Last month, I expressed my intention to cancel my Citi AAdvantage Platinum card, among a few other cards. I’ve had way too many security issues with Citi and the slightly lower annual fee on the Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red card makes it a better fit for me. Recently, I’ve become more and more convinced that choosing the new Barclay AAdvantage card over Citi’s AAdvantage Platinum is a good move.
In an email exchange, reader Brenton pointed something out to me that I’ve completely ignored so far: Citi charges cash advance fees for American Express gift card purchases, while Barclays does not. Thus, using the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card is not an option for that particular manufactured spending activity, while the Barclay AAdvantage Aviator card will allow you to continue buying Amex gift cards without incurring cash advance fees. You can certainly argue that charging Amex gift cards to one of the Starwood American Express cards would be the better option due to the airline transfer bonus. However, for those who either don’t have that card or want to save their SPG points for hotel stays or transfers to other airlines, a co-branded AAdvantage card comes in handy.
Another reason to choose the Barclay AAdvantage over the Citi AAdvantage card? Bonus spend offers. I’m not referring to the quarterly 2,500 bonus miles on select category spending. Several readers, who are US Airways Mastercard holders, have reported receiving targeted spending bonuses as high as 20,000 miles for spending $700 in three months. Another reader was offered 15,000 bonus miles for spending $500 by February. If Barclays keeps this up once the card converts to the AAdvantage Aviator Red card, this gives it yet another advantage (no pun intended) over the Citi issued card. And as Brenton astutely observed, since they can’t acquire new cardholders once the US Airways card converts to AAdvantage, they may continue these bonus promotions to keep existing cardholders happy.
You can certainly keep both cards and I’ve previously made a case for doing so. However, if you’re looking to downsize your credit card collection and don’t know which one to keep, the above mentioned points are worth taking into consideration.
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