US Airways/American AAdvantage Barclaycard 2015 Benefits

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Link: US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard® offers a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus after the first purchase. It does have an $89 annual fee, which isn’t waived for the first year. The card is awesome for a few reasons:

  • It’s nice to have a sign-up bonus that doesn’t require huge minimum spend
  • In 2015 this card will be transitioned into the AAdvantage MasterCard issued by Barclaycard, at which point it won’t be possible to apply for the card anymore, though it will continue to be available for existing cardmembers
  • US Airways miles are still incredibly valuable, though chances are they’ll be devalued under the “new” American, so there are lots of great award redemption opportunities you can take advantage of now

So it’s basically an opportunity to earn 40,000 miles with a card that can’t be acquired for much longer.

The past week or so, Barclaycard has been sending out mailers to cardmembers outlining how the benefits will be changing next year:

MAXIMIZE THESE BENEFITS THEY WILL BE DISCONTINUED IN 2015

Companion certificate

If you have not already received your companion certificate, on your account anniversary in 2014 you will receive your final companion certificate for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways flight for $99 each (plus taxes and fees). You must purchase your tickets within 9 months of issuance and travel within 12 months.

Miles towards Preferred Status

When you spend $25,000 or more in 2014, we’ll automatically convert 10,000 of your existing miles into Preferred-qualifying miles – which will cont towards your 2015 Preferred status.

US Airways Club day pass and membership discount

If you have not already received your club day pass, on your account anniversary in 2014, you will receive your final complimentary day pass to visit a US Airways Club, valid for 12 months.  You will not receive another $75 discount coupon toward an annual US Airways Club membership in the mail. However, you may still be able to take advantage of this discount through September 30, 2014 by calling 800-828-8522 or by visiting any of the domestic Clubs.

First Class Check-in

Continue to enjoy First Class check-in until the end of 2014.

EXCITING NEW BENEFITS ARE COMING

In 2015, the US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer prorams will be integrated.  Your card will become the American Airlines AAdvantage MasterCard® issued by Barclaycard and will offer new benefits, including:

10% of your miles back

When you redeem your miles for award travel, you will receive 10% of your miles back into your account.

25% off in-flight purchases

Save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card.

$100 flight discount

As a cardmember, you can earn a $100 flight discount each year in which you spend $30,000 or more in purchases while maintaining cardmembership.

Additional redemption flexibility

Enhance your award travel experience with redemption for one-way travel and First Class upgrades.

Look for more details coming soon.

So basically Barclaycard will be eliminating:

  • The companion certificate
  • The ability to earn 10,000 PQMs by spending $25,000 on the card
  • The US Airways Club day pass and membership discount
  • First class check-in

But in turn, the following benefits will be added, which more or less align with the Citi AAdvantage Card:

  • 25% off in-flight food and beverage purchases (really not a big deal)
  • $100 flight discount ($100 discount for spending $30,000 is hardly worth a mention)
  • 10% mileage refund on award redemptions

That last one is a big selling point for me. If you have the Citi AAdvantage Card you get a 10% refund on award redemptions every year, on up to 100,000 miles worth of redemptions. So if you frequently redeem AAdvantage miles, that’s 10,000 miles per year, which more than justifies the annual fee to me. Now the big question is whether you can get the 10% refund on both the Citi AAdvantage and Barclaycard AAdvantage Cards. I doubt it, but that would certainly be nice.

Two things we don’t know the fate of:

  • 5,000 mile discount US Airways offers cardmembers for redemptions on their own flights (which isn’t all that valuable to me since it’s not valid on partner airlines)
  • The benefits of the US Airways Business Card, which I suspect will align with the benefits of the personal card, though we haven’t received official confirmation of that yet

On the whole I’d say these are negative changes, but also exactly what I expected. Citi is allowing Barclaycard to continue to offer their version of the card, so you can get they won’t let them offer better benefits than their own card.

Regardless, the US Airways Premier World MasterCard® offers a great sign-up bonus with low minimum spend, so I’d definitely recommend picking it up.

Link: US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

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Comments

  1. Hi Lucky:
    One other benefit from the old US Airways Barclays card is the annual 10k miles for simply renewing your account! it’s hard to tell how they are going to deal with this sweet perk

  2. The one-way and use miles for upgrades is the most curious and cryptic of all, and may actually tell us something very unexpected about what the combined program will look like.

  3. @ Larry — Agreed, it’s interesting they include that, though don’t think it surprises anyone that the combined American will allow one-way awards.

