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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard
It seems hard to believe that we’ve reached the halfway point of 2015! To celebrate the start of the third quarter, I’m excited to share a lucrative new offer for TPG readers for one of my favorite co-branded airline cards. For a limited time, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 75,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making $7,500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening. This is a great opportunity to boost your miles and score some great travel perks.
Here are the main features of the card:
- For a limited time, earn 75,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making $7,500 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening*
- Admirals Club membership for you with guest privileges*
- 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines after $40,000 spent in purchases each calendar year*
- Receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as a reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®*
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines and US Airways purchases and 1 AAdvantage mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines and US Airways itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
The card comes with a $450 annual fee which is not waived for the first year.
While this new sign-up bonus isn’t quite as lucrative as the 100,000-mile offers from last year, it’s still significantly higher than the “standard” offer of 50,000 miles. I list AAdvantage miles at 1.7 cents apiece in my most recent monthly valuations, so I’d say this sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles is worth $1,275. The spending threshold for earning the bonus is also lower than the offers from last year (though still fairly high, at an average of $2,500 per month).
The other benefits can also be valuable, but how much you get out of them really depends on your travel patterns. Lounge access can be very useful, and this card actually gets you and your immediate family (or two guests) into the Admirals Club even if you’re traveling on a different airline. This is in sharp contrast to the Citi Prestige Card, which only gives you access when you’re traveling on American Airlines or US Airways, and the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express, which only gives complimentary club access to the primary cardholder, and charges $29 per guest.
The free checked bag benefit can save you a good amount over time if you typically need to check a bag when traveling domestically and don’t hold AAdvantage elite status. If you travel by yourself, you’re looking at a savings of $50 for every round-trip, and when you consider that up to 8 companions can also escape those fees, the savings can easily add up.
There’s extra incentive to get the AAdvantage Executive card if you need to sign up for (or renew) a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership. The $100 application fee credit was added to the card in April and can be an easy way to effectively reduce the first year’s annual fee to $350. It’s typically better to get Global Entry (since PreCheck is automatically included), but you have the flexibility to choose which one suits your travel patterns best. For more information, check out our post on How to Apply & Get Approved for Global Entry, as well as my Comprehensive Guide to Global Entry, PreCheck and Nexus.
If you’re planning to apply for this card, be sure that you’re aware of Citi’s rules for credit card applications. You’re only allowed to apply for one personal card every 8 days, and you cannot apply for more than two in a 65-day period. As a result, if you’ve recently gotten in on the increased sign-up bonus for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card or the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard, keep these rules in mind to avoid “wasting” a hard credit inquiry when you’re likely to be automatically declined.
These limited-time offers are great ways to quickly rack up miles and unlock valuable award redemptions that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see another 100,000-mile offer anytime soon, so this new sign-up bonus on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card is worth jumping on while it’s available. If you’ve already been planning to apply for this card, now is definitely the time! If not, check out the benefits and consider your upcoming award travel plans to see whether it makes sense for you.
While Citi announced some negative changes to this card back in July — including a lower sign-up bonus, the elimination of Admirals Club access and the end of the free rounds of golf benefit — one of its most valuable perks still remains, which is the 4th Night Free perk. This benefit alone can save you thousands of dollars a year if you use it to its full advantage.