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The US Airways and American Airlines merger is not one of the fastest airline mergers that we’ve seen; we still don’t exactly know when the frequent flyer programs are going to merge, but we’ve been told sometime in 2015.
That has an impact on the co-branded credit cards, like the Barclaycard US Airways MasterCard. TPG Reader Emilio tweeted me recently:
“I think I missed the boat on the US Airways card since the benefits have gone away, is it still worth getting?”
Let me first clarify that the benefits that are going away (first class check-in, the 5,000 mile redemption rebate, the $99 companion ticket, and elite qualifying miles) are all still available until 2015. So if you get the card now (which I just did), you’ll get all those perks for the remainder of this year.
Next year the card will transition into an American Airlines AAdvantage MasterCard, which has its own benefits. I’ve kept my Citi AA cards open simply for the up to 10,000 mile yearly rebate they give you. That benefit alone easily covers the $89 annual fee. You’ll also get 25% off in-flight purchases and an annual $100 flight discount after $30,000 in purchases, so there are still perks going forward that will easily pay for the annual fee.
Frankly, the 40,000 US Airways miles you get after your first purchase is low hanging fruit. These days it’s harder than ever to meet spending requirements on credit cards, so the ability to bank those 40,000 miles right away is great. I value Dividend Miles at 1.9 cents each, so with the sign-up bonus alone minus the $89 annual fee , you’re getting $671 worth of travel by my valuation.
I still think it’s a great card to get; take advantage of the companion ticket and the other perks that are going away before it’s too late!
- For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
- Enjoy Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines flights*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.1
- Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
- Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
- Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back — up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*