20.74% - 29.74%
Balance Transfer Fee
5% or $5, whichever is greater
Good - Excellent
Although the Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is not the most generous rewards credit card, it is a solid choice for those brand loyal to American Airlines. The card offers similar benefits to the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite, but the key difference is that the Citi card has a waived annual fee for the first year and you can earn miles in bonus spending categories. This includes restaurants, and gas stations.
So, if you’re looking for a card purely for your American Airlines and travel purchases, the Aviator Red World Elite is a decent choice. However, if you need a card that offers rewards on travel and everyday purchases, you may want to consider alternatives.
- 0% Introductory APR
- Anniversary Companion Certificate
- Free First Checked Bags
- Preferred Boarding
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Statement Credit for Inflight Purchases
- Travel Insurance
- High Annual Fee
- No Bonus Categories
- Low Rewards Rate
- High APR
Does the card provide car rental insurance?
Yes, if you pay for the reservation and rental with your card, and you decline the additional cover at the rental counter, the auto rental collision waiver cover kicks in. This provides cover for damage to and theft of a rental car supplemental insurance.
What are card income requirements?
There are no official income requirements for the card, but you do need to have good to excellent credit to qualify. While Barclays will assess your income, it is not the only factor that will be considered when you submit an application.
Can I get pre-approved?
Barclays does not offer pre approval on its website for this card, but you may receive a mailer or other promotional material offering pre approval.
In this Review
Estimating Your Rewards: A Practical Simulation
Take a look at the table provided below to discover the potential rewards you could earn by utilizing the AAdvantage Aviator. This simulation calculates the benefits you might receive by considering your everyday expenses across various categories.
Please note that the table serves as an estimate, and your actual rewards may vary depending on your individual spending patterns and other influencing factors. Nevertheless, it offers valuable insights into the potential advantages offered by this card.
Spend Per Category
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$3,000 – Restaurants
$5,000 – Airline
$4,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Annual Avios
Pros and Cons
Just like any other credit card, the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard has some advantages and disadvantages:
0% Introductory APR
Anniversary Companion Certificate
No Bonus Categories
Free First Checked Bags
Low Rewards Rate
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Statement Credit for Inflight Purchases
Cardholders earn 0% intro for 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After the promotional period, the regular APR of 20.74% – 29.74% applies.
This is the only card of American Airlines that offer 0% intro.
Each anniversary card year, you can earn a Companion Certificate that allows one guest to travel with you at a cost of $99 plus fees and taxes.
To qualify for the certificate, you need to spend at least $20.000 on purchases with your card and ensure that your card account remains open for at least 45 days after your anniversary date.
When you fly on domestic American Airlines operated itineraries, you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation can enjoy free first checked bags.
You and up to four travel companions on the same reservation can enjoy preferred boarding on all American Airlines operated flights.
You won't be charged any fees for making purchases abroad with the Aviator Red Mastercard.
You can earn up to $25 in statement credits each year for inflight WiFi purchases on American Airlines operated itineraries. There is also 25% savings in the form of statement credit for inflight purchases of food and beverages when you pay with your card on American Airlines flights.
While $99 is not an unreasonable annual fee, it is quite high considering you’ll only earn one mile per dollar on everyday purchases. Additionally, there is no annual fee waiver for the first year.
Other than American Airlines purchases, which you would expect with a co-branded card, there are no other bonus spending categories. This makes it difficult to boost your earning and rewards potential.
Compared to other airline and travel cards, 1X – 2X is not so high, especially for a card with an annual fee.
Depending on your credit, the APR can be quite high. Considering the credit requirements, this seems a little unreasonable.
Cardholders can access a suite of amenities, upgrades and benefits. This provides premium travel and preferential treatment when you travel with offers from best in class travel brands.
When you pay for your travel plans with your card, you can benefit from a variety of travel insurance coverages.
This includes trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay, travel accident and auto rental collision damage waiver insurance.
Who Should Consider The AAdvantage Aviator Red Card?
Since this is a co-branded card, it is best for those who regularly travel with American Airlines. You can not only earn the highest tier of rewards with American Airline purchases, but you can also enjoy some nice perks that will enhance your travel experience.
The card is also a good option for those who are trying to achieve elite status, but may be struggling. Your spending on this card will earn points towards your AAdvantage status. Each mile that you earn is equal to one loyalty point and you can achieve Gold status by accumulating 30,000 points.
If you would like to check more options for an airline card, here are some alternatives:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
1X – 2X 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
$99 Waived for the first 12 months
1X – 3X 3 Avios for every dollar on Aer Lingus, Iberia and British Airways, 2 Avios per dollar on direct hotel accommodations and 1 Avios for all other purchases
1X – 3X 3X points on Southwest purchases, 2X points on Southwest’s Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit and commuting (including rideshares) and internet, cable phone and select streaming services; 1X points on all other purchases
1X – 6X 6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1X points on all other purchases
1X – 2X 2x per $1 spent on United purchases, hotel accommodations, restaurants & eligible delivery services and 1x per $1 spent on all other purchases
$95 ($0 first year)
1x – 5x 5x miles per dollar on purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3x miles per dollar at restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
Tips for Using the Aviator Red Mastercard
While this card is quite straightforward, there are some tips that can help you to maximize the rewards and benefits. These include:
Since you can access a number of perks for you and your travel companions, make sure that you book together on the same reservation. This will allow you and up to four travel companions free first checked bags and preferred boarding.
You’ll only have 45 days to make a balance transfer and enjoy the 0% introductory rate, so make sure that you organize any balance transfers quickly. If you miss this window, you’ll incur the standard APR.
This card offers a decent travel insurance package, but these coverages only kick in when you pay for your fares, hotel stays and car rentals with your card.
When you want to redeem your miles, you will need to sign into your account on the American Airlines website and select “Redeem Miles”. You can then search for flights or check out the award chart to see the cost of specific itineraries.
American Airlines has also made it easier to redeem miles for partner flights including all the Oneworld alliance partners including Cathay Pacific and British Airways.
It may be a little tricky to get this card, as you do need to have good to excellent credit and sufficient income to support the card.
However, if you can meet these requirements, you shouldn’t have any difficulty qualifying for the Aviator Red World Elite.
This is not a good card if you’re not completely brand loyal to American Airlines. Unless you fly with American Airlines at least a couple of times a year, you’re not likely to be able to earn sufficient rewards or get the best value from the card benefits. In this scenario, you would be better suited to a more general travel rewards card.