AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard Bonus: 60K Miles & Waived Annual Fee

AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard Bonus: 60K Miles & Waived Annual Fee

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As far as US airlines go, American is in the unique position of having co-branded credit cards with two issuers. This came after the merger of American and US Airways, as American’s credit cards were issued by Citi, while US Airways’ credit cards were issued by Barclays. American made the decision to have a non-exclusive co-brand agreement, thinking that would maximize profits.

American has different marketing agreements with both issuers, though. For example, Citi products can be advertised on American’s website, through the mail, and in Admirals Clubs, while Barclays products can be advertised in airports and on flights. For those interesting in picking up one of these cards, there’s a good new bonus on the most popular Barclays American Airlines credit card.

Aviator Red Mastercard welcome bonus

The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard has a welcome bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making your first purchase within 90 days of account opening. On top of that, the card’s $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.

That’s a solid bonus, especially given the waived annual fee the first year, and the (very) reasonable spending requirement.

Best for casual AA flyers Earn 2x AA miles at restaurants and gas stations and on all American Airlines purchases
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Best for AA road warriors Get an Admirals Club membership and access the clubs every time you fly American
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Best for business expenses Earn 2x AA miles on car rentals, gas stations, and cable and satellite providers
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Best no annual fee AA card Earn 2x AA miles on American Airlines purchases and at grocery stores
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard benefits

The Aviator Red Mastercard offers a bunch of benefits, including the following:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to four companions on a domestic itinerary
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to four companions on a domestic itinerary
  • 2x miles for American Airlines purchases
  • 25% inflight savings on food and beverages
  • $25 back as statement credits on American inflight Wi-Fi purchases every cardmember year
  • Earn an anniversary companion certificate each anniversary year good for one guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after spending $20,000 on purchases; your account must remain open for 45 days after your anniversary date
Get preferred boarding with the Aviator Red Mastercard

How valuable is the American companion certificate?

As you can see, the major incentive to spend money on the Aviator Red Mastercard is a companion certificate. Personally I wouldn’t go through the effort of spending money on the card for that, given all the restrictions:

  • It’s only valid for travel within the lower 48 (the Alaska Airlines companion certificate is valid for travel anywhere Alaska flies)
  • It’s only valid for a roundtrip ticket in economy
  • You have to book your ticket through American Airlines Meeting Services, so it can’t be booked online
  • The certificate is valid for one year from the date of issue
  • You have to pay $99 plus taxes and fees when redeeming it
  • The companion booked with this certificate isn’t eligible for mileage accrual or upgrades
The companion certificate is only valid for economy travel

Bottom line

The Aviator Red Mastercard is offering an excellent welcome bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making a purchase, plus the $99 annual fee is waived for the first year. This is a nice initial bonus, though there’s not much reason to keep this card in the long-run, in my opinion.

If you prefer a card with an annual fee waived the first year but a higher spend requirement, consider one of the co-branded Citi AAdvantage Cards.

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

Conversations (13)
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  1. Mike

    It says you mean not be eligible if you have held the card again? Any idea what that means and how long you would have to wait?

  2. Yamba

    As a data point, I closed the card about 18 months ago and reapplied yesterday w/ an instant approval. When I previously had the card, I only put a single purchase on it for the 60,000 points.

  3. Adam

    I have this card but really don't like that the first checked bag free is limited to domestic itineraries. I have a flight to the Caribbean and yet have to pay to check a bag with this card. United doesn't restrict to domestic. Any idea why this is limited on AA cards?

  4. david92262

    @Josh, I believe you must spend $3000 within the first 3 months in order to receive the 60,000 miles, but please correct me if I'm wrong

    1. Joshua Trevers

      All it says is "after making a purchase". I don't see anything about $3000.

  5. Josh

    Just to be sure I understand - I make one purchase of any amount and get 60,000 miles? Is it really that simple ?

  6. Michael

    I didn’t realize no upgrades on the companion certificate- that kills the deal right there.

    That and free bags don’t work to Mexico on their card.

    Having had both, I only have kept the Citi cobrand card. I’d only touch this for the sign up bonus, would never be in my wallet.

  7. Narayana Sundaram

    I have had this card before but since canceled. is there time limit to when i can apply for the CC again?

  8. Brodie

    I have the same question and appreciate when this is included when promoting credit cards.

    1. DenB

      I agree, it would be convenient for me if Ben included pro-churning information in all credit card reviews. However, I enjoy all the content here, for which I pay nothing because credit card companies pay for it. Credit card companies believe that card churning is akin to child abuse, terrorism and flag burning. I forgive OMAAT for omitting data about churning from the reviews.

    2. Regis

      While missing from this particular review, Ben usually posts the information you are looking for under "Sign-up bonus eligibility". Check the current review of the Amex Aspire card. I think you unfairly accused Ben of bias and non-objectivity here. As far travel blogs go, this is the least influeneced by advertising.

  9. dave

    I have had this card before but since canceled. is there time limit to when i can apply for the CC again?

Featured Comments Load all 13 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mike

It says you mean not be eligible if you have held the card again? Any idea what that means and how long you would have to wait?

Yamba

As a data point, I closed the card about 18 months ago and reapplied yesterday w/ an instant approval. When I previously had the card, I only put a single purchase on it for the 60,000 points.

Joshua Trevers

All it says is "after making a purchase". I don't see anything about $3000.

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