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TPG Reader Mirza wrote in and let us know that after months of calling repeatedly and being denied, he was just able to get his card upgraded from the Aviator Red to the Aviator Silver. TPG Readers have also been reporting the ability to upgrade their accounts online, so feel free to comment below if you have this option in your account.
The Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator card comes in four flavors: Aviator, Aviator Blue, Aviator Red and Aviator Silver. These cards carry an annual fee and associated benefits that range from none to $195.
Most members were given the Aviator Red when the Barclaycard US Airways Dividend Miles card transitioned as a result of the American/US Airways merger. Some people were given the Aviator Silver card, and there is not currently any official way to upgrade or downgrade between them.
Recently, however, there’s been an increasing number of reports on FlyerTalk, as well as from our own readers, that members have been able to do a product upgrade to the Aviator Silver. Mirza says that he was given the disclaimer of the card fee, which won’t be charged until his account anniversary in March 2016, and was able to immediately change to an Aviator Silver.
This top-of-the-line card features 3x miles for US Airways and American Airlines purchases, and double miles for hotel and rental car purchases. In addition, travelers get bumped up to Group 1 boarding for flights operated by American Airlines, but curiously must board with Zone 2 on US Airways flights (while they exist). The baggage fee waiver also extends to up to eight traveling companions.
Other benefits include 5,000 elite qualifying miles (EQMs) for each $20,000 in annual purchases (up to 10,000 EQMs per year)· You can also earn a companion certificate each cardholder year when you spend $30,000 or more, which offers one or two additional tickets for $99 (plus taxes and fees) on a paid flight operated by American Airlines. Finally, this card also offers a $100 statement credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry. In fact, you can receive the credit once every five years (which is how long your Global Entry membership lasts), so you can use it for a new application or renewal.
So, as TPG likes to say, it never hurts to ask! The Points Guy Assessment: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.