  4. The other thing that is unclear is what will happen to the old Bank of America US Airways Visa, which I still have.

  5. Agree with Terrnce. Curious if the 10k annual bonus will still be a benefit on the Barclaycard

  6. The 5000 mile discount is listed in a separate section as a “benefit”, which seems to imply that it will continue to exist.

  7. I’m curious to see if you’d get 10% back twice… once from Citi and once from Barclays.

  8. Hey Lucky, do you really think they’d align the business card benefits with the personal ones, given Citi doesn’t do this?

    The Citi Business AA card offers a free bag, zone 1 boarding, a 5% annual miles dividend, and a domestic companion pass when you meet certain spend thresholds.

  9. I’m with Evan. The 10k anniversary bonus is the only reason I would keep the card too. I’ve already got 2 Citi AA cards (Amex and Visa) so it’s not like I really need a third one unless there’s a much more compelling reason than what’s presented here.

  10. Lucky — actually, the surprising part is they list one-way awards as a “benefit” of the card. To be a benefit, it implies that not everyone has access to that feature. So, the question this raised for me is whether one-way award booking is going to require the card in 2015 (or status, etc.). It also could mean the Dividend Miles program will continue longer than expected, but cardholders will get one-way bookings. Or it could just mean that everyone will get one-way booking. But why then would it be mentioned in a flyer touting future benefits of the card?

  11. lucky,

    I just got this card…following your blog…so will I get the companion certificate at least once?

    And will I still get a complimentary day pass to visit a US Airways Club?

    Not sure where I stand as a new cardholder.

  12. @ Lucky: back to Terrance’s question above, will those of is with the 10K annual bonus still be getting that?

  13. I’m probably going to drop the card given the loss of benefits. Does the business card have the same bonus?

  14. Like some of the others here, my card gets the 10k annual redeemable mileage bonus. That and the 5k discount on award redemptions are the only reason i keep this product, so those are what i am most curious about.

  15. @ Miles — I could be wrong, and it’s entirely possible that they align the benefits with the Citi AAdvantage Business Card.

  16. @ Larry — I see how it’s logical to interpret it that way, but I think they’re just intending to say that there would be more flexible redemption options in general. I think they’re simply saying that AAdvantage will offer more redemption flexibility than Dividend Miles.

  17. @ Robert — We don’t know for sure, as it doesn’t seem like they have a clear answer one way or another on that. I’ll try to investigate.

  18. I’m with several other people on here. Love the card as a “keeper” due to the anniversary miles. I have two of them and may pick up a third if we find out the annual bonus will stick around.

  19. Hi Ben,

    I travel for business a lot and almost always manage to fly AA, and hence I am EXP. All my miles are with AA. I use the miles for leisure travel about twice a year, and my partner and I like to travel 1st or at least business for those trips. I just got the AA Executive card on your reccomendation for the 100,000 miles.

    I would only try this offer if I thought it would transfer favorably to my AA account at some point.

    I wouldn’t have the need to take advantage of any of the other benefits of the card and probably wouldn’t renew; on that basis, do you think think the 40,000 miles for $89 for use in 2015/16 is a good offer given the recent and likely upcoming changes to the programs?

    Am I correct in thinking the 40,000 miles will post even if you only make a single purchase ?

    Regards,

    TBA.

  20. @ TBA — Yep, I definitely still think it’s worth it. You just have to make one purchase and get 40,000 miles. In your case the card may not be worth keeping long term, but for 40,000 miles towards future travel it’s a value that’s tough to beat.

  21. Hi Lucky, I currently have about 50,000 Starwood points that I would like to transfer in order to take advantage of the Extra 5,000 for airline miles. Just wondering which one would make better sense since I am trying to save enough miles for Europe; transfer to American or Usairways?

  22. So assuming since this is going from a US Airways Card to AA we also lose the free checked bags. I just signed up for this card last month and the companion pass and free checked bags were the main reasons.

  23. The loss of the 10k PQMs is killing me. I carried two of these cards and would mass a bunch of charges for the first of the year and charge up 50K before statement close, resulting in 20kPQM by the end of Jan. Add that to a round the world run in mid Jan and I’d always be 1/2 to CP before Feb 1, and pretty much guarantee upgrades for the rest of the year. I’m sad.

  24. For those who have the US Airways Master Card that offers the 10,000 annual bonus miles, I received an e-mail from Barclay today confirming that the 10,000 annual bonus miles feature will remain after US Airways and American complete their merger in 2015. Once the merger is completed the 10,000 annual bonus miles will be Aadvantage miles. The e-mail also confirmed that starting now American Airlines purchases with the US Airways Master Card will earn double miles.

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