Back in January I signed up for the Amex Platinum card because I was looking to see what all of the hype is about with premium credit cards. Up until then, I didn’t own a card with an annual fee higher than $95 because I just didn’t want or need to pay $550 for a piece of metal (albeit, the metal card is cool). I decided on the Amex Platinum for a few reasons:

  • Amex Centurion lounge access in Philadelphia
  • Priority Pass/Delta SkyLounge access
  • Amex concierge
  • $200 airline credits annually

Now that we’re halfway through the year I started thinking about whether or not I want to renew my Platinum card in January. I’m really on the fence with it for a few reasons:

  • None of the airports I’ve been to this year aside from Philly have had Centurion lounges. I don’t fly Delta and Priority Pass options have been limited. For example, I’m flying out of Chicago O’Hare in July on an international trip and my Amex card only gets me access to two lounges in T5. But since I’m flying American, I won’t be in T5 and can’t access the lounges.
  • I don’t use Uber much so I’ve found myself scrambling at the end of the month to take a ride or redeem through Uber Eats.
  • The price is $100 more than most other premium cards with benefits that are more valuable for me.

Is the Citi AAdvantage World Elite card a better option?

For me, the Amex Platinum isn’t the best for my needs, and that’s okay. You have to go with what works for you.

I fly American more than any other airline since I’m based in Philly and find myself choosing American over other airlines to stay loyal based on that fact. As such, I’m better positioned to be near an Admiral’s Club and would really value being able to have access to it.

In addition, my company gives us Diner’s Club cards for business expenses so I automatically get access to Diner’s lounges (same lounges as Priority Pass).

With that said, I’m strongly leaning toward choosing not to renew my Amex Platinum but instead, apply for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard (non-affiliate link). I’ll be doing this for a few reasons:

  • Admiral’s Club access for me and my authorized users
  • No annual fee for authorized users
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit
  • 50,000 AAdvantage miles sign-up bonus
  • $450 annual fee ($100 less than the Platinum)

Obviously, there are some other perks that I’ll be giving up such as the $200 annual credit, which certainly complicates my decision.

What are your thoughts?

For any of you that have the Citi Executive World Elite Mastercard, what are your thoughts on it?

 

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DaninMCI
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DaninMCI

I’ve had the AA Exec card for several years and as I mostly have flown AA it has worked very well for me. For someone based in PHL and typically on AA this seems like a no brainer to me. The AA lounges in PHL are very good in my experiences. You will also likely be flying to other AA hubs with lounges so I would go for it. I pair this with Chase Sapphire Reserve and a regular UA card that gives me two passes a year for odd flights and it covers most of my bases. In fact… Read more »

Ben
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Ben

Another PHL-based flyer who would advocate for the AA Exec. The four clubs at PHL The fact that my wife (an AU on the account) gets Admirals Club access when she’s traveling alone is a huge benefit, and Citi’s generous retention bonuses on the AA suite of cards has meant that every year since opening I’ve got some kind of bonus renewal miles, so the annual fee has always been effectively much less than $450. Well worth the money (especially with the made-to-order guacamole in the PHL clubs during the afternoons…) That said, I’m currently debating (and would appreciate suggestions)… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

I really like the club access. As another PHL based flyer (and I only fly 4-5 times a year), I find the club access to make the flying experience soooo much better. Better bathrooms, free food (which is decent for US club standards), lots of space to spread out, dedicated agents if something goes wrong, etc. Plus, for the past 3 years, they’ve offered me retention bonuses of $50 per month for each month (over the next 7 months) in which I spend $1500 on the card. Setting aside the opportunity cost of putting $1500 on the card for 7… Read more »

WR
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WR

Two words: Ameriprise Platinum