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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® had a glitch over the weekend where Citi’s website was showing $175 to add an authorized user instead of.. zero. This was a mistake, but it led to much concern over the future value of the card.
The Citi Executive Card has a $450 annual fee, currently offers 50,000 miles after $5000 spend within the first 3 months of cardmembership, and has what I see as its two key features.
- The card comes with American Airlines Admirals Club membership – and it offers authorized user cards at no additional annual fee, with authorized users getting access to American Airlines clubs as well. (You can have up to 10 authorized users, and both the primary cardmember and each authorized user can being in two guests free of charge, capacity permitting, so that’s up to 33 people into the lounge.)
- Earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles after $40,000 spend
I rely on club membership during flight delays. Agents in my home club in Austin (and in my former home club at Washington National) are amazing getting me rebooked and on my way. And food offerings are much-improved.
United charges $650 for club membership (down to $550 for top elites). Delta charges $545 without free guests ($845 with guesting). American charges $650, down to $550 for top elites, and $50 less for renewals. $450 is comparably inexpensive club membership even without adding additional access for no extra charge.
The ability to give access to authorized users on the account for no extra charge is one of the best deals in all of travel.
When this change happened there was much consternation on twitter, message boards and some other blogs.
- The change seems plausible. $0 additional cardmembers is simply too good to be true.
- Even if it was rolled out in error, these things are usually just released online ‘too early’ and a giveaway about future plans.
Citi was quick to share that this was a mistake and even that they hadn’t sorted out why this happened. Unlike many other observers I don’t expect that this was a giveaway of a change coming soon. However I do expect something like this to happen in the medium-term.
The very best deals in travel do not last. You have to jump on them while you can. American is currently in discussions to re-up its co-brand deals with card issuers. If I had to guess I would say this opportunity doesn’t last into a new card deal.