Barclaycard Just Got Really Aggressive Before the Window Shuts to Get the Card

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Barclaycard issues the US Airways credit card. When American and US Airways merge frequent flyer programs, cardholders will get to keep their cards — but it will no longer be possible to sign up for the card from Barclays.

Clearly Barclaycard wants to go the extra miles to engage cardmembers before the window shuts to sign people up, and to make sure they’re able to retain folks who do.

It’s a great idea to sign up for the card before the window to do so shuts. You get 50,000 miles after first purchase and there’s an $89 fee. That’s really cheap miles, and it gives you the option to have the card. You’ll need to act soon because rumors are swirling about the American and US Airways programs combining soon.

Some readers uncovered an offer that should give you 10,000 more points after a year as well.

Last week they announced card legacy cardmembers who receive bonus miles every year will continue to do so.

Now they are offering to upgrade some existing cardmembers to a new, premium card: the AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard with a $195 fee.

You can’t apply for the card, Barclaycard doesn’t get to issue AAdvantage cards to new cardholders, but they’re beginning to roll this out as an option to people who do sign up before the window shuts closed.

Here are the benefits:

  • Triple miles on US Airways and American purchases plus double miles on hotels and car rentals
  • A 10% rebate on redeemed miles annually, up to 10k miles .. this is just like the Citibank American Airlines offering.
  • First checked bag free (up to 8 traveling companions)
  • Companion certificate each year for two guests at $99+tax each with $30,000 in purchases by each anniversary date. The annual companion certificate was a fantastic benefit of the US Airways card, so I’m glad to see it continuing in some form.
  • 5,000 elite qualifying miles for each $20,000 in annual purchases (up to 10,000 per year). This is better than the Citi Executive card’s 10,000 after $40,000 spend at a higher annual fee price point.

This card strikes me as the choice for elite frequent flyers who want the ability to earn status miles through spend, but do not need the Citi Executive card’s lounge access (e.g. don’t value the lounge access; have a Citi Prestige card with lounge access; can redeem for it with Business ExtrAA points; or have elite status with another oneworld airline).

I don’t think it’s that compelling otherwise.

Meanwhile, we learn that existing US Airways cardholders will get what’s called the AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard. This is the $89 fee card that is akin to the current offering.

  • Double miles on US Airways and American purchases
  • A 10% rebate on redeemed miles annually, up to 10k miles .. this is just like the Citibank American Airlines offering.
  • First checked bag free (up to 4 traveling companions)

I love to see card issuers getting aggressive. I’m definitely keeping my US Airways card, and it seems wise to get the US Airways Premier World MasterCard before the option goes away — especially since you can even get it now for the 50,000 miles and then either now or later still get the Citibank-issued American AAdvantage card and its signup bonus.. and your miles will get combined into a single account.

(HT: The Points Guy and Mommy Points)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Tried to get the 40k/10k card and was denied, called the Recon line and was told that due to the fact that I already had that card type, the regular 40k card they would not issue a 2nd card of the same type. No hard credit pull either.

    But they were willing to let me sign up for a Frontier card. O_o

  2. Any Intel on when the USAir card is no longer available to apply? I applied for the arrival and usair card, they gave me arrival but denied usair (it would have been my second,). I want to give it one more shot but wanted to wait longer due to the denial at the beginning of september

  3. I have both a Barclays USAir and Citi AA card. So how do they work together. One gives 5000 mile award redemption discount, the other 10% off award redemptions. Will they track to same frequent flyer numbers after merger? Get both overlapping benefits?

  4. There is a targeted 50k sign up out there also. Check your email before your apply for the 40k offer.

    @mike, they don’t work together except you can usually use either to get free bags at the counter.

  5. Funny, I read this post and then, just last night, I saw two television commercials for the U.S. Airways card (Fox 5 in DC). I had never seen tv commercials for this card before.

  6. Does the 50k version have the 10k anniversary bonus? I hear this will be continued?

    If so should I apply for the 40/10 or the 50 card?

    Can I wait out my 91 days and apply on the 22nd, or should I apply asap? Any idea when the card will be pulled?

    And a last random question, any idea why my credit utilization shows “C”, but credit utilization = 0? (I pay everything off). Credit limit ~50k

  7. My wife has been getting solicited by every card company. I have been tossing them for about a year. Just got,and signed her up for, a AAdvantage Platinum Select MC. This time they upped the miles to 60,000 with the 2 Admiral Club passes, annual fee $95. Have to spend $3000 in the first 3 months. Group one boarding.

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