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

Old Jul 20, 2015, 9:00 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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 Jun 2, 2015, 12:24 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BOS
Programs: AA-EXP, Marriott-Ti, IHG-P
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by RazorbackFan
So I called back on June 1st and got a very unhelpful agent. They only repeated one of several phrases: You have no offers on your account...I was hoping to see if anyone else has had success upgrading recently. I've been waiting 6 months for the chance to upgrade and am starting to feel at this point they are just stringing me along with no intent to ever actually offer an upgrade.

I've had the exact same feeling, but had a very different experience yesterday. I called midday and got a US-based rep on the phone (I called 866-419-0881). I didn't provide the back story or share my previous frustration, I just told him I wanted to change to a Silver card. He started to say something about July 15th and the merger being completed and I cut him off and said that I'd been told June 1 was the magic day to change product versions. He turned on a dime and seemed to then understand what I wanted; he put me on hold for a minute or two and came back and said no problem. He read me two disclosures and provided a bunch of conflicting information. My $89 annual fee was added to my account 5/31/2015 - meaning I paid it the day before I called. He said that the new AF would not bill until 6/1/2016 (yes sixteen) - he was stumped when I asked if I would have to pay the difference now or if I got all the benefits of Silver for "free" for a year. He also twice said that all spending in 2015 would count towards the $20k/5k EQM bonus. I asked him to repeat this and to specifically write a note in my account that he'd advised me of this. Finally he said that I wouldn't get the new card immediately and some things would not change until my next statement closing date, but I'd start to get 3 miles/$ for AA/US purchases immediately.

My online account still shows the Red card. I'll report back as I discover what info he provided correctly/incorrectly. But I think they've finally come around and are letting folks move between products. I'm psyched for 3 miles/$ and for an extra 10k EQM.
dmp614 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 9:21 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Naples, Florida
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold, Hyatt Platinum,Marriott Silver,Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 591
Well I tried to convert so Silver this morning. Was connected to both a U.S. rep and later a supervisor. Same old story, not "denoted" on your account. All I could get out of the supervisor was that they are working on offers to convert through July.

Very frustrated needless to say. But I will keep on calling regularly through the end of July and if not offered by then, I will file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in August. Spent $42,000 on this card year to date, current FICO score of 750, no reason I should not be given the opportunity to get this card.

Bottom line here the June 1 thing means they can only convert some people and not necesarily everyone, at least for a now. By July 31 we should know the final story.
worldspan is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 11:55 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver (Thanks Marriott!), Marriott Lifetime Titanium & Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 641
I just got off the phone with Barclays. Within 10 minutes they upgraded my my red to silver. A majority of the call was them explaining the benefit differences of red vs silver (which I knew).

Here's some good data points for those upgrading (personally I have an 832 fico and i have spent over $30k this year already on the USAir/AA red card):

1. Total year spend already on the usair/red card counts towards silver card eqm spend bonus.
2. 10k anniversary points do NOT apply to the silver card.
3. $89 annual fee for red card applies to silver for first year (basically you pay 1/2 price for first year of silver) and then $195 annual fee applies for next year.
4. If you didn't have the world elite status on your red card, the silver version automatically does.
5. My account will reflect silver within a few days, while the physical card can take up to a few weeks. I'll be getting a letter explaining the new silver benefits and at that time I can decline the upgrade and revert back to red card (I was told I can revert up to July 21st).

I'll try and answer any other questions...

Last edited by Chewie; Jun 3, 2015 at 10:04 pm
Chewie is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 11:59 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,520
worldspan, I spoke to a rep and a supervisor, they wouldn't upgrade me either. I'm not sure what speaking to the CFPB would accomplish, though?

Originally Posted by Chewie
2. 10k anniversary points still apply
This is interesting, considering it seems like everyone else has been told otherwise.
nall is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 12:48 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by Chewie
3. $89 annual fee for red card applies to silver for first year (basically you pay 1/2 price for first year of silver) and then $195 annual fee applies for next year.
thanks Chewie! I was wondering about this annual fee thing and whether it was charged immediately. Great news!
optostar is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 1:00 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver (Thanks Marriott!), Marriott Lifetime Titanium & Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 641
Originally Posted by nall
worldspan, I spoke to a rep and a supervisor, they wouldn't upgrade me either. I'm not sure what speaking to the CFPB would accomplish, though?


This is interesting, considering it seems like everyone else has been told otherwise.
Take a grain of salt with this point. She indicated that any benefits I had with the U.S. card and then the red card would still be grandfathered in. I asked about the 10k specifically and she simply said "it should, yes".
Chewie is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 1:07 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by Chewie
Take a grain of salt with this point. She indicated that any benefits I had with the U.S. card and then the red card would still be grandfathered in. I asked about the 10k specifically and she simply said "it should, yes".
Is it safe to assume that the promotional offer for 50% bonus miles on up to $20k in purchases is moved over too? I haven't reached my $20k yet.
optostar is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2015, 10:06 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver (Thanks Marriott!), Marriott Lifetime Titanium & Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 641
I just updated my previous post. I sent a secure message and they indicated the following:

The annual 10,000 miles is not a benefit with the Silver card.

you will receive the silver benefits after one billing cycle.
Chewie is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2015, 2:11 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: Aadvantage
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by Chewie
I just updated my previous post. I sent a secure message and they indicated the following:

