AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard Bonus: 50K Miles + Companion Certificate

Filed Under: American, Credit Cards
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AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®
2x miles
on AA purchases
checked bag
Wi-Fi credit
Annual Fee: $95
| The card details for the AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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 have historically been issued by Citi, while US Airways’ credit cards have been issued by Barclays. American made the decision that they could maximize their profits by having a non-exclusive co-brand agreement.

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.

Aviator Red Mastercard 50K Bonus

Barclays has a welcome bonus on the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, offering 50,000 AAdvantage miles plus an introductory companion certificate after making your first purchase within 90 days of account opening.

The card has a $99 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year.

AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard Benefits

The card offers a bunch of other 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
  • Double 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, and your account remains open for 45 days after your anniversary date

How Valuable Is The American Companion Certificate?

As mentioned above, part of the welcome bonus on the card is a companion certificate, which is a relatively new addition to this card.

There are some really valuable credit card companion certificates, like the one offered by the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card.

Unfortunately, I don’t find American’s companion certificates to be terribly valuable. A few things to be aware of:

  • It’s only valid for travel within the lower 48 (the Alaska one 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

Bottom Line

The Aviator Red Mastercard offers a nice welcome bonus of 50K miles and a companion certificate (though that may or may not be worth using). However, beyond the initial bonus, there’s not much value to keeping this card long term, unfortunately.

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.

Current American AAdvantage Offers

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.
  1. Doctor of Credit posted a link of 60k, with the first year annual fee waived but no companion pass. Personally, I think AA’s companion pass is too restrictive for doing a valuable redemption, so I am happier to save the annual fee but I suppose everyone values it differently.

  2. Keep in mind that you can downgrade to the no annual fee AAdvantage Aviator after one year. I did it last year. Also, these cards are Mastercards that you can get Lyft credits with (buy 5 rides, get $10 free).

  3. Hey Ben,
    My aviator card coverted from USair card is due for AF. Since it doesnt give the 10k miles a year and no 10% rebate on redemption, I am going to close it or is there a no fee aviator card that I can downgrade to? and upon closure or downgrade, I can apply for the 60K avaitor card again? Thanks!

  4. Does barclays still restrict bonuses to people 24 months after close within the same program?

    The published offer terms are vague: ” You may not be eligible for this offer if you currently have or previously had an account with us in this Program.”

  5. Downgraded mine last week to the no fee version. Retention person didn’t have any good offers, and was surprisingly honest that if enough people did this, hopefully some additional benefits would be added to the card. I got the feeling she had been dealing with a lot of downgrades and cancellations lately.

  6. I canceled this card back in July 2018. Would I still be able to apply for this card again now? Or do I need to wait?

  7. If I could give it a zero I would. They charged my card the annual fee not even within a month of applying for the card prior to my activating the card. Failed to send statements via email and mail. I had to request statements multiple times. I was blamed for my mailing address being incorrect even though they delivered the credit card to me.
    I never received points for my purchase because of the late fee. Due to the fact I did not receive the statement even after my request. They failed on their end and put the blame on me and the mail. I finally received a statement in October. My first statement should have been in May with the charge of an annual fee prior to me activating the account.

    Also the representative said I had 90 days from activation of the account to earn my rewards. Barclay says it was since the account opened on their end when I phoned back for missing points.

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