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TPG reader Dan tweets:
“I’m in Philly where most flights are US Airways. When is the best time to sign up for US Airways credit card before the merger?”
First off, the merger hasn’t been approved by the government yet. Per the AP, currently 19 states are reviewing the merger for antitrust review. While most experts believe that the merger will get final approval, anything can happen at this point. So until the merger is 100% approved and scheduled to go ahead, I wouldn’t rush to get the US Airways Mastercard.
That being said there is currently an offer for 35,000 miles after first purchase with the $89 annual fee waived for the first year. (Click on the terms and conditions to load the offer details since it doesn’t show on the landing page). There recently was a 40,000-mile sign-up bonus, but that has since been discontinued. Will it ever increase again? Your guess is as good as mine, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barclaycard try and entice as many new cardholders as possible while they still have the product, so I’d personally wait and see what happens. Once you get the card, you likely can’t get the bonus again – Barclaycard has really cracked down on people getting multiple bonuses for the same product.
That being said, there is more to a credit card than just the sign-up bonus, so if you are flying US Airways a lot it may make sense to get the card to take advantage of the key benefits:
- Redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles (when redeeming for US Airways operated award tickets)
- 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
- 10,000 Preferred Qualifying Miles after $25,000 spent each calendar year
- Waived award processing fees: $25 per domestic ticket; $35 per Mexico or Caribbean ticket; $50 per Hawaii or international ticket.
- Two roundtrip companion tickets each year. Companion is $99 tickets plus taxes and fees. Valid for round-trip coach class travel within and between the contiguous U.S. and Canada when the Primary Cardmember purchases a qualifying ticket (minimum fare purchase of $250 required).
- Preferred check in and Zone 2 priority boarding on every flight
- One complimentary US Airways Club day pass every year
- $75 Club Membership Discount Voucher
Those benefits can add up to a lot of extra value, and then when and if the airlines merge, as is likely, and Citi becomes the co-branded credit card issuer, you can apply for the card offerings from Citi at that time.