Will Citi AAdvantage Executive Credit Card Holders Get An Annual Fee Refund?

Courtesy: American Airlines

Will Citi AAdvantage Executive Credit Card Holders Get a Refund For Their Annual Fee?

Last week, American Airlines announced its extending 2020 elite status into 2021.  In that same announcement, AA announced a 6-month extension for Admirals Club membership purchased through AA.  That left me wondering if there is any possibility of getting a refund on my Citi AAdvantage Executive Credit Card.  The Citi Executive card includes Admirals Club membership, and presumably is part of the reason the card has a $450 annual fee.

I reached out to Citi to inquire about this.  A spokesperson for the company said, “I can tell you that we are committed to ensuring that our credit card products continue to drive value for our customers throughout these unprecedented times.  With respect to products wherein a benefit has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, we are actively reviewing and, where appropriate, exploring ways in which to deliver appropriate accommodations.”

The AAdvantage Executive card’s benefits are largely not that great, outside of Admirals Club and EQM earning.  The card also includes Admirals Club access for authorized users.  That’s a pretty nice benefit.  My husband and I keep the card for that reason.  It is the only benefit that makes the card worth the $450 annual fee, in my opinion.

It Would Make Sense To Give Some Refund on the Fee

To me, it makes sense that Citi offers a partial refund for the lost months of Admirals Club access.  Many Admirals Clubs are closed altogether, making the benefit unavailable even if somebody is still traveling.  In last week’s announcement, AA acknowledges that paid Admirals Club members are losing out during the coronavirus impacts.  It only makes sense that the same standard exist for those who have membership through the Citi Executive Card.

Of course, some might argue that the annual fee for the credit card is not exclusively for the Admirals Club membership.  But aside from the 10,000 EQM earning potential after $40,000 in spend, there’s few real tangible benefits to the card.  Last year, Citi canceled the travel benefits associated with the card.  That essentially left a travel card with no protection for travel.  Therefore, I don’t think it’s an argument that makes very much sense.

Bottom Line

It’s too early to know whether Citi will provide some level of refund for the annual fee.  It’s possible they are waiting to see how long the impacts last before making that decision.  Hopefully, as the spokeswoman noted, Citi acknowledges that this is a benefit that has temporarily been suspended.  In my view, an appropriate accommodation in that case is some level of a refund.

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