Should I Get the Citi AA Executive Card with the 75,000-Mile Bonus?

Jul 5, 2015

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TPG reader Mike messaged me to ask a credit card question:

“Should I sign up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard with a 75,000-mile bonus?”

Just this week, Citi announced a new sign-up bonus for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, offering 75,000 miles after making $7,500 in purchases in the first three months. I’m not sure how long it will be available; it’s always a bit of a game trying to figure out whether to wait for a higher bonus or jump on the current offer. If it’s popular, it could get pulled at any time.

I got this card with a 100,000-mile bonus last year when American Airlines was pulling out of The Platinum Card® from American Express lounge program. That offer was available specifically in Admirals Club lounges. The bonus has since dropped to 60,000 and then 50,000 miles, so I think the current offer for 75,000 miles is a great deal.

There’s always the potential for a better bonus, but 75,000 miles is a pretty strong offer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Even if you don’t fly American Airlines often, this card is a no-brainer. 75,000 miles will get you a round-trip coach flight or a one-way business or first class ticket to anywhere in the world on Oneworld partner airlines. I value AA miles at 1.7 points apiece, so I think this sign-up bonus is worth at least $1,275 dollars, and you can get even more than that if you play your cards right. Even though the card has a hefty $450 annual fee, it’s still worthwhile.

Personally, I’d probably redeem the 75,000 for a one-way, first class flight on Cathay Pacific — you can get to Asia on Cathay for just 67,500 AAdvantage miles, so you’d even have 7,500 left over (plus whatever you get for hitting the minimum spending requirement). A first class seat on Cathay is worth way more than $1,275!

My editor-in-chief Zach is using his sign-up bonus to fly Etihad’s first class Apartment from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in a few weeks — that’s just 60,000 AAdvantage miles, including a business-class flight from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives.

Of course, you also get a lot of other perks, such as full Admirals Club membership, a $100 Global Entry fee credit, free checked bags, priority check-in/security screening/boarding and more.

I doubt this offer will go up; in fact, I think Citi is more likely to pull the offer soon than to increase the bonus, so I would suggest taking advantage of it ASAP.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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