What Should You Do With Your US Airways Credit Card?

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With the integration of AAdvantage and Dividend Miles right around the corner, there are tons of questions about the future of the two airlines’ co-branded credit cards.

AAdvantage-DM-Integration

Reader Rich asked the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog, which is pretty indicative of a lot of the questions I’ve received on the topic lately:

Don’t you think it might make more sense to cancel the US Airways card rather than accept the new AA card? My thinking is that if you do that, there will be better incentives to sign up for it down the road. Usually when companies convert you to a new card the bonuses are minimal.

The future of US Airways’ credit cards

I wrote recently about how the US Airways Premier World Mastercard will be converted into an American AAdvantage Aviator Red World Mastercard once the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs are merged.

AAdvantage-Aviator-Red

So in the coming month your US Airways Barclaycard product will automatically be converted into an American Barclaycard product, which will start earning AAdvantage miles. Once that product is converted and the programs are integrated, you’ll no longer be able to apply for an American/US Airways credit card issued by Barclaycard.

It’s worth understanding that this is different than the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard, which is American’s co-branded credit card and issued by Citi (which you’ll continue to be able to apply for).

To answer Rich’s question specifically:

  • It doesn’t matter if you cancel the US Airways Premier World Mastercard or not, given that you won’t be able to apply for that product again once it’s converted
  • Some people report being able to earn the sign-up bonus on the US Airways Premier World Mastercard multiple times, so the only upside is potentially being able to earn that bonus again
  • Whether or not you have an American/US Airways Barclaycard product doesn’t impact your ability to apply for and get the sign-up bonus on the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard

What if your sign-up bonus hasn’t posted yet?

I’ve also received a lot of questions asking what happens if you recently applied for a US Airways credit card but the sign-up bonus hasn’t posted yet.

That’s not a problem. As I said above, your card will automatically be converted into an Aviator Card, and will be linked to your AAdvantage number. So your miles should post automatically in your AAdvantage account. You have nothing to worry about.

What about your US Airways companion certificate?

If you presently receive a companion certificate with your US Airways credit card, my understanding is that nothing should change for the time being. Keep in mind that American and US Airways are still on separate reservations systems, so that should continue to be redeemable for travel on US Airways. However, I wouldn’t expect it to be valid on American.

Bottom line

I realize this seems complicated, but I do think they’re making it as simple as possible. Which ultimately isn’t that simple when you have two airlines, two reservations systems, and two banks involved. 😉

As before, it makes sense to apply for the US Airways Premier World Mastercard, given that it has a great sign-up bonus and it will soon no longer be possible to apply for it. But it also makes sense to apply for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard and CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, each of which is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after minimum spend, with the first year’s annual fee waived the first year.

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Comments

  1. Do you have any further info on the Aviator Silver and in particular whether this will be an option to upgrade for ANY Aviator Red customers or if this will ALWAYS be invite only and using some kind of internal criteria to determine who gets the invite ?

    Thanks

  2. Thanks for the update.

    How can I improve my chances for the Aviator Silver card. No invite yet, and I have no interest in a card that doesn’t earn EQMs from Barclay. (I paid my fee for the USAir Barclay card recently just to preserve whatever chance I have).

  3. @ beachfan @ WC1 — Great questions. I’d recommend just continuing to be patient. The cards haven’t been issued to anyone yet, so I would guess that they’ll become more widely available once they actually start issuing some of these cards.

  4. @Lucky

    I am due for my 10,000 annual bonus from my US Airways Card in May. What happens to that bonus I was supposed to earn with the US Barclay Card?

  5. AA/US have handled this pretty well but wish Barclays were more forthcoming regarding conversions to Silver.

  6. If you have a $89 AF USAirways MC from Barclays, you’re automatically getting switched to the AAdvantage Aviator Red and the benefits of the new card kick in on March 25th, 2015 even if you don’t receive the new card until sometime between Apr 1st-Jun 30th. Thus, on 3/25 you gain the 10% rebate on USAir/AA awards (according to the rep I spoke to). Kinda falls in line with the time frame of joining USAir/AA accounts.

    Also, one could make the argument that if you have a USAir MC that earns the 10k annual bonus then the Aviator Red is a long term keeper card as you would then be getting the 10k annual bonus + 10% rebate for (a possible) 20k/yr for an $89 AF. (~0.45cpm). Much better than Citi’s offering of only the 10% rebate on their AA cards.

