You Can Now Apply for Barclaycard American AAdvantage Cards Again!!

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Barclaycard used to issue US Airways cards, and those became American AAdvantage cards with the merger. But Citibank had the exclusive right to issue new AAdvantage cards.

So once the US Airways Dividend Miles program ended in March 2015, existing cardholders got to keep their cards but no one else could sign up.

With American’s new credit card deal both Citi and Barclaycard get to issue new accounts.

Baclaycard gets to take applications in-airport (but not within 100 feet of an Admirals Club, where Citibank has exclusivity) and inflight. Citibank gets clubs and exclusivity through American’s digital channels.

Today is the first day that new Barclaycard American Airlines AAdvantage cards are available. You can get them inflight from flight attendants, and you can apply for them online at

The card has a 40,000 mile signup bonus after first purchase (no minimum spend), but if you apply inflight you get 500 additional bonus miles. The card comes with free checked bags and priority boarding and a 10% rebate on AAdvantage redemptions each year up to 10,000 miles. These benefits are duplicated by the Citibank-issued AAdvantage cards, and you cannot double dip on the 10% rebate.

New American Airlines B/E Aerospace Super Diamond Business Class

Barclaycard actually has (4) different Aviator cards, because they migrated the old US Airways Bank of America Visas and also offer a no fee product, and because they have a premium Aviator Silver card. I have Aviator Silver, and I’m really excited about it for 2017, but I do not yet see a way to apply for it directly and I assume that you can only product change an Aviator Red card if you’ve had it for a year (because by law a bank can’t increase your annual fee in the first 12 months).

It’s neat that you can now apply for American credit cards from more than one issuer.

  • That means you can get 40,000 bonus miles from the Barclaycard Aviator Red and you can take advantage of limited-time offers for the Citi cards.

  • You can have American Airlines cards from both Barclaycard and Citibank and in fact I already do.

Unique to the Barclaycard products you can earn elite qualifying dollars towards status through spend.

  • Spend $25,000 on a Barclaycard-issued American AAdvantage credit card and earn 3000 elite qualifying dollars.
  • Spend $50,000 on a Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver credit card and earn an additional 3000 elite qualifying dollars.

You cannot combine spend on more than one credit card to reach these spend thresholds (in contrast to Delta and United). It has to be $25,000 (or $50,000) on a single card. And you can not earn 3000 elite qualifying dollars (or 6000) from multiple cards.

Since both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Barclaycard Aviator Silver let you earn elite qualifying miles through spend, I plan to put spend on both in 2017.

What’s cool is that $50,000 spend on the Aviator Silver ($195 fee, but unlike the Citi Executive Card doesn’t come with lounge access) will get me:

  • 10,000 elite qualifying miles
  • 6000 elite qualifying dollars
  • A companion ticket
  • At least 50,000 miles

As an American Airlines elite, the additional elite qualifying dollars aren’t just helpful for status qualification but starting sometime mid-year will be used to prioritize upgrades. I’m inquiring with Barclaycard about how it will be possible to get the Silver card (that I already have on a legacy basis, from converting my old US Airways-turned-American card) since for now I only see how to apply for the basic ‘red’.

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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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 advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.



  1. Why would you even bother applying for this? AA miles are garbage. I have 2m of them. Everytime I want to go somewhere I end up using star alliance or skyteam.

    Unless you want to do a quadruple mile award – getting seats on AA is really tough.

  2. Do you know how often you can get the Barclays bonuses? Hubby closed his AA Aviator card in March, can he reopen again now for the bonus?

  3. I have my Barclay Aaviator red from the US airways days…can I apply for a new one and get the bonus, or do I need to close my current one and wait a certain amount of time?

  4. Didn’t the old aviator red card earn 3x per dollar on AA? I was hoping it was 3x on AA on this new card. And yea AA miles pretty much worthless.

  5. Comment #1 is sort of strange. Why not do a “quadruple mile” award rather than sitting on 2M miles which are doing nothing for you? Is it just a matter of pride and principle? 2M AA miles could get you a number of international trips in J/F at even the highest redemption levels…

  6. Earlier this year I booked business class flights to AUSTRALIA for 80K miles each way on AA, on the prime LAX to SYD route. Business class flights on Etihad and Qatar, some of the best products out there, for 70k miles each way using AA miles. If you can’t find good redemptions for your AA miles then you aren’t trying hard enough.

  7. Can I still get the sign-up bonus if my old us airways card was converted to the red card, but I closed it?

  8. Leaving aside the issue of whether the AA miles are worth it (probably not, but since Gary lives in Austin, I’d think they — and Southwest — are more valuable to him, at least marginally, than United or Delta . . . certainly more so that Virgin American/Alaska, which are *my* most valuable) . . . a more troublesome point for ME is:

    “What’s cool is that $50,000 spend on the Aviator Silver ($195 fee, but unlike the Citi Executive Card doesn’t come with lounge access) will get me . . . ”

    a) how many people — really — have $50k to spend annually on a single credit card, and b) how many credit cards does Gary — and other bloggers — spend $50k on to reach certain thresholds? Now, I readily admit that Gary (among many others) own their own business and can put loads of business expenses on certain cards, but personal spending? I try to put everything on credit cards — from buying a single espresso at a local coffee house, to my kid’s tuition — but there is no way I can put $50k on one card, let alone multiples . . .

    This is not meant as a criticism of Gary, or of those other people who ARE able to do this. Rather, it’s an observation of where this (and other) blogs of this sort cease to be useful to (at least some of) their readership.

