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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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