Old vs New US Airways Card Offer

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I admit I have been quite confused today with some posts I have seen about the “new and improved” The US Airways Premier World MasterCard offer that awards 40,000 miles after the first use.  I even tweeted to that effect wondering if I had too much eggnog (and cupcakes) since I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about.

From what I could tell the old US Airways card offer I had previously applied for was both better and still available, so I thought I must be missing something given the coverage the “new” offer was getting on some sites.  Turns out for the most part I am not missing anything, but there is one change to the old offer that does make the new offer somewhat more interesting to some.

Here is a comparison of the two offers, so that you can be sure to make an informed decision if/when you add this card to your collection (or add your 14th version of this card to your collection as some folks get this one more than once – though that does seem to have gotten more difficult recently…)

As you can see, the main two differences in the benefits of the two cards are whether or not the annual fee is waived the first year (it is with the old offer, but not with the new offer).   Also, the old offer should come with 10,000 bonus miles on each anniversary and the new offer does not.  I say should because I have heard a couple reports of people who didn’t get their miles, but it is also quite possible those folks didn’t actually apply for a version that came with the bonus miles.  The offer page for the old offer still lists that benefit, and I did receive the bonus miles on my recent anniversary with that card using that link, so it should still work.  I put an * by the balance transfer as that comes with the standard balance transfer fees, so it probably isn’t a good idea just for the miles.

So, you can see my confusion on why anyone would want the new offer.  At least that is until I realized that the old offer application page had been tweaked a bit since I had last seen it.  The old offer had always been labeled as an “Exclusive Offer for Chairman’s Preferred Members” (which is the top tier elite level for US Airways), however I have never read a report of those who don’t have top tier elite status with US Airways not getting the card because of any elite status issue.  However, as View From the Wing points out, the application page now also asks for your US Airways employee number:

Please enter your 2-character Airline Code followed by your Employee Badge number (no spaces). Only employees of US Airways and US Airways wholly-owned subsidiaries are eligible.

Everyone has their own ethical line.  I did not personally feel bad applying for the old offer even though it said it was for Chairman’s Preferred members, however I would probably not be comfortable entering a fake employee ID number just to get a credit card.  Of course, I do think it is very strange it is asking for an employee ID number given that it is marketed toward top tier elite flyers, not US Airways employees!?  Weird.  However, it seems that folks are just skipping that part by leaving it blank and the application is still going through.  So, again that may shift using the old application back into the ethically acceptable realm for some.

Also be aware that Barclays does sometimes approve folks for a lesser version of the card with a lower sign-up bonus.  There is no question that the old Chairman’s offer is better than the new public offer.  However, they are both very good offers, and I do recommend adding this card to your list at some point.  Even if you don’t fly US Airways, you can use the miles to fly on other Star Alliance carriers, like United.  Just make sure you are making an informed choice on which offer is the right one for you – and for the majority that will probably be the old offer that has been around for years.


Disclosure: The new offer does contain a referral link that does provide me a commission if you are approved for that card while the old version does not.  However, it is way more important to me that you get the best deal available, so I want you to be aware of both versions. 

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Well put together post MP with good comparison of old and new. On the churning points, I have followed this closely and have seen that just about everyone can get two cards and some have had three. I have not seen reports higher than that unlike say Bank of America cards where you can just keep getting the same card again and again. I’d be curious if you have real reports of folks getting 14 cards, or even 4 (I am sure there are isolated examples but I am not sure this is as mega-churnable for all and sundry as is oft implied)

  2. Iolaire, happy to hear it helped!
    MilesAbound, 14 was a made-up number, but I do read about people saying they got the card “over and over” again. I have applied for it once and still have that same card. I have read more resistance to subsequent cards in the last 6-12 months than I read before then, and I’m not really willing to risk getting rid of mine since I think this card is a “keeper” for the annual 10K miles and the 5K discount on US Airways awards.

    • lu, I’d be ignorant to not think that may have played into some of it. I also think there genuinely was some confusion – especially from those who might not have been as familiar with the older offer.

  3. Great post! I signed up for the card under the “Old” Chairman’s offer late last month and received my 40K bonus already. The requirement for the Employee ID # was NOT on the application at that time. I double-checked my hard copy of the Terms & Conditions that came with the card and it actually states that the first year’s fee is waived and that I would be receiving the 10K anniversary bonus. It’s good to have this information in writing … fingers crossed that I will actually receive the bonus 🙂 Also, a good reminder to hang on to the T&C documentation when you receive your new credit cards.

  4. Are the 2 Companion Passes (that come w/ the US card) transferable?

    I got the card last month, and read through all the T&C this morning. The Companion Pass cannot be “bartered or sold”, but I could not see anything regarding a pure gifting of it.

    If so, this makes it more valuable since it can be gifted to family/friends.

    So, any insight into its transferability?

  5. Thanks for creating the comparison chart! Another thing to add: The old offer gave 40,000 to everyone. With the new one if you don’t get approved for the world mastercard version, they will likely give you the platinum version that only comes with 15,000 miles. Barclays is notorious for doing this and this is what happened to me before the Chairmans Preferred offer came out.

  6. Used the old link a few days ago but got the lesser version. Confirmed with CS that everyone gets the 40K bonus with old link. I even confirmed ith some folks who received the lesser offer last month.

    I didnt fill in the employee ID field. I actually didn’t think anything of it. If we are going to use zombie links to get higher bonus I’m not going to worry about skippng 1 field on an app.

