Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Card: 100K miles after $10K in purchases

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The Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Executive is once again offering an increased welcome bonus of 100,000 miles after $10K in purchases in the first 3 months. Remember that this card relaunched with a new structure last year, both in terms of the annual fee and cost to add authorized users as well as category bonuses and ancillary benefits. I think this will still likely appeal most to those who yearn for Admirals Club access and the Loyalty Point boosts.

a man walking with luggage in a lobby

The Offer & Key Card Details

Card Offer and Details
100K miles after $10,000 spend in first 3 months
$595 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
FM Mini Review: Good choice for those who need Admirals Club® access and those who value the Loyalty Points boosts at 50K and 90K Loyalty Points earned. Plus, it offers the usual collection of perks for flying AA (free checked bag, priority boarding, etc.) and some handy credits for Avis or Budget rentals and GrubHub.
Earning rate: 4X AA ✦ 10X hotels booked through AA.com/Hotels ✦ 10X car rentals booked through AA.com/Cars ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 4X (5.2%)
Other: 10X (13%)
Card Info: Mastercard World Elite issued by Citi. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: ✦ First Checked Bag Free ✦ Admirals Club® access for both primary and authorized users ✦ Up to $120 in statement credits per calendar year for car rentals booked directly with Avis or Budget ✦ Up to $120 per 12 monthly billing cycles for GrubHub purchases (up to $10 per monthly billing cycle) ✦ $10 monthly Lyft credit after you take 3 Lyft rides that calendar month ✦ 10K bonus Loyaty Points after earning 50K Loyalty points through all channels and another 10K bonus Loyalty Points after earning 90K Loyalty Points through all channels ✦ 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights ✦ Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every 4 years

Quick Thoughts

The initial bonus on this card is a large sum of miles that could easily get you a one-way ticket in business class on a partner airline to almost any region of the world. That said, I don’t feel like it is wildly compelling given that there is currently a 70K offer on the Barclays Aviator Red card after first purchase on an authorized her card, so paying the $595 annual fee and only ending up with 100K miles doesn’t draw me in on its own.

However, the main attraction here is of course the Admirals Club lounge access. The primary cardholder gets access to Admirals Clubs. Unfortunately, authorized users are no longer free and have in fact become quite expensive at $175 for the first 3 authorized users and then $175 for each authorized user thereafter. That stands in stark contrast to the prior structure of the card. Still, if you frequently use Admirals Club lounges, the cost could still be worth it — but it is wildly more expensive than it previous was if that is your only reason for carrying the card.

However, last year, the card launched a few new key benefits that may be of interest.

For starters, there is now a rental car benefit that sounds broadly useful: get up to $120 in statement credits each calendar year for car rentals booked directly with Avis or Budget . That’s great since it means that you should be able to use any corporate codes that you’re eligible to use so long as you book directly with Avis/Budget. Furthermore, I bolded the words “calendar year” to be clear that you could double up and get this credit twice in your first cardmember year. In other words, you could get the card now and use the credit for a rental car next week and then you could use the benefit again in January, getting up to $240 in statement credits before your next annual fee comes due.

The card also features a monthly $10 credit for GrubHub purchases, which will be useful to some and not at all for others. I don’t get very excited about GrubHub statement credits simply because GrubHub doesn’t exist in my nearby area, but if I lived in a city where I passed by a place where I might want to place a GrubHub pick up order once a month, I’d surely feel differently.

There’s also a Lyft benefit, though it isn’t as generous as it sounds. It gets billed as “up to $120 in Lyft ride credits”, but that’s a $10 Lyft credit after you take 3 qualifying rides in a month. All Mastercard World and World Elitecardholders can get a $5 Lyft credit after 3 Lyft rides in a month, so the AAdvantage Exexutive card is only adding another $5 to that. This benefit seems kind of gimmicky to me in that you have to make sure that you use Lyft frequently in order to get the credit and then you also have to forgo the chance to earn better rewards with a different card.

Citi has upped the ante a bit with 4x on American Airlines purchases, which is a nice bump that Greg noted might make the card worth using instead of a transferable currency card that would earn 3x points. You can also get 10x for hotels booked at AA.com/hotels, which might make sense when you don’t care about elite credit or benefits, and you’ll get 10x for cars booked at AA.com/Cars, but I imagine that you’ll rarely get a competitive price on a car rental through that portal.

Those chasing elite status will enjoy the bumps in Loyalty Points: with this card, you’ll get 10,000 bonus Loyalty Points after you earn 50,000 Loyalty Points (from all sources combined) in an elite status year and 10,000 after you earn 90,000 Loyalty Points. You could presumably earn all of those Loyalty Points through the shopping portal without ever using the Executive card at all and you’d still qualify for those 10K Loyalty Point bonuses just by virtue of having the card.

