Want Your Aviator Red Card Already? Don’t Wait Till Summer With This Easy Trick

I had been told by Barclaycard that my Aviator Red wasn’t scheduled to arrive until July.

Barclays-issued US Airways MasterCards are becoming American AAdvantage Aviator Red cards. Until they send out new cards, the old US Airways cards continue to work — and earn American miles.

It turns out that I accidentally shredded the wrong card. I meant to stick a different card into the shredder. As soon as it went in I realized what I had done.

So I went online to the US Airways MasterCard’s website and requested a replacement card. They can no longer send out US Airways cards, so replacement cards are Aviator Red. Boom. No more wait until July.

At the beginning of the month I wrote that in order to get an Aviator Silver card you must first have Aviator Red.

So if you’re chomping at the bit for the Barclays-issued card that lets you earn elite qualifying miles and a companion ticket (but that doesn’t come with lounge access, and has a lower price point than Citi Executive), get your upgrade to Aviator 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 InsideFlyer.com, 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 currently receive 10,000 bonus AA miles on my yearly anniversary date, making this significantly more valuable than the equivalent card issued by Citibank. How long do you think this unique benefit will continue?

  2. Gary,
    Any idea of the following, or contacts you can get information from?
    If one were to upgrade to the Silver card:
    >> Would it count as a new hard pull to do so? Or just a product upgrade?

    >> Would the spending thus far rollover?
    With the bonus miles promotion going on until June 30th, I’m sure many of us are hitting the USA / Red card pretty hard, and it’d be fantastic if the spend on the Red card / US Airways card will count towards the Silver $30k benefits.

  3. I have the us airways card. Any idea if I will receive benefits on an American Airlines flight I have in may that I purchased with a diff card? Mostly concerned about free checked bag.

  4. Gary is the Aviator Red chip+pin? I only have one CC that has the capability right now and that is Barclays’ Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard. I am going to Europe soon and would rather accumulate AA miles if it’s chip+pin and not just chip+signature.

  5. Hi Gary, I just tried to do this, as I’d love to get this card in time to be able to get the free checked bag for an AA flight i have next month.

    When i clicked through to get a replacement card, the site said it was going to send me another US Airways Barclay Mastercard, not an aviator red. Is this what yours said too, but you actually received a Red in the mail? What am i doing wrong? Here’s a screenshot from my account (with name and card # blacked out):


  6. I’ve had success calling and telling them I wanted a new card for upcoming foreign travel (true) and that it is generally harder to get merchants in foreign countries to accept magnetic stripe cards (also true, as I’m sure many of you can attest). For one of my accounts they outright denied me, but I just called back and the new rep ok’ed it without an issue. If you have imminent foreign travel, they may overnight it to you for no cost, otherwise you’ll get it in 7-10 business days (I experienced both scenarios).

  7. Weird thing is I received an email early last week stating my Aviator card was already in the mail. Week later I did receive it for one of my accounts. I’m pretty sure they will roll out the new cards before July as previously stated. Not sure if anyone else had the same luck.

  8. This only works if your US Airways card has already converted to an Aviator on the Barclays website. If you still see the US Airways card online and then request a new card, you’re gonna get another US Airways card… I was also given the July date and requested a new card, got another US Airways card in the mail a week later.

  9. I have the US Airways MasterCard. I requeste replacement cards at my Barclay account page. The cards arrived yesterday – exact duplicates of the US Airways cards – NOT Aviator Red cards. Bummer!

  10. Aviator Red replacement card arrived in the mail last week. Called today to inquire about upgrading to Aviator Silver. Was told to call back after June 1 to learn about potentially being able to upgrade.

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