New Citi Executive / AAdvantage MasterCard - Worth it or Not?
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Hilary Stockton
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 Citi Executive / AAdvantage MasterCard


While Citi has been offering an AAdvantage MasterCard for awhile, it recently introduced the Citi Executive / AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard, which promises to be "your passport to a world of luxury benefits."

Well, we hope so, given that it comes with a hefty $450 annual fee, which is not waived the first year. This is as much as the American Express Platinum Card, so we think it's appropriate to compare the benefits to the AMEX Platinum, keeping in mind of course that the Citi AAdvantage card earns miles instead of Membership Rewards Points.

 

Essentially, the key unique benefits are:

  • 10,000 EQMs each calendar year after $40,000 in spend
  • Double miles on American Airlines spend

 

The upshot? Unless you need a boost to requalify for Elite status on American, give this card a miss. There have been such great signup bonuses recently with other AA Citi cards (Visa and AMEX) that it’s cheaper to wait for a good credit card offer than accrue miles flying American, even with double miles. And if you’re after lounge access, concierge service and other perks, you may as well get even more benefits (Priority Pass access, Delta and US Airways Lounges; the Fine Hotels and Resorts program; $200 credit for airline fees, purchase protection, etc.) and wait for another great AMEX Platinum offer (there have been targeted offers of 75-100K) before taking the plunge of a $450 annual fee.

 

Benefit

Citi Executive AAdvantage

AMEX Platinum

Sign-up bonus

(as of 7/18/11)

25K points after $1000 spend in first 4 months

25K points after $1000 spend in first 3 months

Points

2 AAdvantage miles/$1 spent on American Airlines

 

1 AAdvantage mile/all other purchases

1 Point/$1 spent, with few exceptions (AMEX Travel Service, Bonus Points Mall etc.)

 

Membership Rewards Points can be instantly transferred to many frequent flyer programs, and there are often bonus transfer opportunities, most recently with Delta and British Airways

Bonus Points

10K EQM (Elite Qualifying Miles) after $40K spend each calendar year

 

Additional cardholders do not earn this benefit

 

Airport Lounge Access

American Admirals Clubs

American Admirals Clubs, Delta SkyClubs, US Airways Clubs, and Priority Pass Lounges (600 worldwide)

 

Access to Continental Presidents Clubs only avail. Through 9/30/11

Other Airport Benefits

Priority Business Class check-in, priority security screening, priority Business Class boarding on AA flights

n/a

Airline Fee Credit

Waived domestic baggage fee for 1st eligible checked bag for you and traveling companions

$200 (Must choose single airline for calendar year and charge airline fees to Platinum card)

Fine Hotels & Resorts

n/a

>600 hotels and resorts offer benefits such as free breakfast, room upgrade based on availability, 4pm check-out, food/drink credits, 3rd night free, etc.

Foreign transaction fees

None

None

Baggage Insurance

n/a

Covered for up to $3000 when ticket paid for with card

Purchase Protection

n/a

Covered for up to $10K for a purchase that is accidentally lost, stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase

Return Protection

n/a

Covered for up to $300 per item when unable to return an item

Personal Concierge Service

24/7 concierge service

24/7 concierge service


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