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Barclaycard started notifying US Airways MasterCard holders about the replacement AAdvantage Aviator cards they will be receiving following the merger of the American AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles programs this Spring. Unfortunately their communication left a lot of questions unanswered, and we were able to reach out and get answers to some of the specific inquiries we’ve seen, and compiled them below.
What are the new cards?
Existing US Airways MasterCard holders will be transitioned into one of four cards when American and US Airways merge frequent flier programs this Spring:
What’s different about the Aviator Red vs the US Airways MasterCard?
Staying the same:
Can I upgrade my Aviator, Aviator Red, or Aviator Blue card to an Aviator Silver card? If you have your replacement Aviator card in hand and activated, you can now request an upgrade or downgrade if your account has been open at least 90 days.
My current US Airways MasterCard earns 10,000 anniversary miles. Will it continue to do so? Yes, that benefit will carry over for cards that currently have it.
My current US Airways MasterCard earns elite qualifying miles. Will it continue to do so? No, unfortunately only the more expensive Aviator Silver card and the Citi Executive AAdvantage card will earn elite qualifying miles going forward. The Aviator Silver ($185 annual fee) earns 5,000 qualifying miles after $20,000 in calendar year spending, and another 5,000 after $40,000 in spending. The Citi Executive AAdvantage earns 10,000 qualifying miles after $40,000 in calendar year spending.
If I have both an Aviator Silver and a Citi Executive AAdvantage card, can I earn elite qualifying miles from both? Yes, that’s possible this year, so you could earn 20,000 elite qualifying miles if you spend $80,000 ($40,000 on each card).
Can I downgrade to an Aviator card with a lower annual fee? Once you have your replacement Aviator card in hand and activated, you can call to request if you are eligible to downgrade to one of the lower annual fee versions with fewer benefits.
Why can’t I earn a companion certificate? You can if you upgrade to the $189 annual fee Silver card and spend $30,000 in a calendar year, but we don’t recommend it just for that. While it may not have the same blackout dates as the US Airways companion certificate, it will have restrictions on the fare buckets you can use for companion fares. And that may mean seats are more limited, which could make the new companion certificate harder to use.
My Dividend Miles MasterCard was a World Elite. Will my new Red card be a World Elite? This World Elite status is earned via spend, and should transfer over to your new Red account.
When will US Airways MasterCards stop being offered? It’s no longer being offered.
Will I be able to apply for an Aviator card after the merger? There is a desire on Barclays’ part to be able to issue new card accounts for the new American Airlines, but no agreement has been made public. So expect that only Citibank AAdvantage cards will be open to new applicants.
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