US Airways Mastercard Signup Bonus Changes (For The Worse, But How You Can Still Benefit)

Just off a long haul flight and recovering from jetlag, I read that the US Airways Mastercard ‘standard’ offer (that I have a referral link for) has changed from offering 40,000 miles after first purchase to only offering 30,000 miles after first purchase.

I didn’t get any notice of the change, and when you go to the offer you might even think you were still getting the previously offered 40,000 miles.

I only post the link so you can see detail on this yourself, and while I do think it’s worth getting the US Airways Mastercard I do not think you should use this link.

In order to get the full 40,000 miles with this offer you would have to do a balance transfer and at a cost that is absolutely not worth it.

Instead, there are other – better – offers for the card available as I’ve blogged previously.

  • 35,000 miles after first purchase, no fee the first year, promise of 10,000 more miles at cardmember renewal in a year. There’s no landing page, but details of the signup bonus and fee waiver are in the terms and conditions of the offer (save those!).

  • 40,000 miles after first purchase, no fee the first year, 10,000 miles at card renewal. This one also does not have a landing page, but details of the bonus are spelled out in the terms and conditions link. If you click on the offer there’s no opportunity to ‘submit’ the application. Go to the 35,000 mile offer first and then click the link for this one and the full application including submit button becomes available.

Don’t call in right away if you aren’t approved instantly, don’t keep checking the status link. Give it 30 minutes, there are folks reporting getting approvals a short time after their application (and checking on it earlier it may not even show in the Barclays system when you call).

Why is the bonus changing? (Especially for the standard offer.) I don’t know, given that they didn’t even tell me they had made this change. Assuming it was intentional, I do not believe it has anything to do – as some have speculated – with the announced US Airways/American merger. Rather there may have been a rush of applications so the bank decided they could lower their acquisition cost with a less generous offer. Or it could be just a technical glitch that appeared over the weekend, reverting to an older version of the application. I’ll try to find out though.

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 tried using the link for the 35,000 miles and each time I tried it, it said the form had to be filled out within 30 minutes. It acted as if it timed out.

  2. I jumped too soon when the the Barclay’s hysteria started right after the merger was official. I was approved for the 40k miles w/o the annual fee waived and no anniversary bonus. Is it possible to call back and “shift” the approval to the other offer? Not concerned about the annual bonus as I plan to try and churn long before then.

  3. @thewhitezone – probably no chance to shift to the 40k offer with no fee, since that offer is supposedly ‘expired’. Same with the 35k offer. Can’t hurt o ask but i argued in an earlier post that 40k + fee is better or at least as good as 35k no fee. I do think you got a good offer.

  4. I just played it safe and took the 30k this weekend. The deals are likely to be getting worse not better so I just banked it. Also, with how easy the card is to churn there’s no time like the present to get started so I have the best chance at getting it again before it’s all over.

  5. @jimmy lots of folks freaking out that their applications don’t show up as ‘being there’ n the first 30 minutes, so just take a deep breath 🙂

  6. I actually got delcined on my first try….then I called and spoke to a representative at their call center and gave them a little ‘crap’ about their review process. Looks like they decided to issue the card with the 35K miles after first purchase.

    Seems like it is worth the effort to push back, if necessary and get the bonus.

  7. Thank you for summarizing the updates!
    I just tried 35K offer, but at the last step of review T&C and submit, it went to technical error page. 🙁

  8. Interesting. The 40K offer does not exclude Iowa residents, while the 35K one does. My wife got this one 6 months back before the exclusion. I’ve been wanting it, but couldn’t get it, until now. Just pulled the trigger on the 40K version. No instant approval, so we’ll see… .

  9. Last night, I followed the trick and was able to get to the 40K application page. Applied but received the “….we need more time to review….it may take up to 10 business days to process your application”.

    I just checked the status from the link Barclay provided and it said “no applications received in the last 90 days match the information entered.” What should I do now?

  10. Gary, I’m an email subscriber and your articles are now truncated such that I have to click on a link in the email to read the whole article. Why the change? Any consideration of going back to full articles in emails? Thanks!

  11. I have the same issue as Truthiness. I read your blog via email message while commuting on the subway and thus can’t click on the link to go to the full article.

  12. I have applied for the 40k miles application and like JC and JW, I see the same. “No applications received in the last 90 days”.

  13. How long does it take for the miles to post after the first purchase? I made my first purchase on January 12, 2013 and paid the bill in advance a week later. The statement was generated last week but still not 35,000 miles

  14. Gary, I just received a “limited time offer” to earn 40,000 miles after first use, plus up to 10,000 miles from bonus transfers.

