Why I Signed up for the AA Executive Card Even Though I’m a United Flyer

Oct 13, 2017

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In September, I stepped foot in an American Airlines Admirals Club for the first time in years, to review the airline’s latest location at LAX. I had just signed up for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, so it didn’t cost me a cent to get in — even though I had arrived on a United flight and would be flying Delta later that night. My new metal credit card hadn’t come in the mail yet, but I was able to get in just by providing my AAdvantage number and a photo ID.

Now, I rarely fly American Airlines, and since United’s my carrier of choice, I’m usually passing through a terminal with at least one United Club, and I can always get in thanks to the membership that comes along with my United Club Card — sometimes I even luck out and get to swipe my Platinum Card® from American Express to gain entry to a Centurion Lounge, in which case I’m in for a treat.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review
I used my card to access AA’s new Admirals Club at LAX.

But even though I’m not hurting for options with my existing card portfolio, I decided to add the $450 Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard to my wallet, for a few reasons:

I recently burned a bunch of AA miles to book the Etihad Apartment, and my balance is lower than it’s been in years. With a recent promise of improved MileSAAver availability, American miles might become useful for domestic flights again — it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have 75,000 more at my disposal. We value AA miles at 1.4 cents apiece, making this bonus worth $1,050, which is more than two years of the annual fee.

I’ve gotten great use out of my AA miles, such as a redemption for Etihad’s A380 Apartment in 2015.

For now, I’m only committing to the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard for the first year — whether I renew will depend not only on my own travel habits, but those of the family members and friends I’ve added as authorized users, since the value they can get alone could make the card worth keeping indefinitely.

As for how to use my new stash of AA miles… I have a few ideas.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
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Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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