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Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®: Is it Worth It?

Image of Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
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"A decent card for frequent American Airlines customers who seek luxury benefits."

Contents

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is a decent premium travel credit card for dedicated American Airlines and US Airways customers. The card offers a fair rewards rate from spending, and comes with access to lounges and other AA ancillary benefits. The $450 annual fee is quite high, but as long as you are an AAdvantage frequent flyer member who would like to take advantage of airport lounges to begin with, this fee is more than justified.

Pros

  • Lounge access
  • First checked bag free
  • 25% savings on in-flight purchases

Cons

  • $450 annual fee
  • Average rewards earning rate
  • Useful exclusively to diehard American Airlines customers 

Review: What are our thoughts on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®?

While the $450 fee might sound scary to some, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® makes a good case for its price tag for certain travelers. Like most others in the ‘premium’ family of cards (such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, and Citi Prestige® Card), the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® gives users access to various airport lounges. This is a benefit easily worth several hundred dollars on its own, and is the main benefit inflating the cost of these cards. If you are unfamiliar with airport lounges, they offer weary travelers a place of quiet respite inside a busy airport with amenities such as free WiFi and snacks.

If you fly exclusively with American Airlines, this card offers the most in terms of well-rounded benefits, for its price-range. The card helps users earn Elite status with the airline, in addition to awarding AAdvantage miles. If you travel frequently with other airlines, and AAdvantage miles hold less value for you, then The Platinum Card® from American Express is a better option due to its flexible $200 airline fee credit. If you are purely concerned about earning rewards, and luxury benefits don’t interest you, then you should focus on cards with cheaper annual rates, such as the Citi Platinum Select ($0 introductory annual fee, then $95 each year after that).

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® has all the bells and whistles an international traveler needs and wants – smartchip integration, and no foreign exchange fees. These benefits matter, especially for consumers for frequently travel to Europe or Asia. Within those continents, EMV has long been the standard credit card technology, which means attempting to use old magnetic strip credit cards is not feasible with most vendors abroad.

Benefits & Features of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Image of Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Annual Fee $450
Purchase APR 15.24%
Card Details
  • 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Admirals Club membership for you and your immediate family
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • First checked bag is free for you and your companions
  • Priority check-in, screening, and boarding
  • Receive a 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
  • No annual mileage cap

The perks of being a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® user come in two forms. Firstly, you get rewards each time you use the card to make a purchase, in the form of AAdvantage® miles. The other benefits you get by simply owning the card and paying your $450 fee. These range from:

How to Earn Rewards & AAdvantage® Status

You can earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines and US Airways purchases using your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. All other purchases charged to the card earn just 1 mile per $1. Based on sample itineraries for award flight redemptions, we estimate the rewards rate of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® to be between 1.35% and 2.7%:

We value AAdvantage® miles at $0.0135. We arrive at this value by looking at several different flights and itineraries, and averaging across them. For example, consider a sample itinerary between New York LaGuardia Airport and Denver International Airport. The flight takes place on Presidents Day Weekend, costs $508, or 37,500 miles. $508 / 37,500 = $0.0135. Therefore, spending a single dollar can earn either $0.0135 and $0.027, depending on where you spend it – this translates to a 1.35% and 2.7% rewards rate.

If you manage to spend $5,000 using your card within 3 months you will earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, worth approximately $625. We like this card’s bonus, as it is more generous than most other credit cards currently out there.

If you like traveling with style you will want to make sure you charge at least $40,000 every calendar year. Doing so will earn you 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines. These can be used towards gaining Elite Status with American Airlines. There are varying levels of perks which accompany different tiers of Elite Status – Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum.

American Airlines Benefits

All Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® users in good standing are automatically granted Admirals Club® membership. This gives access to over 50 private airport lounges around the globe. In these, you can enjoy complimentary WiFi, drinks, snacks and a relaxing atmosphere that might make your next layover a little bit more bearable. You can bring up to two guests into the lounges with you. You can bring more people in with you if they are immediate family – a spouse, domestic partner, or a child under the age of 18. We don’t fully understand why your 18+ year old son or daughter wouldn't be considered “immediate family”, but rules are rules unless you happen to have a friendly AA representative in the lounge.

You get a 7,500 mile discount, anytime you redeem miles earned through the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. This is because the card is a part of the “reduced mileage reward’ benefit. As explained above, we value AAdvantage miles at about $0.0135 per mile. This means a 7,500 mile discount is essentially an additional $101 in your pocket (7,500 miles x $0.0135 = $101.25).

