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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.
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.
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.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
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.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
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.