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Hate AAdvantage Miles? Consider US Airways MasterCard!

Once again, with exclamation point.  I’ve mentioned many times that everyone should consider getting US Airways Premier MasterCard before it  goes to credit cards’ graveyard after the AA merger  is complete.

But what if you have absolutely no use for future AA miles?  You don’t live near an AA hub and just don’t like that airline or One World alliance, period. Or let’s say, you have a family of five (or more) and only travel during peak periods within USA. You are a die-hard Southwest fan. Well, my friend, you should still consider this card. Why? Hotel and car rental awards.

Normally, it’s considered travesty to use your miles for this purpose. And I agree with that. But remember, if you forego this card, you will have a 40,000 miles opportunity cost. This is a “use it or lose it” kind of thing. But is it worth it to even bother with these type of awards? What kind of CPM (cents per mile) are we talking about? Let’s find out. First, you have to select “Car and hotel awards” on AA.com

AA car and hotel awards

I didn’t see any worthwhile deals on car rentals, though, I’m sure they exist. So, I will focus on hotels instead. Let’s take  a look at some random dates in January for the Holiday Inn Celebration Area. We actually stayed in this hotel a few times, and our last experience was quite positive. I will have a  review on it at some point. As you can see, it costs $91.74 (plus tax of 11 %) through IHG.com  or 9,975 miles per night through AAdvantage program. BTW this hotel goes for 20,000 IHG points.

So you would be getting a little over 1 cent per mile. Your sign-up bonus would be worth about $311 (40,000 miles valued at $400 minus $89 annual fee). Of course, you could have gone through the shopping portal and used  a coupon, so let’s say the number is actually $300. This amount is a bit below my threshold, but could be enough of an incenttive to tempt you. 
IHG price comparison holiday inn price

 

I looked at  other hotel options during March and they started at 5,667 miles per night. Some properties had so-so reviews, but others were pretty decent, like Champions World Resort below. You would have to do some research and find the best value for your specific situation. On average, I found you can get between 0.75-1 cents per AAdvantage mile by going this route.

lowest hotel price AA

 The caveats

This option is currently available through AAdvantage, not Dividend Miles program. So, you would have to wait till second quarter of next year in order to be able to use your miles for this type of redemptions. Of course, I’m making an assumption that AA will keep it, and I’m guessing that they will, since no announcement was made to the contrary.

My advice

Of course, I don’t advise anyone to use miles for hotel awards. My point with this post was to show that even if you have no interest in AA miles whatsoever, you should still consider US Airways Premier MasterCard before it’s gone for good. Look at it as your back-up plan.

My affiliate offer comes with a 40,000 miles bonus after paying  an $89 annual fee. I no longer have any direct links for Barclaycards, but still make commission on them via my main affiliate link.  If this sounds confusing to you, email me and I’ll explain.

There is also a non-affiliate offer (marketed to Preferred status members, not enforced) that gives 10,000 miles on your first anniversary after paying an $89 fee. It’s your choice on which bonus to go with, in case you decide to apply. Obviously, I can’t vouch for non-affiliate offers, but you should be fine. Be aware, some have gotten a targeted offer of 50,000 miles. See my “Best credit card deals for family” for more info.

Also, as promised, here is an update on  my husband’s application for this card: Rejected. Asking him to call the reconsideration line would require a huge bribe, like a new Apple laptop. Gracias, no. Strangely, the reason for rejection was “sufficient credit line with Barclay’s.” Say what? He has zero cards with them at the moment. Barclay’s, you are quirky just like me!

P.S. I won’t have a “Miles and Points” segment this Friday, since I’ll be traveling with my family. I did schedule a short post, which I hope you’ll enjoy.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

4 thoughts on “Hate AAdvantage Miles? Consider US Airways MasterCard!

  1. I feel like this post was written for me. 🙂 I would apply for this, but hubby and I are trying to get double companion passes so we’ve got 3 southwest credit card apps in the works right now. And a Capital One card. If not for those, I would apply for this card.

    • Hi, shoesinks! Glad you found it beneficial. Well, only you can decide on this one. The clock is ticking, though this card should be around for maybe a few more months. One thing to note is that the spend is only 1 dollar to get the bonus, can’t beat that.

      Of course, your recent inquiries with other banks could present an issue, since Barclay’s can be sensitive to too many pulls. It’s very hard to tell with that bank. I had good success with them for the most part, in spite of many inquiries.

      As I said, you don’t have to use my affiliate link, this post is not a “hard sell” 🙂 You can also try to call Barclay’s and see if they match 50K offer, though it comes with $1,000 spending requirement, unlike the affiliate offer where you can just spend $1. I do recommend you at least consider it, since it’s “use it or lose it” kind of thing.

  2. I don’t think those are terrible redemptions. I tend to believe that people should use their points and miles in whatever way they want. There is no “wrong way” as long as people know what their options are.

    • @Holly Very true! Getting $300 in hotel stays is nothing to sneeze at, that’s for sure. Of course, I would rather get 3 one-way tickets to Alaska or 1 roundtrip ticket from Europe to US for my mom. But that’s me, others may have different goals. It helps to think outside the box when it comes to miles.

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