Why you should apply for the US Airways card before March 31st.

Updated April 30, 2014.  This card has improved its sign on bonus.  Click here for more details!

Some of your already have this card which is the first card in our Easy Quarter Million Program, but for those who don’t, read on.

As some of you may know, US Airways and American Airlines merged recently but they are still operating separately in their respective alliances until March 31st. You can read our article about how airline alliances work here. This all changes at the end of March when US Airways officially pulls out of Star Alliance and joins OneWorld.  And why is this important?  Well typically you can only get one sign up bonus for each type of card that an airline issues.  So, for example if you apply for the Chase British Airways card and get the 50,000 mile bonus that it has, you will never be able to get the bonus for that same card again. Right now, there are two different sets of cards, the US Airways one issued by Barclays that has a 30,000 mile bonus(10,000 more if you transfer a balance), and the American Airlines one issued by Citibank that has a 50,000 mile bonus.

AAUSAirAA has a deep business relationship with Citibank and will end up being the survivor of the merger (even though US Airways is technically acquiring American).  This means that the Barclays US Airways card will be disappearing, never to be seen from again.  They haven’t announced that this will happen on March 31, but it is my best guess since that is when they exit Star Alliance. If you don’t get the card now, it might be your last chance to get this one time bonus before it is gone.

The cool part is that at some point, they will completely merge their two frequent flyer programs and you will be able to combine your miles across the two programs (Dividend Miles and AAdvantage).  So if you don’t have enough miles in your American account for the 60,000 Milesaver award ticket to Paris then maybe you will when they combine your accounts.

Eiffel TowerThe best thing about this card is the spend requirement! You get the full 40,000 miles with your first purchase! So buy $1 worth of gas, get 40,000 miles!  Bing! Bam! Boom!  It has a number of other good benefits such as:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee*
  • 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 and American Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • New! Receive a 25% savings on eligible US Airways and American Airlines in-flight purchases
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details

That last point can be important to many of you who carry a balance leftover from holiday spending.  0% for 12 months can save you a lot if you are paying interest now.  They do charge a 4% balance transfer fee, but they give you 1 bonus mile for every $1 in balance transferred up to 10,000 bonus miles.  If you have a balance you are paying interest on (especially if it is a high APR) it is a no brainer to do a transfer to 0% even with the fee.

But as I mentioned in the beginning, the best reason to apply is that you may not be able to get this bonus after March 31!  And if you don’t use it, you will lose it! So what are you waiting for?  Apply now!

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Author: John Butler

I live in Miami Beach but love travelling all over the world.