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TPG reader Dan tweets:

“I’m in Philly where most flights are US Airways. When is the best time to sign up for US Airways credit card before the merger?”

First off, the merger hasn’t been approved by the government yet. Per the AP, currently 19 states are reviewing the merger for antitrust review. While most experts believe that the merger will get final approval, anything can happen at this point. So until the merger is 100% approved and scheduled to go ahead, I wouldn’t rush to get the US Airways Mastercard.
US Airways MastercardThat being said there is currently an offer for 35,000 miles after first purchase with the $89 annual fee waived for the first year. (Click on the terms and conditions to load the offer details since it doesn’t show on the landing page). There recently was a 40,000-mile sign-up bonus, but that has since been discontinued. Will it ever increase again? Your guess is as good as mine, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barclaycard try and entice as many new cardholders as possible while they still have the product, so I’d personally wait and see what happens. Once you get the card, you likely can’t get the bonus again – Barclaycard has really cracked down on people getting multiple bonuses for the same product.

 That being said, there is more to a credit card than just the sign-up bonus, so if you are flying US Airways a lot it may make sense to get the card to take advantage of the key benefits:

  • Redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles (when redeeming for US Airways operated award tickets)
  • 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
  • 10,000 Preferred Qualifying Miles after $25,000 spent each calendar year
  • Waived award processing fees: $25 per domestic ticket; $35 per Mexico or Caribbean ticket; $50 per Hawaii or international ticket.
  • Two roundtrip companion tickets each year. Companion is $99 tickets plus taxes and fees. Valid for round-trip coach class travel within and between the contiguous U.S. and Canada when the Primary Cardmember purchases a qualifying ticket (minimum fare purchase of $250 required).
  • Preferred check in and Zone 2 priority boarding on every flight
  • One complimentary US Airways Club day pass every year
  • $75 Club Membership Discount Voucher

Those benefits can add up to a lot of extra value, and then when and if the airlines merge, as is likely, and Citi becomes the co-branded credit card issuer, you can apply for the card offerings from Citi at that time.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.