We all know airlines and hotels are hurting right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal. In a nod to the reality that 2021 isn’t likely to be a “normal” travel year, some brands are already making big moves. Hilton was the first hotel chain to lower elite status requirements for next year. Airlines are jumping in, with American Airlines going first and United not far behind. But, it’s not just enough to lower status requirements. That only helps generate revenue if people want to travel and your value proposition makes them want to choose you. It’s a lot easier to unlock value in your loyal customers right now if they hold one of your credit cards. But, it’s still not easy. That’s because so many credit cards are offering new bonus categories and benefits to keep customers engaged.
One of the credit cards I hold is the AAdvantage Aviator Silver MasterCard. You can’t apply for the card right now. I got it by upgrading from the Red version of the card. They sent me a fabulous offer this evening:
This offer is targeted but you should absolutely check to see if you were targeted. It’s a really, really great offer.
ETA: There appear to be a lot of targeted offers on Barclaycards right now. Nick at Frequent Miler has a healthy list going.
I honestly can’t recall an “everyday spending” offer on a credit card that was more lucrative. Spending $1,000 each month on this card would earn me 11,000 AAdvantage miles per month. The card does carry other bonus categories (for American Airlines purchases, hotels and rental cars) but I don’t play any spending in those categories. Still, it’s a complete no-brainer to register for this promotion and earn 30,000 bonus miles I wasn’t expecting.
The Final Two Pennies
This was a credit card I’ve been thinking about canceling. I’m not flying right now (and probably won’t again in 2020), and American Airlines is a tough airline for a business traveler to commit to out of my home airport of Washington-Dulles. I got rid of the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard last year. The $450 annual fee was tough to justify without visiting Admirals Clubs. With no travel in the forecast, the Aviator Silver card was definitely something I’d have to think hard about when it came to justifying the $195 annual fee. I also hold the $99 annual fee Citi AAdvantage Platinum card, so I do have a way to earn AAdvantage miles from everyday spending if I choose to do so.
30,000 bonus miles are worth more to me than that $195 annual fee. How much more? Hard to say in the midst of a pandemic, with so much uncertain. But, it definitely feels like it’s worth holding on to the AAdvantage Aviator Silver MasterCard for at least another three months.
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