Should I Renew My US Airways Cards?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Billy D emails with a question:

My business and personal US Airways MasterCard cards are up for renewals this month. In light of the merger, should I renew them?

The US Airways cards will soon become Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red cards.  So Billy can keep his cards and apply for new US Airways cards (even if he has an open US Airways card) or cancel and reapply.

Billy’s chances of getting approved are better if he cancels his current US Airways card.  But he might not want to if it’s his oldest card.  Keep reading to find out why.

50,000 US Airways Miles US Airways Card

Link:   50,000 US Airways Miles US Airways card 

Link:   My review of the Barclaycard US Airways card

Barclaycard is still accepting applications for the US Airways card.  So Billy can get 50,000 US Airways miles after his 1st purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee.

But this may be Billy’s last chance to get the sign-up bonus on this card because it will NOT be available once US Airways and American Airlines merge.

If Billy renews his existing US Airways card, he can still apply for another one.  Although it will lower his chances of being approved.

To improve his chances for approval (and get the sign-up bonus) he should 1st cancel his existing card and ideally wait 6 months before reapplying. 

What Happens After the Merger

All US Airways cards will eventually be converted into Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red cards.  (That card will NOT be open for new applicants.)

And all of Billy’s US Airway miles will become American Airlines miles.

Note: Barclaycard hasn’t said what will happen to the business version of the US Airways card after the merger.  But the same scenario will likely play out.

Impact on Credit Score

Billy would be better off if he cancels his US Airways cards to increase his chances of getting approved for the sign-up bonus on a new US Airways card.

But he shouldn’t cancel his US Airways cards if his personal card is his oldest card because it will affect his credit score.

According to the FICO website, Billy’s credit score is determined by:

  • 35% Payment History
  • 30% Amounts Owed
  • 15% Length of Credit History
  • 10% New Credit
  • 10% Types of Credit
Should I Renew My US Airways Cards

How FICO Calculates Billy’s Credit Score

Canceling a personal credit card impacts the Amount Owed & the Length of Credit History which could reduce his credit score.

So Billy shouldn’t cancel his US Airways card IF it’s his oldest card since it helps his credit score by increasing his Length of Credit History.

And canceling cards with a very high credit limit (compared to the total credit available to him) could also impact his credit score.

Bottom Line

If Billy renews his US Airways card, Barclaycard will convert it to the AAdvantage Aviator Red card, which will only be offered to existing US Airways cardholders.

He could apply for a 2nd US Airways card while renewing his original.   (Some folks have been approved even if they currently have a US Airways card).  But he’ll improve his chances of being approved for a new card and sign-up bonus if he 1st cancels his existing card.

However, if the US Airways card is Billy’s oldest card, he shouldn’t cancel because it could affect his credit score.

What’s your experience with getting a 2nd US Airways card while still having your first?

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26 responses to “Should I Renew My US Airways Cards?

  1. Some of us got this US Air card in the past with the benefit of an annual gift of 10,000 miles that comes the same month as the annual fee of $89. I’m inclined to pay the fee for that annual bonus, do you think it’s a good value?

  2. Unfortunately, I was not approved for a second USAirways card this past week. My denial letter said that Barclays thought I had sufficient credit already with them (I also have an Arrival). I called the recon line and asked if I could open this new card by shifting some credit from my other 2 cards, thereby not getting any ‘additional’ credit. The man I talk to said that only one card of each type is allowed and my denial reason was just a standard message (I had read that others had received two cards, so thought I would try). Hopefully others have better luck. FWIW, my credit score on my denial letter was 819.

  3. I was approved for my second US Air card after applying for the first one only fourth months prior. I’ve made my first purchase so hopefully I will receive the sign-up, obviously. I was able to take advantage of the “$25 for subscribing to paperless statements” trick after first unsubscribing from paperless statements on my original card as well!

  4. I’m confused when you said. “To improve his chances for approval (and get the sign-up bonus) he should 1st cancel his existing card and ideally wait 6 months before reapplying.”

    Is the US Airway card going to be around for another 6 months? Because you also said the sign-up bonus was ending soon….can you clarify? I’m trying to make the decision myself. I applied and got my US card March last year. Thanks!

  5. I was denied a 2nd US airways card and the reconsideration line agent told me that they are not issuing 2 of the same cards to anyone anymore. When my letter of denial came it said I had sufficient credit for my income. I also own the arrival card.

  6. I too have thought about canceling as I have the Arrival and another Barclay card, but, correct me if I am wrong, but if I hope to use my current unused $99 companion certificate, I must still have the card to do so… thus cancelling the card will likely negate any use of the certificate as well… correct?

