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With the American Airlines US Airways merger proceeding apace and yesterday’s big news that flyers of both airlines would be able to earn and redeem miles on either, speculation has been even more rampant than usual that the US Airways Mastercard from Barclaycard would be discontinued sometime soon. That’s because Citi will continue to offer the range of American Airlines cards and the US Airways Dividend program will eventually be folded into American’s AAdvantage program, but the complete merger of the airlines is still a good 18-24 months off according to AA reps.
To allay their cardholders’ concerns and put it out there that the card is still available to new customers, Barclaycard sent out the following email to cardholders this morning:
As you can see, it states that “the card program is not going away…Your existing Dividend Miles and any new miles you earn are secure.” And it continues: “Keep using your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard. It’s the only cards that gives you access to exclusive benefits on US Airways – like Zone 2 priority boarding and the ability to earn Dividend Miles for every dollar you spend.” Then it also promises “new benefits, coming soon.”
So as I predicted, the US Airways Mastercard is going to be around for a while longer – I’m guessing about a year or so – which means there is still plenty of time to leverage this card even as the two airlines start to align more closely. In fact, it could be a great opportunity to up your mileage balance since Citi issues the American AAdvantage credit cards and Barlcaycard is the issuer of this one. When the airlines eventually do merge their mileage programs, you can consolidate the bonuses of your credit cards from each into a single account.
Here are the current details on the US Airways Mastercard including benefits in addition to the sign-up bonus:
- 35,000 bonus miles with first purchase (see note below on another possible bonus*)
- Earn 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else
- Redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles. Reward travel now starts at only 20,000 miles
- Annual companion certificate good for up to 2 companion tickets at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
- Earn up to 10,000 Preferred-qualifying miles every calendar you spend $25,000 or more on purchases
- 10,000 bonus miles on the account anniversary
- First class check-in
- One complimentary US Airways Club day pass every year
- $89 annual fee waived the first year
So as you can see, it’s got some great features including that calendar year spending bonus of Preferred-qualifying miles, a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus, priority check-in and boarding, and an annual companion ticket. All in all, it’s a great credit card product and a lot of potential bonus miles considering the $89 annual fee is waived the first year.
Plus, my guess is that if the card is eventually discontinued and Citi becomes the only American Airlines credit card issuer, Barclaycard will transition cardholders to the Arrival, as it is in the process of doing with former Virgin America Visa cardholders, which is one of my top travel credit card picks these days. (For more information on this card, read my review here, and then check out this post for details on its Travel Bonus Category and Redemption Options, and this one for ideas on the Top 10 Ways To Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Miles.)
For more information on the American-US Airways merger, and the US Airways Mastercard, check out these posts:
The American Airlines US Airways Merger Winners and Losers
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®