There are a few different offers floating around for the US Airways credit card. This card used to be one of the best cards to get simply because it was so easy to get and churn. You could get 40,000 or 50,000 miles with one purchase and no annual fee until the second year – and they rewarded you for paying that by giving you an additional 10,000 miles! Not only was that a great deal, but you could get it over and over and over again (one person was able to get 5 in one day!).
In the last year or so, Barclays has tightened up a bit on their cards and how easily they let people get them. If you apply for a lot of cards often, chances are pretty good that Barclays may not want you for a customer right now. Though even that is not a guarantee – some people make it through and some people do not.
Which US Airways Card?
But, when it comes to the US Airways card from Barclays, there is always more than one offer out. Lately, the offer that I have felt to be the best has been in my credit cards tab – 40,000 miles after the first purchase and the annual fee not waived for the first year. I have felt that this was a better offer than the other one floating around that was 30,000 miles for the first year with the annual fee waived and the 10,000 mile anniversary bonus.
Both versions come with the following benefits:
- First checked bag free on eligible bags for you and up to four companions on domestic US Airways operated flights
- One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
- Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights
- Redeem miles for award travel on US Airways and American Airlines booked through usairways.com or US Airways Reservations
- Earn miles on every purchase with 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
- Receive a 5,000 mile discount on award tickets purchased on US Air flights
The thing about those offers is that both will give the holder the amount of 40,000 miles after the start of the second year. If you were signing up for one to cancel before the second year, then the 40,000 mile upfront offer is best. However, if you plan on holding the card as long as US Airways and Barclay offer it, then the second offer is better because it will give you 10,000 miles each year. Either way, each offer will see you paying the amount of one year’s annual fee to get the full 40,000 miles. The question is – do you want the 40,000 now or 30,000 now and 10,000 later?
40,000 After First Purchase
Let me say this upfront – I have had this card offer in my credit cards list for sometime and it has not paid me a commission. However, the offer that does pay me a commission was just matched to that offer so I do receive a commission on this card offer now.
Application Link – US Airways Premier World Mastercard – 40,000 miles after first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee (I receive a commission for this link)
US Airways has made a change in the wording of the way the miles will be awarded from this point. It used to be that you would receive the miles after your first purchase. Barclays is very fast – you would normally see those miles post within one week from that first purchase. That is before the billing statement even closes! However, now the bonus will not be awarded until after the first purchase and the payment of the $89 annual fee. I suspect this change is because many people were signing up for the card, making the first purchase, receiving the miles, and closing the account before the annual fee posted. Really not a smart thing to do if you want to keep a healthy relationship with the issuer! 🙂
So, this new change means that you will not receive the bonus until after the fee has been paid (and you have made the first purchase). With most cards, the annual fee is posted on the final day of the billing cycle and then the due date is 23 days after that. Based on that, it would appear that you would not receive the 40,000 miles until about 6-7 weeks after you have received the card.
In my mind, this is not a good change. That is because we have seen that US Airways (and American Airlines) do not have a problem making immediate changes to their award chart without any announcement. So, if you sign-up for this card with a particular use in mind (especially for premium cabin redemptions), US Airways may change the chart again before the miles ever post. Do I think they will make anymore changes before July 1? I do not, but that is just speculation on my part. It is up to you and the purpose you have for these miles whether you want to go with this offer or not. Should you decide to, you will receive the 40,000 miles after you have paid that annual fee.
30,000 After First Purchase
Application Link – US Airways Mastercard – 30,000 Miles after first purchase (I do not receive a commission for this card)
The other offer, which I do not receive a commission for, is for 30,000 miles after the first purchase and the annual fee is waived for the first year. For the second year (and any year after that the card program exists), you will receive a 10,000 mile anniversary bonus. My wife’s card has this attached and it certainly is a nice way to soften the blow of an annual fee!
If this card lasts past 2015, you will actually come out more ahead with this offer than the offer above. That is because of the 10,000 mile anniversary bonus. However, it is a push if you only keep it for two years or if the program of the card ceases before 2016. In that case, it matters whether you want to pay the annual fee now for the 40,000 miles (above) or pay it one year from now for the 10,000 mile bonus, which is in addition to the 30,000 miles.
To be honest, either offer is good. I would be more inclined to take the 40,000 miles now since it is uncertain about what the program may look like one year from now, but I understand that may be viewed skeptically since that is the offer I receive a commission for. 🙂 That is why I want to have both offers here so that you can make the choice of what is best for you.
The part that makes the 30,000 mile offer attractive is that you will receive the full 30,000 miles within one week after your first purchase. If you are trying to get your mileage balance up to take advantage of a particular award before any more devaluations, it makes good sense to get this card and the miles now than wait 6 – 8 weeks like you may have to for the offer above. End of the day, it is your choice about what your needs for travel are. Both cards offer the same benefits that are listed above so it comes down to the miles. I really hope I didn’t make this confusing but rather presented the options available so that you can make the best choice. It is really hard to do this when one pays a commission and the other does not because I really do want you to get whatever works for you and not just what rewards me.
No matter which card you choose, you are setting yourself up for more great, free travel! At some point, the US Airways and American Airline mileage programs will be merged. At that point, your US Airway miles will become AA miles. If you have gotten in on the spectacular 100K AA offer, this 30,000 or 40,000 mile offer will compliment it nicely!