This post is targeted to new blog readers and folks who are newbies to travel hacking.
The sign-up bonus on the American Airlines Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard (non-affiliate link) just increased to 60,000 AA miles. Unlike most other cards that require a minimum spending of a few thousand dollars to get the sign-up bonus, this card only requires one purchase and paying the annual fee of $99 to trigger the bonus miles. You can buy something as small as a pack of gum!
If you have a spouse or partner who can also apply for this card separately, you would have a total of 120,000 American Airline miles for making two purchases and paying $190 total in annual fees. 120,000 miles is enough fly a family of four within the U.S. or to Mexico and the Caribbean!
This card does not pay us commission, but we still want to highlight it because it can be a great deal for some people. (See How This Blog Makes Money).
The Credit Card Offer
- Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the $99 annual fee
- First checked bag free for the primary cardmember and up to four companions on eligible bags when traveling on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1X miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Preferred boarding
- No foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside the U.S.
- Receive 10 percent of your redeemed AAdvantage miles back (10,000 miles maximum per calendar year)
- Receive 25 percent in-flight savings on food, beverages and headsets
- $99 Annual fee, not waived
This offer is attractive to people who are new to miles and points credit cards because there is only one purchase required. If you plan to fly on American Airlines while you have the card open, you can save a significant amount of money on baggage fees for yourself and up to four travel companions. And who doesn’t like getting on the plane earlier so you can snag that prime overhead compartment space?
Miles will really start to add up if you use the Power of Two and get a spouse or another adult in your family to sign up for the card. 120,000 combined miles is nothing to sneeze at! If you have a small business, you can also apply for the business version of the card that requires $1000 of spending to get
50,000 now 60,000 AA miles.
My husband and I have each had this card, twice!
The Fine Print
The fine print on this offer is a little different than in the past. If you have had this exact card in the past, you likely won’t be approved. The terms and conditions state, “You may not be eligible for this offer if you currently have or previously had an account with us in this Program.”
If you want to use the AA benefits (like preferred seating and free bags), it does appear that your account has to remain active. The fine print says that in order to maintain your eligibility, “Your Account cannot have been inactive for 6 billing cycles in a row (representing approximately 6 months). “Inactive” means you have no balance, no payments and no transactions.” In order to remain active, you can simply put a recurring bill on this credit card and set it up to autopay monthly.
If you are not new to the miles and points credit card world and you’ve applied for numerous new credit cards within the past 24 months, you will likely not be approved for this credit card. Barclay is notorious for turning down frequent travel hackers for “too many recent inquiries.”
The Fun Part–Spending 120,000 AA Miles
My family has used AA miles to travel to Hawaii (twice), Canada and Denver. We are using AA miles for our upcoming spring break trip to Arizona and our summer trip to Australia and New Zealand. Since we live in an AA hub city, we haven’t had many issues redeeming our miles. We may not always get direct flights with our miles, but the connecting flights haven’t been too inconvenient.
Where would you go with 120,000 AA miles?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.