Barclaycard Will Issue FOUR Different American Airlines Credit Cards

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Back in October we learned that Barclaycard would issue two American Airlines credit cards once the US Airways and American frequent flyer programs merge. It turns out that was – literally – only half right.

Barclaycard is losing the ability to issue new US Airways/American credit cards with the merger, and Citi will get that right exclusively in the U.S.

  • US Airways and American are merging frequent flyer programs.
  • The Barclaycard-issued US Airways card is becoming an American card.
  • You won’t be able to apply for it anymore once the programs merge.
  • This will happen during the second quarter of the year.

Up until now we knew about the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard, which current US Airways cards are supposed to become.

  • Double miles on American purchases
  • A 10% rebate on redeemed miles annually, up to 10k miles
  • First checked bag free (up to 4 traveling companions)

The key for me is that the Aviator Silver card will offer elite qualifying mileage earning at a lower price point than the Citi Executive card and it will also continue to offer a companion ticket benefit. That requires spend, which I’d meet anyway in order to earn elite qualifying miles.

Then there’s the $195 Aviator Silver card.

  • Triple miles on 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.

But there are actually (4) cards.

  • There’s the no annual free (‘downgrade’) card, AAdvantage Aviator (no ‘color’ in the name) which earns 1 mile per $2 spent.
  • There’s the AAdvantage Aviator Blue which offers 1 mile per dollar (2 on American Airlines spend) but without the add-on benefits of other cards – I will be curious to see if this is the card issued to former US Airways Bank of America credit card holders (Barclays acquired the old BofA portfolio left over from before US Airways-America West merger).

So in addition to the personal Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and the business card version CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® there will be four different Barclays AAdvantage products — although in order to have one of these you’ll need to be a Barclays US Airways cardholder before the Dividend Miles program goes away.

(HT: Chasing the Points)

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.

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. I got an email that I was getting the Red. Any idea how I can switch to a different one? CSRs seem clueless.

  2. same question received a marketing piece in the regular mail saying I will be getting red. I would like to get silver. Any idea how to go about it. I called and they had no clue. thank you

  3. Would be nice to know if having both the Red Aviator and the Citi AA Plat card will get 10% miles back still just to a max of 10,000/yr or a max of of 20,000/yr.

  4. Do you think it is worth keeping the card until it switches over to the AA product? Or should it be cancelled to be in position to apply for a new AA card sign up bonus?

  5. There’s also the added complication that if you had the version of the US Airways card that gave you a 10,000 mile anniversary bonus, you would still get that with the new Aviator card. So 4 different colors with two of those having variations, what a mess.

  6. Do you think the Premier World MC will become Aviator Red and the World Elite MC will become Aviator Silver? I don’t know how many people have the upgraded World Elite MC from US but it seems in line with the Aviator Silver card.

  7. @miles @evan silver is presently by invitation and the second round of invites are about to go out, it’s a new product so still in its beta/testing phase. i imagine there will be more opportunities in the future

  8. Gary,

    With the Aviator red card, wiill we still receive 10,000 miles annually?

    I have three of the US Airways cards, but I dont think I want to pay the annual fees if there’s no bonus.

  9. Do you get 10% back if you have this card and another 10% back if you have the Citicard?

  10. Gary, I received the mail regarding the Aviator™ Red and it also comes with this following promotion: “Join us in celebrating the upcoming integration of the Dividend Miles® program into the AAdvantage® loyalty program when you register to earn 50% more miles on every purchase you make with either your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard or your new AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® from March 1 through June 30, 2015, up to 10,000 bonus miles.”

    My question is, given that I have Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Hyatt Visa, Hilton Reserve Visa and this US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard, in this promotion period, should I put my non-dining/traveling international spending to the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard? The latter generates 1.5x US/AA miles, which seems to be more valuable than 1 ultimate rewards nor 3 HH points.. Thanks

  11. If I had the USAirways card that earned elite qualifying miles and it got transferred to the red Aviator card with Barclay, what happens to the elite qualifying miles that I had already earned so for in that year with the USAirways card? Did they basically transfer the better USAirways card over to the red Aviator card and cause people like me to forfeit the elite qualifying miles we had already earned thus far in the year?

  12. Sam, I’m in the same boat. Spent $25K in Q1 to try to get the 10k PQM before the switch to Aviator. It looks like they supposedly ended the benefit Dec 31 – I was not aware of this change. So, you have to upgrade to silver and spend $40K to get 10K EQMs now. That right, Gary?

  13. I have the Aviator Red MasterCard which merged my USAirways miles with my existing American miles.. I thought I would cancel the Aviator card as I have a Citi American Preferred Select card.. and I don’t think I need both (I don’t think I get a 10,000 bonus each year with the Aviator)..
    I was told that if I cancelled my Aviator card all of the miles accrued with US Airways that had merged to become American miles would be taken away by Barclays.. COULD this be true..
    Please advise..

    Thank you

    Maxine Dombrow

  14. @maxine dombrow that is 100% false. just make sure to have activity in your american account at least 18 months and they’ll remain active.

  15. my husband & I signed up for a USAA credit card just August last year. With this card we were awarded 2 free companion flights when we purchased our next flight. We didn’t get to use this offer before the merge. We were transfered to the Red Barclay AA card. Seems we now have no bonus points and no free companion tickets, and now Barclay wants us to pay to keep our card every year. Unless we can get our companion flights, I see no reason to keep this card. Is there a way we can still recieve our companion flights?

  16. Kathryn…I’m in the same boat as you. Also not likely I’ll have many flights on American this next year, so the $89 annual fee is kind of a waste and they claim they won’t waive it. It’s due at the end of this month, so I need to decide if I should cancel.

  17. Gary,
    Thanks for the article, came across it when researching to upgrade to the silver, which at this point a plan on doing.
    Was debating on my fiancé and/or I also sign up for the Citi Card to get the 50,000 bonus miles?
    Was also debating if I should have her upgrade to the silver?

    I fly a fair amount for work and use my card to gain the miles and should be able to easily cover the spending minimums. We live in California and her family in Florida so we travel there 1-3 times a year and planned to use companion certificate for those trips.

  18. I had the USAA card and loved the companion tickets. Switched to AA silver and just got my companion certificate for this year–the blackout dates are CRAZY. The old card had a few blackout dates around Christmas — maybe December 21, 22, 27, and 28. The AA blackout dates are December 17-January 4, making the certificate basically useless for holding travel. The whole reason I had the card was for the certificate for Christmas travel–I wish I’d known what the blackout dates were going to be before I switched.

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