When you pay for in-flight meals on American Airlines and US Airways flights using your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, you will receive a 25% savings. Considering that in-flight food, beverages and headsets can get pricey, this is a nice discount – especially for travelers on long-haul flights, when the temptation to order snacks is greatest. Note, this discount does not apply to purchases of in-flight WiFi, or Duty Free products. This promotion is not instantaneous. You will pay full price at the time of purchase, and your account will be credited 6-8 weeks later.

The first checked bag will be free for you, and up to 8 travelling companions (provided they are listed on the same reservation), if you paid for the itinerary using your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. The free bag only applies to domestic flights, and to bags which adhere to weight and size limits.

How Does the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® Compare to other Credit Cards?

For a more comprehensive understanding of whether the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is a good fit for your wallet, it is best to compare it to its leading competition. Below we profiled three cards which might be good alternatives to individuals who are currently considering whether the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is worth it or not.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® vs Citi Prestige® Card

If you’re a frequent AA customer, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is the card to get. However, when considering purely luxury travel benefits, the Citi Prestige® Card is the superior choice for most. The Citi Prestige® Card is yet another $450-annual fee credit card from Citi. Citi Prestige® cardholders gain membership to Priority Pass™ Select – this unlocks access to hundreds of VIP lounges around the world.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® earns you AAdvantage® Miles, while spending using the Citi Prestige® Card rewards ThankYou® Points. We value the latter to be less valuable than AAdvantage® Miles. Even though Citi Prestige® users can transfer ThankYou® Points to other loyalty programs, American Airlines is not one of them. 

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® vs Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Consumers who are not concerned with luxury travel benefits, but still frequently fly using American Airlines, should prefer the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. This card comes with a $95 annual fee (waived year 1), but no lounge access. Also, the initial welcome bonus on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is currently higher by 10,000 miles than that of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® vs The Platinum Card® from American Express

Dedicated American Airlines customers are better off sticking with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, rather than The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you are someone who frequently finds themselves travelling the world, with different airlines and through various airports, The Platinum Card® from American Express provides the greatest flexibility. For instance, you receive a $200 fee credit, with any airline you choose (can change once every year) - just check that smaller airports might not accept Amex.

If you want to travel with luxury with a group of people, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is also the better choice. Both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and The Platinum Card® from American Express provide access to hundreds of lounges.

Comparison Tool

In order to make a better informed, value-oriented decision, you can use the tool below to compare credit cards based upon your spending. 

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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 2.86%
$625
50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
$395 1.40%
$930
Earn two complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$504
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $395
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Earn two complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on Ritz-Carlton or partner hotels
  • 2 points for every $1 on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline
  • 1 point per $1 otherwise
  • Complimentary upgrades to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level three times annually on paid stays of up to 7 nights
  • $300 annual airline incidentals credit
  • $100 hotel credit on stays of two nights or longer
  • Worldwide Airport Lounge Access
  • Automatic gold elite status your first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Personal service assistance to cardmembers
  • Automatic Gold Elite Status your first year
  • Maintain Gold Elite thereafter by spending 10,000 each year

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.011 = $364
Bonuses
0 x $0.011 = $930
Less Annual Fees -$790
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 504
Citi Prestige® Card
$450 0.45%
$532
Earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $3000
$162
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $450
APR 15.24%

Card Details

  • Earn 3 points on Air Travel and Hotels, 2 points for every $1 you spend on dining and entertainment
  • 1 point per $1 elsewhere
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Complimentary 4th night at luxury hotels when booked through Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Unlimited access to 400+ airport lounges
  • $100 global entry fee credit
  • Chip technology
  • 24/7 concierge
  • Lost baggage coverage

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $530
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.013 = $532
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 162
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
$450 -1.02%
$120
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles and 10,000 bonus miles after the first purchase
$-368
Graph Card Read Review More Details

Terms and Limitations Apply

Annual Fee $450
APR 15.24%, 17.24% or 19.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 10,000 bonus miles after the first purchase
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on Delta flight and vacation purchases
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Delta Sky Club Access for you and two companions with complimentary Wi-Fi and snacks
  • Get a R/T domestic first class or economy class companion certificate upon each annual renewal
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights
  • No waiting - Priority Boarding
  • Save 20% on in-flight purchases
  • Redeem Delta SkyMiles for award travel, cabin upgrades, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, Broadway tickets, or charitable donations

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.012 = $412
Bonuses
10,000 x $0.012 = $120
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months -368
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
$450 -1.21%
$0
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases the first 3 months
$-437
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $450
APR 15.24%

Card Details

  • 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Admirals Club membership for you and your immediate family
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • First checked bag is free for you and your companions
  • Priority check-in, screening, and boarding
  • Receive a 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
  • No annual mileage cap

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.014 = $463
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months -437

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.