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This week Barclaycard brought back the increased 50,000 mile sign-up bonus on their Miles & More World MasterCard, which is a promotion we have seen a few times before.
They’re also offering a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus on the US Airways World MasterCard. Given that Barclaycard won’t typically approve you for more than one card in a day, which offer is more compelling?
Admittedly it depends on everyone’s individual needs, but in general I would have to say that if I could only get one of those cards for now it would be the US Airways World MasterCard.
The Lufthansa MasterCard sign-up bonus is compelling
The Lufthansa World MasterCard has a great sign-up bonus, and is especially useful for redemptions in Lufthansa first class, as well as redemptions on domestic flights within the US. So in a way it’s a very “aspirational” currency, which I value a lot. After all, I’m about the aspirational redemptions!
That being said — and I’m just speculating here — I don’t think this is the last time we’ll see this sign-up bonus. Lufthansa is trying to get bigger on the credit card front in the US market, and I do expect we’ll see a similar offer again.
Why the US Airways offer is more compelling now
So what makes the US Airways offer more time sensitive and compelling?
The US Airways MasterCard is going away. Not now, but it will be going away early next year, as Citi takes over as the exclusive issuer of American’s co-branded credit. So I don’t want to say it’s the “last call” on this card because it isn’t yet, but you certainly have less than a year to still get this card. I suspect they’ll stop issuing cards a good amount of time before they lose the contract, given that they can’t make much money if you only have their card for a few months.
US Airways’ award chart hasn’t been massively devalued yet. There’s no doubt that we’re going to see a huge devaluation of American/US Airways miles soon. It’s the industry trend, and both Delta and United have substantially raised award costs recently. So it’s a given that the “new” American will do the same. To give a cheesy comparison, think of it as getting £40,000 today vs. $40,000 in a year (or whatever date in the future you’d get it). Those miles are probably worth a lot more today than they’ll be worth in a year. Of course that also assumes you spend them ASAP.
The oneworld award redemption opportunities are ridiculously good right now. The great thing about US Airways is that they have some of the most generous routing rules of any airline. Meanwhile American has among the strictest routing rules for AAdvantage awards. My guess is that American’s rules will prevail. So there really has never been a better time to book oneworld awards, given the routing possibilities.
Barclaycard is stepping it up in terms of their sign-up bonuses, and both of these cards are compelling. I would recommend getting them both eventually, but the above are just my thoughts on the order in which I’d apply. I don’t think a Lufthansa Miles & More devaluation is necessarily imminent, while I think a US Airways devaluation is a given. Furthermore, with the US Airways Card it’s very much a “use it or lose it” situation, given that it won’t be around much longer.