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Which Card Should I Keep When American and US Airways Merge?

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TPG reader Mark tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy—”Which credit card should I keep after the US Airways/American merger: the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard or the US Airways Premier World MasterCard? Is it worth keeping both cards for the 10% mileage rebate?” 

After the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs merge in the near future, you won’t be able to get the 10% mileage rebate on both cards, because that benefit is awarded per AAdvantage account. That being said, you will be able to earn Elite qualifying miles on both cards (provided you hit the spending threshold on each one), so they could be worth hanging onto for that purpose alone.

Its not the worst idea to just keep both cards and try to earn elite qualifying miles on each. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
It’s not the worst idea to just keep both cards and try to earn elite qualifying miles on each. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you’re certain you only want to keep one account open, there are a few factors to consider:

1. Which account you’ve had the longest — You might prefer to cancel an account you’ve had for just one year, rather than one you’ve had for 15 years.

2. Annual Fee — The Citi AAdvantage card is a little more expensive at $95, but the fee is waived for the first year. The US Airways card has an $89 annual fee that is not waived for the first year.

3. Which card gives you better customer service — I love Barclaycard customer service, however I have no qualms with Citi either.

4. What other products the bank offers — Sometimes banks will only let you have one or two cards. Barclaycard is often stingy about letting you have numerous cards, whereas Citi is more generous. If you’re interested in other cards from Citi or Barclaycard, this may be something to consider.

5. New Technology — Barclaycard is on the forefront of chip and pin technology, and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard already has this option. If this is important to you, I expect it will be coming soon to the other cards from Barclays.

Both Citi and Barclaycard offer the option to look at your FICO credit score, so you have that benefit with either card. Of course, if you’re grandfathered into any kind of anniversary bonus, it’s probably a good idea to keep that card so you can continue to get future bonuses.

While these cards are similar, it’s worth keeping both if you can spend enough to earn the bonus Elite qualifying miles on each.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

Apply Now
  • 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*
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.99% - 23.99%* (Variable) $95, waived for first 12 months* 0% Excellent/Good