Warning: You Could Get Only 15,000 Miles For $49 With The “New” US Air Credit Card

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[Disclosure:  The Barclays US Air offer targeted to Chairman's Preferred members is much better than my referral link to the US Air credit card.]

There is a new public Barclays US Air credit card which offers 40,000 US Air miles and which earns me a commission if you’re approved for the card using the link on the blog.  This is a different offer than the existing one for Chairman’s Preferred members which doesn’t pay a referral.

Link:  Barclays US Air Card (targeted to Chairman’s Preferred members)

Link:  Barlcays US Air Public Offer

But it is a much WORSE offer than the US Air  offer which I wrote about last August and which is supposed to be targeted to US Air Chairman’s Preferred elite members.  I often get asked in the comments and email if you get the full 40,000 US Air miles after the 1st purchase if you’re not a Chairman’s Preferred member.

The terms say:

Offer good only to current US Airways Dividend Miles Chairman’s members. Members must currently have Chairman’s Preferred status with US Airways.

In my experience, and of other folks in the comments and on this FlyerTalk thread, you do get the full 40,000 miles even if you’re not a Chairman’s Preferred Member.  Emily and I have also both received the 40,000 miles through the offer, but as always, this could change anytime.

There is a field to enter an “Employee number” in the application.  Some readers ask if this means that only US Air employees are eligible for the better Chairman’s Preferred offer.  But many airline employees don’t earn elite status or redeemable miles when they fly on free tickets on their employer’s airlines, so it is unlikely that there are many US Air employees with Chairman’s Preferred status.

Employee Number on US Air Application Which You Leave Blank

I suspect that this field is for the agents who market the offer to US Air Chairman’s Preferred members so that they can get a commission or credit for a successful application.

This is similar to the “Employee Number” at the bottom of every Chase credit card application, so that Chase employees in branches can get commissions for recommending credit cards.

Employee Number on Chase Application Which You Leave Blank

You don’t have to fill in the “Employee Number” field and readers have submitted their US Air card application with the “Employee Number” field blank.

As always, do what you’re comfortable with.  If you don’t want to apply for an offer for which you’re not targeted, the public offer could be useful to you.

But there are 3 big drawbacks to the public offer.

Drawbacks of “New” OR PUBLIC US Air Card

1.   15,000 to 40,000 miles.   The biggest drawback to the public offer for the US Air credit card, which also pays me a commission, is that you could end up with only 15,000 US Air miles instead of 40,000 miles.

That is because you may instead receive the World MasterCard which offers only 15,000 US Air miles after the first purchase if you do not qualify for the Premier World MasterCard.

The terms say:

 Applicants who are approved for the World MasterCard will receive 15,000 bonus miles after the first use of your account for a Purchase or Balance Transfer (that are not later returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded).

I hate this type of bait and switch wording in the fine print!

And the terms don’t spell out the condition needed to get approved for the better Premier World MasterCard.  They just say:

In order to be approved for a Premier World MasterCard or World MasterCard and all of the benefits featured here, you must meet the credit and income criteria previously established for this offer.

Yeah, right.  Barclays won’t tell you what the credit and income requirements to get the better offer are, so that you can make an informed decision about which card to apply for!  On the other hand, Chase and Citi will give you the full bonus regardless of which type of card you get approved for.

However, the Chairman’s Preferred version of the US Air card does NOT have this bait-and-switch language.  I suspect that US Air does not want to annoy their top-tier customers who fly 100,000 or more miles a year with a bait-and-switch credit card offer, so they offer the 40,000 US Air miles regardless of which version of the card you get approved for.

2.  $89 Annual Fee.  The new offer has a $89 annual fee if you’re approved for the Premier World MasterCard with 40,000 US Air miles and a $49 annual fee if you’re approved for the World MasterCard with 15,000 miles.

The Chairman’s Preferred version has NO annual fee for the 1st year and you get 40,000 US Air miles regardless of whether you get approved for the Premier World MasterCard or World MasterCard. 

