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Barclaycard AAdvantage® Aviator Mastercard®

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Picture of Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard
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By : Mr Credit Card

Background of Aviator Credit Cards

Before American Airlines merged with US Airways, Citi was the issuer for American Airlines and Barclaycard was the issuer for US Airways. American Airlines merged with US Airways and in 2015, their frequent flyer programs merged. Citi continued to be the issuer for the new airline but Barclaycard kept their place as well with a new line up of Aviator credit cards. Existing US Airways Mastercard card holders were transitioned to the Red Aviator. Card holders can then either upgrade to the Aviator Silver or downgrade to either the Blue Aviator or this card.

Features of Aviator Mastercard

  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 1X for every dollar you spend on the card
  • 25% savings for Inflight food and beverage purchases

AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard vs Citi AAdvantage Mileup

A review and analysis of this card has to involve comparing it with the Citi AAdvantage Mileup card because these are two AA cards with no annual fee. And quite surprising they are different in a very significant way. The most glaring difference is how they earn miles.

While the Aviator Mastercard allows you to earn one miles for every dollar that you spend on the card, the Citi AAdvantage Mileup allows you to earn 2X miles on AA ticket purchases and 1X mile for regular purchases.

Both cards allow you to get 25% discount on Inflight food and beverage purchases if you use the card.

So just from a miles earning perspective, the Citi Mileup is clearly the better card.

Is the Aviator AAdvantage Mastercard good?

The short answer is NO. The AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard is not a good card even though it has no annual fee. The reason we say it is not good is because compared to other no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards (including AA's own Citi AAdvantage MileUp), their miles earning rate leaves a lot to be desired.

This card allows you to earn only one mile for every dollar that you spend on the card. The Citi AAdvantage Mileup card on the other hand allows you to earn 2X miles when you buy AA airline tickets and also at groceries stores (including grocery deliveries). Like this card, it has also no annual fee. Both of them also allow you to get 25% savings for Inflight food and beverage purchases.

But even though the Citi AAdvantage Mileup has a better earnings rate than this card, it may not really matter at the end of the day. Those who are considering downgrading to this card are probably Blue, Red or Silver Aviator card members who no longer fly AA and are probably looking to downgrade to a no annual fee card without a hard pull. Then this card fits the bill. If you still have lots of AA miles, you can use this card once in a while to keep them from expiring.

There are some of you who are Red Aviator card members and you have decided to switch to the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. In that case, you might want to downgrade to this card to preserve your credit line rather than simply cancelling it.

So to sum up, the AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard is a no annual fee card that holders of either the Blue, Red or Silver Aviator should consider downgrading to either because the longer fly AA or if they want to switch to Citi's family of AA cards. Other than that, I see no value in this card at all. If you are looking for a no annual fee AA card to actually use, then go check out the Citi AAdvantage Mileup card. And unlike the Aviator Mastercard, you can actually apply for the Citi AAdvantage Mileup card.