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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. 

The Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver card carries a $195 annual fee, but offers Global Entry reimbursement and other benefits.

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!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are 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.