3.   10,000 Anniversary Miles.   The new offer doesn’t give you 10,000 US Air miles each year when you renew your US Air card.  The Chairman’s Preferred version does give you 10,000 miles each year on renewing the card.

Some readers have commented that they didn’t get the 10,000 miles, but I got the miles on my card.  It is still prominently advertised in the credit card application page, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be honored, though I wouldn’t call up about my missing 10,000 miles if I wasn’t a Chairman’s Preferred member.

Bottom Line

The new public offer for the US Air card is nowhere as good as the targeted offer to US Air Chairman’s Preferred members.  But as always, do what you’re comfortable with!

PS:  I’m on vacation so I won’t be able to get the comments and email soon!

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52 Responses to Warning: You Could Get Only 15,000 Miles For $49 With The “New” US Air Credit Card

  1. I agree that the bait and switch is a disgrace. On the other hand, once a credit pull has been made anyway, 15,000 miles for $49 is better than being rejected outright, so the process isn’t altogether evil.

  2. Yes DaveS but most value each inquiry hit on their credit card…I personally need to get approx $400 in value per inquiry..I still would not be a happy camper

  3. Barclays is all over the place with their customer service. Some people get a second card for “business use”, but I was told by the reconsideration CSR that “no one can have two of the same type of card”. Some people get the 10K renewal bonus, others don’t. Some people get an offer of 10X bonus miles for purchases in certain categories, some people an offer of 5X, some of 2X, and others like me get no offer at all. How you get treated by Barclays seems to be totally random. I keep reading that if you need help from Customer Service you are SOL. What a strange way to run a business.

  4. this is just to let folks know- my husband did the app for the Chairman’s Club one a couple of months ago (maybe 3 mos) and after calling after several days of not hearing anything was approved for the 40,000 miles (and has received his miles) and he is NOT Chairman’s elite. So I’d go for that one. He got the one wth the$89 fee waived for 1st yr but we’ve not heard of 10X or 5X for anything else. Will wait and see if the 10,000 bonus at renewal time is forthcoming…hope so as I do believe that was stated in the benefits of the app

  5. darius, unrelated question re canceling AA and United one way int’l award tickets: tried to cancel AA award without $150 reinstatement fee due to 45 minute change in flight departure time; AA agent said it has to be over two hours…UAL has not had a time change, any way to save the $?
    Original tickets were UA LAX-SIN-ADL (via Singapore Air) and return using AA SYD-LAX-JFK, (via Qantas) for my wife and I on each of our accounts, so it appears we will be out $600 to get all the miles reinstated.

  6. Didn’t you at one time NOT get approved for the higher card (Premier) but Emily did?
    I seem to recall reading that.
    If so, it sounds as if you are still jaded about that experience in calling it a “bait and switch” just because they won’t tell you exactly what the criteria is for getting one card or the other. Remember, it’s just a game – the rule book (Terms of use) is right there for the reading…so there is no classic “bait and switch” happening.

    Hopefully you have received the Premier card in some of the various times you have applied for this card…speaking of which, how many times have your churned the US Airways card and how many miles have you gotten for those churns?

  7. Everyone, make sure you read this post very carefully. There are three different promotions mentioned in it. Personally, I was confused by the wording a few times. When Daraius says “New offer” he is referring to the public offer. The targeted offer is different.

    If you are approved for a card through the targeted offer then you will get the 40,000 points after first spend. I was instantly approved through the targeted offer, which I was surprised at simply because that does not happen often anymore. (Not to mention Barclays is picky about applications)

    I guess bottom line is, closely monitor your Barclays activity (As you should be doing with all of your cards) and things should be ok. Hope this helps anyone who had the same problem.

  8. @DaveS @Kelly – I’d prefer if they let folks know what the criteria was to get the full 40,000 version instead of a small clause in the fine print.

    @Robert Hanson – Ha! I agree. Emily got a 2nd card, and I didn’t. Rapid Travel Chai gets 5 cards (not all US Air though) and some can’t get any.

