How I Ended Up with a Lousy 25K Bonus Miles from a US Airways Credit Card

U.S. Airways Dividend Miles CardLast month, on my US Airways flight back home from North Carolina the in-flight magazine had an ad for a US Airways credit card issued by Barclay’s with a 40K mile bonus.  The ad said to ask the flight attendant for an application, but on the short flight, I never had the opportunity.  There are so many different offers out there for what appear to be the same product, that sometimes it is hard to know what’s what. US Airways cards in particular will sometimes advertise a 40K bonus miles offer, which really turns out to be a 30K offer.  The offers are changing all the time so you really have to read the fine print.

Applying for a U.S. Airways Dividend Miles Card with a 40K Mile Bonus

I have been looking for ways to boost my kitty of US Airways dividend miles for a family trip. When I returned home I went searching for the offer I had seen advertised.

I found an application link for an a Dividend Miles credit card that paid 40k bonus miles after the first purchase.  There was an $89 annual fee, that was not waived the first year.  The card came with all kinds of other benefits, but it was really the bonus miles I was after.

I don’t like to pay an annual fee, but sometimes it is more practical than getting a card with a high minimum spend requirement.  Meeting a minimum might cause you to spend more money than you might have otherwise, or to stock up on gift cards just to meet the minimum spend requirement.

To make a long story short, I applied for the card and my application was denied.

I was told I was ineligible because I already had a different version of the U.S. Airways credit card, and that Barclay’s only allowed you to have one personal U.S. Airways card.  So rather than incur a ding on my credit rating for no obvious benefit, I decided to apply for the business version of the card, which came with 25K bonus miles after the first purchase, and an $89 annual fee that was not waived the first year.  Happily, I was approved for that card, have already received it in the mail, and have made my first purchase.

The business version of the card does not have all of the features of the personal card, such as the option for a free companion pass, or the ability to redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles.  However, these are features of the personal card that I already have.

Yesterday, Barclay’s came out with a new offer for the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®, which offers 40K bonus points after the first purchase.  

New Offer for the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®

Here are the details of the latest December 2014 offer:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee*
  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for you and up to four companions on domestic US Airways operated flights
  • One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights
  • Redeem miles for award travel on US Airways and American Airlines booked through usairways.com or US Airways Reservations
  • Earn miles on every purchase with 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details

One caution is that the companion certificate comes with a number of limitations.  For instance, there are blackout dates around popular travel times and other conditions that may sharply limit the utility of the certificate.

If you are looking for ways to boost your Dividend Miles balance, I would certainly recommend the personal version of the card over the business version.  Live and learn!

Click here to compare current rewards credit card offers.

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