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As we learned last October, US Airways Dividend Miles will be merged into American AAdvantage in the second quarter of this year (between April 1 and June 30, 2015).
American’s co-branded credit cards are presently being issued by Citi (which include the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard and CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard), while US Airways’ co-branded credit card (the US Airways Premier World Mastercard) is presently being issued by Barclaycard.
Once the two programs merge in the second quarter, Barclaycard won’t be able to issue new AAdvantage credit cards anymore, though they will be able to continue to offer AAdvantage credit cards to existing cardmembers.
Presumably over time the number of people with AAdvantage Barclaycard products will decrease, given that some people will cancel their cards while no one will be able to apply for new ones.
Barclaycard’s four new AAdvantage credit cards
Barclaycard has revealed the details of the four new AAdvantage cards they’ll begin issuing, in hopes of keeping existing business.
The four cards will be called the Aviator, Aviator Blue, Aviator Red, and Aviator Silver Cards. So if you presently have a US Airways Premier World Mastercard, you’ll end up with on of the below four cards.
Here are the details of the cards:
|AAdvantage Aviator||AAdvantage Aviator Blue||AAdvantage Aviator Red||AAdvantage Aviator Silver|
|Base Earning Rate||.5 point/$1||1 point/$1||1 point/$1||1 point/$1|
|Purchases made directly with American or US Airways||-||2 points/$1||2 points/$1||3 points/$1|
|Hotel Purchases||-||-||-||2 points/$1|
|Baggage Benefit||-||-||First checked bag free for cardholder and up to 4 companions||First checked bag free for cardholder and up to 8 companions|
|Mileage Refund||-||-||• 10% of redeemed miles|
• Maximum of 10K per year
|• 10% of redeemed miles|
• Maximum of 10K per year
|Threshold Bonus||-||-||$100 flight discount coupon after $30K net spend||• 5,000 EQMs after $20k net spend|
• Additional 5,000 EQMs after $40k net spend
• Maximum 10k EQMs per year
|Foreign Transaction Fee||Yes||Yes||No||No|
As you can see, they’ve created four unique products which appeal to different consumers, all the way from a no annual fee card which accrues half a mile per dollar spent, to a premium card which can earn you elite qualifying miles.
So, how do you become eligible for these cards?
- Those with the US Airways Premier World Mastercard will automatically be converted to the Aviator Red Card sometime in the second quarter
- Select members with the US Airways Premier World Mastercard will be sent invitations to upgrade to the Aviator Silver Card
- Presumably if you want to downgrade your card, you can downgrade it to the no annual fee Aviator Card or Aviator Blue Card
Overall these are some very nice offerings from Barclaycard. The annual fee of the AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card is substantially lower than the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card, so if you want to earn elite qualifying miles through credit card spend, it’s not a bad option (that being said, it also doesn’t come with an Admirals Club membership).
Easy 50,000 AAdvantage miles
As a reminder, in the meantime you can continue to earn 50,000 Dividend Miles upon completing minimum spend with the US Airways Premier World Mastercard. You’ll also want to apply for it if you eventually want to convert your card into one of the above Aviator products.
American is also offering 50,000 AAdvantage mile sign-up bonuses upon completing minimum spend on their co-branded credit cards, and the annual fee is even waived for the first year. So you can pick up an easy 100,000 AAdvantage miles with the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard and the CitiBusiness Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard.
Picking up 150,000 miles doesn’t get much easier than with these three cards.
I’m impressed by the portfolio of products Barclaycard has created for a card which is more or less disappearing. Personally I’ve just held onto the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard long term, since I get a 10% rebate on miles spent annually, up to 10,000 miles. And I value AAdvantage miles at substantially more than a penny each.
Do any of these new Barclaycard Aviator Cards interest you? If so, which one?