Here’s A US Airline Credit Card That IS Worth Getting Right Now – The Bonus Is Great!

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On Friday I wrote a post explaining why I think the British Airways Visa Card from Chase is redundant and at the end of July I wrote a post on why I hold just one airline credit card in my reasonably large credit card portfolio (I was wrong, I actually have two!)…. but today I’m actually going to write about an airline credit card that people should be taking note of right now – the AAdvantage® Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard®

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Right now Barclaycard is offering a 60,000 AAdvantage Mile bonus if you qualify for the card, qualify for the bonus, make a purchase and pay the annual fee ($95).

Essentially, those who qualify for the bonus are being offered the chance to buy 60,000 American Airlines miles at just 0.15 cents each…..and even for AAdvantage Miles that’s a mind-bogglingly cheap rate.

This offer runs through 30 November 2017.

Who Is Eligible For The Bonus?

This is what the terms & conditions have to say:

This one-time AAdvantage® bonus mileage offer is valid for first-time cardmembers with new accounts only.

Existing cardmembers, existing accounts, and previous cardmember with accounts closed in the past 24 months may not be eligible for this offer.

Put simply, if you already have the AAdvantage Red Aviator credit card or if you’ve held it within the past 24 months you’re unlikely to get the bonus – everyone else should be fine.

What Benefits Does The Card Offer?

You’ll find full details on the application page (follow this link) but, essentially, these are the card’s main selling points:

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  • 2 miles per dollar spent with American Airlines & 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere
  • 10% refund on any miles you redeem in a calendar year (maximum refund is 10,000 miles)
  • First checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to 4 companions on the same reservation as the cardholder.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars EQD for spending $25,000 on the card

There are other benefits like “preferred boarding” (a real misnomer) and “world elite travel services” but I don’t classify any of them as a main selling point.

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Who Should Consider This Card & Why?

Everyone who is eligible for the bonus should be considering this card…even those who rarely set foot on an American Airlines aircraft.

You’ll Be In Profit

I’m not about to tell you that you’ll be able to use the 60,000 bonus miles for a luxury trip somewhere because we all already know just how hard it can be to use AAdvantage Miles nowadays…..but it’s not that hard that 60,000 miles has no value.

60,000 AAdvantage miles are still worth considerably more than $95 so, even if you use them to book a roundtrip domestic Economy Class flight, you’ll be in profit.

You Won’t Miss Out On Other Spend

It doesn’t matter if you want to collect AAdvantage Miles or not as the 60,000 mile bonus is earned with just one purchase (which could be as cheap as you want it to be….like a $1 parking charge) so you won’t be giving up spending on other credit cards (which you may prefer) just to earn this bonus.

Technically You’ll Get 66,000 Miles

Because the AAdvantage Aviator Red credit card gives you a 10% rebate on any miles you redeem during the year (up to a maximum of 10,000 miles) you’ll get 6,000 miles in your account when you redeem the 60,000.

Sure, that may not be amazingly helpful if that’s all you have in your account but with oneway awards starting at just 12,500 miles 6,000 miles isn’t an insignificant amount.

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If You’re An American Airlines Flyer It Makes A World Of Sense

I keep the Aviator red card just for the 10% mileage rebate every year (which more than covers the annual fee) but, if you’re a big spender, the card could also earn you Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) to help you reach the status level you’re going for.

Who Should Be Careful Before Applying?

If you’re considering applying for one of Chase’s credit cards you may wish to hold off applying for the Aviator card until you’ve finished your application with Chase.

Chase’s rule which states that you can’t be approved for a number of its credit cards if you’ve had more than 5 credit card applications in the preceding 24 months means that it’s always worth applying for Chase cards first and then moving on to applications with other banks.

Bottom Line

If I didn’t already have this card I’d be applying for it while this bonus was available. 60,000 miles is worth around $720 to me so this deal would be a “no-brainer” as far as I’m concerned. This may not be the case for everyone but it will definitely be a very good deal for a substantial number of people.

Disclaimer: All the above is the opinion of the author only – no one else. Do your own research, don’t rely on others to do it for you, think before you apply and make sure any credit cards you apply for suit your own personal financial situation.



  1. Hi

    I got quite excited about this article…. until I realised it was US only (I live in the UK). Perhaps worth mentioning country amiability up top?

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