Changes coming to American Airlines credit cards

Last week we were notified by both Citibank and Barclays that there will be changes coming to their affiliated American Airlines credit cards.

Through the end of April both cards will continue to offer you a 10% rebate on award tickets, up to a maximum of 10,000 miles per year. Starting May 1, 2019, this benefit will be removed from both cards.  So if you were thinking about redeeming AA miles, do it sooner rather than later.  Remember that AA allows you to change dates and routings on award tickets, as long as the starting and ending point remains the same.

There are other changes, both positive and negative as well though they vary by card.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®

(Supposedly) Positive changes:

– If you spend $20,000 on the card during your cardmember year you’ll get a companion certificate for $99 plus taxes and fees.

– You can get up to $25 back on inflight wi-fi purchases each year

– Resuming a trial program they had last year, your final total each month will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar and for each penny it’s rounded up you’ll be given 1 AAdvantage mile. So if your total spent for the month is $xx0.45 it will be rounded up to $xx1.00 and you’ll earn an addition 55 AA miles.

Negative changes:

– If you (like me) had a version of this card that was converted from the old US Airways president’s card that earned 10,000 miles each year when you renewed your card, that program will be discontinued. You will receive your last 10,000 mile bonus upon the next renewal after May 1, 2019.

– Barclays hands out discount certificates for $100 off an AA flight if you spend $30,000 or more during a cardmember year. This program is also being discontinued effective with your next anniversary date on or after May 1, 2019.

– The annual fee will increase to $99 from $89.

Even the supposedly positive changes are mostly negative to me. I fly to meet up with friends and only very rarely fly an entire route with someone so I don’t need the companion pass. I’ve never used wi-fi on a flight so while that’s nice, it’s not something I’ll likely use. I wouldn’t mind the Flight Cents program but am not lost without it.

As for the negative changes, I’d already concluded that it was a waste of my time to manufacture spend $30,000 for a $100 certificate so I hadn’t planned to do that this year. The annual fee increase is not a deal breaker. The loss of the 10,000 miles per year just for owning the card is the big hit here.


Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select®

The changes here aren’t quite as drastic. The card will not lose any other benefits and if you spend $20,000 per year on the card you’ll get a AA discount certificate whose value is being increased from $100 to $125.

I’ve owned Barclays AAviator card for a number of years and have held on to it primarily for the 10,000 mile bonus each year. With that feature gone, I’ll try to product change this card to something else or cancel it when my cardmember year is up in December. I’ve had the Citi AA card for over 20 years so I’ll hang on to that for the free checked bag and priority boarding.

It’s a real shame these benefits are being removed. As bad as American’s been lately you’d think they’d be looking for ways to entice the public to use their cards but that appears not to be the case.

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, Barclays, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard, Citibank, Credit Cards | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Buy AA miles for a Penny Apiece

If you own one of the American Airlines Aviator credit cards issued by Barclays, check your account to see if you’ve been targeted for the new Flight Cents program. Flight Cents is a program where your purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar and you earn one AAdvantage mile per cent.

So if your purchase comes to $17.46, your credit card statement will reflect $18 and you get 71 AAdvantage miles for your purchase: 17 for the purchase and 54 miles purchased for the 54 cents that were rounded up.

This pilot program runs October 1 – March 31 and you must register your account by September 30th by selecting the max number of dollars that can be rounded up in a month with the maximum being $500, which would net 50K miles.

This will certainly make me look at using my Aviator card more frequently during this time period despite the fact that my largest stash of airline miles is currently with American.

Were you targeted for this or a similar offer?

H/T: View From The Wing

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, American Airlines, Barclays, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

[Targeted] 2x Bonus Miles from AA Aviator

The AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard is offering a targeted bonus for the second quarter of 2017.  Normally this card only offer bonus miles on purchases from American Airlines but during this promotion cardholders may earn 2x bonus miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores, home improvement stores and restaurants between April 1 and June 30, 2017, up to 2500 bonus miles.  If you were targeted you should have received an email from Barclays providing a link to activate the offer.  Note that you must activate the offer by May 31 to be able to take advantage of it.

The phrase “2x bonus miles” had me stumped.  To me, that sounds like I should get 2 miles (the bonus) in addition to the 1 mile per dollar I’d normally get at these types of businesses, which would mean I’d only have to spend $834 to max out the offer.  I reached out to both the Twitter team (@AskBCUS) and using the secure message center on the Barclays US credit card website. The folks at the secure message center didn’t even take the time to understand my question.  They seemed to think I was having trouble registering.  Fortunately the Twitter team was on the ball.  They clarified the offer is for a total of 2 miles per dollar spent in these categories, meaning I’d need to spend $1250 to accumulate all 2500 miles.  That was what I had suspected but it was good to get clarification.

For me this is one of the easiest offers to use.  Grocery stores and home improvement stores each sell gift cards – both Visa and merchant – which makes it a piece of cake to meet the requirement.

Note that bonus miles will not be awarded until 6-8 weeks after the promotion ends.  While I hate that it takes that long to get the extra miles, that’s pretty standard for Barclays.

