U.S. Airways and Barclay’s bank have a new offer out for the The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®. It’s a pretty good offering, with 40,000 dividend miles awarded after the first use of the the card. There is an $89 annual fee, which is not waived the first year, but there is no minimum spend requirement to earn the 40,000 mile bonus.
The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®: 40,000 points, No minimum spend
The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® comes with alot of ancillary perks, including a free checked bag for you and up to four traveling companions on domestic flights. That alone is worth the price of the annual fee in my book, particularly for families traveling with children. The regular fee to check a bag is $25 each way.
One of the other highly touted benefits is the option to purchase two companion certificates for $99 each, plus taxes and fees.
I opened a U.S. Airways credit card last summer, and I was looking forward to using the companion certificates to take my family on a trip. The deal was, if you purchase a ticket for $250 or more, you can buy two companion tickets for $99 each. So I figured, for $450, my family of three could visitour far-flung family or take a vacation. I wish I could tell you that’s what happened.
The companion certificate had so many strings attached that we were unable to take advantage of it before it expired.
If you are highly organized and plan your travel well in advance, you may be able to get some value out of the $99 companion fares, but be aware of the restrictions.
Whereby We Read the Fine Print on the US Airways Companion Certificates So You Don’t Have To
These are the biggies:
Domestic Travel Only. The certificates are only good for travel in the 48 United States or Canada. You cannot use them for travel to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico, or to any other country.
Roundtrip Fares Only. Certificates cannot be applied to one-way travel, and they are not valid on stopovers, open jaws, open returns, or circle trips.
Tickets must be purchased 14 days in advance. A minimum two night stay is required. A maximum 30 day stay is permitted.
$250+ Fares Only. The companion certificates can only be used when the paid fare is $250 or more. The $250 is the base fare only. If your fare is $250 including taxes and fees, it doesn’t qualify. You pay taxes and fees on the base fare, and the $99 companion certificates are also subject to taxes and fees. Your full fare will be $280 to $300 depending on whether it is for U.S. or Canadian travel.
Time Limited. After you have opened The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®, and made an initial purchase, you have nine months in which to purchase your tickets, and travel must be completed within the next three months.
In 2014, there are 28 blackout dates when you cannot use the certificates. These include many holiday weekends and other popular travel times. There are further restrictions in certain markets limiting travel to and from Mardi Gras, the Kentucky Derby, the Superbowl, and the NCAA Final Four.
The remaining blackout dates in 2014 are:
- May 22,23
- June 19, 20, 22, 26, 27
- July 6, 7, 27
- August 3
- October 10, 19
- November 30
- December 1, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28
Here are the other less onerous rules: