Is the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard worth it? | August 2018

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® review – August 2018

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Great signup bonus and attractive perks for American Airlines regulars.

  • Get this card if… you fly with American Airlines often.
  • Pick something else if…you want general travel rewards.
  • Recommended good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.
Product NameAAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$95
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.74%, 21.74% or 26.74% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 17.74% to 26.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee3% or $5 of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.99% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Minimum Interest$0.5
Late Payment Fee$37
Returned Payment Fee$37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome BonusEarn 60,000 miles after your first purchase
Reward Value per Dollar1 miles
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

What AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® has to offer

You’ll get the most value out of this card if you fly with American Airlines often. It offers 2x AAdvantage miles on purchases you make with the carrier, and 1x miles on everything else.

If you’re not a frequent American Airlines flyer, consider a card like the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. It offers 2x miles on all purchases, giving you more rewards faster.

The perks

It depends on how much you travel. Frequent travelers will like one free bag check, preferred boarding and a 25% discount on inflight food and beverages. If you’re an occasional flyer, these perks might not weigh enough to tip the scales.

Though you’ll pay a $95 annual fee for the card, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees during your travels abroad. And until January 31, 2018, you’ll qualify for a 60,000 miles signup bonus by making one purchase in the first 90 days.

Is 60,000 AAdvantage miles a good bonus?

The 60,000 AAdvantage miles is a great bonus. To give you a sense of how far your miles will go, consider these costs for round-trip flights:

  • Los Angeles to New York City: 25,000 miles.
  • Los Angeles to London: 45,000 miles.
  • New York City to Miami: 25,000 miles.
  • Chicago to Paris: 60,000 miles.

Typically, AAdvantage points are worth between 1 and 1.3 cents each — one cent per mile is the industry average.

You’ll also like …

  • No foreign transaction fees.
    Use your card abroad without incurring fees.
  • $100 American Airlines flight discount.
    Each year you spend at least $30,000 on your card, you’ll receive a $100 discount to use for American Airlines flights.
  • Elite Qualifying Dollars bonus.
    Earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars each calendar year you spend at least $25,000 with your Mastercard. That’s enough to reach Gold status in the AAdvantage program with perks like complimentary preferred seats and a mileage bonus.
  • World Elite Travel Services.
    Get access to exclusive offers and experiences from Mastercard.
  • Travel benefits.
    Mastercard concierge service offers help planning travel, insurance for auto rental, trip cancellation, trip interruption and more.
  • Shopping benefits.
    Enjoy extended warranties, price protection, purchase security and return protection.

Pros and Cons


  • Signup bonus: 60,000 miles.
    Make a purchase within the first 90 days and pay the annual fee, and you’ll receive 60,000 miles.
  • Earn miles on all purchases.
    You’ll earn 1x AAdvantage miles on everything you buy and 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • Get miles back.
    You’ll get back 10% of your redeemed miles, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year. So when you redeem 1,000 miles for a flight or discount, you’ll get 100 of those miles back to redeem later.
  • American Airlines perks.
    The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® gives you attractive American Airlines perks, such as:

    • First checked bag free.
    • Preferred boarding.
    • 25% off inflight food and beverages.


  • Annual fee.
    You’ll pay $95 each year to maintain your card. The fee isn’t waived for the first year like some cards.
  • Potentially high APR.
    Depending on your credit, you could have high purchase and balance transfer APRs from 17.74%, 21.74% or 26.74% variable.
  • Higher APR for cash advances.
    Cash advances come with a 26.99% variable APR.
  • Penalty fees.
    Late and returned payments can hurt: You’ll pay up to $37.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident. Residents of Puerto Rico and US territories are not eligible.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income and employment information
  • Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

1. Go to the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red website and click Apply now.

2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact information, employment information and Social Security number. Click Apply to submit your application.

How long will it take to be approved?

Typically, you’ll receive an immediate decision on your application. In rare cases, you may need to wait a few days to a few weeks until your application is manually approved.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Enroll in autopay on the Barclaycard site to never miss a payment.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance to avoid interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, contact Barclaycard customer service at 866-928-8598.

Bottom line

If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer, you’ll enjoy having the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®. Not only can you qualify for an impressive 60,000-mile bonus, you’ll also score attractive American Airlines perks. If you fly other airlines, check out other cards with travel benefits.

Frequently asked questions

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MKJuly 7, 2018

    Is it difficult to find seats available using the AAdvantage miles? In the past, with other airline cards, we could never find a seat, there were so few mileage award seats per plane. Is the Barclays American Airline AAdvantage program similar?


    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJuly 10, 2018Staff

      Hi MK!

      Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

      Availability of seats isn’t hard to find for as long as you book early or when it’s the off-peak season.
      It would be best to call American Airlines AAdvantage and ask when are the best times to get seats through mileage rewards.

      Hope this helps!


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