The Barclays American Airlines Aviator Business card offers a big sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles and valuable benefits for American Airlines flyers such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and a 25% in-flight savings on food and drinks.
Aviator Business Card Information
Application Link: Barclays American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard.
Current Sign Up Bonus: 75,000 American Airlines miles. (65,000 miles for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and 10,000 miles for adding an employee card and making a purchase using that card.)
Recommended Bonus: At least 65,000 miles.
Annual Fee: $95
Earning Rewards: 2x miles on American Airlines, office supply, telecom, and car rentals; 1x miles everywhere else. Plus a 5% mileage bonus on top of all the miles you earned after your account anniversary.
Barclays Aviator Business Card Benefits
Free Checked Bag– The Aviator Red gets you a free checked bag for you and up to 4 companions on the same reservation. American charges $25 per checked bag, so the Aviator Red can save you a lot of money if you are traveling with family.
Preferred Boarding- Cardmembers plus up to four companions on the same reservation can enjoy Group 5 preferred boarding.
Companion Certificate– The Aviator Red comes with a companion certificate for one guest for $99 plus taxes and fees (between $21.60 and $43.20). However, you have to spend $30,000 each year for the certificate.
- The certificate has several restrictions including that it is limited to travel within the Continental U.S., it is only valid for round-trip economy flights, and the companion is not eligible for mileage accrual or upgrades.
Access to Reduced Mileage Awards– American Airlines offers award discounts called reduced mileage awards that can save you miles on round-trip flights. You can save 7,500 miles on flights over 500+ miles and 2,000 miles on flights under 500 miles. The list of discounted cities changes monthly, but you can get the discount for that month of travel if your origin or destination is on the list and you can find “saver” award availability.
Advantages of the Aviator Business
Big Sign-Up Bonus– 75,000 miles is quite large for a sign-up bonus, so this card is worth getting for at least the first year. Plus, the minimum spend requirement is quite low compared to other high bonus cards that require $5,000 to $10,000 in spending.
Free Checked Bag and Priority Boarding for up to 5 People- A family of four, each with a checked bag, would spend $200 roundtrip on checked bag fees. Whereas with the Aviator Business, the family could save $105 after factoring in the $95 annual fee by one person having the card. (Plus all the other perks with the card.)
Disadvantages of the Aviator Business Card
2x Miles on American Airlines is Uncompetitive- One of the issues with most airline cards, including the card, is that the earn rate for booking with their airline is uncompetitive when compared to other travel cards. For example, you could earn more points by booking an American Airlines flight with the Citi ThankYou Premier (3x points), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x points plus trip delay insurance), American Express Platinum (5x points plus trip delay insurance), or U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve (3x points plus trip delay insurance). Alternatively, I would rather book an American Airlines flight with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and earn 2x points to enjoy the protections of trip delay insurance.