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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
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.