Continuing my move away from American Airlines…Credit Card Canceled!

Moving my business away from AAdvantage to Alaska MileagePlan!

For the last few years, while I was based for a time in Dallas, I flew American Airlines almost exclusively for work and pleasure. I had opened a Barclays U.S. Airways Mastercard in its final days back in January 2015, which soon after became the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard. Later that year I converted it to the Aviator Silver, which came with a higher annual fee ($195), but additional perks that were useful to me.

For 2016 and 2017 I put around $40,000 worth of spend each year on the Aviator Silver. That’s a lot of spend to put on a cobranded credit card, but for me it made sense. My monthly flights for work, although international flights, were not extremely long distances, so I needed a little help qualifying for upper tier status. This card gave me that boost.

It was a good run, but things change.

It was possible to earn a total of 10,000 elite qualifying miles (EQM), and 6,000 elite qualifying dollars (EQD) toward elite status. The EQM’s were earned at a rate of 5,000 EQM’s for each $20,000 spent on the card. $40,000 in spend in a year netted you the maximum of 10,000 EQM’s.

The card also allowed for earning EQD’s at a rate of 3,000 for $25,000 in spend and another 3,000 EQD’s after $50,000 in spend, for a total of 6,000 EQD’s.

The thresholds for AAdvantage Elite status are:

AAdvantage elite tiers.

Well, like everything in this hobby, the landscape is ever changing and usually for the worse, and in October 2018 it was announced that the EQD earning for the Aviator Silver would be slashed considerably.

Now the only EQD’s you can earn are at the $50,000 spend level, and the result would be half of the former amount at just 3,000 EQD’s. Absolutely no use to me!

After numerous delayed flights, and continued lackluster service, I had decided not to pursue AA elite status around the middle of last year, and only ended up as a Gold, so letting the credit card go was the natural next step.

I had stopped putting any spend on the Aviator Silver at all, so since the $195 annual fee was due, I decided that today was the day to cancel it.

When I called, the friendly Barclays rep asked me why I was canceling the card. I told her with the recent dramatic benefit changes, it was no longer worth the annual fee. She only said she was sorry to hear that, and then transferred me to the credit department so I could move my credit limit to another card. I transferred the credit limit over to my Barclays JetBlue Plus Card, and that was that.

Final Thoughts:

The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard was a useful card when it actually helped toward achieving status with American, but since I no longer care about that it was important for me to shed the annual fee. Since this drops me from 4 to 3 Barclays credit cards, I plan to apply for the 70,000 mile signup bonus on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card. 

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