There’s a 35,000 Mile Signup Bonus for the US Airways Mastercard That Some Will Consider Better than the Standard 40,000 Mile Offer

Last night I posted about the old ‘Chairmans’ offer of 40,000 miles after first purchase, no annual fee, and 10,000 miles at renewal no longer being active and that it left the standard 40,000 mile offer (my referral link) as best (no fee waiver, no promise of additional miles at renewal).

Several commenters chimed in that there’s also a 35,000 mile offer with fee waived (not my referral link) and that promises 10,000 additional miles at card renewal.

Some folks think this is an obviously better offer. I think it might be better, under some circumstances.

But I wanted to make sure that folks were aware of it so that they could make the decision for themselves which one to use.

  • The 35,000 mile with fee waived offer does not have a landing page. It goes straight to an application. But the terms and conditions are clear about what you’re supposed to get. If you use this offer, save the terms and conditions in case you have to fight for the promised miles.
  • 40,000 miles with an $89 fee versus 35,000 miles with no fee means buying an incremental 5000 miles for $89 or 1.78 cents per mile. Is that worth it?

    It’s cheaper than you can buy miles with the bonus offers that either US Airways or American have going. I consider that worthwhile, but it depends on the price at which you would buy miles.

  • The no fee offer promises 10,000 miles at card renewal in a year. That could make the 35,000 mile signup bonus better, if the renewal miles are honored (save those terms and conditions!) and if you can pocket them before paying a second year annual fee.

    My own strategy is to cancel the card long before then, because it’s often easier to apply for another card and signup bonus when you don’t already have an open card (though some are successful getting a second approval explaining they want another card to keep different kinds of expenses separate).

    Others will want to keep the card until the renewal bonus hits. It usually does before the fee posts which would let you pocket those miles and not pay a second annual fee.

Bottom-line for me on whether the 35,000 no fee offer is ‘better’ is whether you will get the 10,000 mile renewal bonus (whether you will keep the card long enough, and whether it’s honored, there have been some reports of problems but I did get mine from the card), and to the extent you get the renewal bonus without paying the second year $89 annual fee.

Since I probably wouldn’t keep the card through renewal anyway, I’d prefer the larger number of miles now. But others will prefer fewer miles and saving the $89 annual fee. You decide.

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. Filled in the application and right before the decision is made, it returns:

    “We apologize for the inconvenience, but our website is experiencing technical issues. ”

    Nice one Barclays…

  2. Better question on the renewal bonus: do we believe this product will actually still be around in 12 months?

  3. What’s the rule on applying if you already have one card open for 9 months? Not sure if I should close the one I currently have and try in a few weeks. I’ve only used it for the first purchase and the 15k bonus.

  4. @Rick there’s not a clear rule, some folks have gotten approvals for a second card after 3-4 months. Personally I’m not that aggressive, I would close a card after 6 months, wait a few months, apply again

  5. Well done Gary for posting this and A’s update. The constant snark on flyertalk about bloggers has gotten truly comical wrt affiliate links. I appreciate your blog and your openness and honesty about why you blog what you do.

  6. The updated link offer from “A” is giving this message at the bottom of the page: We apologize for the inconvenience, but our website is experiencing technical issues.
    Please contact us at 1-866-419-6437 or try again later.

  7. Unfortunately it looks like it did not take long for them to catch on to people using the link that “A” posted. They must have gotten serious about minimizing the number of miles they are handing out. Probably figure they are going to lose the card soon.

  8. @Gary I applied for the 40 k with no annual fee, as you have linked above, and got application needs further review. My assumption is b/c of sign ups I did last week. When I called reconsideration line they had no record of my application.

    Are you sure that is a legitimate link above?

  9. I also received the above message when applying for the 35K offer, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but our website is experiencing technical issues.
    Please contact us at 1-866-419-6437 or try again later”, but when I called I was told that I was approved. Printed the t&c just in case.

  10. As a followup, it appears that you can go to in lieu of calling to find out if your app went thru.

  11. If you click on the 35,0000 link and then click on the 40,000 link, the 40,000 link seems to work. Not sure why, but it does…

  12. Two questions:

    1. What are the chances I get approved for this with a high FAKO (750) but lots of recent hits from a New Years’ AOR (1xChase, 1xChase Biz, 2xAMEX, and 1xAMEX Biz)?

    2. Should I throw in one of the Citi AA cards with this Barclays? Or something else that works well at this moment but isn’t AMEX or Chase (which I can’t imagine approving me again so soon?)


  13. Just tried it. Yes, if you click on the 35K and then the 40K, it works! Much appreciate this posting and website.

  14. I’d was able to apply via the 40k link, but it says it needs more time to consider the application. When I check the status of the application online, there is no record of it…

  15. Gary. I received a “We’re in the process of reviewing the information you provided” response after applying for the original Chairman 40K offer 3 days ago. Should I wait or call the reconsideration line now? Never carried a Barclays card. Did AA 2-browser and Amex Plat in January.

  16. The clicking on the 35k offer then clicking on the 40k offer does work at least in part…..I submitted an application in that manner however upon follow up Barclays had no record of my application. Does anyone know how long it takes a new application to populate the Barclays’ system?

  17. Also how is the credit department via 1-866-419-6437 closed on a Friday during normal business hours????

  18. @Evan that happened to me as we’ll. I am trying to figure out what is going on with no luck.

