American increasing Admirals Club membership costs for elite members as of May 1, 2013

As of May 1, 2013, American will be increasing the cost of Admirals Club memberships for elite members by $25-50. The cost for base AAdvantage members remains the same at $500, while it goes up by $50 for AAdvantage Platinum and Executive Platinum members, and up by $25 for AAdvantage Gold members.

I don’t think I’ve ever discussed this, but I’ve always found it interesting that airlines offer discounts on club members to elite members. Yes, I think the underlying reason for doing so is obvious, but at the same time isn’t the willingness of an Executive Platinum to pay much higher than that of a base member that may only fly a few times a year?

Anyway, if you do have an Admirals Club membership it makes sense to renew before May 1 to avoid the higher prices. That being said, I can’t imagine why anyone in the US with a decent credit score would have an Admirals Club membership. The American Express Platinum card has a $450 annual fee and comes with so many other benefits that help offset the cost that it’s a no brainer. Back in the day American would specifically exclude those with American Express Platinum cards from getting free internet in the club, but that’s not the case anymore.

(Tip of the hat to AAdvantageGeek)


  1. @ Anon — I believe they’re the same (two guests of dependents). The biggest difference is that with Admirals Club membership you can use lounge even when not flying American, while you can’t with the Platinum card (though you can use Priority Pass and US Airways lounges regardless of which airline you fly).

  2. Admirals Club membership used to offer better benefits-proactive flight monitoring, free wifi (before it became free to all with access), but since they took away the ability to call the clubs directly four years back or so I haven’t seen the value in keeping a membership I use my Amex Plat

  3. I wonder if they will raise the number of Business Extra points required for AC membership also?

  4. You need a boarding pass and it has to be an AA one to use the Admirals Club with AMEX Platinum card. However, you don’t even need a boarding pass (checkin agents will issue a security pass valid until the end of the day) to use the lounge with Admirals Club membership or one-day pass.

  5. As to why people buy admirals club membership, many companies pay the fee for their heavy travel employees.

  6. @Lucky- I’d love to see a review from you comparing the various clubs and membership costs. From my limited exposure, I find the United Club has improved since the merger. The 3-4 times I visited the American club, it felt like everything was for sale and food for purchase was HEAVILY promoted. I had to hunt for the free stuff, which isn’t the case with United.

  7. @ Paul — Definitely an interesting topic for discussion that I’ll try to cover. Agree the food selection in the Admirals Clubs is weak, though I like them for two reasons. First, most of them have showers, which isn’t the case at United Clubs. And second, I think they’re actually for the most part decorated more nicely than the United Clubs. The ones in Dallas are especially nice, and one of the Admirals Clubs even has a small gym.

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