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Any success upgrading Barclays AA Aviator Red MC to AA Aviator Silver World Elite MC?

Old Jul 20, 2015, 8:00 am
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Last edit by: SanDiego1K
See also, this thread in the US Airways forum:
New AAdvantage Aviator Silver and Red Cards from BarclayCard (US targeted)

Differences between Red and Silver card


Any Aviator cardholders always had the option to upgrade to Silver. You just had to call Barclaycard and pay the $195 annual fee. Beyond that, there's nothing "exclusive" about it.

In short, it depends on if the extra $100/year annual fee the silver card has over the red is justified by the following benefits the silver card has over the red:

5000 EQM after $20k annual spend
Companion certificate after $30k annual spend
Another 5000 EQM after $40k annual spend
3 miles per dollar charged on AA purchases
Global entry reimbursement

Above copied from patmcpsu's post.
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Any success upgrading Barclays AA Aviator Red MC to AA Aviator Silver World Elite MC?

Old Apr 21, 2016, 12:17 pm
  #301  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: PHL
Programs: IHG Diamond Ambassador, AAdvantage Gold, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 266
Originally Posted by Stockjock
Was offered the opportunity to upgrade from Red to this Silver Elite. Any reasons I should consider it? $195 seems high and I have so many cards as it is.
Any Aviator cardholders always had the option to upgrade to Silver. You just had to call Barclaycard and pay the $195 annual fee. Beyond that, there's nothing "exclusive" about it.

In short, it depends on if the extra $100/year annual fee the silver card has over the red is justified by the following benefits the silver card has over the red:
  • 5000 EQM after $20k annual spend
  • Companion certificate after $30k annual spend
  • Another 5000 EQM after $40k annual spend
  • 3 miles per dollar charged on AA purchases
  • Global entry reimbursement
patmcpsu is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2016, 12:34 pm
  #302  
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott Lifetime / Annual Titanium; Massively Missing Starwood
Posts: 5,350
Speaking from personal experience, and that of my wife, that isn't quite true. In the past, timing was an issue...proximity to renewal date seemed to play a factor. Now I think it is anyone anytime.
dingo is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2016, 2:11 pm
  #303  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 223
I also recently received an email inviting me to change from Red to Silver. One point that hasn't been mentioned here is that the Silver does not give the 10,000 miles on anniversary that some of the Red cards do. My email was clear on that point. And, interestingly enough, I received the offer after I had stoppd using the card for 2-3 months, and the my anniversary is only a month or so off.
Auscal is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2016, 2:36 pm
  #304  
Community Director Emerita
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 33,809
Exremely helpful. Thank you to both of you. That helps me know it is not for me.


Originally Posted by patmcpsu
Any Aviator cardholders always had the option to upgrade to Silver. You just had to call Barclaycard and pay the $195 annual fee. Beyond that, there's nothing "exclusive" about it.

In short, it depends on if the extra $100/year annual fee the silver card has over the red is justified by the following benefits the silver card has over the red:
  • 5000 EQM after $20k annual spend
  • Companion certificate after $30k annual spend
  • Another 5000 EQM after $40k annual spend
  • 3 miles per dollar charged on AA purchases
  • Global entry reimbursement
Originally Posted by nall
Do you care about the ability to earn Elite Qualifying Miles (with a much cheaper AF than the Citi Exec), a companion pass, 3x miles on AA purchases, or 2x on hotel/car rental?

If so, is the value of those benefits to you higher than the $100 AF differential?
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2016, 8:27 pm
  #305  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP , Delta Gold Medallion, "Credit Card" status for various hotels
Posts: 672
It amazes me that with the silver, the $100 increase in annual fee doesn't automatically come with the companion fare. I have to pay an extra $100 plus spend 30k per year? Seriously?
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Old Apr 22, 2016, 2:49 pm
  #306  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LAS, MPL
Programs: DL Platinum, 1 MM
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Originally Posted by Bretmd
It amazes me that with the silver, the $100 increase in annual fee doesn't automatically come with the companion fare. I have to pay an extra $100 plus spend 30k per year? Seriously?
Agreed. Amex does a lot better with their Delta Platinum for the same fee.
drminn is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2016, 6:02 pm
  #307  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,540
Originally Posted by Bretmd
It amazes me that with the silver, the $100 increase in annual fee doesn't automatically come with the companion fare. I have to pay an extra $100 plus spend 30k per year? Seriously?
Supposedly Citi wouldn't let Barclays seriously top them, so what Barclays did with the Silver card (with the exception of the 3x miles on AA purchases) is more or less just to combine all of the features of the various Citi AA cards, sans maybe AC access.
- Free baggage and priority boarding (all cards)
- 10% back mile redemption (Citi Plat)
- Earn up to 10K elite qualifying miles (Citi Exec)
- Global Entry credit (Citi Exec)
- Companion certificate at 30k spend (Citi Business)
- Additional 2x spend categories (Citi Business)

