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

Review: AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard – February 2018

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®
Intro APR for Balance Transfer0% Intro APR for first fifteen billing cycles (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)17.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )17.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable
Annual fee$95
Cash Advance Rate26.49% variable
Card TypeMastercard
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 23 days
Returned Payment Fee$37
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
0% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$0.50
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$95
Returned Payment Fee$37
Late Payment Fee$37
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Rewards ProgramBarclaycard Rewards
Bonus Points on Sign-up60,000
Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC)2
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 p.a. 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

Pros

  • 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 card gives you attractive American Airlines perks, such as:
    • First checked bag free.
    • Preferred boarding.
    • 25% off inflight food and beverages.

Cons

  • Annual fee. You’ll pay $95 p.a. 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 17.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% variable.
  • Higher APR for cash advances. Cash advances come with a 26.49% variable APR.
  • Penalty fees. Late and returned payments can hurt: You’ll pay up to $37.00.

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.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

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.

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard step 1

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

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard step 2

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.

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