The Value Traveler

How I Scored 13,000 AAdvantage Miles

A new year is upon us, and its time for me to rack up some new credit cards and harvest their goodies. One of the cards that was on the chopping block was my Barclays US Airways American Airlines Aviator Red MasterCard. The annual fee is due next month, so I decided to call a month before to cancel. I usually have better luck in getting a retention bonus, if I call a month before the annual feel kicks in, rather then waiting for the statement with the annual fee due. Luckily, my strategy paid off this time. The offer on the table: spend $1500 dollars in 3 months, and receive an additional 5,000 AAdvantage Miles – PLUS- the annual fee waived for one more year. I thought about it for 10 seconds, and happily took the Kool-Aid she offered. I think it’s a good offer for me because of the following reasons:
1. I’m not sure if this card now is churnable like the old days of the US Airways MasterCard. I actually had two of those at one time, and kept getting them every 18 months.
2. I can always apply for the CITI AAdvantage card as well, to rack up additional American Airline miles.


So meeting that spend was quite easy, as Safeway is currently offering an instant savings of $15.00 when you purchase MasterCard gift cards of $150 or more. Jump on that offer, if available to you.

So here’s where it gets interesting. In got this mailer a few days AFTER my phone call with Barclays, and initially I thought this was the confirmation mail for the retention offer. However, it is not. They are offering me a chance to earn 5,000 bonus miles, after spending $500 EACH month in January, February, and March, for a grand total of 6,500 miles. That’s a pretty good deal IMO, if you value AAdvantage miles, which I do. I’m sitting on a boat plane-load of them! Just to be careful, I called to verify if this offer and my retention offer was the same, and she confirmed they are separate offers, and if meeting the criteria, I will be given both bonus miles. That’s a whopping 13,000 miles by the end of March. Half of that, I’ve already met the spend on.

If you have the Aviator RED MasterCard, look for the mailer indicating a chance to get these bonus miles. If you are looking to cancel this card, see if there is a retention offer available. I also had a friend in the same situation, and he called to cancel. However, he was only given the offer of waiving the annual fee, and no additional miles. He canceled the card, because waiving annual fees on a card like this, isn’t really a retention offer. Happy Travels!

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