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Almost a year ago the Citi AAdvantge Executive World Elite MasterCard was offering a 100,000 point sign up bonus. I jumped at the opportunity and I know many readers did as well. Right now the sign up bonus is 50,000 points. While this was a great sign up offer it did come with a hefty fee of $450 a year. The only reason why this offer ended up being desirable was because it came with a $200 statement credit, which brought the annual fee down to $250.
Last week a reader emailed me asking me if I was going to keep the card once the annual fee hits again. This reader also applied for the card a year ago and was weighing his options. Keeping the card will cost another $450 and I personally am not sure the benefits are worth it for most folks. With this card you do get Admirals Club membership, so if this is something you’d be purchasing anyways then it can be worthwhile. Also, if you are able to spend a lot on the card and trying to increase your EQMs for your desired status you are able to get 10,000 EQMs if you spend $40,000 on the card during the calendar year.
The reader that emailed me stated that he was able to get a retention bonus of 5,000 miles and a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 within 3 months. I personally have not tried my retention bonus luck yet, but that particular offer will not keep me as a cardmember. That brings the annual fee down to $350 and I would definitely not “purchase” 5,000 points at this price!
Unless some crazy retention bonus comes my way, I will not be keeping the card. The annual fee just doesn’t outweigh the benefits. If you are considering keeping this card, I suggest seeing if you can at least get some bonus for this year!
If you plan on getting rid of the card you have two options: 1) cancel the card or 2) downgrade to another card. For those that are trying to ensure there are no hits on their credit report downgrading can be a great option. I was told that one option is to downgrade to the Expedia+ Voyager card. This card has a $99 annual fee but also comes with a $100 reimbursement for airline incidentals. While this reimbursement is a similar concept to the American Express Platinum card reimbursement, I am not sure if gift card purchases will trigger the statement credit. I search for reports and only found one report on someone having success purchasing two American Airline gift cards and getting the $100 back on their credit card. If you have any success with this particular card, please comment below! If the statement credit works the exact same way as the Amex Platinum card then this can actually be a great option. You can pay the $99 annual fee and receive a $100 statement credit reimbursement now and again next January 1, 2016. So that means within one year you can actually get up to $200 reimbursed.
What are you doing about the Citi AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard?