Analyzing adjustments to the Citi AAdvantage Govt card

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It is official: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Govt World Elite Mastercard® is getting a makeover. Plenty of important adjustments might be coming to the cardboard as of July 23. They embody new assertion credit, enhanced alternatives to earn miles (and Loyalty Factors), and better annual charges.

And as a cardholder for over 5 years, I’ve one response:


It is inevitable that in style bank cards want to regulate their worth propositions in response to adjustments out there. Nonetheless, for my part, these adjustments are considerably adverse adjustments — and are making me query whether or not I am going to hold the cardboard when it subsequent comes up for renewal.

Here is my perspective.

New assertion credit — with caveats

Many premium bank cards have been leaning into assertion credit extra closely lately, and that is actually the case with the refreshed Citi AA Govt card. Beginning July 23, new and present cardholders will obtain the next credit every year:

  • As much as $120 again on Avis and Funds automotive leases charged to the cardboard
  • As much as $120 again (as much as $10 per month-to-month billing cycle) on Grubhub purchases charged to the cardboard
  • As much as $120 again (as much as $10 monthly) in Lyft experience credit after taking three eligible rides

On the floor, that is as much as a further $360 in worth every year, which greater than offsets the annual charge improve (which I am going to cowl later.) Nonetheless, every one in every of these credit has notable drawbacks.


The automotive rental assertion credit score might be the best to make use of, as it is a single perk throughout all the yr. As well as, the cardboard will add new automotive rental safety while you use the cardboard to lease a car. Nonetheless, it is unclear whether or not this might be main or secondary protection. And since I often cost my leases to my Chase Sapphire Reserve, I might even be giving up incomes bonus factors on journey purchases.

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Much less peace of thoughts and fewer rewards on my automotive leases? No, thanks.

The Grubhub assertion credit aren’t very thrilling to me, both. I have already got an analogous perk on my American Categorical® Gold Card, and I frankly battle to make use of that credit score each month.

Nevertheless it’s the Lyft assertion credit which might be most restrictive. For starters, in contrast to the Uber credit supplied on the Amex Gold and The Platinum Card® from American Categorical, you are restricted to rides. There is no “Lyft Eats” choice to order meals on the go.

However most significantly, you need to take three rides each month earlier than the assertion credit kick in. And since it is a World Elite Mastercard, there was already a $5 month-to-month credit score for Lyft rides — that means that is technically simply $60 a yr in net-new perks.

I do not stay in an enormous metropolis, so I not often take three rides a month. In consequence, this perk will not do something for me.

Much less-than-exciting incomes charges

Past these assertion credit, the Citi AA Govt card can be getting increased incomes charges. Particularly, you possibly can earn the next beginning July 23:

  • 10 miles per greenback spent on rental automobiles and resorts booked by way of American Airways
  • 4 miles per greenback spent on eligible American purchases — which is able to leap to five miles per greenback for the rest of any calendar yr wherein you spend $150,000 on American flights

But once more, these are added options which have zero utility for me.


I already e book most of my American flights utilizing my Amex Platinum (which earns 5 factors per greenback on flights booked instantly with airways or by way of American Categorical Journey, on as much as $500,000 of those purchases per yr) or Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 factors per greenback on all journey purchases, plus in depth journey insurance coverage). In the meantime, reserving resorts and rental automobiles by way of third-party platforms would imply I can not earn factors or make the most of elite standing perks.

Certain, I might e book boutique resorts that are not a part of a significant loyalty program — however I might a lot fairly e book these properties by way of the Chase Final Rewards portal utilizing my Sapphire Reserve to earn 10 transferable factors per greenback spent.

Associated: How (and why) you need to earn transferable factors in 2023

Greater annual charges

These added advantages all come at a value, as two facets of the Citi AA Govt card’s charge construction might be altering:

  • Annual charge for the first cardholder: Will increase from $450 to $595 (a $145 improve)
  • Annual charge for licensed customers: Beforehand free for as much as 10 cardholders; might be $175 for the primary three and $175 apiece after that

This would be the highest-priced premium airline card, beating out the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Categorical Card ($550; see charges and charges) and the United Membership Infinite Card ($525).

Nonetheless, it is the licensed person improve that is notably irritating.

I will be the primary to confess that the prevailing perk on the cardboard was too good to final. Beforehand, you would add as much as 10 licensed customers for gratis, permitting them to take pleasure in Admirals Membership entry (together with visitor privileges) even once they weren’t touring with the first cardholder. Nonetheless, this new construction appears like an overcorrection.

Contemplate the Amex Platinum, which has an similar construction for licensed person charges ($175 for the primary three after which $175 apiece; see charges and charges). Nonetheless, evaluate the advantages every card provides:

Licensed person perk Amex Platinum Citi AA Govt
Lounge entry Entry to the Amex World Lounge Assortment, together with Amex Centurion Lounges, Precedence Cross Choose membership, Plaza Premium lounge entry and Delta Sky Membership entry (when flying Delta)* Entry to the Admirals Membership (together with two visitors or rapid household) when flying American or its companion airways
Lodge elite standing Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold standing* None
World Entry/TSA PreCheck charge credit score As much as $100 (each 4 years for World Entry or 4 1/2 years for PreCheck)* None (restricted to main cardholder)

* Enrollment is required for choose advantages.

In different phrases, for a similar licensed person charge, you possibly can take pleasure in rather more in depth lounge entry plus extra perks.

Associated: Finest bank cards for airport lounge entry

Is the cardboard nonetheless price it?

In the end, the elevated annual charge construction is a transparent downgrade, and whether or not the added perks justify it relies upon completely in your state of affairs. In case you (or your licensed customers) are based mostly at an American Airways hub, you could proceed to get worth from the cardboard. As well as, frequent Lyft riders, Grubhub customers and Avis/Funds renters could also be thrilled with the updates.

Nonetheless, many others are doubtless in an analogous state of affairs as me: debating whether or not or to not hold the cardboard when the brand new charges hit.

Fortunately, this may not occur till your subsequent renewal (which in my case is not till Could 2024), however the brand new perks will take impact for all cardholders as of July 23. This provides them time to crunch the numbers and resolve whether or not the cardboard is price conserving or not.

And observe you could nonetheless add licensed customers to the cardboard for no extra value — however that privilege will disappear as of July 23.

Backside line

Citi has introduced some main adjustments to the Citi AAdvantage Govt card that kick in later this month, and I am not thrilled. The brand new assertion credit aren’t as user-friendly as different playing cards’ advantages, and I will not obtain extra worth from the upper incomes charges.

It is too quickly to inform whether or not I am going to cancel my card on the subsequent renewal, as American has promised continued funding in its lounge expertise. Whether or not that (and the up to date card perks) are sufficient to maintain the cardboard in my pockets stays to be seen.

Associated studying:

For charges and charges of the Amex Delta Reserve, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Amex Platinum, click on right here.

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