US Airways and American Airlines’ mileage programs are merging soon

Yesterday I received two emails – one from American Airlines and one from US Airways. See if you can spot the difference in the headline picture:

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 2.24.42 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-14 at 2.25.02 PM

For those not paying attention, American Airlines and US Airways are merging into a single company soon and thus their accruing programs will be as well. As part of their lead-up to the merger they are starting to bind things together within the next 30 days. You can already buy tickets on either site with miles from that program (i.e. you can buy American Airlines tickets on US Airways website with US Airways miles) and soon enough the mileage programs will merge entirely. If you have accounts with both airlines, be sure to link them by following the instructions on this View from the Wing post – it is quick and easy to follow.

One of the important aspects of US Airways that will be disappearing soon is the World Elite Mastercard they offer: very soon you will not be able to sign up for it. In order to get last-minute sign-ups, they have increased the bonus to 50,000 miles with your first purchase and the $89 fee. Since I already have this card, I received a mailing explaining how mine will soon turn into the AAdvantage AviatorRed Mastercard sometime between April and June. Just some of the benefits that are changing are listed here:

  • Instead of the 5,000 mile discount offered by US Airways, the new card offers 10% back instead (better for some award tickets, worse for others).
  • No stopovers on award tickets (US Airways used to offer one stopover, effectively leading to two plane tickets for the price of one).
  • No more companion tickets (oh well).

There are a few more changes, but these are the ones that applied to me (and probably most people).

So, as we wait to hear more information about these changes, keep in mind it’s happening, people.

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