60K American Miles After First Purchase With AAdvantage Aviator Red Card

Last July it was announced that the “new American” would have credit card agreements with both Citi and Barclacyard. Under this agreement, both issuers offer American cards with different benefits and with different marketing channels through which they can promote their cards. Competition is good for consumers, and in this case it has meant that we’ve seen increased offers on cards from both issuers.

At the moment the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 American AAdvantage miles after the first purchase (that purchase can be for any amount — even a pack of gum qualifies). The card has a $95 annual fee, which isn’t waived for the first year. Previously the bonus on this card was 50,000 miles, so this one is 20% better.

In terms of eligibility for the offer, the terms state the following:

This one-time AAdvantage® bonus mileage offer is valid for first-time cardmembers with new accounts only. Existing cardmembers, existing accounts, and previous cardmember with accounts closed in the past 24 months may not be eligible for this offer. This is a limited-time offer and may be canceled at any time without notice. Please allow 4-6 weeks for  AAdvantage® bonus miles to be deposited into your AAdvantage® account after the qualifying transaction has posted and your annual fee has been paid.

In addition to the bonus, the card offers all kinds of other perks, including the following:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to four companions on a domestic itinerary
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to four companions on a domestic itinerary
  • Double miles for American Airlines purchases
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back every year, for a total refund of up to 10,000 miles (Citi’s co-branded credit card has a similar benefit, though the two aren’t stackable — you can get the benefit on one card or the other)
  • 25% inflight savings on food, beverages, and headsets
  • Earn 3,000 elite qualifying dollars when you spend $25,000 in purchases on the card in a year

Also keep in mind that if you have this card, after a year you can upgrade to the AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard, which has a $195 annual fee. That card offers the following perks:

  • Up to 6,000 worth of elite qualifying dollars (3,000 when spending $25,000, and another 3,000 when spending another $25,000)
  • Up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles (5,000 when spending $20,000, and another 5,000 when spending another $20,000)
  • An annual $99 companion ticket on your account anniversary (when you spend $30,000 on purchases)

If you do want a “fast track” to American status, then the Aviator Silver Card is the way to go. But you need to have the Aviator Red Card for a year before you can upgrade.

Bottom line

If nothing else, the 60,000 AAdvantage mile sign-up bonus on this card is a fantastic offer, especially given that you earn the bonus after just one purchase. If you’re not a frequent American flyer, the card at least gets you some basic benefits, like preferred boarding and a first checked bag free, along with a 10% refund on award redemptions.

For more frequent flyers, the Barclaycard offering is what you want to earn EQDs and EQMs towards status.

(Tip of the hat to US Credit Card Guide)

Comments

  1. I was able to upgrade to the Silver card after only two months, but maybe because I was targeted; I logged in one day on my profile and had a message stating I was already eligible.

  2. If you have both Citi and Barclay cards do you double dip on the 10% redemption bonus? Or if you go over 100k AA on one card you start getting bonus on the next 100k AA redemptions?

  3. How many barclay cards can be applied for? Will they approve another Barclay card within 30 days of another?

    Thanks

  4. Anyone know if I can upgrade my Arrival+ to the Aviator Red? Wishful thinking? 🙂 I applied for Arrival+ in May.

  5. I just got this card last month – any chance you think they’d give me the higher sign-up bonus offer if I call in?

  6. If I have the Citi AA Executive card, am I elligible/allowed to apply for this Red Aviator card also?

  7. I have both the Aviator Red(now Silver) and the Citi Aadvantage card. So yes you can have both, I don’t believe you can double dip on the 10% rebate.

    I got the Aviator Red back in March and was offered an upgrade to the Silver last month, don’t necessarily have to wait a year if they target you.

  8. I currently have the no fee aviator card. I assume that means that they’ll consider me an account member and won’t give me this bonus?

  9. Lucky,

    If I apply for this card, will the 10% milesback be retroactive on my previous redemption for the calendar year?

    Thanks!

  10. Jumped the gun too quickly – Didn’t read the “previous cardmember with accounts closed in the past 24 months may not be eligible for this offer” – How strict is Barclays with this usually??? I was just approved for the card, but wonder if I’ll receive the bonus..

  11. Ha! I was wondering last night why I hadn’t seen a post about this offer on OMAAT. 😉
    I love the deal. Basically 60,000 for $95.
    Approval was a breeze. Took literally about 8 seconds.

  12. So Ben, on cards like the Aviator Red, I don’t really care about the benefits other than the bonus (I already have the Citi Aadvantage card for early boarding and checked bag). Do you recommend canceling once the bonus hits my account, so that that in 23 months I can potentially requalify for another bonus offer?

  13. Chris, I am a frequent United flyer and applied for the card for that reason. Cancelling it after the year. 60k miles on AA too hard to pass up with the great partner redemption options.

  14. Matthew, thanks for the advice. Is there any reason for me to hold onto the card for even a year? If cancelling now vs. next June means potentially getting another bonus 10 months sooner, shouldn’t I just cancel now?

  15. Anyone know as to how long it takes for the 60k points to post in your account from the time you make the first purchase?

  16. Is this only for US citizens? Or may I be apply to apply as a non-US citizen not living in the US?

  17. Would you recommend the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard or the Citi Platinum Select for someone who flies American about 10 times a year? Which one is better for earning miles?

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