With the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard you can receive
60,000 50,000 bonus miles with the first transaction you make using the card and paying the revised $99 Annual Fee. Irrespective of a $1 or $10 transaction, you immediately earn the sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles.
Whats the catch though ?
There is an annual fee of $99 which is NOT waived in the first year of keeping the card. But, you more than make up that cost when you redeem the points for flights.
What are the rewards and benefits?
By lowering the Sign-up bonus by 10,000 Barclay’s is effectively giving you a domestic ticket at a fixed rate (plus taxes) for one companion who could be a friend or family member. Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of the Companion Certificate after the qualifying purchase has posted to your card account and the annual fee has been paid.
American Airlines is one of those few carriers which allows you not only to carry on a personal item + carry-on (no restrictions) but with this first free checked in bag for you plus four additional companions, there’s enough room to pack.
Additionally, you get preferred boarding so say goodbye to long lines and the low hopes of getting overhead cabin baggage space next to your seat.
Whats the redemption like?
As per AA’s fixed redemption chart, each one way economy trip costs 12.5K miles +$5.60 in taxes and hence a round-trip is 25K miles + $11.20 in taxes.
Effectively you get 4 domestic ECONOMY one-way trips between serviced locations.
Meanwhile a business seat will cost 25K miles + $5.60 in taxes each way and 50K + $11.20 taxes round trip.
Effectively you get 2 domestic BUSINESS seats between serviced locations.
The Value is there
Most AA flights cost at-least $97 (economy) and $300 (business) round-trip when booked in advance/off-peak times so you can clearly see the benefit you get with the number of flights plus the free checked in bag (which otherwise would’ve cost $30/trip).
Just by spending $99 upfront you received 4 x ($97 roundtrip fee + 2 x $30 checked bag fee) = $628 in value when flying economy.
Would I recommend this card ?
If you travel AA often, this is a no brainer. If you see yourself flying often only for one year utilizing all the miles earned through the sign-up bonus and spend, you can cancel this card at the end of the first year. Alternatively, you may call Barclay’s and request for a retention offer although chances of getting one are pretty slim.