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Sunday Reader Question: How to Prepare For a US Airways and AA Merger

by on September 16, 2012 · 17 comments

in American, Sunday Reader Questions, US Airways

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TPG reader Nancy asks a question about the possibility of a merger between US Airways and American Airlines:

“With the possible upcoming merger of US Airways and American Airlines, is now a good time to get both a US Airways and American Airlines credit card to take advantage of the bonus from each before one potentially goes away?”

A merger is a long way off – even if one is announced it’s going to be a while before the credit cards and miles are consolidated. I wouldn’t really bank on a merger, but if it does happen, inevitably your miles will merge as well. I’d be sad to see my American and US Airways miles combine into one because it would inevitably give me less redemption options since the combined airline would only be a part of one airline alliance. However, some people may make out very well since they will combine your US and AA miles, so if you have small balances in both, you may finally have enough collective miles to book a trip. Plus, it’s very likely that lifetime flight miles on both US and American will count towards lifetime elite status.

However, when applying for credit cards, both AA and US Airways miles are valuable for different reasons. I love using my AA miles for first class awards on Cathay Pacific and frequently there are low fees on one-way awards. US Airways is part of Star Alliance so there a lot of different redemption partners and pretty flexible routing rules. Both AA and US Airways offer off-peak awards so you can sometimes score great deals depending on your timing and destination.

Credit Card Offers Out There

The 50,000 point bonuses for the Citi AAdavantage Visa and Amex cards are still available as far as I know. Although its not an official deal, if you read through the comments on this FlyerTalk thread it appears people are still getting in on it.

As far as a US Airways credit card, Barclays is currently offering a 60,000-point bonus – 40,000 miles for first use, up to 10,000 miles for a balance transfer within 90 days, and 10,000 points for each subsequent account anniversary. If you have a lot of Chase and Amex cards and want to cycle in a new product this may be a good idea.  You get 5,000 miles off US airways redemptions and a bunch of other perks like double miles on every US Airways purchase and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

If a merger does happen there are still a lot of open questions about what will happen to the mileage program. I hope that the program would remain AAdvantage and that the airline would stay within the One World Alliance.  If you’re thinking that all your AA miles will become Star Alliance miles, I wouldn’t bank on that. With that being said there’s still a  lot up in the air (so to speak) and anything can happen so stay tuned for further developments.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Lantean September 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

no more of these horror scenarios please… lol. we actually like AA i cannot imagine they would merge with US scareways.

PJ September 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

brian,

allow me to repeat again; Barclays tend to use transunion report and turns down people ( u r busier than me) with a lot of applications away. I found that with my VA application though I told reconsideration I intended to make VA my go to card when I am getting only 1% and AMEX is not welcome ( otherwiese SPG card) .

Also very funny was Barclays retention unit refused to give me 10K for paying up the annual fees. isnt that in the new card they are offerring now . so hard to use US airways dividend miles anyway so I bid bye bye to Barclays

Would love to hear about other readers’ encounteres with barclays

PJ September 16, 2012 at 10:43 am

2 bad ones can not add up to a good one in my expereince so far . I got 40K Dividend miles while credit card already terminated and 150 K from Citi AA and Citi AMex.. those miles are still there except i used 20K on e South American Inland flights when BA avios did not come to help. In the meantime more than a few hundreds of UA miles , Southwest points ( 150K from signing up 3 cards and about 50 from Chase URs) and also Avios have been burned.

We pray :) that merger can make 2 bad ones less bad :)

Andrea Hill September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

Just wanted to point out that the US Airways CC link you post is for “Chairman’s Preferred Members Only”

arcticbull September 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I got this exact deal last September for GS11, and I had no status. You can check the thread on FT if you need further proof. I doubt that’s much to worry about.

arcticbull September 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

You should have just applied for the new version that does give you 10K anniversary miles, and got the 40K signup bonus a second time. These cards are churnable, and you can sometimes even have two of the same card at the same time, and get bonuses on each.

mikefl September 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

These mergers are not good for us consumers. They reduce competition and we will most likely see lots of changes among all airlines and not for the better. I hope the merger does not take place!

Lively September 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I was thinking the same exact thing.

thepointsguy September 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Hah putting our heads in the sand won’t make the situation any better! But I agree- I hope they operate separately.

thepointsguy September 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Agreed.. but from a frequent flyer mile perspective, some people do come out ahead in mergers- especially with respect to Million Miler Status

Andrew Amador September 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Since my US Airways Visa is still with BofA, I’m hoping for a merger that will throw everything into AA’s favor with Citi. I HATE BofA and don’t care too much for Barclay’s, but I was retained with BofA. Citi is a much better brand.

Dot February 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

American stopped flying out of ALB (Albany NY) about 5 years ago. WIll they take over U S Air scheduled flights currently in and out of ALB?

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