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Citi / AAdvantage Business  World Elite Mastercard review: Best for American loyalists

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. Citi is a TPG advertising partner.

Citi® / AAdvantage Business™ World Elite Mastercard®

If you’re looking for an American Airlines cobranded credit card for your business, the Citi  AAdvantage Business  World Elite Mastercard (see rates and fees) is one of the few options available. The card has a $99 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months, and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Business owners loyal to American Airlines should consider the cobranded Citi AAdvantage Business World Elite Mastercard. Along with its $99 annual fee (waived for the first year), it also has perks that make for a better passenger experience when flying on American.

Note that the card has a recommended credit score of 760 or higher. Now, let’s examine why your business might still consider this card if you and your employees travel regularly on American Airlines.

Citi AAdvantage Business pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, $99 after that
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • Option to earn a companion certificate
  • Mediocre earning rates
  • No automatic elite status

Citi AAdvantage Business welcome offer

Currently, the sign-up bonus on the Citi AAdvantage Business allows new cardmembers to earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first five months of account opening. TPG’s valuations peg AAdvantage miles at 1.6 cents each, making this sign-up bonus worth $1,200.


There have been offers for up to 80,000 bonus miles in the past, so this is not the highest welcome offer we have seen on the card.  However, it’s higher than the card’s standard offer, so it’s worth considering if it’s been on your radar.

Related: The best ways to use American Airlines miles

Citi AAdvantage Business benefits

The Citi AAdvantage Business card comes with several benefits that will be useful to American Airlines business travelers, including:

  • First checked bag free: You and up to four travel companions on the same reservation will get a free checked bag on domestic flights. This is worth up to $80 per person on a round-trip flight, so you can quickly cover the card’s annual fee with this perk alone.
  • Companion certificate: Your business can earn a certificate for one round-trip domestic (48 contiguous states unless you’re from Alaska or Hawaii) main-cabin itinerary after you spend at least $30,000 on the card during your membership year. Note that redeeming the certificate has a $99 fee, plus between $21.60 to $43.20 in taxes and fees.

American Airlines passenger jets parked at their gates on a rainy morning at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Cardholders can also add employee cards at no additional cost, which is a great way for your business to earn AA miles on employee spending.

Earning miles on the CitiCiti AAdvantage Business

With the Citi AAdvantage Business card, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases as well as on purchases with telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. You’ll also earn 1 mile per dollar on everything else.

Although the card offers more miles per dollar spent in those popular business-spending categories, purchases such as hotels, shipping and office supplies aren’t included and earn only 1 mile per dollar spent.

You can give employees their own cards, allowing you to earn miles on their spending as well as your own. As of April 14, 2024, miles earned by the primary cardholder and authorized user’s card will be deposited into the AAdvantage Business account and can be transferred to the AAdvantage account of the primary account holder or another employee.

Black BMW 3 series fueling at a gas station in Slovenia

The AAdvantage program also allows cardholders of any AA-cobranded card to earn Loyalty Points to help them achieve elite status with American Airlines. For every dollar spent on purchases on either the primary card or an authorized user’s card, you earn 1 Loyalty Point. However, note that Loyalty Points earned by an authorized user will be posted to the AAdvantage account of the authorized user, not that of the primary cardholder.

Related: How to use the AAdvantage Business program

Redeeming miles on the Citi AAdvantage Business

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, based on passengers carried. An airline this large provides lots of redemption opportunities, especially when you factor in its Oneworld partners.

Qatar Airways_Qsuite_Facebook

The AAdvantage program has several sweet spot awards that can help you get the most out of your miles via premium redemptions. Some of the most valuable partners you can redeem AA miles for are Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, JAL, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas.

As a Citi AAdvantage Business cardholder, credit card writer Danyal Ahmed used his miles to book a one-way ticket in Qatar’s QSuite product on his way to Tanzania for 75,000 AAdvantage miles.

Related: Your ultimate guide to American Airlines AAdvantage

Which cards compete with the Citi AAdvantage Business?

For businesses with a lot of travel, the main competitors to the Citi AAdvantage Business are business credit cards that earn transferable points.

  • If you prefer American Express: The American Express® Business Gold Card, with its $375 annual fee (see rates and fees), is significantly more expensive than the Citi AAdvantage Business but offers higher earnings in key business categories, more redemption options, a slew of statement credits and better business travel and purchase protections. For more information, check out our full review of the Amex Business Gold.
  • If you prefer Chase: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and allows cardholders to earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. You can transfer your points to any of Chase’s 14 hotel and airline partners for even more value. For more information, check out our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.
  • If you prefer Capital One: The Capital One Venture X Business card earns bonus miles on travel booked through Capital One Travel and unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases. Cardholders also get a $300 annual credit for Capital One Travel as well as 10,000 bonus miles each year. For more information, check out our full review of the Venture X Business.

For additional options, check out our full list of the best business credit cards.

Related: How to choose the best credit card for your business expenses

Is the Citi AAdvantage Business worth it?

If you fly American Airlines and check a bag frequently, you’ll easily justify the card’s $99 annual fee each year from the free checked bag benefit alone. However, if you aren’t committed to American Airlines, you’ll likely get more value from a different airline cobranded card or business rewards travel card.

Bottom line

If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer, you’ll enjoy the Citi AAdvantage Business benefits and the opportunity to earn elite status through credit card spending. However, its earning rates are far from impressive, and it’s devoid of the travel protections that come automatically with many other travel cards. If you’re looking for an everyday spending card for your business, there are better options than the Citi AAdvantage Business card.

Apply here: Citi AAdvantage Business

For rates and fees of Amex Business Gold Card, click here.