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I recently wrote about the signup bonus of 40,000 Dividend Miles for the US Airways Premier World MasterCard, encouraging readers to sign up before the card becomes obsolete after US Airways and American Airlines complete their merger.  Now there’s added incentive to do so, as TPG reader Oldmanbob and twitter follower Ahmad sent me tips that certain card benefits will be changing in 2015.

As part of the merger settlement - American must divest slots at DCA and LGA.
US Airways MasterCard benefits, they are a-changing.

The US Airways MasterCard (from Barclaycard) presently comes with 40,000 Dividend Miles after first purchase, setting it apart from many other credit card offers that require thousands of dollars of spending to earn bonuses. Though the card carries an $89 annual fee that is not waived the first year, it offers an impressive array of perks and benefits, including free checked bags, a yearly $99 companion pass (good for up to two guests), discounts on US Airways award redemptions and more.

The card itself will transition into the American Airlines AAdvantage MasterCard from Barclaycard, and while your account may survive into the new year, some of the existing benefits will not. As of 2015, the following benefits will no longer be available:

  • Annual $99 companion pass
  • First Class check-in
  • Free annual club pass and $75 discount toward US Airways Club membership
  • 5,000 mile rebate for US Airways award redemptions
  • 10,000 Preferred Qualifying Miles after $25,000 in spending on eligible purchases

The news isn’t all bad, as some new benefits will be introduced:

  • 10% discount on award redemptions
  • 25% off in-flight purchases
  • Annual $100 flight discount after $30,000 in spending on eligible purchases
  • One-way and upgrade redemptions
The Companion Pass will be history in 2015, but there is hope!
The Companion Pass will be history in 2015, but there is hope!

On the whole, these changes don’t appear to be devastating. The 5,000 mile rebate on award redemptions is more or less offset by the new 10% discount, and could even be an improvement when redeeming for more expensive reward flights. The 10,000 Preferred Qualifying Miles can’t be applied to an American AAdvantage account, so unless those miles were going to put you over an earning threshold for elite status, you won’t miss them. Losing First Class check-in and the free annual club pass stings a little, but the ability to (finally!) use Dividend Miles for one way redemptions and upgrades is a massive improvement.

The most disappointing change is the loss of the annual $99 companion pass, which represents huge potential savings when used to its full capability. Fortunately, those who sign up for the card soon will still receive the companion certificate (within 6-8 weeks of first purchase), and will have plenty of time to use it before the benefit expires at the end of the year.

Ultimately, if you don’t already have this card and are thinking about applying, do so sooner rather than later to maximize your ability to use the companion pass before the benefits change.

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.

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