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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

TPG reader Mike needs a new credit card. He’s a US Airways flyer, but is thinking ahead to the merger with American. Here’s his question:

“Wondering if you would post about which credit card to get (US Airways or American). I have lot of upcoming travel and typically fly US Airways up and down the east coast. Does it make more sense to get an American credit card since US Airways will be migrating over to their loyaltu program? I don’t want to get the US Airways card and then find out it’s obsolete in a few months. Either way it sounds like I should wait until they combine.”

Though their merger has been underway for a while and flyers on both American and US Airways can earn/redeem miles on both airlines and US Airways recently joined Oneworld, at present, US Airways and American are operating their frequent flyer programs completely separately, and could do so well into 2015. So while that’s the case, my simple advice would be to get both cards now so that you can bank two sign-up bonuses that will then become one large mileage balance when the carriers’ two programs finally merge.

The American US Airways news is only the latest in a string of high-profile airline mergers.
The airlines are merging, but their mileage programs will remain separate for some time yet.

If you’re only going to get one card, though, make it the US Airways Mastercard. Issued by Barclaycard (which will continue to issue it for some time), the sign-up bonus is good at 40,000 miles with your first purchase, the annual fee of $89 is reasonable (though it must be paid before receiving the 40,000 bonus points) and you will get one companion certificate for up to two guests to travel with you on US Airways operated flights at $99 each, plus taxes and fees. Barclaycard will continue accepting applications for this card for a while, and though the card will remain in existence after that, chances are eventually the US Airways card and miles will be folded into AAdvantage and the Citi cards will be the only choices – that’s probably sometime in 2017, but it never hurts to have a long-term strategy in place, and if you’re flying US Airways mostly, then it’s a great choice.

My current top pick for an American Airlines co-branded credit card is the Citi Executive AAdvantage World MasterCard thanks to its currently historically high bonus of 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 in 3 months. The card also confers Admirals Club membership on cardholders and allows you to earn 10,000 elite-qualifying miles when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year. It’s also got some other great benefits like access to reduced-mileage awards. However, it has an annual fee of $450 (not waived the first year), so that’s a big consideration.

In terms of that elite-mileage earning benefit, you have to spend a lot more on the Citi card for AA EQM’s. That being said, if you want a card with a huge up-front sign-up bonus and want the extra elite-style perks it gives you, you might still go for the Citi card and not mind paying that annual fee.

If I were you, though, I’d consider getting both cards – after all, between the two of them, the minimum spending requirement is $10,000 – so it’s kind of like getting two cards with a a $5,000 minimum spending requirement each. The greatest advantage of getting both cards – as long as you have good credit and will be responsible about paying your bills each month – is that you’ll have a much bigger mileage balance and can travel more and enjoy more benefits when you do!

Have other questions? Let me know by messaging me on Facebooktweeting me or emailing me at

And see these related posts:

Should I Get the Barclaycard US Airways Mastercard in Anticipation of the Merger?

A Rundown of Things To Come With the Post-Merger American Airlines

How To Prepare for a US Airways American Airlines Merger

Maximizing a Potential US Airways American Airlines Merger

American Chooses Citi As Post-Merger Credit Card Partner

Barclaycard Contract With US Airways and American Extended Through 2017

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.