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Two things have developed in recent days/weeks that have led to a new “two browser trick”. The first is related to the demise/serious slow down on the old two browser trick with the Citi AAdvantage cards (where you could apply for two of the cards on the same day and get approved for both for double the miles), and the second is related to the word on the street that an American Airlines and US Airways merger will formally be announced in the next few days.
I’ll leave speculation about all the nitty gritty of what a new combined American Airlines/US Airways will look like to others (The Points Guy have has a recent post on this topic), but I want to focus on making sure you earn as many miles as possible before that happens. The quickest way to do that is by making sure you get both a Citi AAdvantage card and a US Airways MasterCard while they are still separate products (okay it isn’t really “new double browser trick”, it is more of a double bank/airline pre-merger maximization tip).
Assuming the merger comes to pass, we don’t know when the cards will stopped being issued as separate products, but we know for sure it is just a matter of time. If you use AirTran and Southwest as an example, it didn’t take all that long for the AirTran card to stop being issued by Barclays (which is who issues the US Airways card currently) and switch to being issued by Chase (whom issues the Southwest card). Both cards are still issued individually, but I’m sure that will stop at some point. With Continental and United, both were already with Chase, but up until a certain point in the merger process you could still apply for both cards separately. Then, they introduced the new MileagePlus Explorer card and eventually (and without warning) stopped issuing the older cards. However, the new card was a new product….which is a good thing since no one has had it before.
The consensus is that the card for a combined American-US Airways would be issued by Citi. Who knows if it would be introduced as a new product or not (fingers crossed), but almost certainly the US Airways Barclays cards would cease to exist. So, what does all of this mumbo jumbo mean for you? In a nutshell it means that it makes sense to get both the Citibank AA cards and the Barclays US Airways cards as soon as you can (or again as soon as you can, as the case may be). Remember that in both cases there is both a business and personal card available. Even if the merger doesn’t happen for some reason, you haven’t really lost anything since these are both extremely solid card offers. If you aren’t familiar with these, products, here are the best offers I am aware of (if you are curious, none of these are my affiliate offers):
Citi AAdvantage Business or Personal Cards: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in four months + $150 statement credit with first eligible AA purchase + two AAdmiral’s Club Passes (note that the offer for these cards is listed as having expired a year ago, but this FT thread still reports many many success stories)
US Airways Chairman’s Club MasterCard Offer: 40,000 miles after first purchase + 10,000 bonus miles on the anniversary. Technically this card is marketed as only for top tier elites on US Airways, but many non-elites have great success with the offer. You can read more about the different US Airways offers in this post.
US Airways BusinessCard Offer: 25,000 miles after first purchase ($79 annual fee not waived)
While this is not an immediate “stop the presses” thing you must do today, I know I will likely be adding AAdvantage and US Airways cards to my next series of applications – and as an added bonus neither are issued by Chase or Amex, so you can still throw in a card from one or both of those issuers if you feel up to it.