Card of the month is a series that highlights one card that has an increased sign-up bonus or sometimes a great deal. The card of the month for October is the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard.
The Aviator Red card has a good signup bonus, and technically no minimum spend requirement. Earn 60,000 points after your first purchase, and the $95 annual fee is not waived. Another way of thinking about it is that you're getting 60,000 points for $95.
I value AA points at 1.2 cents per point, so 60,000 points equates to $720. The one thing to consider is that it's hard to redeem AA points for economy saver reward flights.
If you're looking to redeem points for business or first class flights, then the Aviator Red card is a solid option. The best use of AA miles is partner awards in business/first: JAL to Japan, Cathay to Hong Kong, and Etihad to Abu Dhabi.
AA miles are some of the best out there for getting to Central America: 12.5K and availability is wide open.
- Annual fee: $95
- Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points after your first purchase within the first 90 days of opening the account
- Free checked bag for you and up to four people in the same reservation
- Earn 2x miles on every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- 10% bonus on redeemed miles back (10,000 maximum per the calendar year)
- 25% off in-flight food and beverage
- Preferred boarding
- No foreign transaction fees
- Offer expires November 30, 2017
- Apply directly with Barclaycard
In the past, the offer for this card has ranged from 40,000 to 50,000 points.
On a side note, a lot of people are concerned that American Airlines will devalue their reward points even more because of the high offers from Citi and Barclaycards. For me, I'm not concerned about it because devaluations happen all the time.
The fine print
If you're considering applying for the Aviator Red card, there is a paragraph that you need to be aware of.
Existing cardmembers, existing accounts, and previous cardmember with accounts closed in the past 24 months may not be eligible for this offer. This is a limited-time offer and will no longer be available after November 30, 2017. Please allow 4-6 weeks for AAdvantage® bonus miles to be deposited into your AAdvantage® account after the qualifying transaction has posted and your annual fee has been paid.
Technically, based on the terms if you are an existing card member or if you recently closed your account within the past 24 months, you are not eligible.
The offer ends on November 30, 2017.
It may take 4-6 weeks for the signup bonus to show up in your account after you make the qualifying transaction.
See full terms here
Who can apply for the AAdvantage Aviator Red Credit Card?
Barclaycards are sensitive to inquiries and new accounts. My friend applied a few days ago and was instantly approved (first Barclaycard), with ten new cards in the past six months (4 of which were in the past two months). Their average age was only about a year and credit score was low 720s.
I'm guessing my friend's case was an outlier, but YMMV.