I admit I have been quite confused today with some posts I have seen about the “new and improved” The US Airways Premier World MasterCard offer that awards 40,000 miles after the first use. I even tweeted to that effect wondering if I had too much eggnog (and cupcakes) since I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about.
From what I could tell the old US Airways card offer I had previously applied for was both better and still available, so I thought I must be missing something given the coverage the “new” offer was getting on some sites. Turns out for the most part I am not missing anything, but there is one change to the old offer that does make the new offer somewhat more interesting to some.
Here is a comparison of the two offers, so that you can be sure to make an informed decision if/when you add this card to your collection (or add your 14th version of this card to your collection as some folks get this one more than once – though that does seem to have gotten more difficult recently…)
As you can see, the main two differences in the benefits of the two cards are whether or not the annual fee is waived the first year (it is with the old offer, but not with the new offer). Also, the old offer should come with 10,000 bonus miles on each anniversary and the new offer does not. I say should because I have heard a couple reports of people who didn’t get their miles, but it is also quite possible those folks didn’t actually apply for a version that came with the bonus miles. The offer page for the old offer still lists that benefit, and I did receive the bonus miles on my recent anniversary with that card using that link, so it should still work. I put an * by the balance transfer as that comes with the standard balance transfer fees, so it probably isn’t a good idea just for the miles.
So, you can see my confusion on why anyone would want the new offer. At least that is until I realized that the old offer application page had been tweaked a bit since I had last seen it. The old offer had always been labeled as an “Exclusive Offer for Chairman’s Preferred Members” (which is the top tier elite level for US Airways), however I have never read a report of those who don’t have top tier elite status with US Airways not getting the card because of any elite status issue. However, as View From the Wing points out, the application page now also asks for your US Airways employee number:
Please enter your 2-character Airline Code followed by your Employee Badge number (no spaces). Only employees of US Airways and US Airways wholly-owned subsidiaries are eligible.
Everyone has their own ethical line. I did not personally feel bad applying for the old offer even though it said it was for Chairman’s Preferred members, however I would probably not be comfortable entering a fake employee ID number just to get a credit card. Of course, I do think it is very strange it is asking for an employee ID number given that it is marketed toward top tier elite flyers, not US Airways employees!? Weird. However, it seems that folks are just skipping that part by leaving it blank and the application is still going through. So, again that may shift using the old application back into the ethically acceptable realm for some.
Also be aware that Barclays does sometimes approve folks for a lesser version of the card with a lower sign-up bonus. There is no question that the old Chairman’s offer is better than the new public offer. However, they are both very good offers, and I do recommend adding this card to your list at some point. Even if you don’t fly US Airways, you can use the miles to fly on other Star Alliance carriers, like United. Just make sure you are making an informed choice on which offer is the right one for you – and for the majority that will probably be the old offer that has been around for years.
Disclosure: The new offer does contain a referral link that does provide me a commission if you are approved for that card while the old version does not. However, it is way more important to me that you get the best deal available, so I want you to be aware of both versions.