The temporary (or perhaps permanent?) kibosh on the American/US Airways merger throws a wrinkle into the game plan for those of us who like to generate most of our mileage from credit card bonuses and spending. It looked like a great way to maximize another card and generate a critical mass of miles. That said, not everybody is convinced that the merger won’t ultimately be approved. Personally, I think the case that fees and fares would be higher is a slam dunk, but the flip side of that coin is they would be even higher if AA/US Airways can’t compete–leaving only United and Delta as major players.
Now that the dust has settled a bit on the lawsuit, I wanted to take another look at the card and see what’s what.
Previously, I’d advocated for getting the US Airways Mastercard ASAP. You maximized your chances of a 2-for-1 (getting the bonus twice) by getting it quickly and the card is still around several months down the line to get the bonus again since Barclays is known to allow–probably without their knowledge–that to happen. It was a definite buy when the merger was likely to happen.
I still believe that the right play is to get it sooner than later because you never know if the lawsuit gets settled how quickly things will move from there. But I wouldn’t be risking bad application practices (i.e. if you just applied for a few cards a couple weeks ago) just to do it, and I wouldn’t apply for this card as a strategy for earning AA miles. It’s just another card at this point, and I’ll of course let you know if that changes. It is particularly valuable, though, if you plan on lots of award travel on US Airways in the near future since you get a 5,000 mile discount per passenger.