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

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This article was last updated Dec 15, 2016, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

The information related to the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® and AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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

aadvantageaviatorredworldelitemastercardThe AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays is available for online applications with this offer:

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

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 CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® 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 AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®. But if you already have the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, or have closed an AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® in the last 24 months, you won’t be eligible for this bonus.

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

What does the card offer?

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is pretty similar to the popular CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® card. Both cards get a free first checked bag, and Group 1 boarding. Here’s the rundown of AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® 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 AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® 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 AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard® 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 AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® card first, and after you’ve had it for at least 90 days you can request an upgrade to the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays.


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