Party in the American Airlines Club! How to Bring 33 People In With Just One Credit Card Account

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Yesterday I wrote about a new benefit for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard. Previously only the primary cardmember had access to American’s Admirals Clubs. Now even no fee authorized card users get access to these American clubs.

best way to get American Airlines club access
Entrance to American Airlines Admirals Club Austin

How big does that scale? A single $450 annual fee card — which I keep because it lets me spend $40,000 and earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles, and of course there’s a current signup bonus offer of 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening — can in the extreme be used to admit 33 people to an Admirals Club at once. (Offer expired)

Perhaps we should now refer to it as the Admirals Pub?

Here’s the math:

  • Citibank clarified for me that “primary cardmembers can have up to 10 authorized users on the account.”

  • American told me that each authorized user “will still be allowed to bring in with them either immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner and children under eighteen (18) years of age), or up to two guests traveling with them.”

A Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard and 10 authorized user cards means 11 cards, each with the ability to admit a minimum of 3 people — for a total of 33 people off of a single Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard account.

Buenos Aires Admirals Club

These have to be real people. Citibank will ask you for their social security numbers. And of course they have to be flying some airline to get through security (usually) in order to access Admirals Clubs.

And whomever you get an authorized user card for will be able to spend money on your account. Although I suppose you could have the cards shipped to you, hand them out and the airport, and collect them again.

Technically an American Club can refuse access when it’s completely full, so they might deny a party of 33 during peak times as well.

Nonetheless, this is an amazing benefit and I suspect that holders of the card will be giving a no fee additional card to their spouse, perhaps their parents, maybe a trusted sibling as well. Citibank even overnights additional authorized user cards. Call them up today, give Admirals Club access tomorrow.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So lets take a really positive development with this card, one of very few upgrades in an otherwise bleak and getting bleaker points landscape, one that Citi should be praised for and actually will cause me to renew a card I would otherwise cancel — and let’s create and widely publish hypotheticals for abuse of said upgrade, in theory punishing Citi for doing something customer friendly. I find this ‘article’ to be dumb, damaging clickbait.

  2. Steve, there’s no such thing as bad publicity- I was going to cancel my card as well, but will probably keep it now. But I did not know about this additional benefit until Gary put up this post…

  3. This is the 2nd straight Boarding Area post I’ve read where some idiot in the comments said it was clickbait, just because they didn’t like the post. Personally, I thought it was interesting, even if nobody’s going to actually bring 33 people in at once.

  4. I dislike the framing. Citibank tries to do a customer proactive thing and blogger proposes how to hack it at an absurd level to put it into the “this is why we can’t have nice things” category. I guess he’s kidding but he’s really not…

  5. I think they’ll need to act before long to restrict this benefit, due to potential for abuse, as detailed here.

  6. Gary noted yesterday that auth users need the physical card in their possession for admission. So it’s not as simple to abuse as at first glance. Would you be comfortable giving a colleague or acquaintance a card that spends into your account? Only the closest and most trusted friends or family, I think.

  7. I just called this morning to add some family members and was told that adding their social security numbers was optional. I should be getting their cards in the mail tomorrow. That’ll be a nice Christmas present for them.

  8. A single card could get 138 people in, if some very masochistic couple had octuplets every year for 17 years. (8 x 17 + 2 adults). YMMV, of course.

  9. Correction: gestation limitations means you’d have to have them every 2 years. (So, 8 x 8 + 2 = 64.) But 64 * 10 = 610 people. Awkward family party time.

  10. “Idiots” hide behind anoymous ID’s and call other people names, neither of which I do. The very definition of click bait is writing something something however misleading in a way to generate maximum attention. I came to this info elsewhere, Gary is the only one to have a take like this.

    Otherwise, I am first to admit perhaps Stvr is more articulate than I in making the point that this is is counterproductive. Again, ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’. The only way a thinking adult would construe this as “good fun” is if they are blinded to its effect on everyone else by having more miles, upgrades, bonuses, press invitations, etc than they know what to do with.

    Also I will say – enough with ‘YMMV’. So tired.

  11. When will the bean counters realize that this little wheeze is going to potentially backfire and cost AA real money, let alone really p*** **f those travellers who actually pay a premium fare and expect reasonable lounge access.
    Sure have an ‘all and sundry lounge’ but do something special for those who TRAVEL in First and Business class.
    I’ll be jetting out of LHR tomorrow and certainly wont be using the Admirals Club or Flagship Lounge as they will be heaving, ifnot bursting at the seams, for the time of day I fly out

  12. agree with comment about the use of YMMV. is it meant as a legal disclaimer? I doubt anyone is going to sue you if they can’t get this to work for them, Gary!

    Anyway, thanks for this post. Useful info. Planning on adding my parents at authorized users.

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