In this Aadvantage Aviator business credit card review, we’ll cover the details of what the card has to offer and what kind of value you can expect from it. This is definitely a credit can you’ll want to churn. Let’s get this incredibly in-depth review of the Barclays American Airlines Aviator Business credit card started.
|Card Details||Barclays Aviator Business Mastercard Review|
|Sign up Bonus:||-65,000 AA miles after $1,000 spend (90 days)|
-10,000 AA miles when a purchase is made on an employee card
|Benefits:||-First checked bag free for you and up to 4 travel companion on domestic AA flights|
-Preferred boarding for you and 4 travel companions on AA operated flights
-$3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars added to your account after spending $25,000
-5% bonus on miles earned after your account anniversary (making this a 1.05X credit card)
-25% off food and beverages when you use your card on AA operated flights
-No Foreign transaction fees
|Earning Rates:||-2X on American Airlines, Office stores, Telecom and car rentals|
-1X Everywhere else
|Card Type:||Mastercard World Elite (see benefits)|
|Churnable:||6 months after closing the card you can sign up again|
|Value:||[$1350] American Airlines lowest price for miles is $0.018/mile when on sale otherwise it’s $0.03. That’s enough for a one-way business class flight almost anywhere in the world.|
|Recommendation:||Get the bonus and cancel at the end of your first year|
The Barclay Aadvantage Aviator business MasterCard World Elite (full name) is a business credit card. I’ve had business credit cards in the past, but this is my first business credit with a registered LLC. Most people are eligible for business credit cards and you just need to register as a “Sole-Proprietorship” and use your social security number when signing up. Remember, business credit cards don’t appear on your personal credit report so you don’t have to worry about 5/24.
To sign up for the credit card as an LLC, you’ll need to start a business. I formed a company with Wyoming Agents for $150 and the process was super smooth. Just pick a very friendly and neutral business name to increase your chances of approval. I picked Wyoming because they have the lowest tax rates for businesses in the United States. Forming the business provided me with a business mailing address and an Articles of Organization document.
After completing the Aadvantage Aviator business credit card application on the Barclays site, I received an email requesting more information about my business. They ONLY wanted to see my business Articles of Organization and I could fax or email it. Since fax machines are incredibly outdated and pretty much useless, I emailed them my documents immediately after completing my online credit card application.
Next, I had to speak with a customer service representative to confirm my information. Although my paperwork was in order, Barclays said they could not approve me for any more credit. But they did offer to move credit from my personal credit cards to open the Aadvantage Aviator Business credit card. With that, I moved over $10,000 (cause it sounded like a good number) to open my business account. I’m not too familiar with business credit scores yet, but I’d assume a bigger credit line would help build up my business credit score.
Within a week, I received an email saying I was approved for the Aadvantage Aviator business credit card! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to receive the card for a month. Make sure to use your home address as the business address when filling out the credit card application. They mailed my credit card to the business address and I had to get a new credit card issued. I was very surprised when I received an email from Wyoming Agents showing me my credit card.
Sign-Up Bonus AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
To get the full 75,000 American Airlines miles in the Aviator Business card sign-up bonus, you’ll need to complete the following two tasks:
- 65,000 AA miles earned after spending $1,000
- 10,000 AA miles earned after adding an employee card and making one purchase
Setting Up Your Account
After getting approved for your Aviator Business credit card, you’ll need to set up your account. Although Barclays issues your credit card, “Juniper Business Cards” manages your account information at the website: https://aviatorbusinesscard.com
The user interface is very barebones and I expect it’s because the volume of users is much lower on the business side than the Barclays consumer side.
The Barclay Aviator business MasterCard provides a lot of value when considering you can get 75k AA miles for $1000 in credit card spend and a $95 annual fee. As I mentioned in my how to manufacture spend post, I don’t like wasting money. I’ll gladly pay a 3% fee if a credit card bonus is worth it. Let’s break down those costs:
- $95 Annual Fee
- $30 to manufacture spend ($1000 at 3%)
- Total: $125 gets you 76k AA miles (75k bonus + 1k from spend)
- 76K AA Miles can be used to fly one-way in business class almost anywhere in the world which can be valued around $5,000. You will still be responsible for any additional fees and taxes through the American Airlines website (still very reasonable)
What can you get for 76k AA miles?
ALMOST anywhere in the world. 76k AA miles is enough for a roundtrip in economy for most places and with 80k AA miles you can go anywhere. Take a look at the American Airlines Award chart for the exact regions (on flights that AA offers). I actually don’t like flying with American Airlines and prefer their partner airlines much more. AA’s Oneworld Partner Award Chart is very similar in price but might be a significantly better flying experience. I’ve had excellent flights with JAL and Qatar Airways. In fact, I even got paid 600 EUROS for a delayed flight on a flight I booked with miles!
Pro Tip: Don’t use your AA miles for an economy flight. You’ll be getting almost 1 cent per mile in value and you can get 3-5x that if you fly in business or first class.
I’m not in the financial position to fly in first class, business class and most of the time economy class. BUT, I will fly in business/first class when using frequent flyer miles because getting the miles is cheaper than paying for a flight. With the Aadvantage Aviator business MasterCard, you’re getting 76k AA miles for $125 out-of-pocket costs. That’s enough for a business class flight from the USA to almost anywhere in the world. You are indirectly getting a $5000 international business class flight for $125.
How much are AA miles worth?
AA miles are worth between $0.018 to $0.03 each when purchased directly from American Airlines. When American Airlines does not have a buy miles promotion, the standard rate is $0.03 per miles. During an AA buy mile promo, you can buy American Airlines miles for as low as $0.18 per mile.
How can I get American Airlines miles?
