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If you are new to the travel hacking world, this post is for you!
Earlier this week, I explained how to use credit card sign-up bonuses to earn large sums of miles and points for free travel (see my Travel Hacking 101 post). If you haven’t yet made the leap to apply for a new credit card with a high sign-up bonus, let me tell you about the easiest option.
Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
What if you could get a chunk of miles after just one purchase? It doesn’t get easier than that. The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is not in our affiliate network and I don’t make any money for recommending it. But, it’s a great card for people looking to dip their toes in the travel hacking world.
For this card, you earn 60k AA miles after using the card for just one purchase and paying the card’s $99 annual fee. That’s it! You can buy a pack of gum at the store and then stick the card in your sock drawer. If you have a partner or spouse in your household, you can each apply separately and get 120,000 AA miles. Easy peasy!
This card does have some great benefits for the $99 annual fee. In fact, I have the business version of the card (currently unavailable for new applications). Benefits include:
- Free checked bags for you and up to 4 of your traveling companions on the same reservation
- Preferred boarding group for you and up to 4 traveling companions
- $25 statement credit for on-board Wi-Fi charges
- 25% off in-flight food and beverages
- 2X miles on AA purchases, 1X on all other purchases
Since my family flies on AA a few times a year, I keep paying the annual fee to keep this card. The savings on checked bags more than covers my annual fee.
Easiest, Not Necessarily the Most Useful
Most credit cards require a few thousand dollars of spend to get the sign-up bonus, so this card is much easier than most. But, this card isn’t necessarily the most useful for everyone.
For folks who live near an AA hub, these AA miles will likely come in handy. But for people who don’t have plentiful AA flights from their nearest airport, the miles will be harder to use. Check out our list of credit card bonuses here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help choosing a credit card to get started.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.