Next month, I’ll be facing a decision on whether or not to keep the Citi AAdvantage Executive MasterCard. After dithering for far too long with whether or not to even apply, I went for it and met the minimum spend in short order earning 100,000 AAdvantage bonus miles. Since then, the card has been sock drawered for the most part while I focus on more generous day to day bonus spend with Sapphire Preferred and Arrival Plus. I was recently offered some limited bonus miles for useful merchant categories, though at a cap of 2,500 miles, not really enough to ensure I keep the card with its $450 annual fee. Granted, that comes with Admirals Club membership, and when it comes down to it, that could be reason enough to keep it with a big “IF.”

I’ve toyed with the idea of somehow finding a way to fly American more. Why? I feel like AAdvantage is a better loyalty program than SkyMiles, and for more reasons than not being “revenue based.” That said, let’s face a few facts. I live in Atlanta. I fly on business. I value my time. Delta Air Lines does the right things well. I will be flying Delta more than anyone else in 2015. Southwest is my only other realistic option, and one that I will be forced to take more often in 2015 than I have been in the past. It just doesn’t make any sense at all to keep the Citi Executive card in my personal situation. Yes, the Admirals Club membership could come in handy for those times when I’m flying Southwest, but I’ve got a Priority Pass membership by virtue of my Amex Platinum that can get me into a lounge in Atlanta if I have need for it. Otherwise, I can just sit in the airport bar/restaurant like everyone else…..a thought that doesn’t bother me as much as I like to kid myself and others that it does.

Barring a significantly improved bonus offer, I can’t see keeping this card another year. I will ring Citi when the time comes to close the card, and I will consider a retention offer if it’s made. However, it’s more likely than not that there will be one less card in my wallet in short order, and I’ll be keeping $450 for more important things. Are you facing a keep/no keep decision on a credit card soon? The Citi Executive card? What did you decide?

-MJ, February 3, 2015

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