Citi just changed the benefit terms regarding Admiral’s Club Lounge access for Citi Prestige® Card holders. Take a look at this screenshot from my Prestige account’s explanation of benefits:
The Admirals Club lounge benefit will be pulled effective July 23rd, 2017 (roughly a year from now). This is one of many changes happening with the Citi Prestige® Card right now. We’re not sure exactly what the rest of those changes will be yet, but I did have to remove the current card offer from this site– so there is no doubt change is on the horizon.
If Admiral’s Club lounge Access was a perk of the Prestige that you valued highly, then you should consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. You can get up to 33 people lounge access with it. That’s not a typo. I actually meant 33 people.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Full Offer Details
- Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Admirals Club® membership for you with guest privileges
- Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
- 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines after $40,000 spent on purchases every year (January through December billing statement)
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- A statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- $450 Annual fee
I’ll go ahead and address the elephant in the room.
$450 is a scary large annual fee. But it’s not nearly as straightforward as it looks. Aside from the obvious value of the sign-up bonus, consider these two things:
- The first year you get a $100 statement credit that you can use for your own Global Entry application or someone else’s. That effectively knocks down the price of the annual fee to $350 (the first year).
- One of the listed perks is complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users. One Admiral’s Club membership for a year costs $500. If Admiral’s Club lounge access is something you would consider paying for anyways, then that brings your net “annual fee” to $150. You are making $150 so far, and we haven’t even considered the value of the sign-up bonus (which I personally value at about $975).
But it doesn’t stop there. You get Admirals Club access for yourself AND authorized users. So what does this ambiguous term “authorized users” mean? For once the fine print is in our favor.
“Authorized Users” = 33 People
As of 2015, you can add up to 10 authorized users to your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® account, and each one will get access to American Airlines lounges for himself and two guests. They get the lounge access no matter what airline they’re flying, and even if you, the accountholder, are not present.
With you plus your two guests, that means a total of 33 people can access the same Admirals Club for free in the unlikely event that you, your 10 authorized users, and your 22 combined guests were all together.
You, the primary cardholder, are an Admirals Club member. The authorized users do not have to be.
As the primary cardholder you can enter not just the 50 American Airlines lounges, but also the 40 partners lounges that are affiliated with the Admirals Club including Alaska Airlines and Qantas lounges. The authorized users can only access the 50 American Airlines lounges, not the 40 partner lounges.
Unfortunately as of July 23, 2017, Citi Prestige® Card holders will no longer have access to American Airlines’ Admirals Clubs.
Fortunately, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® offers Admirals Club lounge access as one of its many perks, that you can stretch to apply to up to 32 other people. Not to mention you get at least 65,000 American Airlines miles for meeting the minimum spending requirement of $5,000 in three months (bonus + at least 1x on regular spending), which is enough to redeem on all of these super cool awards.
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.