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I love a side of miles and points ‘gossip’ with my morning coffee, and this time I got two doses, both times about the The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard. This card is really making a big push right now, as just last week we learned the 10k anniversary miles will continue as AA miles after the merger for those who have that benefit, we started to see new targeted 50,000 mile offers with no minimum spending requirement, and now we are talking about the card yet again.
The big new news today was via The Points Guy as his US Airways MasterCard account was targeted with an invitation to become a new AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard issued by Barclaycard. They are only upgrading accounts to this new product, and not opening up the product to new applicants (you know, being an American Airlines branded card and all), but this will be a good option for some frequent American/US Airways travelers.
The benefits of the AAdvantage Aviator Silver card are said to be:
- 3x miles on US Airways and American purchases
- 2x miles on hotels and car rentals, 1x on other purchases
- 10% of redeemed miles back annually, up to 10k
- First checked bag free for you and up to 8 traveling companions (I love it when companies aren’t stingy about how many people the free checked bag applies to!)
- Companion certificate each year for two guests at $99 each with $30,000 in purchases by each anniversary date (ouch!)
- 5,000 elite qualifying miles for each $20,000 in annual purchases (up to 10,000 maximum EQMs per year)
The card will come with a $195 annual fee beginning in 2015, and you can read full details at The Points Guy. He also shares that AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard will be the base level card that most US Airways MasterCard holders are likely to transition to after US Airways and American merge in 2015.
The Red version of the card is said to come with benefits that include:
- 2x miles on US Airways and American purchases, 1x on other purchases
- 10% of redeemed miles back, up to 10k miles annually
- Those that had the 10k anniversary miles with the US Airways card will get to keep them
- First checked bag free, up to 4 traveling companions
- $89 annual fee
It is great to get a clearer idea of what will happen to the the US Airways MasterCard going forward, but what stands out to me the most in all of this is how big of a push US Airways is making to get and keep American Airlines customers before that window closes. The base level $89 annual fee card issued by Barclaycard will have the 10% of redeemed miles back perk like some of the Citi AA cards and the 10k anniversary miles perk for some accounts that already had that perk. That combo will make it impossible (aka stupid) to get rid of the card as long as they keep those perks going. Assuming you max out the 10% of redeemed miles benefit and are eligible for the 10k anniversary miles, that is the equivalent of getting 20,0000 American Airlines miles each year for the $89 annual fee, which is a very solid deal at less than 1/2 a cent per mile, not taking into account all the other perks of the card.
Despite what the landing page says, I have also now heard a couple of recent reports of non-elite US Airways travelers who were able to get the version of the card listed here that includes the 10,000 anniversary miles!
In the middle of all of this I got a mailer for my US Airways MasterCard (that hasn’t been getting much love in my wallet recently) for 5,000 bonus miles for $500 in spending in November, December, and January, for a total of $1,500. That will mean a total of 6,500 miles for $1,500 in spending, and that is on top of a promo my account was targeted for that is awarding me 3x point on dining, among other things. Counting both promos, this means I am earning up to 9x on some purchases on that card this fall. That kind of promo stacking really makes rewards add up in a huge hurry!
On that targeted bonus mailer, it says “Make Your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard the only card for everyday spending.”
Well, as a miles maximizer/addict, that will never happen, but I very much appreciate the effort that Barclaycard is making to get us in the habit of using the card now, and making it a very attractive card to keep after the merger.
I have no clue what kind of rabbits are up Barclaycard’s sleeve as the window to get new US Airways MasterCard customers closes, and the transition to American occurs, but I sure am enjoying with they have to offer so far! My best advice is stay very much on the lookout for mail coming from Barclaycard about the US Airways MasterCard as you may end up with targeted offers to either use your card more, or get a new card with an increased bonus.
No matter what, I would not want to miss the opportunity to get the US Airways MasterCard at some point before it’s too late, as it is clear it is a product that Barclaycard is not just going to “forget about” after 2014.