The annual 10,000 miles is not a benefit with the Silver card.

you will receive the silver benefits after one billing cycle.
The anniversary bonus appears to be a critical issue for some of us who are currently unable to upgrade to the Silver card. After multiple upgrade requests and multiple different excuses I finally reached someone yesterday who was willing to step back and research why I am not able to upgrade rather than giving me a best guess answer (he led me to believe that I should be able to upgrade with a FICO score ~800 and >10K spend in the last 2 months). He called me back today and confirmed one of the things I'd been told previously - because I'm due to receive the 10K anniversary bonus within the next 90 days, I can't be upgraded until that occurs. He said that they are working with their partners to address this problem but my guess is that it has something to do with the anniversary bonus not being able to be awarded after the upgrade (and therefore failing to provide something promised in the card agreement). He did reassure me multiple times that he had confirmed in his research that spend this year would count toward the EQM bonus. So I'm taking a deep breath and keeping my fingers crossed that things will go as he has outlined and Ill be able to get a Silver upgrade and the extra 10K EQM this year.
Scsweet is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2015, 12:31 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Naples, Florida
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold, Hyatt Platinum,Marriott Silver,Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 591
Originally Posted by Scsweet
The anniversary bonus appears to be a critical issue for some of us who are currently unable to upgrade to the Silver card. After multiple upgrade requests and multiple different excuses I finally reached someone yesterday who was willing to step back and research why I am not able to upgrade rather than giving me a best guess answer (he led me to believe that I should be able to upgrade with a FICO score ~800 and >10K spend in the last 2 months). He called me back today and confirmed one of the things I'd been told previously - because I'm due to receive the 10K anniversary bonus within the next 90 days, I can't be upgraded until that occurs. He said that they are working with their partners to address this problem but my guess is that it has something to do with the anniversary bonus not being able to be awarded after the upgrade (and therefore failing to provide something promised in the card agreement). He did reassure me multiple times that he had confirmed in his research that spend this year would count toward the EQM bonus. So I'm taking a deep breath and keeping my fingers crossed that things will go as he has outlined and Ill be able to get a Silver upgrade and the extra 10K EQM this year.
With what you are saying here and given in my case I only opened my card last November, it appears I may not be able to upgrade until this November despite having put on $42,000.00 since the 1st of the year and having a Fico score of 750. You were lucky enough to be clued in on this, everyone I spoke with is braindead when you ask them why you are not eligible to convert.
worldspan is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2015, 1:00 pm
  #41  
mia
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend; Moderator: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, Credit Card Programs, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; DL & HH Gold
Posts: 48,734
I attempted to downgrade from Red to Blue and was told that Blue "was only issued to customers with a fixed interest rate, and is not available for your credit score" (they show 794). I did not ask if my credit score is too low or too high.

The "manager" was willing to convert it to the free 1/$2 card.
mia is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2015, 1:04 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,520
Originally Posted by worldspan
With what you are saying here and given in my case I only opened my card last November, it appears I may not be able to upgrade until this November despite having put on $42,000.00 since the 1st of the year and having a Fico score of 750. You were lucky enough to be clued in on this, everyone I spoke with is braindead when you ask them why you are not eligible to convert.
FWIW, we've had a couple of reports of people able to upgrade in the first year.
nall is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2015, 4:06 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: Aadvantage
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by worldspan
…You were lucky enough to be clued in on this, everyone I spoke with is braindead when you ask them why you are not eligible to convert.
The only way I got any kind of answer to “why am I not eligible to upgrade” was to ask to speak with a retention specialist. I got to the person I spoke with yesterday by telling the CSR that I wanted to make a complaint because I’d been told by one retention specialist that he would waive my upcoming AF and subsequently by another that I had to pay the upcoming AF in order to "possibly" be eligible for an upgrade…

Originally Posted by nall
FWIW, we've had a couple of reports of people able to upgrade in the first year.
I saw those too. But if I understand this thread correctly, not everyone who opened an account in the past year is eligible for the 10K anniversary bonus.
Scsweet is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2015, 6:12 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Programs: AMEX Plat, Hyatt Explorist, JetBlue Mosaic, Wyndham Diamond, National Executive Elite
Posts: 169
I had sent a secure message a few weeks ago inquiring about an upgrade to Silver from Red. The response said that I need to call in to discuss. This afternoon I finally took the time to make the call and was upgraded without any extra effort. I did not have an account with the anniversary bonus.

My red card will stay as is until my year ends 7/4/15 and I pay the $89 fee. Beginning 7/5/15 I will have all the benefits of Silver and will not have to pay the new higher AF until 7/16.

The reason for the delayed change as explained to me was that I was too close to my renewal. Also with my $57k YTD, I had already hit the threshold for the Red cards $100 flight discount which I will still receive. I'm happy even with the delay.
OC_Matt is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2015, 6:36 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: Aadvantage
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by OC_Matt
...The reason for the delayed change as explained to me was that I was too close to my renewal. Also with my $57k YTD, I had already hit the threshold for the Red cards $100 flight discount which I will still receive. I'm happy even with the delay.
This is consistent with my working hypothesis that if you were to upgrade the card to Silver prior to the anniversary date their systems would be unable to deliver rewards that come due on the card anniversary that aren't available with the Silver card but were earned while in the Red card.
Scsweet is offline  

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