  9. @RCB, I have to agree with you about finding good AA redemptions but it’s so frustrating when almost every option to Europe is on BA or gets your hopes up on Finnair only for it to be phantom space. Iberia is usually my secret weapon in this case. And for Asia, JAL and Cathay work for me but you have to call these in and take your chances that you’ll get an agent that will work with you instead of “computer says no”, even when you’ve double checked availability… Yeah, so frustrating.

  10. Kris is right, there is zero domestic availability. Yeah you can fly ME airlines but sometimes you just need to go to Chicago. Sure you can pay 40k for a oneway anytime award but at that price invariably Skymiles are cheaper, and often in Comfort+.

  11. Jason Brandt- it is super easy to spend $50K if you use the card for your mortgage payments and your property taxes. If you do this correctly you can do it for free or for under 1% fee.

  12. @RW, methinks thou doth missed the message . . . the point is one has to have a certain level of disposable income before one can charge $50k on one credit card, let alone on several.

    In my specific case, our house is paid off, and while I *can* use a company like plastique to make payments to those companies who do not accept credit card payments directly, the service charges do add up. In addition, while running as many business expenses as I can through my personal cards (and then getting reimbursed), clearly the business’ bookkeeper at least prefers I use the “office card,” so that opportunity is limited. Further, I only travel on business 2-4 times a year, typically within the state and always within the country.

    I don’t know about you, but there are several cards in my wallet where a certain annual spend is needed to maintain elite status. To focus on a single card and achieve that $50k threshold does not make sense for everyone. I’m not trying to be argumentative here, but speaking generally, as I was initially, my only point was that not everyone is in a position to put $50k on a single card — presuming their income level is high enough to charge $50k a year, period.

  13. @D, I am seeing no 24-month language in the T&Cs, and I’ve read through it twice now, care to share what you think you found?

  14. Jason Brandt Lewis: No, not everyone can participate in the hobby, or all parts of it, but lots of us can and get great value out of it. I’m sorry that you can’t put $50k a year on one or more cards, but lots of us can, whether through personal spending, business spending, or both, so we’ll definitely get more value out of some of this information. Get whatever information you can get from these sites as there is still a lot you can get (this article itself allows you to get 40,000 AA miles for just a $95 annual fee and 1 purchases, certainly you can do that, right?) at low levels, even if you can’t use every single aspect of every single card, and stop worrying that you can’t do what the rest of us can. Do what works for you, the rest of us will do the same.

  15. @RCB “Existing cardmembers, existing accounts, and previous cardmember with accounts closed in the past 24 months may not be eligible for this offer. ”

    Go to the apply aviator site, click “Terms and Conditions,” then run a word search for “24 months.” It’s a little over halfway through the terms.

  16. Thanks @D, not sure how I missed that. I hope that “may not” is the magic words, I guess we’ll see, but you’re right, be cautious.

  17. RCB, again I believe you’ve missed the intent of my comments. I am not trying to be argumentative with you by continuing this conversation, nor am I jealous, envious, or anything other than supportive re: any one individual’s annual credit card spend.

    As a former journalist — admittedly from before there were such things as blogs and even the internet — I know it’s imperative to understand your audience. Gary provides some invaluable information through his blog, and it has grown into the blog that, in fact, I rely on the most. That said, I think what is sometimes lost here is that not everyone has such high levels of income (high 6, low 7 figures) to be able to put so much spend on a single card. Period.

    My wife & I have a very nice income, and I certainly have no complaints on that score — although, I admit, we’ll definitely have more disposable income once our kids finish college! ;^) And while it’s certainly possible for me to put $50k on a single card, it’s not feasible to do so on multiple cards. As, I imagine, WE ALL DO — we must pick and choose which offers work for us, which don’t, and which to make our (respective) priorities.

    This has gone on far longer than I had originally intended, but there are times when I wish Gary might elaborate more on benefits for those of us whose income isn’t up to AMEX Centurion levels. For example, while Gary *did* write . . .

    Spend $25,000 on a Barclaycard-issued American AAdvantage credit card and earn 3000 elite qualifying dollars.
    Spend $50,000 on a Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver credit card and earn an additional 3000 elite qualifying dollars.

    . . . I wish he would have elaborated on those benefits at $25k the way he subsequently did in his post for $50k. It’s as simple as that. I’m asking for more information, not less; I’m seeking to expand “the pool,” so to speak, not restrict it. I apologize if you felt I was trying to do otherwise; that was not my intent.

  18. JBL- Why would he? People applying for the smaller cards don’t generate him the income that the high dollar cards do. In this case it probably doesn’t matter because there is no direct way to apply for silver. Yet.

  19. Jeez, I had no idea this would be so hard to understand. I *presume* that — when you write “People applying for the smaller cards don’t generate him the income” — you mean that Gary gets $$$ when people click through to apply for certain cards. And, presuming that I apply for “Card X,” Gary will receive said compensation whether the individual who applies (and receives) that card spends $100k or $1k — the compensation is not an on-going thing based upon spend, it’s based upon the application (and possibly its approval).

    All I was saying is that I would appreciate a full(er) explanation of the benefits at EACH level of spent, not merely the highest . . . and I doubt I’m the only one who reads this blog who would gain from that. Not sure why that concept is so difficult to grasp?

    In any event, it is what it is . . . .

  20. @RW: Can you pl let us know how to pay mortgage with 1% or less fee, when you state: “if you use the card for your mortgage payments and your property taxes. If you do this correctly you can do it for free or for under 1% fee.” Plastiq for example charges 2.5%…thanks much.

  21. I applied for the Barclay card and they rejected me, said will mail me a letter. I only have two credit cards and I pay on time, never late, my credit scores are 830, 827, 832. I make over $200,000 / yr. Anyone else got rejected?

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