Update: The 60,000 mile offer is currently no longer available, and has come back down to 50,000. It’s still a good deal regardless.
Barclaycard’s AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard just increased its normal 50,000 mile sign-up bonus to 60,000 American Airlines miles.
The best part is that all you need to do to receive this bonus is make one purchase. This means you can buy a $1 pack of gum, then get your 60,000 miles the next credit card statement cycle. Because there is an annual fee of $95, you are essentially buying 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for $95 + first purchase.
Breakdown of primary benefits
- 60,000 mile bonus
- First checked bag is free (For cardholder + 4 guests)
- Get 10% of redeemed miles back
- Earn 3,000 Elite Status Qualifying Dollars
- Preferred boarding (For cardholder + 4 guests)
- 2x miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases
- 1x miles for every $1 spent on everything else
- No foreign transaction fees
Using the card
While American Airlines has made it more difficult in recent years to find award seating, if you plan early enough or with flexibility in your schedule, you will find a great deal.
As an example, I looked up the current price for an economy round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles. This flight is worth $357 in cash.
However, with award seating, the same flight only costs 25,000 miles (12.5k each way).
This means that according to this example, each point is worth around 1.4 cents. This 1.4 cent value is in line with many of the current valuations for AAdvantage miles. Additionally, you’ll receive back 10% of those miles you used, as an additional card perk. With 60,000 miles, you and a friend or SO can take a round trip flight to Los Angeles and still have miles left over.
Each mile can be worth even more when redeemed for business or first class flights. For instance, 60,000 miles on those same sample dates can get you a one-way First Class ticket from New York to South Korea. That’s 60,000 miles for a flight that costs $9,890 in cash!
You can get similar point redemption values on one-way First Class flights to Japan, or a round-trip economy flight to locations in Europe.
If you’re looking for a new travel credit card and either fly American Airlines frequently or have a trip coming up, you may want to consider the AAdvantage Aviator Red card. This is a great way to minimize costs on your next vacation or business flight. As always, practice sound judgment when using rewards credit cards by paying off your monthly balances in full, and on time.