(EXPIRED) Aviator Red now comes with a companion certificate

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This week, the offer on the Barclays Avaitor Red card changed. Whereas it previously awarded a new cardmember bonus of 60K miles, the new offer is good for only 50K miles after first purchase and payment of the annual fee — but now there is also an American Airlines companion certificate. The companion certificate will cost you $99 plus taxes to book, but that can certainly be a great deal if you have a good use in mind and could therefore make the new offer substantially more valuable.

The Offer

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard
60K miles + Companion Certificate
60k miles + $99 Companion Certificate (+ taxes & fees) after 1st purchase within 90 days and payment of the $99 AF

$99 Annual Fee

Info about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Alternate offer: There is an in-flight offer for 60K after first purchase with the 1st year fee waived. See this link; code 999999 may work for the promo code.

Recent better offer: None. This is the best we've seen.

Key Card Details

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard

Annual Fee: $99

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 2X AA ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Starting May 2019: Earn $99 + tax domestic companion certificate with $20K membership year spend.

Noteworthy perks: First checked bag free ⚬ Preferred boarding for the primary cardmember and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation ⚬ Reduced mileage awards ⚬ 25% off in-flight purchases ⚬ $25 wifi credit per membership year ⚬ Flight cents: round up purchases to earn more miles

Quick Thoughts

This new companion certificate benefit will arrive by mail 8-10 weeks after meeting the requirements (at the moment, one purchase and payment of the annual fee) and is valid for one year. It basically works the same as the Alaska Airlines companion certificate in ongoing years: it costs $99 plus taxes, so a total of ~$120-$150 total to book the companion (though it is not the same in many regards as well – for example, unlike the Alaska certificate, the primary cardholder must be traveling to use this one). This can be used for round trip domestic economy class flights in the following fare classes: L, M, N, Q, S, V, G or O.

Unfortunately, in addition to being restricted in terms of fare class, there are also some blackout dates:

2019: Jan 1-3; Feb 15-19; Mar 8-11; Mar 15-18; Mar 22-25; May 24-28; Jun 28-30; Jul 1-7; Nov 27-30; Dec 1-2; Dec 14-23; Dec 27-31
2020: Jan 1-3; Feb 14-18; Mar 6-9; Mar 13-16; Mar 20-23; May 22-26; Jun 30; Jul 1-6; Nov 25-30; Dec 12-23; Dec 27-31

Honestly, the blackout dates make me pretty unenthused about this benefit. There are blackout dates in six of the first seven months of the year. Adding insult to injury, there were three blocks of blackout dates in March alone this year.

Obviously if you have a use in mind (and I’d suggest you should), you could do quite well with a certificate like this. Those who mainly fly to/from/between smaller airports within the US are sometimes faced with astronomical prices, and a certificate like this could make a big dent in a family trip. Keep in mind that you must book travel at least 14 days in advance to take advantage of the certificate.

On the other hand, I’d date to get this certificate with no use in mind and procrastinate for six months on finding a use and then find that there are blackout date blocks in nearly every month I’d have left on the cert.

To recap, here are the gotchas to keep in mind if you consider this offer:

  1. The certificate is limited in which fare classes it can work with
  2. There are a bunch of blackout dates.
  3. You must book at least 14 days in advance
  4. The primary cardholder must be flying on the ticket.

If those aren’t deal-breakers for you, this certainly may be an offer worth considering. We’ve updated out Best Offers page with this information.

H/T: Doctor of Credit and Middle Age Miles

Last updated on October 26th, 2019

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

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Geoff
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Geoff

I’d just assume have the 60K miles than trying to jump thru the ridiculous hoops that this card entails. Of course Barclay’s knows full well that most certs will go unused.
Kinda lame.

Bill
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Bill

If only the companion fare was as easy to use as Alaska’s… then I might actually put the slightest bit of consideration towards this.

David
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David

Regarding the expiration date on the companion certificate. Do you have to have to have a flight date which is prior to the expiration date, or can you fly at a date later than as long as you have booked it prior to that date?

Diane
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Diane

Will existing card holders get this certificate?

Matt
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Matt

Does anyone know if you can book the flight with miles and then add the companion to the ticket like the Alaska Airlines one?