AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard Review [2021]: Bonus Miles for American Airlines Loyalists

The AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard offers several perks, but does it deserve a spot in your wallet?
Last updated Jun 7, 2021 | By Kevin Payne | Edited By Jess Ullrich

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American Airlines offers several co-branded credit cards, including a couple specifically for small business owners. The AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard is one of its business offerings, available through Barclays. This airline business card comes with a sizable welcome bonus and generous rewards in spending categories geared towards small businesses.

While the card comes with several American Airlines-related perks, it also has some drawbacks to consider. Keep reading this AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard Review to help determine if it's the right credit card for you and your business.

Annual Companion Certificate

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

Benefits

  • Free checked bag
  • Preferred boarding
  • Annual companion certificate after spending $30,000
  • Annual 5% mileage bonus

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee

In this article

Who should get the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard?

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard is geared towards business owners who are frequent American Airlines flyers and plan to use rewards to book American flights. The card is especially appealing to businesses that spend at least $30,000 on the card annually. Higher annual spending can help unlock extra perks like elite status and a $99 companion ticket (plus fees and taxes, of course).

The card earns decent, but not great, 2X bonus rates on American Airlines and office supply, telecom, and car rental merchants purchases. The card’s bonus categories are likely not enough to choose this card over other business or airline cards that may offer better rates or earn in categories that make more sense for your business.

If you don’t plan to cash in your AAdvantage miles for American flights or partner airlines, this isn’t the business credit card for you. The same goes for business owners who prefer more flexible travel rewards or flying on other airlines.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Barclays
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $95
Intro bonus Earn up to 75,000 miles: 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and another 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card
Reward rate 2X AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at American Airlines and office supply, telecom, and car rental merchants; plus 1X AAdvantage miles on everything else
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard benefits and perks

  • Generous sign-up bonus: New cardholders can earn up to 75,000 miles: 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and another 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card.
  • Companion certificate: Spend $30,000 each card membership year and get a companion certificate for a domestic economy ticket for $99 plus taxes and fees.
  • Statement credit for inflight purchases: Cardholders get a 25% statement credit for eligible inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights.
  • Free checked bags: Cardmembers get free first checked bags for themselves and up to four travel companions on domestic American Airlines flights.
  • Priority boarding: The World Elite Business card also gets you access to preferred boarding for you and up to four travel companions on American Airlines flights.
  • Anniversary miles bonus: Earn a 5% mileage bonus after your account anniversary date annually based on miles earned on your card over the course of the year.
  • MileSAAver discount: Cardmembers get access to a MileSAAver discount, which allows them to redeem their miles for discounted round-trip or one-way award flights to select destinations.
  • Elite status: If you’re interested in earning elite status in the AAdvantage program, this card might help you move up the tiers faster. Cardholders can earn $3,000 in elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) when they spend $25,000 with their card in a calendar year.

Drawbacks to the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

  • Annual fee: The AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard carries a $95 annual fee. There are other credit cards with better benefits with a comparable annual fee or no fee at all.
  • Few premium travel benefits: While the card does come with some travel benefits, it doesn’t come with premium perks like airport lounge access, Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement, or travel or car rental insurance.
  • Low bonus miles earning: The card only earns 2X miles on American Airlines and office supply, telecom, and car rental merchants. Other airline business cards, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card, earn 3X miles on Southwest Airlines purchases.

Earning & redeeming AAdvantage miles

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your miles can add up with the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of one cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $990

Year two earnings: $240

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

The earnings amounts above only account for general travel spending, not American Airlines purchases. The value of the annual companion pass isn’t factored into the earnings calculations, either. If you use this card to make purchases in the bonus categories and take advantage of its companion pass, your year one and two earnings could increase significantly.

Best ways to earn

The best ways to earn miles with the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business is to use your card for bonus category spending. You will earn 2X on American Airlines and office supply, telecom, and car rental merchants.

Other purchases made with your AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard earn 1X miles per dollar spent, which is on par with other business rewards cards.

Categories Rewards rate
American Airlines and office supply, telecom, and car rental merchants 2X
other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

Smart business owners can use their AAdvantage miles towards flights on American Airlines or one of its partner airlines, which fly to over 1,000 destinations worldwide. You can also redeem your miles for seat and cabin upgrades and an Admirals Club membership.

Outside of American Airline redemptions, cardholders can redeem miles towards hotel stays, rental cars, vacation packages, luxury experiences, or newspaper subscriptions. You can also donate miles to select charities. You’ll likely get the best redemption values for flights, though.

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard transfer partners

American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance. Because of this partnership, you can earn and redeem AAdvantage miles with any of its partner airlines. The current lineup of oneworld alliance airlines includes:

  • American Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

American Airlines also partners with several other airlines. AAdvantage miles can also be earned or redeemed with the following airlines:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Cape Air
  • China Southern Airlines (earned only)
  • Etihad Airways (earned only)
  • Fiji Airways
  • GOL Airlines (earned only)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue (earned only)
  • Seaborne Virgin Islands

Make it a habit to check award flights with partner airlines before booking a flight. You can often book an American Airlines award flight through a partner airline for fewer miles than booking through American.

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard FAQs

Is the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard worth it?

The AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard is a solid card if you fly American Airlines exclusively or at least several times a year. The card’s value increases if you spend at least $30,000 annually, or roughly $2,500 per month, and take advantage of additional perks such as elite status and the $99 companion ticket.

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

Like most card issuers, Barclays doesn’t publish specific credit requirements online for its cards. You’ll likely need at least a good FICO credit score (a score of 670 or higher) to qualify for the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard.

Does the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard have an annual fee?

Yes, the American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard carries a $95 annual fee.

What are some good alternatives to the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard?

While AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard is a decent rewards credit card, it’s not the only one to consider. Some other card options that might be a better fit for your business include:

Do AAdvantage miles expire?

Yes, AAdvantage miles can expire. You can keep your miles from expiring by earning or redeeming miles at least once every 18 months.

Other cards to consider

If the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard doesn't sound like the best credit card for your wallet, just remember: Sometimes the best airline credit card isn’t an airline credit card at all. The Chase Ink Business Preferred allows cardholders to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for free flights, cash back, gift cards, and other travel redemptions. Plus, this card offers 3X bonus points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines. Like the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard, Chase Ink Business Preferred carries a $95 annual fee.

The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard is another American Airlines business credit card but within the Citi family of cards. There’s not much difference between the two cards at first glance. They offer a similar earnings structure and many of the same American Airlines perks. One notable difference is that the CitiBusiness card carries a $99 (waived first year) annual fee.

Annual Companion Certificate

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Business Mastercard

Special Offer

Earn up to 75,000 miles: 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, and another 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card

See how these cards compare:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
  • 65,000 bonus mile intro offer
  • 2X miles for American Airlines purchases and across several popular categories
  • Free first checked bag
  • Preferred boarding

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.