Last fall, BarclayCard announced the end of the US Airways Dividend Miles credit card. American has had an exclusive relationship with CitiBank for quite some time, so it was no surprise that they'd be the official credit card partner after the merger with US Airways.
As part of this announcement, BarclayCard introduced a new line-up of cards that would earn AAdvantage miles. The catch? Once American merged the Dividend Miles program into AAdvantage, BarclayCard would stop accepting applications for the card.
I signed up for the US Airways card about a year prior to the announcement and used it as a secondary card, so I was not surprised to receive an email informing me that I would receive the Aviator Red card. Some cardholders reported on FlyerTalk that they had been informed that their card would be upgraded to the Aviator Silver card, though many of those reports came from cardholders who put much more spend on their cards.
Just for kicks, I called BarclayCard in late March to see about upgrading to the Aviator Silver card. The representative was unable to upgrade my card and suggested I check back in a few months. I planned to call back, though forgot until today, when I noticed reports on FlyerTalk that BarclayCard was doing upgrades over the phone.
I wasn't holding my breath to receive an upgrade offer when I called, though I was pleasantly surprised when the rep I spoke with began to tell me about the features of the Silver card and ask for my verbal permission to do the upgrade. He noted that the annual fee if $195 would not be collected until my renewal date in November and that my 3x miles for AA/US purchases would activate at the beginning of the next billing cycle.
I've listed the features of the Silver card below, along with the other three cards currently being offered by BarclayCard. Some argue that the upgrade from Red to Silver is not worth the additional cost, as most of the benefits are already provided by the Citi Executive AAdvantage card, though at a much higher cost ($450 annual fee). Despite the lack of lounge access, I feel as though the upgrade to Silver is worth it for the bonus miles and companion certificate (a feature that I enjoyed with my Dividend Miles CC), but also the chance to earn Elite Qualifying Miles starting with $20K of spend on the card. With business travel for me picking up considerably in 2015, I have earned quite a few miles from purchases that are later reimbursed. Earning EQMs on top of that is a nice treat.
Aviator Card Features
If you would like to upgrade your current card, give BarclayCard Customer Service a call at the number on the back of your card or at (866) 928-3075.