I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.
The best thing that makes American Airlines travel easier is an Admirals Club membership. The most effective way to get one is with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
And Citi lets you give authorized user cards for no additional annual fee – those cards get each cardholder and two guests into Admirals Clubs as well. So you can give this as a gift to loved ones without spending anything beyond the cost of lounge membership for yourself.
I’ve had the Citi Executive card for several years, and I’ve been putting $40,000 worth of spend on purchases each calendar year for several years as well. This is a card for regular American Airlines flyers that can help earn elite status and make travel far more comfortable. There are 8 key benefits to having the Citi Executive card.
- 50,000 miles initial bonus means the first year more than pays for itself. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is offering 50,000 miles after $5000 spend within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
I value American miles at 1.4 cents apiece so you’re ‘making money’ on the card in year one, which makes getting the card an easy decision.
- American Airlines Admirals Club membership I find Airlines Club access indispensible during irregular operations, aside from having a place to sit and work during connections or delays (and aside from the improved food and beverage offerings in the lounges). Agents are much faster and more helpful in the lounges keeping me on my way.
LAX Terminal 4 Admirals Club
- Giving lounge access to friends and family. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers up to 10 authorized user cards at no additional annual fee. Authorized users get access to American Airlines clubs as well (for themselves and up to two guests flying American or its qualifying partners same day). With your card, that of 10 authorized users, and everyone bringing in 2 guests that’s lounge access for up to 33 people at a time off of one card membership and annual fee.
- Admirals Clubs still have showers unless their United Club counterparts. Coming off an overnight flight after Thanksgiving the private space to clean up and refresh gave me a second wind and kept me going the rest of the day – which is why I didn’t suffer any jet lag.
American Airlines Admirals Club DFW Concourse A
- 10,000 elite qualifying miles after $40,000 spend on the card each year. As I’ve given American less and less of my business I’ve only re-qualified for Executive Platinum status with the boost that spending on its co-brand cards gives me.
- Priority airport services makes this card good for non-elites who fly American semi-regularly too. It comes with Priority check-in, Priority screening (where offered, useful if you don’t have PreCheck) and early boarding on American Airlines flights so you can avoid gate checking your bags.
American Airlines at Chicago O’Hare
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit every 5 years. You may already have this, but remember that you can have anyone you wish charge their application fee to your card, so you can give the benefit to family or friends.
- A lot of free checked bags the first checked bag is free for cardmembers on domestic American Airlines itineraries including for up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation.