strategy around this card as it can get very expensive. If you can’t take advantage of the Admirals Club membership, you may be better off with a different rewards credit card.

Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet

Frequent flyers who apply for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard solely for the Admirals Club perks or to fast-track their elite status must keep the annual fee in mind. $450 is a steep price to pay and can clash with other cards, but it can work well with low or no annual fee travel cards. This is because you can get better rewards from other spending categories and save more in the long run.

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When reviewing credit cards, MoneyGeek takes all factors into account. We start by collecting data on the card from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and standardizing data points for ranking calculations to estimate and create average spend profiles. Then, we factor in any introductory bonuses and finish up by establishing the three-year value of the card. To ensure our recommendations and data stay up-to-date, we conduct this process monthly to re-rank cards as needed.

How Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Compares to Other Cards

Compared to other travel rewards credit cards, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard’s benefits are lacking. It can be helpful to evaluate the card against a similar option to determine if it’s right for you.

Quick Comparison of Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard


Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

  • Regular APR: 15.99% to 24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Rewards Rate: Two miles per $1 on American Airline purchases, one mile per $1 for everything else
  • Mini Verdict: Best for access to Admirals Club

Capital One VentureOne Rewards

  • Regular APR: 15.49% to 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Rewards Rate: 1.5 miles per $1 on all purchases
  • Mini Verdict: Best for an affordable travel card that can easily earn across categories

Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As

If you plan to apply for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, make sure you know all the facts.

Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.

Having access to the Admirals Club can be enticing, but it may not be what you need. Evaluate your needs and financial capacity as a traveler and take a look at other travel rewards to figure out which one is right for you. You could also evaluate gas cards, cash back cards or even student cards if you are a student.

Learn more about credit cards in general

*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
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