AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® Review: Business Class in 1 Swipe [2019]

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is one of the most unique credit cards on the market — and you can earn the intro bonus with just one purchase.
11/4/19 | By Brett Holzhauer

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The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® has long been a favorite card of mine for one reason — the simplest sign-up bonus you can imagine! However, the card is much more than the bonus itself and is a great credit card for earning valuable American Airlines miles. Even if you only fly with American Airlines a few times per year, you can easily experience the savings from this card.

In this AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® review, I will discuss why this card is one of my “absolute must-have” credit cards on the market today.

A Slam-Dunk Welcome Offer!

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

Benefits

  • 60,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles
  • Inflight savings options
  • No foreign transaction fees


Who should get this card?

The lure of this card is that nearly anyone can utilize it to save money. Whether you are someone who only travels a few times per year or is routinely in the air, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is a great way to save money by using airline miles on your flights.

Also, if earning American Airlines miles is one of your goals, there couldn’t be a more straight-forward card to select than this one. Here are a few basics to get you started determining if this is the card for you.

Card basics

Annual Fee $99
Intro Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Intro APR On Balance Transfers 0% for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers that post within 45 days of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • A slam-dunk welcome offer: The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is extremely unique because of its simple bonus offering. You will earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee.
  • Statement credits on inflight WiFi: If you enjoy surfing the Internet while flying, you know paying for WiFi can get expensive. With this card, you will have $25 per year in possible statement credits for in-flight Wi-Fi when you use your AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® to pay.
  • Anniversary companion certificate: If you plan on using this card for your everyday spending, the anniversary companion certificate is great to keep in mind. You can earn a certificate good for one companion if you spend more than $20,000 per year on your card and keep the card open for 45 days after your anniversary date.
  • Inflight savings: If you make a food or beverage purchase while flying on American Airlines, you will receive a statement credit for 25% off the purchase price.
  • First checked bag free: Your first checked bag will be free for you and up to four traveling companions on American Airlines when you are on the same itinerary. Even if you only fly a few times per year, this perk can save you hundreds on checked bag fees.
  • Travel coverage: When you use the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® to purchase your travel, you will have access to great travel coverage. Your policies will include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, and trip delay reimbursement.
  • “Flight Cents”: If you are interested in maximizing each one of your purchases and can spare some change, the Flight Cents program may make sense for you. When you make a purchase, this program automatically rounds your purchase amount up to the next dollar and uses that spare change to buy you American Airlines miles.
  • No foreign transaction fees: If you decide to use this card outside of the United States, you will not incur any foreign transaction fees.
  • Intro APR: If you have a credit card balance that is currently accruing interest, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® can help. With this card, you will have an introductory 0% APR offer for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers that post within 45 days of account opening.

Earning & redeeming

Earning with the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is straight-forward. You will earn 2X miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. But while the earning categories are simple, the redemption options are vast.

American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance. This means you can redeem your American Airlines AAdvantage points across a network of airlines from around the world. Additionally, there are several non-alliance American Airlines airline partners with whom you can also use your miles.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn American Airlines miles with the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is to use it on your everyday purchases. The more you spend, the more you can earn, and the more you can fly for nearly free.

However, if you are a “foodie,” like myself, there is an additional strategy to keep in mind when you purchase your next dinner out: Consider signing up for the AAdvantage Dining Program. With this program, you can earn up to five American Airlines miles per dollar spent at their partner restaurants, along with the earnings from the credit card itself.

Categories Rewards rate
Eligible American Airlines purchases 2X
All other purchases     1X

Maximizing your redemptions

There are multiple options for redeeming your American Airlines miles. Here are a few:

  • Flights (on American Airlines, oneworld partners, and non-alliance partners)
  • Rental cars
  • Travel packages booked through American Airlines Vacations
  • Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
  • Gift cards

Among these options, your miles will be most valuable when you redeem them for flights. When you use them for other purchases, like magazine subscriptions, your miles are quite frankly nearly worthless.

For example, with the 60,000 miles you will earn from the sign-up bonus, you can afford a round-trip ticket for yourself in business class from Los Angeles, CA, to New York City.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® Review

Or you could purchase two economy tickets for that same route and have miles to spare.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® Review

Whether you are redeeming for economy or business class, you are saving your hard-earned dollars. And that is the entire goal of using points and miles to travel.

Common questions

How much is 60,000 American Airlines miles worth?

According to loyalty program experts, American Airlines miles are worth approximately 1.4 cents per point. So, at that value, 60,000 American Airlines miles are worth around $840. In terms of the type of travel you can book, 60,000 miles on American Airlines can get you a round-trip non-stop flight from the continental U.S. to Europe and back (as of Oct. 2019).

How long does it take the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® bonus to post?

The sign-up bonus miles will post 4-6 weeks after the requirements have been completed.

Is the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® worth it?

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is absolutely worth it for anyone looking to earn valuable American Airlines miles. With a simple sign-up bonus and low annual fee, this card is an easy “yes” for nearly any traveler. However, you may also want to consider other American Airlines credit cards depending on how often you fly with the airline.

What credit score do you need for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®?

For the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, you will need excellent credit.

Other cards to consider

The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is a great card if you fly regularly with American Airlines. With this card, you can earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. While this is a bit lower than the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® bonus, you will also earn additional perks like access to the Admirals Club, a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and priority airport screening (when available) for you and up to eight traveling companions.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is known as one of the best travel credit cards — and for good reason. To start, you can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. These valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points can then be transferred to a variety of travel partners. Additionally, you will have trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, and trip delay reimbursement to cover you if your travels incur a bump in the road.

A Slam-Dunk Welcome Offer!

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

Special Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee

See how these cards compare:

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
  • 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free
  • Admirals Club membership and priority check-in
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

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