Card Review: Barclay’s US Airways Mastercard

by Jason on March 22, 2012

in Travel Credit Cards,US Airways,US Airways MasterCard

During my recent credit card application churn, I was approved for the US Airways MasterCard.

Why I Got the Card – 40,000 Bonus Miles and More!

I’ve actually never even been on one US Airways flight… ever. That’s sort of hard to believe, but then again there are dozens of airlines I’ve never experienced. I picked this card to be part of my first app-o-rama this year for 4 key reasons:

  1. No minimum spend requirements
  2. US Airways flies direct to Athens (I love Greece!)
  3. Solid 40,000 mile bonus (after first purchase)
  4. US Airways is a Star Alliance partner

How I Got Approved for the Card – Barclay’s Reconsideration Line

After I applied online, I immediately received an “application pending” message in my web browser. The message said to wait 7-14 business days for processing, but I knew there was a faster way — the always helpful reconsideration line.

Once I knew my application was pending, I called Barclay’s straight away. There are lots of reasons your applications can end up in pending status, but the last thing you want is to miss an opportunity to explain your credit profile to a real human who can approve you.

Barclay’s Reconsideration Line
866-369-1283 (for the US Airways card, might work for other cards too)

I phoned Barclay’s and got a real, live operator immediately. (Sometimes I’m shocked by how easy it is to speak to a real person on these reconsideration lines. Most “bank phone call” experiences are dreadful with long touch-tone systems, etc etc.) The operator was a credit card analyst who asked me a number of questions about my credit report…

“Why are you trying to get this card?”

“Why do you have so many inquiries from last year?”

“What other credit cards do you have?”

I simply answered all of his questions fairly and honestly. I want the card because I love the 40,000 sign-on bonus and I’m working hard to build my credit profile. I have lots of inquiries from last year because I was searching for the best auto loan (I bought a car in March of last year) and I just started learning about how credit reports work. I’m not hungry for credit to build huge balances. I pay off all of my credit card balances every month. I’m a good customer just learning how all of this works.

All of this is 100% true. I really recommend treating these reconsideration conversations like you’re just speaking with a close friend. Be honest, humble, and relaxed. Don’t get aggressive. Be nice and be honest. That’s the very best advice I can give you. Also, don’t approach the call like getting the card is essential to your well being and livelihood. Quite the opposite: don’t be too attached and stay relaxed!

After a round of questions, the credit analyst told me I was approved with a $2,000 credit limit. Not too shabby. I thanked him and moved onto my next reconsideration call.

When the 40,000 Bonus Posted to My US Airways Dividend Miles Account

One thing that’s already surprised me about the US Airways card is how quickly my balance posted to my account. I made my first transaction with the card on March 13. Then, my 40,000 mile bonus posted to my US Airways account on March 20 — just 7 days later! I did immediately pay the card just a few days after I used it, so that may have played a role in how quickly I received my bonus. In addition to the bonus, another 1,210 miles posted to my account for my purchases — that’s $1 per mile on the card.

US Airways Mastercard - 40,000 Bonus + 1,210 Spending Credit Posted To My Account

US Airways Card Benefits

There are a number of special extras that come along with this card — two $99 companion flight passes, 1 free entry into the US Airways club lounge, special discounts on club membership, and a few car rental discounts.

I’m excited to try out the $99 companion flight passes. The deal is for purchasing one full fare flight (we’ll find out soon what that means exactly) then you can have 1 or 2 companions on the same flight for $99 each. I’ve researched these passes a bit on forums but I’m reading mixed reviews. Some people seem to find it really easy to redeem them while others complain about having to do it over the phone, etc. I’m a big believer that you’ll never know until you actually try and this is one extra I’m excited to try out.

My Plans for the US Airways Card

Since I don’t fly US Air that often, I probably won’t be using this card too often. Plus, so far I’m not too impressed with their Award Ticket system. It looks like US Airways only allows for round-trip award bookings, no one-way flights allowed. Unless I can find a way around that limitation, their program surely won’t stack up against my current favorites — United Mileage Plus, American AAdvantage, Delta Skymiles, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Levi September 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Thanks for the advice, I called them and got the credit line I wanted.

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Simon Salameh October 16, 2012 at 1:33 am

I just gotmy new Usairways master card; 546638841621923. Tried to rgister on the web; could not because i HAD A VERY OLD CARD THAT EXPERED, tHE SYSTEM KEEPS ASKING FOR THE OLD uSER i.D. and P.W.. have noidea what they were and the blooody system does noooott help. Please help

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