New Credit Cards Coming from American and Avianca – SIGN ME UP

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New Credit Cards Coming from American and Avianca – SIGN ME UP

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Some exciting credit card news surfaced last week that I wanted to share with you folks!

We often don’t get good news in the credit card/points/miles world, but alas, rejoice!

American Airlines, Citi, and Barclays Ink a New Deal

There are currently EIGHT American Airlines credit cards in circulation. Four are not for new applicants and are issued by Barclays; four are issued by Citi and are for new applicants.

Let me explain.

When US Airways and American Airlines merged last year, so did their frequent flyer programs. Dividend Miles became AAdvantage miles. When this happens, the US Airways Credit Card holders (then issued by Barcalys) would usually become Citi AAdvantage credit card cardholders – but this didn’t. In fact, Barclays retained their current portfolio of customers, but lost the ability to issue new products.

citi aa cards

You can sign up, and earn the bonus on each of these products.

Since then, Barclays has been incentivizing customers with bonus  miles and earning offers AND nicely waiving annual fees. After all, their former US Airways cards, now called Aviator cards, are pretty similar. If, after all, they cannot earn new customers, they’re going to do what they can to retain customers.

Barclays Aviator Silver - One of the Four Aviator Flavors

Barclays Aviator Silver – One of the Four Aviator Flavors

However, last week the news surfaced that Barclays would now have the ability to issue NEW American Airlines credit cards, just like Citi currently does. There are some important caveats, however.

Barclays will not be advertising these through the normal channels (online and mailers); rather, they’ll be able to advertise these cards in-flight and at airport kiosks.

You’ll probably have to close your Aviator cards to earn the bonus on these new products, but you will be eligible for them (only taking into account Barclays stringent churning rules).

There’s no word on how many of these new products there will be, but we can safely assume two:

  • An entry level, first-year fee waived (most similar to the Aviator Red and Platinum AAvantage) and a business version
  • OR, an entry level (as above) and a premium version, similar to Citi’s Executive AAdvantage product.

I guess I’ll need to time my applications to flights ;-).

LifeMiles Secures a New Credit Card Partner

Avianca, a member of the Star Alliance that has a strong presence in Latin America, has previously had a credit card relationship with US Bank. That has ended and LifeMiles, the frequent flyer program of Avianca, has inked a new deal with a different bank. No word on which bank or exactly when that will be rolled out, but it will probably be Quarter 1 of 2017.

Briefly, LifeMiles a separate company from Avianc, has firesales on miles. People often buy these miles for very cheap and use them to fly Star Alliance premium cabin flights, like Lufthansa first class. The best part is that LifeMiles never passes on fuel surcharges, even when Lufthansa First Class taxes are usually around $400.

I hope that Chase does not pick up the new card because of their new churning rules (see 5/24). I also do not think Chase will get this new card because LifeMiles is known to be all about profit (hence their year-round sales on LifeMiles: 5/24 rules are not very profitable).

 

It could be Barclays, but… They’re pretty stringent, too. I’d love to see it go to AMEX–they could use it–or Citi.

Wrapping Up

While we still have some time before either products drop, it’s still exciting to think about and keep in the back of one’s mind for the planning of earning points.

-The Miner


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