  7. hmm this is interesting, as I had given the OLD link to a friend of mine who applied and was charged the annual fee right up front. The reply from the CSR was he did have have chairman status with Dividend Miles…

  8. LincolnPark, holding on to the terms is always a very good idea and thanks for sharing!
    DrewBird, I know per the terms they are not. I have never tried, so I don’t know if that would work in practice. Of course it would work for family/friends who are going on a trip with you as they would be your $99 companions.
    Samuel, good point as they are notorious for that.
    Con, glad the post was useful. Happy Holidays to you as well!
    Lee, thanks for sharing!
    Ozaer, hmm. There are a few versions of the offer out there. Not sure how they could have been charged the annual fee for this exact old version since it is specifically spelled out that it isn’t charged, but perhaps they are tightening up on the Chairman’s Status. Very interesting – thanks for sharing. I’ll try to be on the lookout for other recent app stories and see if that was a fluke or a trend.

  9. Why would an employee of USAIR need miles? I mean they already fly standby for peanuts and can also use other airlines as well. I know I did when I used to work for AA, and flew first class most of the time. Why would I need miles, then?

  10. Originally applicants approved for the lower card were only given 15K miles but after a lot of protests Barclays started giving all approvals the 40K. Hopefully they keep this policy with the new cards.

  11. Just got an instant approval under the old offer! I also requested a $100 balance transfer from one of my other cards, which should get me 10,000 miles for a $10 fee. Will let you know how it goes.

  12. Whoops, just read the T & C – it’s 1 mile per dollar for the balance transfer, up to 10,000 miles. I think I’ll just call and reverse it…oh well.

  13. I’m in the interesting position of having applied under the ‘old’ offer of 40,000 miles (30,000 after first use) just before the new offer came out. Haven’t even activated the card yet.

    Called customer support and they’ve not heard of the new offer. So I went to the USAirways site, and it still shows the old offer. Went to the Barclaycardus.com site and *it* still shows the old offer.

    Apparently the “new” offer is something that you have to know the URL for (perhaps Barclay’s is distributing it to bloggers but not making it “public” on their website?).

    Anyway, now I’m in the weird limbo of waiting for my “case” to be reviewed in the next 7-10 business days so they can decide if they’ll give me the better offer. I am tempted to let the process proceed just to see what happens. Alternatively, the impatient me wants to just cancel the un-activated card and do a new application.

    Decisions, decisions…

  14. Just got approved through the old link, albeit at a low limit of 2k. Is there anyway to tell if i got the world premier mc? I figured it would be like a visa sig min 5k

    • E, you could ask them. Rumor is with the old link you still get the full sign-up bonus regardless of the type of card…..keep me posted but check with Barclays if you want to find out for sure. Good luck!

  15. I received no direct feedback from Barclays, but just noticed that on their new (and extremely ugly) website that my new card has received 10000 reward miles since 1/5/13 – especially curious since I didn’t activate the card until 1/10/13. I’m guessing that my request for a match the new offer was quietly approved..

    So, if you got the “30000 point after first use” card shortly before the new 40000 after first use came out, it’s worth asking them to match the new offer!

  16. As suspected, I was approved for the lesser card. I did confirm the 40k bonus, but rep didn’t see anything about the 10k anniversary. The package did note both however.

    Is there any difference with the lesser platinum version from the older set of cards?

  17. @E: If you’re getting the 40K bonus and 10K anniversary is mentioned in your literature I think you’re doing better than most people. Do you have a no-fee first year? A year from now you might have to argue with them about the 10K anniversary bonus.

  18. @Rob: no first year fee, no complaints here. Besides maybe whatever world elite benefits and the higher limit, I don’t really see any difference in the level of cards?

  19. Interesting. What does it say on the front of your card in the upper right hand corner? “World” or “Premier world”?

    According to everything you’ve said, you should have the chairman’s premier world card, which doesn’t actually identify itself as anything other than “premier world”.

    The “world” mastercard should get you 25K points, no bonus, no first-class checkin and no zone 2 boarding.

    All very weird.

  20. Just signed up and was approved through your old app link MP with a 10k credit line. Aside from calling or waiting for the card, I assume there is no way of knowing if I was approved for the Premier World card with the first year fee waived and if I’ll be getting the 10K annual bonus. My account page online says I’m entitled to first class check in and zone 2 boarding but nothing about first year fee or bonus miles.

    • @SG no problem ignoring the “employee number” field I have heard about?

      I’d be pleased if you could report back once you’ve got the card. It’s on my list for a couple of months from now. If it really is fee-free and with 10K annual bonus then it’s a card I’d actually keep.

      Did the application itself mention the lack of fee and 10K bonus?

  21. @rob Left the employee number field blank. Application did not specify anything actually. You can check out the page if you click the apply link from MP old application page. Didn’t mention the First class check-in or zone 2 boarding on the app which my account page does say I have. Might just wait until it arrives and call then. Will report back. 40k plus first year fee waived is what I’m shooting for.

    • I’m wondering if that “apply here” link now just goes to the “normal” application for the “new” card with 40K points on first use. The key will be if your card is not charged a fee. For my new card from December, the fee was charged to the card within a couple of weeks so it should be easy to tell, quickly, if it’s a different card that you get.

      And, a year from now, if you get the 10K annual bonus.

      Looking forward to hearing from you once you’ve got the card and confirmed no annual fee… 🙂

  22. @rob @Mommypoints Just got the card in the mail today. With the old link I can confirm receipt of the Premier World MasterCard. The paperwork “specifically” states $89 annual fee (first year waived), 40k points after first purchase or balance transfer, zone 2 boarding, and 10k miles on anniversary…Pretty happy!!! Thanks again MP.

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