The US Airways Dividend Miles program has been folded into American AAdvantage. And technically now only Citibank has the right to issue new American AAdvantage personal (and small business) co-brand credit cards.
Barclays used to issue the US Airways card. There’s still a working link to apply, don’t wait although my best guess is it will work through around April 25.
Existing Barclays US Airways MasterCard cardholders become Barclays American AAdvantage cardholders. Barclaycard can’t issue new accounts, but they can continue to service existing customers.
And they have a suite of (4) personal cards to offer existing customers:
Here’s a description of all four. Roughly speaking the two bottom tier cards are legacy offerings geared towards US Airways cardholders whose cards had been issued by Bank of America (a portfolio Barclays recently acquired). They’re meant to mirror the offerings those customers already had.
Most US Airways cardholders are being moved to the Aviator Red card. That one is most like the current product and like the Citi AAdvantage card products. It earns double miles on American purchases, receives a 10% rebate on redeemed miles annually (up to 10,000 miles), and provides the first checked bag free (up to 4 traveling companions).
There’s been a lot of mystery and questions surrounding the Aviator Silver card. You could not ever apply for one. So folks wonder how they can get one.
The Aviator Silver card comes with a $195 annual fee and offers:.
- Triple miles on American purchases plus double miles on hotels and car rentals
- A 10% rebate on redeemed miles annually, up to 10k miles
- 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.
So how do you get one?
Some people were invited when the product was announced back in October. I had heard there would be a second round of invites about a month ago, but haven’t verified that this happened or not.
They were rolling the new product out slowly. But it’s not meant to be available only to a handful of cardmembers. It is a product that will be a premium offering which will help Barlcays to retain their best cardmembers. Remember, the portfolio will decline in value over time as cardmembers cancel and Barclays can’t replace them with new AAdvantage co-brand customers. So their mission is to offer a compelling enough product that the portfolio maintains as much value as possible as long as possible.
A representative from Barclays explained yesterday that they need to send out new cards first, and then it will be possible to consider switching products.
So hang tight — wait to receive your Aviator Red card in the mail. Various reports are that it will come between May and July (the email I received told me to expect mine in July).
Once you have your new card in hand you can inquire with Barclays about trading up. I imagine there will be solicitations sent out to trade up as well, once the switching process has been completed.
If you want an Aviator Silver, you first need to have the basic Red, and the window to get that card is shutting quickly. (In fact, officially no new cardmembers are permitted, but this link is a back door.