Update: With the AA merger now complete, this offer has expired. Read about the new Citibank American Airlines offer by clicking here.
[Application link: 50,000 miles after first spend ($89 fee not waived)]
The Barclays US Airways Premier World MasterCard is an interesting value proposition for frequent flyers of American Airlines, especially considering that the new airline announced that their mileage programs will merge in second quarter 2015. Meaning get this deal quickly before they merge! Here are the full details:
- 50,000 US Airways miles after first spend
- $89 annual fee (first year not waived)
- 2 points per $1 spent on American and US Airways, 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
- No foreign transaction fees
- 10% back of miles redeemed (beginning second quarter of 2015)
- 1 companion certificate per year (up to 2 guests at $99 each)
- 1 US Airways Club day pass
- First bag checked free (up to four companions on domestic flights); Priority boarding (Zone 2)
- Approval difficulty: Moderate (~675+ credit score with decent income)
- Churn status: Good (once every 6 months, can hold 2+ at a time)
The Barclays US Airways card is a great option for those looking to pad their American Airlines balances prior to the programs merging. The $89 is not waived, which automatically makes it just "good" in my eyes. But, let me be clear: 50,000 soon-to-be American miles is exponentially more valuable than $89. So, if you can, I recommend applying.
There are also unique aspects of the card that should not go unnoticed. The companion certificate, for example, allows you to book two additional flights for $99 on any US Airways flight in the continental U.S. For trans-continental flights then, this could provide a valuable boost for any group or family trips. For the usual $1200 to $1500 required for three round-trip flights you could realistically book for $600 to $700.
And this does not even include all of the checked baggage fees you would avoid (if applicable to your situation). Another bright spot is you would earn miles on the flight, whereas award travel does not. But in full disclosure, I never used two of their companion passes; in my experience, use is limited.
The other aspects of the card are pretty standard - or even sub-par - to the best deals out there. For example, I also never used the US Airways Club day pass and would not have paid for an additional guest, which is often complimentary for other rewards cards. And the “priority boarding” is really zone two, which is well down the line of announcements when boarding. Finally, while the first class check-in counter is great for some, the enhanced ability to check-in with phones and computers makes the benefit not as enticing.
Again, this card is good - but comes with strings attached regarding the annual fee and ancillary value. But the number one reason to apply is the new American Airlines; combine this card with the Citibank AA Platinum card and 100,000 miles will be yours.
Click to apply: 50,000 miles after first spend ($89 fee not waived).
Application support line: 1-877-523-0478 (personal).
Click here for the Barclays contact page.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to Barclays.