  7. No matter what, I’d definitely call and let the agent know you’re thinking of canceling this card because of the fee – we’ve been offered good retention bonuses (and no annual fees) for keeping this card open the last couple of years.

  8. I read on another blog site (Point Chaser) that the US Airways Card from Barclay’s will stop taking application starting Jan 1st 2015. Can you confirm?

  9. I cancelled this card in Jan 13 with hopes of reapplying a year later to get the sign up bonus again. The small,print says that the sign up bonus is only allowed for new applicants, sometimes it says 24months. Has anybody in similar circumstances been approved for the second 40k miles bonus? AA is my favorite program and I hate to miss out on this opportunity to get these miles which will eventually convert to AA miles.


  10. MMS,
    do you apply for 2nd US airways card with same dividend miles number or leave this field blank? Looking for answers… Thanks

  11. I highly recommend calling ahead to speak with an agent before you apply for a second card. I’m a college student with low income and I was able to get a second card just 6 months after being approved for my first one by calling ahead and explaining I was so happy with the product for my personal expenses but I wanted to start charging tuition and that I need to keep personal and school expenses separate. The agent explained he couldn’t guarantee I would be approved but did say that “special” cases like mine often are. I asked him to annotate my account with this information, and then applied online. It took a few days before I got my approval…but two sign up bonuses within 6 months!! I really just sucked up to them and told them what they wanted to hear….I haven’t made but one purchase on my second card.

  12. Any idea when they will start the conversion to the new cards? I usually start the year by maxing out the spend on my US MC’s to get the miles towards preferred. I have a large number of expenses I’ve been deferring until after 1-1-15 in the hopes that Barclays would come through for me with the new cards.

    Also, anyone heard of anyone getting the new card as of yet?

  13. Back in early November I was contemplating on cancelling my card as the $89 annual fee was going to hit in December. Later in November I was targeted for the 15K bonus points if I spend $500 in Dec, Jan, and February (which actually is 16.5K points). On top of that I will get 10K renewal points. Also took advantage of the $25 paperless statement credit. So I figured with a total of 26.5K points and $64 net fee I am going to keep the card another year and refer my wife for her own card before Jan 18th to get another 5K bonus. Was also targeted for double points for some categories for Jan, Feb, Mar. So the card seems to be a keeper for at least another year.

  14. I guess I got lucky. I already had a card open (oped in August 2014), and just got approved for a 2nd USAir card a couple weeks ago (Dec 2014). I’m waiting to see if I still get the 2nd bonus.

  15. Same here… I already had a card open (August 2013), and just got instantly approved for a 2nd USAir card. Let’s hope they will give me the 2nd bonus.

  16. Is there a higher sign up bonus for the business version of this card?

    The one linked in the post is good for 25k miles and a $79 annual fee. Does anyone know of a better offer for the business version?

  17. Does anyone know if there is a higher bonus for the US airways business card?

    I see the one linked above is good for 25k US airways miles with a $79 annual fee. I already have personal card– but feel the business card would be a good addition (considering the $1 spend needed to secure 25k future AA miles).


  18. Is there a business version of this card that offers the bonus? How long till you can re-app[ly if you previously had this card and get the bonus? I closed on 2/10/14

  19. Do you ever answer questions on your own blog? or is it no longer a blog but a business of pimping cards?

    Maybe I should go to the smaller blogs for my future AOR’s – at least they give timely answers. If you’re “Out of the Office”, than maybe you should put up a sign indicating so.

  20. This is sort of unrelated, but I just booked a round trip flight from Seattle to Munich for 30,000 points on US air. I had 60,000 points total so I am also taking my dad who is flying from St. Louis. It looks like there is some sort of special on travel through January and therefore I am going skiing in Austria for the first time! If you have US air points, you may want to look at available deals on winter travel. The agent I talked to seemed to think this deal had to be booked by the end of the year.

  21. @Chance: the business version is no longer available.
    @Darius, in lieu of closing, consider a product change to another Barclays card. For those with an existing card US Air card that have been denied within the last 30 days, try converting it to another (less desirable–read no significant sign-up bonus) card, wait a few days for the conversion to take place, and then call reconsideration on the new US air card application. That way, you preserve the credit line, and get the new card with the new bonus to boot.

  22. If I’m planning on getting a 2nd US airways card (got my first on Nov 2nd) should I first close my first one or keep the first one and just reduce that credit limit? Which would have a better chance for approval? Thanks!!

  23. Same question as a previous reader. Do you have any idea of when the US Airways card will be going away? I cancelled my previous one yesterday and want to wait as long as I can to reapply.