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When American Airlines and US Airways merged a couple years ago, cardholders of the US Airways Premier World MasterCard from Barclaycard were offered one of four different American AAdvantage Aviator cards. However, when that happened, Barclaycard couldn’t acquire new credit card accounts, instead it could only retain existing cardholders. So, the frequent AA flyer could only apply for one of the carrier’s co-branded Citi cards, such as the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard and the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard.
But today, American announced that it’s entered into new agreements with both Citi and Barclaycard US. The new agreement makes AA the only major US carrier to have more than one bank issuing its credit cards. This new agreement will allow Citi to continuing offering its standard cards that customers have seen on the market, but it will also allow new customers to sign up for Barclaycard credit cards — for the first time since before the US Airways merger.
The new Barclaycard cards will become available for new customers in airports and exclusively during flights beginning January 2017. In addition, the new agreement will allow Citi to continue offering its lineup to new customers through multiple exclusive channels, such as digital — including aa.com — mobile, direct mail and Admirals Club lounges. So it looks like you’ll be able to sign up for new Barclaycard cards in airports and on flights, and for Citi cards in Admirals Club lounges and online.
A press release detailed that current cardholders of AA-branded Citi and Barclaycard cards will continue to see the same benefits, as well as a new, long-term exclusive agreement with MasterCard. If anything, the competition between the two banks should mean good news for the AA frequent flyer, as they’ll be trying to outdo each other for your business.