EDIT:
Originally Posted by drminn
Agreed. Amex does a lot better with their Delta Platinum for the same fee.
The Delta Platinum card also can get you a lot more MQM, plus those MQM come with corresponding bonus miles.
nall is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2016, 5:46 am
  #308  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 238
Thought about it but I'd rather keep my 10k/yr
VLtone is offline  
Old Apr 25, 2016, 9:19 am
  #309  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Plat, MR AMB + (LTT) , Hertz PC, UA Silver, HH Gold
Posts: 265
Even with this recent blitz to get folks to upgrade to silver. I just cant see any real benefits. I dont use the card enough to max out the EQM's. Maybe if they gave back the automatic companion upgrades, it would be worth it, or added a club membership.
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Old Apr 25, 2016, 11:19 am
  #310  
dw
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: NYC/LA
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Posts: 7,559
Originally Posted by TomBrady
Even with this recent blitz to get folks to upgrade to silver. I just cant see any real benefits.
What's interesting is taking this in the context of last week's earnings call, where AA revealed that the cobrand contract with Citi is up for renewal negotiations soon. There's the possibility that whatever bank gets the renewal contract will either be able to buy the accounts of existing cardholders at the "losing" bank, or that the "losing" bank will no longer be able to offer the AA cards and will have to transition their current cardholders to other card products.

This recent push by Barclays could be a way to pocket more in annual fees in the short term, given the uncertainly of the future of the portfolio.
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Old Apr 26, 2016, 11:11 am
  #311  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by dw
What's interesting is taking this in the context of last week's earnings call, where AA revealed that the cobrand contract with Citi is up for renewal negotiations soon. There's the possibility that whatever bank gets the renewal contract will either be able to buy the accounts of existing cardholders at the "losing" bank, or that the "losing" bank will no longer be able to offer the AA cards and will have to transition their current cardholders to other card products.

This recent push by Barclays could be a way to pocket more in annual fees in the short term, given the uncertainly of the future of the portfolio.
That would be a huge loss in my opinion. I too was recently sent an email with an offer to upgrade from Red to Silver. All other benefits aside, the loss of the perpetual 10,000 miles with the Red card makes any switch look like a losing proposition. Those annual 10,000 miles are the only reason I even keep the card anymore, but I do think it's worth holding onto for that reason alone.

If this card went away due to a situation like dw said, I don't think I'd be inclined to pick up another AA card except for churning.
UVU Wolverine is offline  
Old Apr 26, 2016, 7:35 pm
  #312  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 31
I upgraded to Aviator Silver several months ago and I pretty much regret it. In addition to losing the perpetual 10k miles, I noticed that the Silver cardholders received less bonus spending offers throughout the year and it's extremely difficult to get the AF waived with retentions at the end of your membership year -- Unlike the Red cardholders, where it's almost given. Thus far, all I've been able to get is 5k bonus miles. What keeps you baited is that you won't get the companion tickets unless you keep your card open for 60 days after the $195 AF posting.
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Old Apr 28, 2016, 7:57 am
  #313  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: ATL
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What are the T&C for the companion fare? - Domestic only, Y only, not good on award tickets, etc.?
Richklhs is offline  
Old Apr 29, 2016, 10:20 am
  #314  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BOS
Programs: AA-EXP, Marriott-Ti, IHG-P
Posts: 108
Anyone had any success in negotiating a waived/reduced AF or a retention bonus? My anniversary date is in June and I got a paper "AF Notice" in the mail yesterday. I love the 3X miles, but I've already gotten the 10k EQM for 2016 so I'm wondering if I should let the card go and revert to my Citi (which I keep for the AC access).
dmp614 is offline  
Old Apr 30, 2016, 12:33 am
  #315  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,112
Originally Posted by Richklhs
What are the T&C for the companion fare? - Domestic only, Y only, not good on award tickets, etc.?
Contiguous 48 unless you live in Alaska or Hawaii, in which case it starts and ends in those states.

Not good on award tickets, but it's not Y only. "Reservations must be booked in L, M, N, Q, S, H, W, V, G or O inventory." Those are all economy fare classes.

Tickets must be booked 14 days in advance.

2016 Travel Embargo dates: Jan 1-4; Feb 12-15; Mar 11-14, 18-20, 25-28; May 27-31; Jul 1-3; Sept 1-5; Dec 17-31

2017 Travel Embargo dates: Jan 1-3; Feb 17-21; Mar 10-13, 17-19, 24-27; May 26-30; Jun 30; Jul 1-5; Nov 22-27; Dec 16-23, 27-31

If you book for yourself, then you need to pay an additional $99 each for up to two companions. So it can work in a decent number of circumstances, but there are still quite a few limitations.
Phantom707 is offline  

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