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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)
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