As we first learned last July, some major changes are being made to the Citi Prestige® Card as of July 23, 2017. This is a card that I considered to be one of the most well rounded out there, thanks to the $250 annual airline credit, Admirals Club access, fourth night free hotel benefit, etc.
As of July 23, 2017, the Citi Prestige® Card will no longer offer access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs, meaning that many of us have a month to figure out how we want to access American’s lounges going forward.
While this certainly reduces the value of the Citi Prestige Card to me, I still find it more than worthwhile to hold onto. I’ve used the fourth night free hotel benefit on the card many times, and it has saved me thousands of dollars. So it does take away a benefit I’ve long valued, though it doesn’t impact whether or not the card still makes sense for me.
Nonetheless I’m in a position where I seriously need to think about how I plan on getting Admirals Club access in the future. On one hand I wonder if it’s even worth bothering, given that the lounges are often overcrowded, to the point that I’ve sometimes found myself just sitting in the terminal rather than the club, even when I have access.
On the other hand, it’s still a nice option to have, especially if the cost is reasonable. The most obvious way to get Admirals Club access is to buy an annual membership, though the pricing is steep:
The much better value is getting the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, which has a $450 annual fee and offers an Admirals Club membership. So paying a $450 annual fee compared to a $450 membership fee may seem like a wash, though the key benefit of this card is that you can add authorized users on this card at no additional cost, and they receive Admirals Club access as well. 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.
The sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles upon completing minimum spend isn’t half bad either. 😉
Best of all, it looks like I should be eligible for this card and sign-up bonus again. I had this card back in the day, but canceled it in the first half of 2015. In looking at the online statement for my card, it looks like I haven’t had it opened in the past 24 months:
The terms regarding the sign-up bonus 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.
The common interpretation of this is that you’re not eligible for the bonus if you’ve opened or closed any personal Citi AAdvantage Card in the past 24 months. While I have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, I’ve had it open for years. That means I should be eligible for the bonus, since I haven’t actively opened or closed a Citi AAdvantage Card in over 24 months. I suspect many other are in the same boat, and are in fact eligible for this bonus.
Right now four people in my family have the Citi Prestige® Card, and most of them will probably still find the card worth holding onto for the fourth night free benefit. However, Admirals Club access comes in handy to all of us at least to some degree, so my plan is to sign-up for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and then add several authorized users. I view it as a buy one Admirals Club membership and get 10 free deal.
Best of all, it looks like I should be eligible for the sign-up bonus again, since I haven’t had the card in over two years.
Anyone else plan on picking up the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® for Admirals Club access?