    Paste from offer EMAIL

    Earn up to 50,000 bonus miles2
    With a US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

    Your current Dividend Miles balance:

    xxx,xxx miles Potential balance after you use your card & make a balance transfer:
    xxx,xxx + 50,000 miles2

    40,000 bonus miles2
    After the first use of your card
    2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways purchases2
    And 1 mile for each $1 you spend everywhere else
    Redeem award tickets for 5,000 fewer miles
    Award travel starts at just 20,000 miles for cardholders

    Earn up to 10,000 bonus miles for balance transfers with a 0% introductory APR3 for 15 months
    Please read the ‘Important Balance Transfer Information’ in the terms and conditions to learn more.
    Discover all of these benefits for an annual fee of $89

  15. I followed the steps for your 35/40 application two days ago and it seems that they never received the application. From when I clicked the apply button, it answered too quickly that they need time to review application.
    What is a better link to apply from?
    Did I get a credit check on that?

  16. Data point.. clicked your 35k link then 40k, submitted, it said they need more time to review. Checked status online later that day and the next evening, said no apps received. Then clicked on the 35k link and applied, it said an internal error has occurred, though checking status link immediately after said we were approved. So, to me sounds like we got the 35k, no fee, and 10k anniversary bonus provided the card is still there in a year. Better than nothing :).

  17. Is this offer gone? I just tried to apply for this card. I took a couple of screenshots with the offer details. I didn’t get instant approval, but in the application status checker thing, it says they haven’t received an application from me. I tried calling, but they didn’t have record of an application from me either, and they didn’t have the 40,000, annual fee waived, offer that I applied for. If the status checker thing still doesn’t show an application from me in a couple of days, should I try to apply again?

  18. same as Nicole, applied 40k on 2/26/13, no record in their system after one week, reapplied today 3/6/13 for the 35k version, got an error message: We apologize for the inconvenience, but our website is experiencing technical issues.
    Please contact us at 1-866-419-6437 or try again later.

    though checking status link immediately afterwards,it said we were approved, set up online access and can see the last 4 number of the new card. looks like the 40k deal is dead, but the 35k works.


  19. I had the same experience as Helen and Nicole for the 40k card. Applied, application went through with a message saying we need more time to review your app. However trying to check by calling or online produces a no application found message. Guess I’ll try for the 35k card.

  20. Gary, is there some way to add time stamps to comments? It would be useful to know how recent other people’s experiences are. Thanks.

  21. Got my card today with application on 3/6/13, enclosed agreement clearly said that first year fee waived and 35000 bonus miles after first purchase. Never get the 40000 miles card. (ref my previous post)

  22. How churnable is this card? I had it for 10 months and cancelled a month ago. Thought I read to wait 3 months before applying again but can’t find that information anywhere anymore. Anyone can share their experience on how long to wait before applying again?

  23. How long do bonus miles on USAirways credit cards take to post after the close of the first cycle (and first purchase?)

  24. You might want to post that this process didn’t work for many/most people Gary. I followed the update at where he mentioned a lot of people were seeing no application after following the 35K/40K sequence.

    I did what other commenters here did and reapplied using the 35K link. I got the same error, then checked my status immediately at:

    and found I was immediately approved. Glad I didn’t wait any longer as at some point this AOR will post to my credit report or whatever. But hey maybe Barclay’s pulls from somebody other than Experian.

  25. 4/13/13 no luck with 40,000 offer, submitted, got the screen saying reviewing offer, several hours later they still had no record of my application. Maybe i should have waited longer but I tried the 35,000 link, got the technical error screen when I hit submit, but was approved anyway. That’s not a bad offer so I’ll take it!

  26. With UA’s major devaluation today (11/1/13), I’ve been looking into other options, and US is coming towards the front of the group. Are there any recent updates to the Barclay’s US card? It seems folks are not having much luck with a 40k offer, but the last comment is from April. Thx

  27. I need to fly US Airways from PHL to FRA, and would like to pay with miles. The round trip ticket is 95K miles +$182.00. The current offer for US Airways for opening a new card is 40K miles, but I still need 55K to buy a ticket. Is there a way to apply for one more credit card (other than US Airways) and transfer miles to US Airways? If so, for which CC(s) should I apply? Also, if my husband will also apply for US Airways CC, would he be able to transfer his miles to me?
    Thank you in advance for your help!

  28. I need to fly US Airways from PHL to FRA, and would like to pay with miles. The round trip ticket is 95K miles +$182.00. The current offer for US Airways for opening a new card is 40K miles, but I still need 55K to buy a ticket. Is there a way to apply for one more credit card and transfer miles to US Airways? If so, for which CC(s) should I apply for? Also, if my husband will also apply for US Airways CC, would he be able to transfer his miles to me?
    Thank you in advance for your help!

  29. @Dana sounds like you need to just find award space on US Airways’ partners, search the British Airways or Qantas websites for space and then call US Airways, remmeber that the US Airways website doesn’t show award space on any partners except American. 40,000 points gets you pretty close to a ticket.

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