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, American Airlines, Barclays, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Changes Are Coming for Barclay’s Arrival Plus

While I’ve only played the points and miles game for about three years, one thing I’ve learned for sure is that things change – and usually NOT in the favor of those of us who try to maximize the value we get for our points and miles.Barclay Arrival Plus

Several weeks ago it was noticed that the Barclay’s Arrival Plus card had disappeared from the Barclaycard website. Speculation ran rampant as to what that meant. Some thought maybe the product was being discontinued while others thought perhaps the benefits were being changed. As it turns out, those in the second group are correct. As reported in several blogs, including by Amol on Travel Codex, the product is being devalued.

Current card benefits:

  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent
  • Each point is worth $1 for travel-related expenses
  • Redeem a minimum of 2500 points, which will cover expenses of $25 or more
  • When you redeem, you get a 10% rebate on points. So after redeeming 2500 points, you’d get 250 restored to your account
  • A TripIt Pro subscription

Future card benefits:

  • Still 2 points for every $1 spent
  • Each point is still worth $1 for travel-related expenses
  • Now you must redeem a minimum of 10,000 points, which only covers expenses of $100 or more
  • The rebate is reduced from 10% to 5%
  • TripIt Pro is no longer included

According to a letter received by a Travel Codex reader and shown in Amol’s post, these changes will become effective November 3, 2015. Even though I have the card I have not yet received notification from Barclay’s and the card is not currently available on the Barclaycard website.

Raising the minimum redemption to $100 really hurts. On my ski trips I check two pieces of luggage. The first piece is free thanks to holding an airline co-branded credit card but I always have to pay for the second piece (unless flying first class, of course) and that was a perfect opportunity to use my Arrival Plus card. Now I’ll either use the co-branded card or my Chase Sapphire Preferred, both of which will earn double points for the transaction.

I also hate the loss of TripIt Pro. I loved the free version of TripIt for a couple of years before gaining TripIt Pro. I now use it to track all my points across a multitude of airline, hotel and credit card programs. TripIt Pro also proactively notifies me of flight and gate changes. I’ve read anecdotal evidence of people being notified by TripIt Pro before being notified by their airline!
I’ve only had my card since December 2014, so hopefully the subscription is good at least a year. At that point I’ll have a decision to make whether or not to pay for it.

In the next couple of years I’m hoping to take a couple of group trips where I won’t be able to use the usual types of points to pay and I’d planned on using Arrival Plus points to help reduce the expenses but not I’m not sure that’s the way to go.

Buying $10,000 of gift cards at my local mall for a $79 fee earns me 20,158 points, which can cover $201.58 in travel expenses and then I’d get a 2015 point rebate (or 1007 after the changes). That’s a 39% discount – though there is that $95 annual fee.

By contrast the Capital One Venture card is free the first year and $59 thereafter. It also earns 2 points per $1 spent and allows a redemption rate of 100 points per $1. While I wouldn’t use the Venture card (or the Arrival Plus, for that matter) for premium cabin airline tickets, for cruises and tours they Capital One card may be the way to go.

Categories: Arrival Plus, Barclays, Credit Cards | Tags: , | Leave a comment

New Aviator Card Rollout

2015-04-02 Barclay Aviator RolloutNow that the US Airways Dividend Miles program has been rolled into the American AAdvantage program, we’ll start to see Barclay’s US Airways Dividend Miles® MasterCards® being rolled into AAdvantage® Aviator™ MasterCards®. There are several types of the Aviator cards and just which kind you will receive will depend on the Dividend Miles card you had.

In my case, I had previously received an email stating I’d get the AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® sometime this spring. Yesterday I received an email letting me know my new card would arrive in May.

The email also reminded me of new and existing benefits for this card:

  • First checked bag free for me and up to four companions on the same reservation. This is a carry-over benefit.
  • No foreign transaction fees. I don’t recall my USDM card having this benefit so if it’s new, it’s a great addition.
  • 25% off in-flight purchases. Again, I don’t recall this being a benefit but it’s nice to have.
  • 10% of redeemed miles back. This is definitely new and a terrific addition. I already had this benefit via the American Airlines Platinum AAdvantage card but for those who don’t have that card, this can save you up to 10,000 miles per year, depending on how many you redeem. I actually maxed it out in 2014 for the first time.

2015-04-02 Barclay Bonus PromotionThe email also reminded me to be sure I’d registered my card for the 50% bonus on eligible purchases from now through the end of June. If you haven’t registered your card yet, do so now by logging into your account and clicking on the promotional banner on the right side of the page.

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, Credit Cards, US Airways MasterCard | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

US Airways and American Loyalty Programs Combining This Weekend

2015-03-17 Combining AA USToday US Airways notified its Dividend Miles members that this weekend Dividend Miles will be transfer to the American Airlines AAdvantage program. All elite-qualifying activity will be combined as well.  If you have a US Airways credit card from Barclay’s, that information will be updated with your AAdvantage number too.

