Citi Authorized User Admirals Club Benefit Terms

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On Tuesday I first wrote about the incredible new lounge access perk being offered on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. This is American’s premium co-branded credit card, which has a $450 annual fee, but comes with quite a few perks which help offset that.

The most significant benefit is that you receive an Admirals Club membership if you’re the primary cardmember. Historically only the primary cardmember received Admirals Club access, though that finally changed. As of a couple of days ago, authorized users on the card get Admirals Club access as well.

As I explained yesterday, the crazy part is that you can add 10 authorized users on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card at no additional cost. Each cardmember can take up to two guests into the lounge, meaning in theory you could bring a group of 33 into the lounge (if the primary cardmember and 10 authorized users are all maxing out their guesting privileges). Of course I doubt that will ever happen, but in theory

Admirals-Club-Dallas
Admirals Club Dallas

While I had shared the media press release I was sent regarding the new perk, there wasn’t very much public info about the new perk, including the official terms.

Well, American finally sent an email to those with the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card explaining the perks in more detail:

Your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® benefits just got better. We are pleased to announce authorized users on your account are now allowed access to the Admirals Club® even when you aren’t with them.1

You and your authorized users have access to more than 50 Admirals Club® lounge locations worldwide. Complimentary lounge amenities include drink and light snacks, Wi-Fi access, personal travel assistance with your reservations and much more.

To access the Admirals Club® lounge, your authorized user must present their valid Citi® / AAdvantage®Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, along with his or her current government-issued I.D. if not accompanied by the primary cardmember.

Citi-Executive-Card-Lounge-Access

Here are the full terms of the authorized user benefit, which are interesting (as I’ll explain below):

1 Only Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® primary cardmembers who are eighteen (18) years of age or older will receive full membership access privileges to Admirals Club® lounges. An Authorized User of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® credit card will receive access privileges to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges. Full Admirals Club® membership privileges do not apply to an Authorized User. An Admirals Club® membership includes access to other airline lounges and clubs with which American Airlines may have reciprocal lounge or club access privileges including lounges operated by oneworld® carriers. Membership also includes special pricing on conference rooms and other special offers that are available exclusively to Admirals Club® members. These benefits are not extended to an Authorized User. To locate a current list of Admirals Club® lounges please visit aa.com/Admiralsclub.

To access an Admirals Club® lounge, the primary cardmember must present: (i) his or her (a) AAdvantage® number or (b) active and valid Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®; (ii) his or her current government-issued I.D.; and (iii) any additional required documentation. Either immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner and children under eighteen (18) years of age) or up to two (2) guests traveling with the primary cardmember may be admitted for free when accompanied by the primary cardmember. All persons must be of valid drinking age, based on applicable law, to consume alcohol. If the primary cardmember is an Admirals Club® member on the date his or her Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® card account is approved by Citi® and has sixty (60) or more days remaining on such current Admirals Club® membership, he or she is eligible to receive a prorated refund from American Airlines for any unused portion of his or her current Admirals Club® membership fee. The refund will be a prorated amount of the annual membership fee calculated based on the number of days remaining on such primary cardmember’s current Admirals Club® membership as of the date his or her Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® card account is approved by Citi®. Refunds will be automatically made in the original form of payment within twelve (12) weeks of becoming a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® cardmember. Lifetime Admirals Club® members and AirPass® members with Admirals Club® privileges are not eligible for a refund. Upon closure of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® account, all Admirals Club® benefits and access associated with the account will be immediately terminated. All Admirals Club®membership rules, terms and conditions apply. AMERICAN AIRLINES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY ANY OR ALL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. SUCH MODIFICATIONS SHALL BE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND INCORPORATED INTO THIS AGREEMENT. BY ACCESSING ANY ADMIRALS CLUB® LOUNGE YOU SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE ACCEPTED THE ADMIRALS CLUB® TERMS AND CONDITIONS. To review the complete Admirals Club® membership terms and conditions, visit aa.com/Admiralsclub.

The way I interpret it:

  • Only primary cardmembers on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card will receive an Admirals Club membership (as was the case before)
  • Authorized users on the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card will receive Admirals Club access with standard guesting privileges (immediate family or two guests), and can be flying on any airline to access the lounge
  • Authorized users don’t receive an Admirals Club membership, however; this means that authorized users don’t get access to partner airline lounges (like Alaska Board Rooms), and also don’t get special pricing on conference rooms in Admirals Clubs

Alaska-Board-Room-LAX-16
Authorized users won’t get access to partner lounges, like Alaska Board Rooms

Bottom line

This perk really does seem to be as good as it sounds. I think this is a brilliant move on Citi’s part, as it will cause more people to hold onto the card.

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Comments

  1. As a lawyer, I actually find these T&Cs a bit vague when it comes to authorized users as it says they will have “access privileges” but doesn’t actually define what that means… and thus doesn’t specifically say what guest privileges the AUs will have.

  2. Ben,

    Just to confirm, if an authorized user is flying an airline OTHER than American, can he/she still access the Admirals Club without the primary cardholder?

  3. Thanks for the information. Seriously considering the card since my wife loves to get the airport early so she doesn’t feel rushed.

  4. Interesting data point for you: We used the Admirals Club in YYZ while flying TAM with Citi Prestige,so primary card holder and guest. My wife (cardholder) is the primary. We were immediately offered entry without charge and without seeing my authorized user card. She simply swiped my wife’s card and said welcome Mrs. GSTP and guest. Just a data point, I’m sure other places would be less enthused.

  5. Regarding getting into other airlines lounges, could you name the airlines besides Alaska if you have the Citi Exec card..

  6. Just for my own edification, I would only need this benefit if I travel in coach? From what I can tell, I get access for my upcoming trip since I am flying business. I know I can’t get into all clubs (like first class lounges) but will I also have access in biz on a miles ticket?

  7. @Fred, assuming you’re talking about flying on American, you only get club access if you’re flying international business, not domestic. In the back of my brain there’s something about certain transcons though–SFO and LAX to JFK, LAX to MIA used to get access in business (and might still).

  8. This is interesting. Makes it a somewhat tough choice whether to stick with the Prestige or go back to Executive and get the Premier. Prestige does still have some benefits, most notably that it’s a lot cheaper when you factor in the airline credit.

  9. Lucky – just to clarify as it is getting somewhat confusing – what you’re saying now about Authorized Users of the Executive World Elite card is slightly different than what you were saying in your post on Tuesday. Tuesday, you were saying that Authorized Users would have an actual Admiral’s Club MEMBERSHIP whereas now you’re saying that they will not be a “MEMBER” but instead, will have Admiral’s Club guest privileges. Is that correct? If so, then really the only difference as I understand for an Authorized User would be the lack of ability to user other partner airline lounges and special conference room pricing??

  10. Happy Holidays! I heard a rumor that authorized Prestige users will also get Admirals club access! Happy Day!

  11. FYI, my auth user card arrived today. There is no marking on the card indicating Admirals club benefits. I’ll be able to test it next Tuesday….

  12. I am an Authorized User on my Mom’s card and attempted to access both Admirals Clubs at JFK in Feb 2016. Both times, the desk agent “did me a favor” and let me enter the lounge but told me I was not technically eligible. One said only one authorized user on the card was allowed (whoever was added first), another told me the card didn’t work at all for entrance then after speaking to her manager, said only spouses who were authorized users were allowed. Super frustrating. My Mom called Citi today to confirm I was eligible for entrance and they said yes. Just going to keep trying and keep getting embarrassed I guess…

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