  19. Also applied using the 40k, called recon immediately. Guy said that the link was expired, and to go and apply using their current offer (I’m guessing 35k). He said that I most likely got that message because the link was expired. He said Barclay won’t pull credit if you apply on an expired link.

  20. I got the “tech difficulties…call 1-866-419-6437” message too – Called Number but recording says it is closed. I called 1-866-419-0881 instead and entered the info it asked for. Told me I had an available balance of $XXXX – So I assume I am approved. hope that helps

  21. Great news guys… I just successfully applied for my second US Air card after keeping my first one from May open. Instant approval! I did go for the 35k link to be safe as I didn’t think the $89 was worth it for another 5k miles.

  22. Has anyone had success in doing like Gary said and waiting for the annual points bonus to post, then still canceling the card and avoiding the annual fee? Does Barclays offer any kind of grace period canceling the card after the fee?

  23. Has anyone tried the link in the Update section and got instant approved? The link seems live again…but not sure whether it is going to be processed or not after hitting submit.

  24. Per JF’s suggestion, clicking on the 35K first and then proceeding to the 40K worked. I did screen shots of the T&Cs showing 40k miles & 1st yr fee waived but upon submitting my application got a pending status. Does anyone know of a Barclay’s reconsideration line?

  25. 35,000 link is “experiencing technical difficulties” for the final submission part, when you click “okay.”

  26. @Gary: You forgot to mention the bait and switch included in the affiliate offer:

    “Bonus Miles: Applicants who are approved for the Premier World MasterCard will receive 40,000 bonus miles after the first use of the account for a Purchase or Balance Transfer (that are not later returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded). Applicants who are approved for the World MasterCard will receive 15,000 bonus miles after the first use of your account for a Purchase or Balance Transfer (that are not later returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded).”

  27. I canceled my US card yesterday, to avoid paying the fee, and to faciltate applying for a new card next month. Today I checked my Dividend Miles page to see if Barclays had clawed back the 10K miles renewal bonus that posted a month ago, way before they billed me for renewal. So far the 10K is still there.

    But so was this, which I’ve never seen before:

    Name: Robert Hanson
    Preferred status: Normal
    Your balance: 74,619 miles

    Your balance with a US Airways MasterCard®
    109,619 miles
    Learn more & apply {with a link to an app}

    It was only a 35K offer, with the $89 first year fee. But it also included this: “$50 statement credit after first US Airways ticket purchase”

    Now that does me no good, since I don’t actually buy tickets. 😀 And if I did it would be on AA where I’m Lifetime Gold. But for those of you who, you know, actually do buy tickets on US Air, that’s over half of the first year fee refunded.

    Update: I just saw this in the T/C:

    “Unless otherwise stated in the offer, these bonuses and /or awards are intended for persons who are not, and have not previously been, US Airways MasterCard Cardmembers. You understand and agree that, unless otherwise stated, if this is your first US Airways MasterCard Account, once you become a Cardmember you are no longer eligible to receive these bonuses and/or awards for any new US Airways MasterCard account you open after this Account is opened. If this is not your first US Airways MasterCard Account, you may not be eligible for these bonuses and/or awards. If you receive a bonus or award for which you are not eligible, Barclays may direct US Airways to revoke the bonus or award, or reduce your mileage credit by the amount of the award, or charge your account for the fair value of the bonus or award, at our option.”

    {charge your account for the fair value of the bonus or award Ouch !!!}

    Anyone know if this clause has always been in the apps, and not enforced by Barclays? Or is this new, and a second approval for a first year fee card potentially a waste of $89? Or worse….

  28. This same first card only clause is in the T/C for the link for the “35,000 mile offer with fee waived (not my referral link)” above in Gary’s post. At least with that one you don’t risk paying $89 upfront, only to be told you don’t qualify for anything.

  29. I did the 35-then-40 link trick and my app went thru but then was unfindable by the status link or a recon agent. Half an hour later I got an email that I was approved with a $9300 limit and the status link also shows this.

  30. Is there an easy way to cancel this card without calling in? I’ve cancelled Citi cards in the past with a very simple private message online.
    The card I have came with 40k, 1st year waived and 1x lounge pass per year and the 2 fly with 1 paid pass. I’m supposed to get that pass annually… wonder if that’s a dead fish already. If i don’t receive it come March however when my anniversary hits I would guess they are violating T&C, which I’m sure they reserve to right to do whatever the heck they want somewhere in their T&C!

  31. I also applied using the 35,000 mile link yesterday, and received the “experiencing technical difficulties” message. Today I received a “welcome” EMAIL message indicating I had been approved. I called 866-419-0881 and spoke with Josie, who confirmed I would receive a 35,000 mile bonus on first use, plus up to 10,000 additional miles for balance transfers, with annual fee waived the first year.

    Gary, when I click on your referral link above, I am offered “up to 40,000 miles – 30,000 miles on first use, plus up to 10,000 additional miles for bonus transfers”. So, currently, it appears that the “35,000 mile” link actually gives you 5,000 more miles than the “40,000 mile link”.

  32. Hmm, the trick of clicking on the 35k link first and clicking on the 40k link later isn’t working for me on two different browsers. Can anybody please confirm this?

  33. Ok, so the weirdest thing happened… when I applied on the 35k link, the initial page showed us airways card. After applying, it showed the Carnival Cruise line card. What’s up with that??? I hope I don’t end up with that card!!!

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