According to Bloomberg, AA/US have reached a deal with the Department of Justice, so that the latter will stop objecting to the merger.
I’ve long maintained that I expected the merger to happen. In February of this year, I wrote a post called How to Exploit the American Airlines/US Airways Merger that still has great advice.
I’ll be on the lookout for the details on the combination of AAdvantage and Dividend Miles program, which I hope offers some short-term good news though I expect it to be bad news for us in the long term because the major airline programs will have less competition.What do you need to do right now to take advantage of the US Airways//American Airlines merger? Do you need to earn, burn, or earn and burn miles?
Barclay’s US Airways MasterCard Strategy
Citi will handle the credit-card issuing for the new American, so the Barclay’s US Airways Premier World MasterCard is on its last days!
In my experience, and other reports I’ve read, you can get at least two Barclay’s US Airways MasterCards. They can be open simultaneously, and you can get the 30,000 mile bonus twice. If you are ready to apply for a credit card, you should apply for a Barclay’s US Airways MsaterCard today.
You should be able to rack up at least 30,000 US Airways miles before in this way before the merger. You can use those miles on US Airways’ fantastic chart or, in the future, on the new American.
There is also a US Airways Business MasterCard with 25,000 US Airways miles after first purchase. I would consider this card too. Its sign up bonus isn’t huge, but it will disappear soon, and I don’t know of any better business cards offered by Barclay’s.
Citi American Airlines Card Strategy
Citi has several American Airlines cards. Until recently, you could get two at the same time.
Now you can get one personal American Airlines card and one business card a few days apart for 50k miles each after $3k in spending in the first three months on each.
- Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
You can’t get a new AA personal card every 91 days. You actually have to wait 18 months between applications. With the slow pace of airline mergers, you may be able to get AA cards now and in 18 months before the merger is completed.
To me, getting the AA cards is a bit less pressing but still a good idea. There’s some chance these products will disappear too, to be replaced by an entirely new credit card. That’s what happened to the United card in the United/Continental merger.
What Cards Will the New Airline Offer?
No one knows for sure. Since the US Airways brand is disappearing, we know its cards will too, making getting the US Airways Premier World MasterCard a more pressing matter. I hope both cards are discontinued, and a new one is released. A new card would mean a new sign up bonus we were all eligible for.
Time to Burn Miles?
I think we’ll be given several months notice whenever the status of our miles or an award chart will change, so I am not in burn mode for now. When we get that notice, we will probably be able to book under the old rules for a few months plus be able to book flights 11 months in advance. With all that lead time, I am in no hurry to burn. I will be booking awards at my normal rate for myself based on my travel desires, not a need to zero out my balances.