American’s Increasing Admirals Club Fees on July 25

May 27, 2016

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As we learned in February, American Airlines is spending many millions of dollars to renovate its lounges around the world. Following United’s example, that would mean Admirals Club fees are about to climb — and they are. Interestingly, however, AA isn’t matching the United Club’s pricing, which is what we might have expected.

Instead, annual membership fees are jumping by $50 across the board, with household memberships increasing by $100. A one-day pass will cost $59 instead of the current $50, and the 30-day membership option is being discontinued. All changes take effect on July 25, 2016.

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Fortunately, it looks like the annual fee for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard will stay the same, with that card priced at $450 per year. These changes make that card even more valuable — you get a full Admirals Club membership, but you’ll also get free authorized users (who get lounge access as well), a Global Entry credit, a free first checked bag, an opportunity to earn 10,000 elite-qualifying miles after you make $40,000 in purchases in a calendar year and other perks.

Ultimately, we’re glad to see American making these much-needed lounge improvements, and while nobody likes to see increased fees, they could have been a bit worse. And, with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard still priced at $450 per year, the best option for securing Admirals Club access just became even better.

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