    @gary – You could just change the dates to a far-away date and hope for a schedule change of more than 2 hours and then cancel for free.

    @BillyBob – We both got the 40K bonus, so I’m not jaded. I agree that it is a game, but I do think it is bait and switch to prominently mention “50,000” miles in the heading when many folks won’t get the full 50,000 miles. Emily has churned it thrice, and I’ve got it twice.

  9. Hi Daraius-
    You mentioned for the Chairman’s Preferred offer that some people are not getting the 10,000 anniversary bonus, but you wouldn’t recommend calling up to ask about missing miles if you aren’t Chairman’s Preferred.

    Is there a way to get in writing from Barclays whether or not we will get the anniversary bonus before we pay the fee?

    The reason I ask is I wouldn’t want to pay the annual fee if I’m not going to get the anniversary bonus and I don’t want to wait to find that out after the fact. I believe you’ve mentioned in other posts about other credit cards that you can send a secure message to the card issuer about an offer/issue/etc and get a written clarification that you can later hold them to. Could you do something similar with Barclays? Thanks!

  10. Regarding these Barclay US Air cards: I know it has been said that one can apply and receive the bonus at least a couple of times per year.

    I am considering keeping my current card open since the annual fee is not high and there is the possibility of the 10,000 mile anniversary bonus.

    Can I apply and be approved for a second, identical card, and if so, how do I do it? Or, do I need to cancel my first card before applying for the card again, thus eliminating the possibility of the 10,000 anniversary bonus (but also saving the annual fee…)?

    Thanks,

    Doug

  11. Pingback: Emily's December Churn | Million Mile Secrets

  12. In late November I applied for the US Airways MC which gets 40,000 miles after first purchase with an annual fee of $89 and no 10,000 mile anniversary bonus. I was approved after reconsideration (and thanks to the tips I got here); my husband got it immediately online. I was unaware of the Chairman’s offer when I applied – I am new to this! So, I have a few questions:

    1. I have read that sometimes people can get “upgraded” to a better card if they call shortly after getting a new card. Should I give that a try?
    2. If so, should I first wait to get the 40,000 miles in each account?
    3. Will my record show the recon? Could I get a reputation for being a demanding new customer that will ultimately work against me?
    4. Finally, I saw someplace that for the original card I got, the fee is necessary to get the miles and you don’t get them if the fee is “rescinded.” So – should they agree to give me the better card, could Barclays swoop in and take back the miles, once the fee refund ends up on the bill? Or are they safe and sound once they show up in my dividend miles account. BTW, how long will that take?

    Spelling all this out make me wonder if perhaps I should just chalk this up to a beginner’s stumbles and leave well enough alone. But if anyone can provide any insights, I would be most grateful. Happy New Year and thanks!

  13. @Daniel - You could send Barclays an email after logging into your account. That said, many folks are getting the 10K miles, including me.

    @Doug – It really varies. Emily was able to get the bonus a 2nd time while having a card open. I wasn’t able to get another one open, but got approved after cancelling my existing card.

    @Elaine – Happy New Year to you! Barclays doesn’t usually match offers and since this was for Chariman’s Preferred members, I wouldn’t ask. Once the miles are in your account, you don’t usually use them. See this post for more information.

  14. Thanks for your reply!

  15. I am totally confused by Barclays. I was denied for world premiere card and approved for platinum card with 3500 dollar limit and a 89$ annual fee with all the premiere benefits. Now the terms are Barclays app site shows a world premiere or platinum with 89 dollar annual fee and a world or platinum with 49 dollar fee, go figure!!

  16. FYI, approved for the card on 12/26/12

  17. Started my first churn today! Applied for the Barclays US Airways card using the chairman’s preferred link, and was approved instantly. (BTW, I had to open a US Airways acct first, so I waited 1 day before applying to make sure the account was up. The link still worked even though I have zero miles in my account).

