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Reader Darla asks,
Just received my new American AAdvantage World Mastercard in mail that replaced the US Airways card. Have not activated or cancelled it yet..should I or wait for a good signup bonus with this card? I have other American cards to keep collecting miles…card has yearly fee of $95.00…
The Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard replaced the US Airways Dividend Miles Mastercard. (There are actually four different American AAdvantage cards issued by Barclays. Aviator Red is the one that replaced the basic US Airways card. The card’s annual fee is $89.)
You can no longer sign up for Barclaycard-issued American AAdvantage credit cards. If you cancel your card, you can’t get it replaced.
That’s because Citibank is now the exclusive issuer of new American AAdvantage cards. So while there are no more Barclaycard signup bonuses, you can still get signup bonuses for Citibank’s cards.
Holding onto a Barclaycard-issued American card does not preclude you from getting a Citibank American Airlines card. And it does not preclude you from getting the bonus on that Citibank-issued card, either.
There’s no reason to hold off activating the Barclays Aviator Red that was sent to you.
As for which card to keep, I actually like the Barclaycard Aviator Red better than the Citi Platinum / AAdvantage Card. Aviator Red has a $6 lower annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and you can’t get a new one if you cancel. Otherwise their benefits are similar.
Choosing between the two I’d keep the Barclays Aviator Red — then in a couple of years if you decide you want the Citibank card, perhaps the product improves or your banking preferences change — you can sign up for that again later (and probably be eligible for another signup bonus).
Both cards are good for benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding on American — valuable if you fly American regularly but not enough for elite status. If your goal is to earn American Airlines miles though neither one is your best bet.
That’s because the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earns points which transfer to American Airlines miles. When you transfer points to 20,000 miles you receive 5000 bonus miles (which is like 1.25 miles per dollar for your spending, far better than you get with the American Airlines co-brand credit cards). And you retain the flexibility to use the points for hotels or transfer to airlines other than American if you prefer.