Credit Cards

Barclay Aviator Red will lose its most valuable benefit

Barclay Aviator Red Miles

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The Barclay Aviator Red has held a spot in my wallet since it was rebranded from the old US Airways card.  Why?  It offered 10% back on redeemed AA miles ( up to 100k a year, so 10k back ) every year you kept the card. That EASILY paid for the $95 annual fee, and now that I don’t have AA status, it was quite nice not having to pay for a bag if I redeemed miles domestically in coach ( which I often do with their Reduced Mileage Awards ). All good things must come to and end.

That 10% rebate is going away effective May 1, 2019. Annual fees goes from $95 to $99

That’s a big fat hit, with little notice. However, those of us who have kept the card purely for that benefit, and spent very little, aren’t the cardholders Barclay probably wants which I’m sure played heavily into why they’re discontinuing the benefit.

The New Benefits will be this:

  • Flight Cents Program
    • Barclay will give you the ability to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, up to $500 per statement. The difference between your purchase amount and the nearest dollar would be used to buy AA miles at 2 cents a pop. At the end of the month, if you’ve rounded up $100, you’d have 5k AA miles in your account.
  • Earn a Companion Certificate
    • Spend $20k in a calendar year…get a companion certificate for $99 plus taxes and fees
  • Onboard Wifi Credit
    • Charge your Wifi to the card and get $25 back every year as a statement credit.

My thoughts.

The Flight Cents Program isn’t of real value to me. The price is just too expensive, and if Barclay was looking for an angle on the program, I’d have rather them go at it like Avianca and their Club Lifemiles ( Avianca’s subscription service with miles selling as low as 1.39cents). While I don’t subscribe I think its a vastly better deal than this one from AA.

Will I keep my card?

  • I won’t utilize the Flight Cents
  • I get GoGo passes from my Amex Business Platinum
  • I won’t spend 20k to earn a companion cert
  • I have a Barclay Aviator Business which gives me a free checked bag, priority boarding, and 25% off purchased food.

Soooooooo, probably a cancel for me.

Barclay currently has an all time high sign up bonus of 60k after a single purchase. Click Here

This is the offer I received when I first got the card a couple of years ago. Can you beat that kind of welcome bonus after a single purchase? It’s enough points to fly you like this to Tokyo.

American Airlines 777-200 w/ B/E Aerospace Retrofit

 Affiliate link via Card Ratings

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


  • […] we learned that Barclays’ personal version of this card, the Aviator Red, would be losing its best benefit: 10% back on redeemed points up to 100k ( 10k back ) per year. While this is a major devaluation, […]

  • jim March 1, 2019

    We have the Barclay red card from US airways for many years.
    I have questions please,

    Can someone educate me about the following?

    “If you are a legacy US Airways cardholder then you’ve continue to receive a bonus 10,000 miles each year at card renewal. Unfortunately this will also be removed. Card members will continue to receive one last 10,000 mile benefit the first time they pay a $99 annual fee”.?

    We have the the card for many years and wife paid her fee a month ago and I was just charged AF $89. Don’t know why many are saying this card has $95 fee. We did receive 10k miles a month before AF came up. Is this right or we got the Anniversary 10k miles for paying the AF last year 11 months ago? Will I get the 10k bonus miles again next year? If NOT, I have to save AF and cancel the card. confused about the language.

    • Miles March 1, 2019

      Hey Jim – I don’t think we know 100%, but my understanding is that you’ll receive one last 10k bonus after you pay the new fee post May 1st. Regarding $89/95 the fee changed from $89 to $95 when it was rebranded US Air Dividends to Aviator Red. Perhaps you were grandfathered into the $89 for one last go around. Hypothetically…this is how I read it. If youre hit with an $95 annual fee on April 1st, 2019 you should get the 10k for the old fee, and then in April 2020 you will get hit with a new $99 annual but receive one last 10k bonus since that’s your first $99 annual fee. Time will tell, but that’s my read

  • mo March 1, 2019

    So if i booked an award ticket (JAL) today for a trip on May 7, the 10% rebate will NOT apply? or in other words – all award booking must be used and completed by May 1st (in order to qualify for the 10% rebate?) Thanks

    • Miles March 1, 2019

      mo – the rebate is actually credited when the redemption is ticketed so you should be fine. I’d assume any bookings after this date would be affected

  • BK March 1, 2019

    Thank you for this update. Like You I also have the Red Aviator card, and also had the US Airways credit card. Now this card has lost most of it`s benefits. I will be dropping it.

  • Rob March 1, 2019

    Ya, definite cancel. I can’t understand why these companies spend all this money marketing a product, sign up people attracted to the features of that product, then completely change the features, It’s literally like selling a subscription to the Wall Street Journal to a bunch of business people and then saying you won’t be delivering newspapers anymore, but will replace that loss with monthly food vouchers at Chuck E Cheese.

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