Update: The US Airways Premier Mastercard is now at 40,000 miles after first purchase. This is a great limited time offer.
The long forthcoming merger between US and American Airlines(AA) is nearing completion after many disputes and hangups. The new company will be the largest airline in the United States. This also means flights can be cross booked and eventually, all AA and US Air credit cards will likely be merged.
This US Airways Premier Mastercard is likely to disappear within a year or so because of the merger. Any points earned before then will still be valid for use on the joint awards system. Because of this, it might be a good idea to grab the points now before they disappear.
US Airways Mastercard – Benefits
- 40,000 Sign-Up Miles – After getting approved for the card, you will receive 40,000 miles after your first purchase..
- 5,000 Mile Travel Discounts – All travel bookings which are made with the card receive a 5,000 mile point discount. For example, if book a flight that usually costs 45,000 points, you will only use 40,000. It’s like an additional 5,000 in free points for each booking. This makes the signup bonus even more valuable.
- 2 Round-trip Companion tickets each year – For each year that you own this card, you will be given 2 companion passes that allow travel for $99. They must be used at the same time and the flight ticket must originally cost $250 or more. This is useful in some circumstances, but certainly not all.
- 1 Free US Airways Club lounge pass per year – This comes with varying perks at various airports. You can have a quiet area with access to WiFi, food, restrooms, and sometimes showers.
- First Class Check-in and Boarding – You board first and avoid the lines.
- 0% Interest for the First Year – There is no interest on this card within the first year. You could rollover any existing credit card debt that you owe and pay it off, but be aware that there is a standard one time 4% balance rollover charge. You probably shouldn’t be applying for new credit cards to rollover debt, but there are circumstances when it might make sense.
US Airways Mastercard – Drawbacks
- The $89 Annual Fee – The obvious drawback here is that you must pay an $89 annual fee each year. However, if you only held the card for 1 year, the 40,000 points would certainly be worth more than the $89 one time charge.
- Foreign Transaction Fees – The US Air Mastercard does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee. I wouldn’t ever use this card abroad as there are other options that do not charge this fee.
How to Use This Card
Here is a chart of the typical US Airways redemption values:
And better yet, they offer an off-peak award chart. These are only good for flights within the dates listed.
As you can see, there are a number of good options when redeeming miles.
- 35,000 off-peak round-trip to Europe is the lowest price anywhere, and you would get 5,000 additional points off.
- 35,000 off-peak to South America round-trip is also a great deal
- If the off-peak dates don’t work for you, 40,000 to Hawaii anytime is nice. As is 35,000 to somewhere tropical in the Caribbean.
US Airways Premier Mastercard Review
Depending on your travel situation, you might find more overall value in the Barclaycard Arrival.
That said, the US Airways Premier Dividend Mastercard is a solid choice with a good sign up bonus. I probably wouldn’t hold onto the card for longer than one yar or spend a bunch of money on it, but I would definitely pay $89 for the 40,000 miles.
Perhaps the best reason to get this card today is because it’s likely to disappear sometime within the next year or so as the US/AA merger moves forward. It’s just another opportunity to pick up cheap miles on your travel hacking journey!