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40,000 mile AAdvantage Aviator Red bonus – worth the $95 upfront?

by on Thu December 15, 2016 • 1 Comment


There’s a fresh new way to earn American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles, spotted by the View from the Wing blog.

aadvantageaviatorredworldelitemastercardThe Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World MasterCard is now available for online applications with this offer:

The AAdvantage Aviator Red from Barclaycard is a relatively new card for earning AAdvantage miles.

For a long time, Citibank cards were the only way to earn AAdvantage miles, but with the merger of American and US Airways there’s a new way to earn AA miles from credit card spending. The Citi AAdvantage cards aren’t going anywhere, you just have more choice now.

 Is this a good deal?

It’s not as big as the offer on the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card, which is often at 50,000 miles to start, with the $95 annual fee waived the first year.

But this Aviator Red offer doesn’t have a minimum spending requirement, so you get it after your first purchase, making it a great way to earn miles quickly.

Even better, if you already have an AAdvantage credit card from Citibank, you’re still eligible to earn the intro bonus for the Aviator Red, so you can double dip on AAdvantage bonus miles. But if you already have the Aviator Red, or have closed an Aviator Red in the last 24 months, you won’t be eligible for this bonus.

This is basically the standard offer that Barclaycard used to offer with the old U.S. Airways MasterCard, which this Aviator Red card replaces. From time to time they’d raise that offer to 50,000 miles, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see Barclaycard do something similar from time to time.

What does the card offer?

The Aviator Red is pretty similar to the popular Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card. Both have a $95 annual fee, a free first checked bag, and Group 1 boarding. Here’s the rundown of Aviator Red benefits:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee ($95).

  • Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

  • Earn 1X AAdvantage® miles on all other purchases

  • 10% of your redeemed miles back (10,000 miles maximum per calendar year)

  • First checked bag free for the primary cardmember and up to 4 companions on eligible bags when traveling on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines

  • Preferred boarding on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines

  • 25% inflight savings on food, beverages and headsets

  • No foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside the U.S.

  • World Elite Travel Services. Preferred access to valuable offers and experiences including exceptional offers from upscale retailers and world-class hotels and resorts

The biggest difference is the Aviator Red gives you a way to help meet the Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) requirement for AAdvantage elite status. You can earn up to $3,000 EQDs by spending $25,000 in a calendar year.

What about the other Aviator cards?

aviatorsilverThere are a few other cards in the AAdvantage Aviator family, but you can’t apply for them online yet.

The Aviator Silver with a $195 annual fee lets you earn even more miles and dollars toward AAdvantage elite status. If you want to get one, open an Aviator Red card first, and after you’ve had it for at least 90 days you can request an upgrade to the Silver from Barclaycard.

There’s also a small business card that will be available for online applications sometime in 2017, which will be an exciting way to get yet another bonus.

And there’s the Aviator Blue with a lower annual fee, but no free checked bag or priority boarding benefits.

You can request a downgrade to the Blue card if you get a Red and decide later you don’t want to pay the higher $95 fee for those benefits.



The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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