  7. LUCKY, I CALLED BARCLAYS AND REQUESTED SILVER AVIATOR WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE. THE REP WAS VERY COURTEOUS AND TOLD ME THAT HE WOULD NOTE MY ACCOUNT. HE SAID TAKE THE RED THEN REQUEST THE SILVER IF IT IS NOT ALREADY FORTHCOMING

  8. If you have both the Citi and Barclay AA cards, will you get the up to 10K mile rebate twice or just once. If only once (and given that each has an annual fee), that could lead one to deciding which of the two is better to keep. Intuitively, the Aviator seems the better of the two, do you agree?

  9. @ Marko — We don’t know for sure yet. Short term you might get it on both, while long term I suspect it will only be on one.

  10. Question on Citibank Visa being converted to Citibank Master Card. Received notice that my Citibank Signature AAdvantage VISA is being converted to the Master Card. Wonder if I should cancel the VISA now, then apply for the Master Card with the bonus?

  11. @ Randy — Hadn’t heard that yet. Interesting. Nowadays in some cases Citi isn’t giving people bonuses if they have the Visa and want the Mastercard, so there’s no guarantee you’d get the sign-up bonus.

  12. The main benefits of the Barclaycard for me have always been the companion certificate and the 10K EQM’s after $25K spend. Judging from Flyertalk the certificate is a big daw to a lot of people. The Red card offers neither benefit, so unless they give you a Silver card why not just cancel it and switch to one of the AA Citi cards? That’s my plan.

  13. Since we are ALL about points I have an interesting question. Should you apply for the Barclays US Air card and then appy for the Citi AA card and end up with 100k of points? Can you do this or is there a disadvantage?

  14. I applied for the U.S. airways MC with 50k sign up bonus. The bonus didn’t apply with the first statement (I did make a purchase) … Is that normal? If so when should it post?

  15. I applied and got instantly approved for a US Airways MC with 50k bonus in the beginning of February. Do you think I can get a second one before this is over?

  16. @ Ross — It’s anyone’s guess. You may get approved, you may not. Sorry, wish I had a better answer.

  17. Maybe I’m missing something, but it doesn’t look to me like you answered the question. As I understand it, the q is “if I cancel the US Air MC now, and don’t let them send me the aviator card, won’t they be offering a bonus to sign up for the aviator card, eventually, that I can’t get if I already have one?”

  18. @ mbh — As I stated (bolded) in the post:
    “So in the coming month your US Airways Barclaycard product will automatically be converted into an American Barclaycard product, which will start earning AAdvantage miles. Once that product is converted and the programs are integrated, you’ll no longer be able to apply for an American/US Airways credit card issued by Barclaycard.”

  19. Any idea how the annual fee will work if you upgrade to silver? Pay on account anniversary? I’m thinking of getting the 50k now with $89 fee, then upgrade to silver for the Global Entry waiver, then cancel before having to pay the $195 (hopefully next year).

  20. @ JayP — That’s a great question, though I’m not sure. I believe you’d probably be charged the new annual fee (or if you already paid annual fee on lower card, the difference in annual fee) with your first billing cycle.

  21. Lucky, I signed up for the AA Citi because of the 50K bonus and was planning on ditching my Barclay card before I pay my annual fee in April, but then realized that the Citi card has foreign transaction fees so now I think I’ll keep both until having to pay for the Citi card. What do you suggest? Keep the citi card or just use the aviator when that arrives?

  22. Oh, one more thing. I bought a ticket with my Barclay MC for a July flight. Will my aviator CC give me 1st bag checked on my July USAir flight or will I need to keep my Barclay card (if not Aviator by then)?

  23. @ JK — Could go either way on that. Personally I don’t care too much about whether the card has foreign transaction fees or not, given that it’s not a card I’d put much everyday spend on anyway. There are much more rewarding cards.

  24. I no longer have a MC for US Air. I applied and was approved for the new Red AA Adv antage card. Will I still receive a $99 companion fare with AA Advantage; or, should I apply for another airline with a companion fare option. I thought this was a great plan for my husband and me.

  25. Could go either way on that, personnaly I don t care too much about whether. The card has foreign transaction fees or not,given that it’s not a card I ‘d put much everyday spend on anyway there are much more rewarding cards.
    Thanks for us

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