Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard Credit Card Review

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From Seek Capital - Best for American Airlines Flyers

Welcome Offer

Earn 50,000 Bonus Points

Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card on your first purchase and fees in your first 90 days


2xAAdvantage Miles Flying American Airlines
Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on American Airlines purchases
1xAAdvantage Miles on Everything Else
Earn 1x AAdvantage miles on all other purchases
10%Miles back
Get 10% miles back every time you redeem, to use on your next redemption
25%In-flight savings
Use your card on American Airlines in-flight purchases and save 25%

Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red

In the blink of an eye, you can earn a sign-up bonus worth hundreds of dollars with the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard. Plus, just holding the card gets you valuable perks such as free checked bags and in-flight savings. Find out how to maximize mile points and rewards value with this card.

Rewards Highlights

  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 15 Months
  • 2x AAdvantage Miles on American Airlines purchases
  • 1x AAdvantage Miles on Everything Else
  • 10% Miles back every time you redeem

Expert Review

The Pros

  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 15 Months
  • 2x AAdvantage Miles on American Airlines purchases
  • 1x AAdvantage Miles on Everything Else

The Cons

  • Has Annual Fee
  • Limited Rewards to American Airlines

Recommended Credit Profile

Rates & Fees

  • Annual Fee$95
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 15 months
  • Regular APR17.99% to 26.99%
  • Great ForAmerican AirlinesGasGroceries
  • Regular Purchase APR17.99% to 26.99%
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR17.99% to 26.99%
  • Cash Advance APR27.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3%
  • Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee0%

An Incredibly Easy, High-Value Sign Up Bonus

The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard truly is an elite travelers card for those who fly regularly on American Airlines. The first hint you get of that is in the sign up bonus, which is 60,000 bonus miles that you earn with a single swipe of the card and one statement payment. All you have to do to earn this bonus is make a purchase within 90 days of opening the card and pay the annual fee.

How valuable is that simple sign up bonus? Depending on how you redeem the points, 60,000 could net you up to four flights within the contiguous United States or to several international locations within the Western Hemisphere. Want to get across the Atlantic? Your bonus miles could get you two flights, depending on how you redeem them. It's even enough for one first class ticket within the United States.

Fly VIP from Atlanta to Los Angeles, or use MileSaver bookings to get you and special someone to the Caribbean for the weekend.

We're talking values of $600 to $1,200 or more on average, though you may be able to score even higher redemption value if you're booking flights in off-peak times.

Keep Earning Miles With Purchases and Redemptions

When you pay with the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard, you continue to earn miles throughout the year. You'll earn two points per dollar on any purchase you make with American Airlines. You'll earn one point per dollar on all other qualifying purchases.

Plus, 10 percent of redeemed miles are credited back to your awards accounts. For example, if you redeem 30,000 miles for a business class ticket from New York to Las Vegas, you'll get 3,000 miles back for use again in the future. American Airlines does cap that at 10,000 miles, but that's still almost enough for an economy flight.

So, what's that all look like when we put the math to paper? Let's consider a hypothetical example to see just how much rewards value someone might earn in a year with the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard.

First, we'll assume anyone interested in this card flies at least a few times a year with American Airlines. If you flew three times for business or pleasure and spent a total of $4,000 in the calendar year, that would be 8,000 points.

Then, you earn one point for every other dollar you spend — even when you're buying things you need or normally purchase. Just swap your Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard out for your normal payment method when purchasing groceries or fuel or dining out. If you buy $200 in groceries and fuel a week, that's 200 points a week. Multiple that by 52 weeks in a year, and you're up to 10,400 more points without even trying! Add in $50 in dining out a week and you've got another 2,600 points.

With no work, you're up to 21,000 points for the year (enough for a flight within the United States or to some Western Hemisphere international locations).

Fast Track to Elite Status

When you spend $25,000 on your Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard within a calendar year, you earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars. Those aren't dollars you can spend — their special points that score you elite status with American Airlines' AAdvantage miles program.

You need $3,000 EQD to hit Gold oneworld Ruby status, so you're automatically there if you hit the spending threshold the year before on your card. And if you already have EQD or qualifying miles for a status boost, those $3,000 EQD can help you reach the next status, which might be Platinum oneworld Sapphire, Platinum Pro oneworld Sapphire or Executive Platinum oneworld Emerald.

Perks of elite status include:

  • Free checked bags
  • Complimentary preferred seats
  • Larger upgrade windows
  • More value for miles you redeem

If you think $25,000 a calendar year is an impossible number, consider this math: it's less than $2,090 a month. Use your Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard to pay for groceries, fuel, incidentals and a few bills (your utility and cell phone bills, for example), and you're probably already there. Sweet: free upgrades and elite status just for living your life and paying your bills.

Other Benefits of the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard

Even before you earn elite status with American Airlines, your credit card starts raking in the perks. Pay for your airfare with the card and you and up to four companions get a free first checked bag on any domestic flights operated by American Airlines. You'll also get preferred boarding.

While on the flight, you'll score a 25 percent discount on all beverages or food you purchase with your card, and World Elite Travel Services helps you gain access to experiences and offers that make any trip even more exciting.

A travel reward card wouldn't be stellar if it didn't offer some protection perks. The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard includes:

  • The ability to waive auto collision insurance when you pay for a rental car and still be covered in the event of an accident
  • Insurance that kicks in to help cover losses if your trip is canceled or interrupted by natural disaster or other covered events
  • Personalized concierge services, so you have someone to turn to when faced with changes in travel or just a desire for certain event tickets

The Bottom Line

The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard doesn't come with foreign transaction fees, which we love in a travel rewards card. If you do use your miles to grab a flight to Central America or the Mediterranean, you can use your card to pay for purchases when you arrive without the 3 to 5 percent foreign transaction fee common with many banks. That saves you $3 to $5 for every $100 spent.

The card does come with a $95 annual fee, but if you take advantage of all the perks it offers, you'll come out ahead every year. One flight with your family of four, for example, and you've got $100 worth of free first checked bag value.

For anyone who flies regularly with American Airlines and would love to get some great travel deals, the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard is a great choice.

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