Citi AAdvantage Executive Credit Card Review

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From Seek Capital - Best for American Flyers

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles

Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles after you use your new Card to make $7,500 on purchases in your first 3 Months


Earn 2 AAdvantage Miles for every dollar spent on airlines, gas stations, and restaurants
Earn 1 AAdvantage Mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases
25%In-Flight Savings
Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights
$0Foreign Transaction Fee
No foreign transaction fees when using this card

Citi AAdvantage Executive Credit Card

The Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card delivers some extraordinary benefits to those who swipe it regularly and fly with American Airlines. You can earn enough bonus miles to cover double coast-to-coast round-trip airfare in economy or business class or a single round trip cross-country first-class flight. That’s between $800 and $2,300 in value, and we haven’t even started talking about ongoing mileage rewards and the other perks of this card. Get into the Admiral’s club, drink custom beverages in airport lounges and cover upgrade costs with miles you earn buying everyday things.

When a traveler’s card has this many perks, it’s easy to get lost in the fine print. We’ve taken the major points and laid them out below so you can see how valuable this card can get.

Rewards Highlights

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Introductory Annual Fee
  • 2x AAdvantage Miles on Travel Expenses
  • 1x AAdvantage Miles on Everything Else

Expert Review

The Pros

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Introductory Annual Fee
  • 2x AAdvantage Miles on Travel Expenses
  • 1x AAdvantage Miles on Everything Else

The Cons

  • Strict Approval Requirements

Recommended Credit Profile

Rates & Fees

  • Annual Fee$450
  • Regular APR17.74% to 25.74%
  • Great ForAmerican AirlinesHotelsRestaurants
  • Regular Purchase APR17.74% to 25.74%
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR17.74% to 25.74%
  • Cash Advance APR27.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3%
  • Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee0%

Let’s Start With the Sign-Up Bonus

You earn the sign-up bonus when you spend $5,000 within three months of opening your account. That might sound like a lot, but it’s only $1,667 per month or about $415 per week. Since spending on any type of product or service (aside from same-as-cash purchases such as money orders) counts toward the bonus, you can swipe the Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card at the grocery story, restaurants or the fuel pump to get to the $5,000 bonus requirement.

So, if you spend $50 on fuel, $200 on groceries, $100 on dining out, and $65 on incidental odds and ends (like a new pair of shoes, supplies for a kid’s school project, or a birthday gift) every week, just pay with this card and you’ve earned your bonus without really trying.

Another way to get to the bonus is to time a big purchase or two within those three months. Already looking to replace your living room furniture or upgrade the air conditioning? Kill two birds with one stone by paying with the Citi AAdvantage Executive card.

Once you meet the $5,000 threshold, you’ll get 50,000 bonus miles from American Airlines AAdvantage program. Around 12,500 miles is all you need to hope a plane from New York to Los Angeles, so you can imaging how much domestic travel you can get with 50,000 miles.

Keep Earning Miles After You Score the Bonus

You’ll keep earning miles every time you swipe this card. First, you get 1 mile for every dollar you spend, and there’s no maximum cap on the number of AAdvantage miles you can earn through the card. Since the miles transfer to your American Airlines AAdvantage program, they won’t expire as long as you earn or redeem miles via the card, American Airlines or an affiliated carrier every 18 months or more.

You can double up on earning miles when you spend directly with American Airlines. Airfare, upgrades and American Airlines products net you 2 miles for every dollar spent.

The Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card also provides an opportunity to earn Elite Qualifying Miles (or EQM). When you spend $40,000 in one year, you’re awarded 10,000 EQM that help qualify you for Elite status in the next calendar year. You only need 25,000 EQM for Gold Elite status, so that bonus gets you over a third of the way there. Benefits of Elite status include:

  • Free checked bags
  • Mileage bonuses that help you get more out of your rewards
  • Deep discounts on main cabin extra seats
  • Complimentary preferred seats and automatic upgrade requests
  • Larger upgrade windows

So, how do you reach these spending milestones, and what type of rewards can you expect when you get there? Here’s a look at how you might get to the $40,000 per year required for the 10,000 EQM.

  • Use the Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card to fund your everyday needs, including food, fuel and clothing. Perhaps you spend $2,500 a month on these items, which is $30,000 within the year. That’s 30,000 miles.
  • Cover your business or personal travel with the card and book with American Airlines. Perhaps you take three trips totaling $10,000, and $4,000 of that was airfare. You’ll get 6,000 points for the $6,000 spent with car rental companies, hotels and dining establishments during your journeys and 8,000 points for the dollars spent with the airline. That’s another 14,000 points.
  • Plus, don’t forget to count the 50,000 bonus points!
  • That’s a total of 94,000 points or about four round-trip coast-to-coast flights.

That’s enough miles to cover airfare for a family of four to Disney Worldorthe Caribbean. You could use the miles to cover first-class fare for two to Las Vegas (or any other romantic location you choose in the contiguous United States) or get yourself to the South Pacific or back.

The world is literally at your fingertips when you make it a habit to swipe the Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card.

Other Perks of This Card

Free travel is awesome, but so are some of the other perks of the Citi AAdvantage Executive card. First, if you earn the bonus, you’ll get automatic membership into the Admirals Club, which gets you special amenities at over 50 locations. Those benefits include hot showers, complimentary snacks and drinks, business center access and, in some clubs, made-to-order meals. If you’ve already got this membership, you may be able to get a statement credit equal to the amount of the membership fee.

Other benefits of the Citi Advantage Executive credit card include:

  • Priority check-in and airport screening for you and up to eight other people on the same registration
  • Dedicated concierge services
  • First free checked bag for you and up to eight other people on the reservation
  • Credit for the TSA precheck or Global Entry fee

If you’re not keeping track, let us stop a moment to remind you: We’re up to thousands in benefits on this card.

What About Fees?

The Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card has no foreign transaction fees. That means when you buy something oversees or pay for international hospitality, you’re not paying anything extra to the bank. Since many banks charge a 3 to 5 percent transaction fee on foreign purchases, you’re saving $3 to $5 on every $100 you spend overseas with this card.

The card does have a $450 annual fee, but the perks more than make up for that. Earn the bonus the first year, and you’ve more than recouped the annual fee when you redeem the miles for free airfare. Spend just $25,000 on general purchases each year after the first year, and you’ll earn enough miles for a round trip ticket in the United States, which is equal to about the annual fee in many cases.

This is definitely a traveler’s card, and it’s going to serve you best if you swipe and fly regularly. For those who do, the Citi AAdvantage Executive card doesn’t cost money, it simply keeps giving rewards.

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