    Has anyone talked about what might happen if US Airways merges with AA? I wonder if this is yet another way to add future miles to an AA account if they do merge…

  18. @Lshamley – Very confusing, isn’t it!

    @Tessa – If they merge, the American Airline mileage program will likely survive and US Air will join the Oneworld alliance.

  19. goals^n^dreams

    Hi Darius,
    There are 2 links on your post, so what link should I apply for 40,000 bonus point? Thanks for your help!
    Link: Barclays US Air Card (targeted to Chairman’s Preferred members)
    Link: Barlcays US Air Public Offer

  20. @goals^n^dreams - The one for Chairman’s Preferred members will get you 40K miles without the annual fee.

  21. goals^n^dreams

    Both of your links have Chairman’s Prefered, that’s why I am confused which links should I use… So do you mean I can use either link as long as I choose Chairman’s Prefered?

  22. @goals^n^dreams – This is the better link at the top of the page. –> Barclays US Air Card (targeted to Chairman’s Preferred members)

  23. The Employee’s number on the bottom of app is indeed for chase employee to receive commission, so called “PVC”, worth about $15 for their bonus if the applicant get approved and use the card at least once, 100% sure on that.

  24. Pingback: News You Can Use – Barclays NFL $400 Cash Back & 20,000 Points Virgin America, Citi American Airlines 50,000 Miles + $150 Statement Credit, 70,000 Point Marriott, & Accor Platinum Status | Million Mile Secrets

  25. Instant approval for the US 40,000 card…..I just read on another site that I can use this care for the first class ticketing/security lanes. Do you know if that is true? What do I do, just flash them my new card?…if so, that will sure save a ton of time when I am running late…and I am always running late.

  26. @Sw D – Thanks for the update, though $15 seems a bit low.

    @Alaska – You can check-in in the 1st class section, but you can also check-in online and skip the airport check in. You do get Priority Boarding, but not priority security with the card.

  27. Alaska – Congrats. Are you a Chairman’s Preferred member? If not, did you join the Dividend Miles program before applying for the card? Or were you already a member?

  28. Jeff, no I am not a chairman’s preferred member, yes I had a Dividend miles account for about three months before I applied…it had zero miles as a balance however. I signed my wife up for a dividend miles account last night so she can churn this card too…

    part of the Star Alliance that includes: Adria Airways JP, Aegean Airlines A3, Air Canada AC, Air China CA, Air New Zealand NZ, ANA NH, Asiana Airlines OZ, Austrian OS, Avianca AV, TACA Airlines TA, Brussels Airlines SN
    Copa Airlines CM, Croatia Airlines OU, EGYPTAIR MS, Ethiopian Airlines ET, LOT Polish Airlines LO, Lufthansa LH, Scandinavian Airlines SK, Shenzhen Airlines ZH, Singapore Airlines SQ, South African Airways SA, SWISS LX
    TAM Airlines JJ, TAP Portugal TP, THAI TG, Turkish Airlines TK, United UA, and US Airways US

    I have never heard of most of these airlines….a little afraid of some of them….but there are some pretty good options…and for 40,000 on the first purchase…not to shabby. I will wait and see if they post to my account.

  29. Thanks Alaska. Don’t really like US Air’s program all that much, but would like the 40,000. I’ve flown Star Alliance partners using UA Mileage Plus miles over the years…LH, US, TK, SAS, AC, OZ and OS. All were good, but interestingly enough, not US Airways…at least not from Europe.

    If US Airways merges with American and uses their AAdvantage program (thinking they will), I’d like to build on the AA miles I already have. And, I’ve done as much churning as I can with Citi for now. Got the Continental card before they merged with UA, too. Nice!

  30. Read this under the US Airways Terms & Conditions for the Preferred Members card:

    “…to continue to participate in the rewards program….you must use your card for at least one (1) purchase transaction every six (6) months (or have some type of account balance every six months). Failure to meet these requirements may result in account closure and forfeiture of all outstanding miles earned.”

