Middle Age Miles

Barclays AA Card 3x Promotional Offer [Targeted] – With Additional & Favorable Details

barclays american airlines aa aadvantage 3x bonus miles promotional offer promo details ambiguous confusing in addition to normal regular miles earning

Barclays’ Confusing 3x Promotional Offer

Last Friday (May 22), Barclays initiated a promotional offer on its AA co-branded AAdvantage Aviator Red and Silver cards. The offer was targeted, but it seemed to be widely received by many cardholders.

The offer, though, was ambiguous and somewhat confusing. It read:

Enroll now to earn 3X AAdvantage bonus miles on all purchases made with your AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard from May 22, 2020 through June 30, 2020, up to a maximum of 2,500 AAdvantage bonus miles.

Read those terms and tell me – Will you earn (a) 3x *total* AA miles on your spend on the card; or (b) 3x AA miles *in addition to* your normal miles-earning when you spend on the card?

The full terms and conditions of the offer did not shed any more light on the ambiguity:

The print is small on those terms and conditions, but the key sentence reads:

If you receive this offer and enroll by June 30, 2020 you will earn 3 AAdvantage bonus miles for every $1 spent in new purchases, less credits, returns and adjustments (“Net Purchases”) with transaction dates between May 22, 2020 and June 30, 2020, up to a maximum of 2,500 AAdvantage bonus miles.

Top bloggers were divided and/or uncertain as to how to interpret the terms. Gary Leff of View From The Wing thought that you would earn 3x total miles on your spend on the card (“So if you spend $1250 where you’d normally earn just 1250 miles, you’ll earn 3750 miles under this promotion.”). Chuck of Doctor of Credit guessed, with some hesitation, that you would earn 3x AA miles in addition to your normal miles-earning (“My read is that the 3x is on top of the ordinary 1x earn (4x total), but I may be misreading this.”).

Clarification and Good News on the 3x Offer – It’s *In Addition To* Your Regular Miles-Earning

Philly received this offer on her Barclays AA Aviator Silver card and enrolled in it. After she enrolled, we reached out to Barclays to try to get clarification on the terms – was the 3x “total” or “in addition to”?

In response, Barclays provided a clarification that contained good news. 3x bonus miles-earning with this promotional offer is *in addition to* your regular miles-earning for spend on the card. That means, for instance, that unbonused spend on the Aviator Red or Silver card will earn a total of 4x AA miles per dollar of spend.

Here is the response that Barclays provided to us (emphasis added):

“You are eligible for a promotional offer to earn AAdvantage Bonus Miles when you use your American Airlines MasterCard for all purchases between May 22, 2020 and June 30, 2020. These AAdvantage bonus miles are in addition to the AAdvantage miles you already earn with your AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard. We hope this information was helpful.

To register for the promotional offer (if you’re targeted), you’ll need to sign in to your Barclays online account, find the offer there, and enroll. Based on the terms and conditions, it appears that you only need to enroll by 6/30/2020 in order to receive the 3x bonus miles for your spend, up to the maximum of 2,500 bonus miles.

Quick Analysis

As far as the mechanics of this offer go, it looks like you’ll receive your regular AA miles-earning shortly after your statement closes, as usual, and then receive your bonus miles in one lump sum shortly after the promotional offer ends (that is, probably sometime in July, maybe at your July statement close date). The terms say that the bonus miles “will appear on your statement 6-8 weeks after the end of the promotion.”

Our baseline value for AA miles is 1.25 cents per mile. On unbonused spend during this promotion, you’d earn 4x AA miles, which would be a miles rebate of approximately 5%. That’s a solid return on unbonused spend and makes this an attractive offer (setting aside for the moment our personal issues with AA).

With a cap of 2,500 bonus miles under this promotion, you’ll max out the promotional earnings with $833.33 in spend.

If AA miles are useful to you (and you believe your AA account is not in jeopardy), then we say it’s worth diverting $833 in spend to your Barclays AA card during this promotion.

Alternatively, with a 5% return, it may be worth it to MS the spend under this promotion. One idea would be to go through the Rakuten portal to GiftCards.com and purchase two virtual Visa Gift Cards totaling about $833. If you assume 2 cards with a total of $830, your acquisition cost would be $11.90 (2 * $5.95 purchase/activation fees). You would earn 842 Membership Rewards points (or $8.42 if you have a cash-back account) plus 3,320 AA miles. At our baseline values, those points & miles would be worth about $12.63 for the MR points plus $41.50 for the AA miles for a total of $54.13. Depending on your liquidation costs, your cost of acquisition for these points and miles should still be comfortably below their redemption value, making this a useful play.

Wrap-Up

We’re very glad to get clarification from Barclays on this 3x AA promotional offer, and we’re even more happy that the news is good. We sure wish the cap were higher on this deal, but we’re glad to make the most of it to pick up some extra miles rather cheaply. Next, we’ll just hope that the world gets healthier and we can use them to travel before too long!

What are your plans for the Barclays AA promotional offer? Any further strategy thoughts? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


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