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As we’ve learned over the past couple of days, the Citi Prestige Card will be losing Admirals Club access as of July 23, 2017. Fortunately we have over a year of advance notice about the change, so this shouldn’t immediately impact any of us.
As an American flyer I’m of course sad to see that benefit discontinued, though it doesn’t change the fundamental value proposition of the Citi Prestige Card to me even after the benefit is eliminated. Between the annual airline credit, Priority Pass access with guesting privileges, fourth night free benefit, etc., the card is still a no brainer.
However, one thing this change does do is increase the value proposition of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. This is the Citi card with a $450 annual fee that will continue to offer Admirals Club access.
While the Citi Prestige Card has offered Admirals Club access, keep in mind that it hasn’t offered an Admirals Club membership. In other words, you need to be flying American Airlines same day in order to use the Admirals Club with the Citi Prestige Card.
Meanwhile the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card comes with an outright Admirals Club membership, meaning you can use an Admirals Club even when you’re not flying American.
But as I’ve explained before, it actually gets even better than that. With the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card you can add 10 additional cardmembers at no additional cost, and they receive Admirals Club access as well, with each allowed to take two guests per visit.
The funny thing is that I was already considering picking up the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card in addition to the Citi Prestige Card before this change was announced. Basically for $450 per year I could buy Admirals Club access for my friends and family, which seems like a good enough deal to me.
However, going forward this will be the card that gets me Admirals Club access as well. In a few days American is raising the cost of an Admirals Club membership by $50-100, so once that happens, the absolute cheapest cost to buy an Admirals Club membership will be $450. At that point, getting the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card instead is a no brainer.
Ultimately nothing is changing immediately, given that the Citi Prestige will continue to come with Admirals Club access for another year. However, even with the Citi Prestige Card’s old policy I was considering picking up the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card as a way of getting Admirals Club access for friends & family. Now it’s even more of a no brainer, since I’ll need it to get myself into Admirals Clubs.
With the changes coming to the Citi Prestige Card, do you plan on having the Prestige, Executive, or both?