If you want to book an award with US Airways miles, tomorrow at 11:59 PM CT is the last time to do that. Why would you want to book awards with US Airways miles instead of AAdvantage miles? There are certain “sweet spots” on the US Airways chart which require fewer miles through the US Airways program than through the AAdvantage program. Scott of covers those in his post Top Five US Airways Awards To Book Before It’s Too Late. And on the One Mile at a Time blog, Tiffany covers the reasons why you want to book now with a handy flow chart to indicate which program will work best for your situation.

Whatever you decide, Pizza in Motion makes a great point that you should take a screen shot of your mileage balance in each program so that you can be sure your AAdvantage balance is correct once you’ve been notified the merger is complete for your account.

Categories: American Airlines, OneWorld, US Airways, US Airways MasterCard | Tags: , | Leave a comment

US Airways MasterCard Sign-up Bonus Now 50,000 miles

2014-12-21 US Airways MC ReferralThe US Airways MasterCard is running a special offer now through January 18, 2015. If you sign up and are approved, you’ll get 50,000 bonus miles and if you’ll allow me to refer you, I’ll also get bonus miles.

You’ll receive the miles after you make your first purchase and pay the $89 annual fee.

What can you do with 50,000 US Airways Dividend Miles? Quite a lot! For 50,000 miles you can:
– get two low-level round-trip tickets within the continental US, Alaska, Canada and the Caribbean on US Airways
– get one first-class round-trip ticket within the continental US, Alaska, Canada and the Caribbean on US Airways


If you hold on to those miles until after the first quarter of 2015, they’ll become American AAdvantage miles (when the two programs combine) and then all kinds of possibilities open up. In addition to the two choices above you can:
– get FOUR off-peak economy one-way awards (or two economy off-peak round-trips) between
– the US 48/Alaska/Canada/The Caribbean and Mexico
– the US 48/Alaska/Canada and the Caribbean
– get THREE off-peak economy one-way awards between North America and either Central America or Colombia/Ecuador/Peru/Venezuela
– get TWO off-peak economy one-way awards between North America and Europe, Argentina/Bolivia/Brazil/Chile/Paraguay/Uruguay or Japan/Korea
– get one-way awards to
– China or Hong Kong in economy
– Japan, Korea, Europe, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay or Uruguay in Business/First
– Central America, The Caribbean, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela in First Class

And there are even more combinations to list!

In addition, your first checked bag will be free, priority boarding and you’ll get a one-time companion certificate.

If you would like to apply for this card, please send me an email at and I’ll be happy to refer you!

Categories: US Airways MasterCard | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Plethora of Promos

Oh, I’m so far behind! I went on vacation for 10 days and have been scrambling ever since I got back. There are several promotions going on right now, so let’s get to the good stuff:

30% Bonus on Purchased Club Carlson Points

2014-10-03 Club Carlson Promo

Between now and the end of the month you can get a 30% bonus if you buy 10,000-40,000 Club Carlson points. I recently points for a two-night stay at the Radisson Blu in Istanbul. If you also have the Club Carlson credit card, the last night of any multi-night stay is free! Click HERE to learn more.


100% Bonus on Purchased Dividend Miles Extended Through October 12

2014-10-03 US Airways Buy Miles Promo

Buy or gift US Airways Dividend Miles through October 12 and get a 100% bonus. Click HERE to be taken to the US Airways site.



1000 Bonus Gold Passport Points


2014-10-03 Hyatt Mobile Booking Promo

Book your next Hyatt stay via their mobile app and earn a 1000 point bonus. There doesn’t seem to be any limit and it’s good through the end of the year! Click on the HERE to be taken to the Hyatt site.



2500 Bonus US Airways Dividend Miles


2014-10-03 USDM Credit Card Bonus


Use your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard at gas stations, restaurants, toy & game stores and department stores through the end of the year and receive up to 2500 bonus miles. That’s a bonus of spend in these categories up to $1250. You must activate this offer by October 20th! If you’re already a cardholder, you should have received info about this offer already.


That’s it for now. I’ve got some more updates coming including a report on my recent trip to Turkey. Stay tuned!

Categories: Club Carlson, Credit Card Promos, Hotel Promos, Hyatt, US Airways, US Airways MasterCard | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

US Airways MasterCard 30% Bonus for July-August


I carry the Barclays US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard.  It offers some terrific benefits like a free checked bag for the card holder and up to 4 traveling companions on the same ticket, Group 1 boarding and bonus miles on US Airways purchases.  Today I received a promo where I can earn a 30% bonus on miles this summer if I spend at least $2000 during the July 1 – August 31 timeframe.  That’s really pretty easy to do, especially if you put your regular spend on this card in addition to manufacturing some spend.  Here are the offer details:



[Edit: there are also offers for a 20% bonus but no minimum spend.]

In addition, if you use this card for purchases outside the US during this timeframe, your foreign transaction fees will be reimbursed!

There’s a max bonus of 10,000 miles for this promotion.  The miles will post 6-8 weeks after the end of the promotion, which works out to mid-to-late October.  Will you be taking advantage of this promotion?

Categories: Credit Card Promos, US Airways, US Airways MasterCard | Leave a comment

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