You can earn American Airlines miles by flying with them, using their shopping portal, or using an American Airlines credit card. There are no bank point programs (Chase/Citi/AMEX/Capital one) that can convert into AA miles.
These are the benefits provided by the Barclay Aviator business card. Everything noted with a (*) is a very weak benefit. You’ll be better off using another credit card that has a better earning rate or racking up spend for another sign up bonus. A really good benefit is that the Aviator business credit card comes with all the Mastercard World Elite Benefits.
- First checked bag free for you and up to 4 travel companion on domestic AA flights
- Preferred boarding for you and 4 travel companions on AA operated flights
- 25% off food and beverages when you use your card on AA operated flights
- *2X on American Airlines, Office stores, Telecom and car rentals
- *1X Everywhere else
- *5% bonus on miles earned after your account anniversary (making this a 1.05X credit card)
- *Companion Certificate after spending $30,000 on the card. Good for 1 guest at $99 + taxes and fees.
- *$3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars added to your account after spending $25,000 on your credit card
- *No Foreign transaction fees
- *$0 Fraud Liability Protection
It’s a Mastercard World Elite credit card!
The Aviator business card as of September 1, 2020, is now the Barclays Aviator Business Mastercard World Elite which comes with A LOT more benefits than your standard MasterCard. Most of the additional benefits will require additional registration. If the Aviator business credit card wasn’t a World Elite Mastercard, I would have rated the benefits 1/5 (Full benefits guide here).
Mastercard Easy Savings:
The Mastercard Easy Savings program provides additional savings when making purchases with eligible retailers in the United States. These are benefits on top of the 1X earnings on your Aviator business credit card.
- 1% back at the Fuelman Network (Exxon, Mobil, Shell, 76 and more)
- 4% back on eligible restaurants (Pizza Hut, Panda Express, Jersey Mike’s, Outback Steakhouse and more)
- 4% back when booking at eligible hotels
- 5% off at Budget and Avis
How do I use the AA Free Checked Bag Benefit?
The free checked bag benefit is automatically attached to your American Airlines account after getting an eligible AA credit card and linking your frequent flyer account. Then, you’ll need to make a booking directly with American Airlines with the credit card account holders AA account. You do not need to use the your Barclays Aviator business mastercard to purchase the flight.
Should I get the companion certificate?
The $30k you have to spend to qualify for the $99 Companion certificate is not worth it. American Airline Companion Certificates are only good for roundtrip domestic economy class flights with American Airlines., Compass Airlines, Envoy Air, Republic, SkyWest, Mesa, PSA Airlines or Piedmont Airlines.
Personally, if you are manufacturing spend to reach the $20k and $30k thresholds to get the AA companion certificate, you’ll be spending a lot of money and a lot of time. At 3% you’d be spending $600 and $900 to hit those numbers. Of course you’ll end up with a lot of AA miles, but generally it’s not worth it since you’d still just be only eligible for a domestic economy flight.
Realistically, when would I use this credit card?
Rarely. The earning rates are so low and the bonus spend for the other benefits are not worth it. The best you can hope for is 2X AA miles on your internet bill that it’s not even worth it when you can get more than that with [better credit cards]. I would ONLY use this card to pay my cell phone bill because of the cell phone insurance included with the Mastercard World Elite benefits.
Setting Up Your Barclay Advantage Aviator Mastercard
Since my Barclay Aviator business card was a Barclay card, I thought I could add my personal Barclays account. I was wrong. After spending 20 minutes searching how to add my Aviator business card to my Barclay account I turned to Google. That’s because I shredded the original letter after activating my credit card. Learn from this and set up your account before you start shredding documents.
To set up your Barclay Aviator business card, you’ll need to register a new account here: https://aviatorbusinesscard.com. You will need to set up a completely new account and it can be the exact same username as your Barclays personal accounts. The Aviator business card runs on a completely different (and worse) credit card system.
How to add an Authorized User to your Barclay Aviator Business credit card:
To add an authorized user to your Barclay Aviator Business Mastercard World Elite:
- Go to the SERVICES page from the menu on the right
- Select Request Additional Employee Cards
When adding an employee card as an authorized user, you will just need their name and birthday. You can also set the credit card limit for the employee. Unfortunately, there is no option online to remove an employee card or to freeze/unfreeze the card.
For myself, I added my brother as an employee to my Barclays Aviator MasterCard because I want that 10,000 AA mile bonus. I just need to activate that card and make ANY purchase for any amount. So that’s 10k AA miles from the Aviator business mastercard for buying a pack of gum!
Keep or Cancel?
The Barclays AA Aviator card has an annual fee of $95 and very low earning rates on credit card spend. For the first year, getting 75k AA miles for $95 is absolutely worth it, but every year after that you’re paying that money for the checked bag benefit and priority boarding. There are other credit cards with better cashback and no annual fee and are much better alternatives to the Barclays Aviator business credit card.
At the end of my first year, I will be canceling my Barclays Aadvantage Aviator Business Mastercard World Elite. There’s not enough value in the card to justify another $95. EVEN if Barclays offers me a retention offer to waive the annual fee, I will still close the credit card. I’m just in it for the bonus.
Getting 75,000 American Airlines miles for spending $1001 ($1000 for the main card and $1 for the employee card) for a total of 76,000 AA miles means you are getting 76x per mile. That is incredibly generous and one of the best overall deals you can get for the money spent. Heck, even straight up buying 76k American Airlines frequent flyer miles costs more than that!
The biggest hiccup you might encounter with the Aadvantage Aviator business card is getting approved. Many people don’t have a business but can qualify for little things like selling something on Craigslist. That’s a resell business. You just need to take the time to call the reconsideration line if you are rejected.