    Since I may cancel the card before the annual fee is due, does this mean they’d close my Dividend Miles account and I’d lose the 40,000 miles ?

  31. @Jeff - Once the miles are in your account, they are yours to keep.

  32. Just got instant approval using the Preferred Members link using my newly opened Dividend Miles account number. Thanks for you help.

  33. Jeff, I scored on the Continental / UA deal too, Thanks you MMS, That was nice. I had heard earlier about the possible merger with AA…that would be awesome….now I have all these miles just sitting there and have to figure out where I want to go!

  34. Alaska – Now we wait until we actually get the 40,000. Don’t like US Airways round trip requirement…at least for travel to Europe. UA, AA and BA let you do one ways…more flexibility and choices.

  35. goals^n^dreams

    I applied for world premiere card but after I submit my application, I am approved for platinum card with 1000$ credit line. Should I call to cancel my application?

  36. @goals^n^dreams- If you applied using the Chairman’s Preferred link, you’ll get the 40K regardless of which version you get approved for.

  37. goals^n^dreams

    Yes, I used your link the HOT DEALS. That’s why I am confused why I approved for Plantium. Do you think I should do 1 more application? or call to cancel my application?

  38. Is it true there is a fee to transfer Dividend Miles from one account to another pool miles? Does AA charge also? I was able to transfer HA ones from my account to my husband’s for no fee, curious if most airlines charge a fee. Thanks!

  39. @goals^n^dreams – The link on the Hot Deals tab links to the Chairman’s Preferred version which should get you the 40K miles regardless of which version you apply for. But you can confirm the bonus when you call to activate the card.

    @Carrie
    – Almost all other airlines charge to make transfers including US Air and American Airlines.

  40. goals^n^dreams

    yes, you are right. I just called and I am approved for 40,000 points, however, I am qualified for Plantinum version only. If I want to get Premeir version, should I do 1 more application? Thank you so much for your help.

  41. @goals^n^dreams – I suspect they may not approve you for a 2nd card, so I personally wouldn’t, but you could try if you’d rather get the Premier version.

  42. Just got the card for my wife too…thought I better take advantage of it and get some free/easy AA points when they transfer over. I read the info I got from my card…comes with first class check-in and group 2 seating (don’t know what that is…never flown on this carrier…and looks like I never will.) I thought I heard that if you had this card you could use the first class security lane, but I didn’t read about it in the literature….any know about it?

  43. @Alaska – I don’t believe it gets you priority security access, just priority boarding.

  44. Hi Daraius,
    I was approved for the USAir 40k miles. They also have a business card offering ‘25,000 bonus Miles** with your first purchase
    Up to 10,000 bonus miles** for balance transfers from your other business accounts within the first 30 days of account opening’

    I want to collect as many AA miles that I can. I just opened 5 other credit cards.
    Do you think it is OK to apply for the business card as well? what happens to the credit score when a card is denied?
    thanks,
    Maria

  45. @Maria – Barclays approvals can be tough, but you could try if you’d like. There isn’t an impact when your card is denied, but the impact to your credit score happens when you apply for the card and get a credit inquiry on your report.

  46. Hi Daraius,
    they denied the business card :( because I had opened too many cards already. The analyst suggested to try again in a few months.

  47. What can I do with just 35000 us airway miles?

  48. @Maria – Perhaps next time!

    @leslie – Here’s the US Air award chart.

  49. Daraius,

    If my wife applies for the US Air, can I put my Dividend miles number and will the miles post to my account? Or does it have to be under her own name and number?

  50. @Andres – It has to be her number on the application.

  51. Hi Daraius,
    I was wondering if I cancel the us airway credit card do I lose my bonus points? Also us airway is alliance with united but if they merge with american airline are they no longer part of the alliance? Thanks

  52. @leslie – No, you don’t lose the miles if you cancel the card. They will leave the Star Alliance and join the OneWorld alliance once they merge with American Airlines.

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