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Citi, American Airlines unveil new airport lounge privileges

by Peter Andrew

The $450 annual fee charged for the Citi® Executive® / AAdvantage® World Elite MasterCard® already buys frequent fliers a whole lot of perks. They make it one of the premier airline credit cards on the market.

New lounge privileges

But now Citi and American Airlines have announced an additional one: From March 2014, holders of this card are set to be granted full membership benefits at the airline's 40 Admirals Club airport lounges worldwide -- along with access to select partner lounges. Citi says its is the only U.S. credit card to offer this. Cardholders can take their immediate family or up to two traveling guests into Club lounges.

Admirals Club lounges offer a whole list of complimentary goodies, from light snacks and beverages (house wine, beer and spirits, as well as coffee, tea and soft drinks) to Wi-Fi access and business services.

Existing perks

The Citi Executive / AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard is already laden with perks, including a competitive rewards program with no mileage caps, and a 24-hour concierge service. It's especially useful for international travelers, as it comes with no foreign transaction fees, and an EMV microprocessor chip, which may make it more acceptable overseas.

Frequent fliers might find its airport privileges most useful of all. Regardless of the class of ticket purchased, the card gets them:

  1. Priority check-in.
  2. Priority airport screening.
  3. Boarding privileges.
  4. First checked bag flies free for cardholder and up to eight companions.

Most consumers might find it hard to justify such a high annual fee. But those who spend a lot of time at airports and in the air could find these benefits very tempting.

Published 12/25/13

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