Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard Review (2024)
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AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard Review (2024)

The AAdvantage Aviator Red offers basic rewards rate so if you don't need a 0% intro APR, there are better alternative airline cards
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

AAdvantage®-Aviator®-Red-World-Elite-Mastercard®

Rewards Plan

1X – 2X 2X miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases

Welcome Bonus

50,000 miles 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

0% Intro

15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening

Annual Fee

$99

APR

20.74% – 29.74%
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

AAdvantage®-Aviator®-Red-World-Elite-Mastercard®

Rewards Plan

1X – 2X 2X miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases

Welcome Bonus

50,000 miles 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days

0% Intro

15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening

PROS

CONS

APR

20.74% - 29.74%

Annual Fee

$99

Balance Transfer Fee

5% or $5, whichever is greater

Credit Requirements

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.

AAdvantage®-Aviator®-Red-World-Elite-Mastercard®

Spend Per Category
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
10,000 miles
$3,000 – Restaurants
9,000 miles
$5,000 – Airline
25,000 miles
$4,000 – Hotels
8,000 miles
$4,000 – Gas
4,000 miles
Estimated Annual Avios
56,000 Miles

AAdvantage Aviator lets you redeem miles for flights on American Airlines and partner airlines, covering various destinations worldwide. You can also use miles for seat upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, and even shopping or dining.

redeem American Airlines miles for hotel nights
redeem American Airlines miles for hotel nights (screenshot from American Airlines app)

Pros and Cons

Just like any other credit card, the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard has some advantages and disadvantages:

Pros
Cons
0% Introductory APR
Annual Fee
Anniversary Companion Certificate
No Bonus Categories
Free First Checked Bags
Low Rewards Rate
Preferred Boarding
High APR
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Statement Credit for Inflight Purchases
Travel Insurance

 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 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.

25% off on food and drink in AA flights
Cardholders get 25% off on food and drink in AA flights (Photo by Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock)

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.

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:

Card
Rewards
Annual Fee

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

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
$350 (Rates & Fees)

1X – 2X Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.
$99 (waived for the first 12 months)

Air Lingus review

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
$95

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

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
$149

jetblue plus card

1X – 6X 6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1X points on all other purchases
$99
united explorer
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)

FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard® review

1x – 5x 5x miles per dollar on purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3x miles per dollar at restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
$89

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.

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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
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Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
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
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
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Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
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Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
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
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

FAQs

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.

Compare AAdvantage Aviator Card

While the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select wins at cashback value, the Aviator Red World card offers better airline perks.

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard vs AAdvantage Platinum Select

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
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Welcome Bonus:
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Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

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Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

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60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.