It is that focus on keeping you engaged within the American Airlines ecosystem rather than focusing on spend on the card that I find most interesting. Clearly, American Airlines has decided that they want to encourage you to collect American Airlines miles and Loyalty Points in all of the ways available, which in turn likely keeps you more loyal to American Airlines. I think it is an interesting strategy that runs counter to the trend of finding ways to trap your spend on a card that is otherwise unideal as has been the case for some cards with other issuers.

Overall, I still suspect that this card will be a good fit for some, though it won’t be a good fit for those who got it primarily for the cheap access to Admirals Club lounges for a group of people. That’ll no longer be cheap, but if you value the other parts and pieces, this offer could still be intriguing.

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32 Comments
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oren

Is there a referral code?

Cathy

FYI if you fly first class you get in the lounge anyway

[…] Miler flags a 100,000 mile bonus offer for the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card, the $595 annual fee card that […]

[…] Miler flags a 100,000 mile bonus offer for the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card, the $595 annual fee card that […]

Andrew

Looks like AA is doing elevated offers pretty much across the portfolio. I just picked up both the Citi Platinum Personal and Business cards for the 75K offers last month and the Barclays Aviator Red has its elevated bonus too.

It would be great if this elevated offer comes around again in 6 – 8 months (wishful thinking here!). With the new LP bonus scheme picking up this card late in the elite status year would be beneficial for trying to double dip it. Get an extra 10K or 20K LP added towards the end of the current status year, and then earn an extra 10K or 20K again in the 2025 – 2026 status year by reaching the 50K or 90K point thresholds before you reach the card anniversary and downgrade. The card overhaul is new enough I’m not sure what will happen to those bonus LP points when you downgrade but I would assume you get to keep them, or at a minimum keep the earned Platinum or Platinum Pro status if you pass the needed LP threshold. I’m indifferent to their lounge access but AA did a smart job on this card overhaul to try to entice those interested in racking up AA miles and LPs.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andrew
Sarah

I got this card over 4 years ago. Ready to downgrade and get the bonus. How much time do I need to let pass before I re-apply?

Sea Pea

Does the 4 year waiting period apply if I got a bonus on the Citi AAdvatage Platinum select recently?

Cathy

No as long as it’s not the same card

Cathy

It’s 4 years for a new bonus on the same card. So if you have an executive get the miles then you can also apply for platinum select and get another bonus and the fee is waved the first year.

Kyle

Hi FM team- the page for this card says the offer expires 9/6. Is this accurate or is there a possibility it could end sooner? Trying to delay applying as long as I can! Thanks!

Tim Steinke

Yes, it’s supposed to go until 9/6…but I would advise applying on 9/5 as we don’t know the exact time on 9/6 it will be going away.

Kyle

Great, thanks!

Lukas

Will try to get SUB quickly and cancel to get a refund on the annual fee 😀

JL100

To me the Grubhub pickup food for $10 is the only benefit I will be using other than the lounges. Easy to add the card in the Grubhub app and do one order per month. Other than that it like buying miles since the annual fee and SUB spend is so high with most purchases getting 1x.

Jon

Is the $120 rental card credit simply per year or is it $10 a month like the other credits? Say I book a rental car once for $200 – will I get the full $120 credit for that single rental?

Cathy

10.00 a month

Jeff

I remember you writing about a maximum 120k bonus pts/365 day limit from AA. I’m not seeing the language here. Does that apply? I got a citi aa biz bonus only a few months ago.

Neil

This year I have gotten 70K from Barclay, 65K from Citi Biz, and 75K from Citi personal. They all posted.

Cathy

Doesn’t matter as long as it’s a different AA type of card

Christian

Can authorized users bring guests into the lounges?

Josh

For what it’s worth, the $10 for taking 3 Lyft rides triggered the $5 Mastercard benefit as well as the the $10 benefit from this card, so total of $15 in Lyft credit. Unsure if this is intended or just a glitch since it is new. The $10+5 applied on my next Lyft ride automatically. 

Robbie

Does the credit work in others countries? The Amex Uber credit only works in USA. Wondering if Citi is the same.

Josh

the terms don’t really specify i don’t think :/

Lee

Limited time offer ends when?

Larry K

I think maybe on the podcast you guys indicated that car rental coverage on this card is primary, unlike other Citi cards. Not sure I heard that right though and my poor google skills can’t find that.

Also, do we know what happens this year for people who get this card after they have already earned 50,000 or 90,000 LPs? Will they retroactively get LOs or do you need to earn the 50/90 after getting the card?