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As someone who primarily flies American domestically, I’ve gotten a ton of value out of the Admirals Club access offered by the Citi Prestige® Card. The card comes with a slew of other benefits that more than justify the annual fee (including a fourth night free hotel benefit), so Admirals Club access was the icing on the cake.
The Citi Prestige Card will no longer offer Admirals Club access
As previously reported, unfortunately there are some changes coming to the card, and as of July 23, 2017, the Citi Prestige Card will no longer offer Admirals Club access as a perk. So now I’m putting some thought into how I plan on getting Admirals Club access going forward. While Admirals Clubs are far from glam, it’s nice to have a (relatively) quiet place from which to work during a layover.
The next best option for Admirals Club access?
I suppose I could buy an Admirals Club membership directly, but that isn’t cheap. American charges the following amounts for an Admirals Club membership:
So as an Executive Platinum member I’d be paying $450 per year for an Admirals Club membership. Fortunately there’s another very good option.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® has a $450 annual fee, and offers an Admirals Club membership. So on the surface it’s a “wash,” without considering the other benefits. However, there’s a lot more value to had from this card.
Perhaps most significantly, you can add authorized users on this card at no additional cost, and they receive Admirals Club access as well. So you can potentially add 10 authorized users and not pay any extra. So I might as well do this and be able to get Admirals Club access for friends and family at no extra cost, essentially.
There’s only one slight problem…
While I could apply for the card and probably be approved, I wouldn’t receive the welcome bonus. The terms of the card state the following:
American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.
I have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® (for reasons I explained in a post about my Citi card strategy), and since I got it in the past 24 months, I wouldn’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus on the Executive Card. That’s not a deal breaker since I still think I’d get outsized value with the card compared to paying for an Admirals Club membership outright, but I can do better than that.
While my dad and I both have Citi AAdvantage cards already, my mom and Ford don’t. So the best option is to have one of them pick up the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and I’ll cover the annual fee — they’ll get the sign-up bonus, and can add me as an authorized user, and I’ll still have full Admirals Club access. That seems like a win-win, and a condition under which we’d keep the card long term.
To those of you who have been relying on the Citi Prestige Card for Admirals Club access, what’s your plan for getting access in the future?