Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red Retention Call
The $89 annual fee hit on my Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red card so I decided to give them a call and see if there were any retention offers for the account. I was expecting to get the annual fee waived, which has been easy for most people in the past. I don’t have plans to fly American over the next year so if there wasn’t an I was ok with canceling it.
Aviator Red Card Details
The Barclay Aviator card comes with some decent perks for $89 if you fly American Airlines. They are the same perks that come with the Citi AAdvantage card, but with a slightly lower annual fee. The best of the card’s perks are as follows:
- 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles back per year
- First checked bag free
- Preferred boarding
- Access to reduced AA awards
The earning rates on this card (2x on AA, 1x on everything else) are pitiful and I put virtually no spend on it because of that. Barclaycard likes to offer spending bonuses right around the time your annual fee comes due. Mine was pretty terrible this year so I didn’t even sign up for it. In the past they were pretty good (15,000 miles) and even made it worth paying the card’s annual fee if it wasn’t waived.
Details of the Call
I called the number on the back of the card and stated that I wanted to cancel my card when prompted. I was transferred to customer service and repeated my request. After stating I had no plans to fly American Airlines over the next year and that I would not use the perks of the card I was transferred to the retention department.
I once again explained my annual fee was recently billed and that I would not be flying American over the next twelve months. I stated that since I would not be able to use the perks the card offered I could not justify the annual fee.
Here is where I thought she would offer to waive the annual fee but it never happened. She basically said ok after looking over my account briefly. She offered to move my 16K credit limit over to my Arrival+ card which I gladly accepted. I had to be transferred to a THIRD department to make this happen and close the account. At least I got something for making the call I guess.
Why I was Ok Canceling
If I am being honest I expected them to waive the annual fee because it has been almost automatic in the past. My card is a hold over from the US Airways days. I have put zero spend on the card this year so I can’t really blame them for not offering me anything.
With no plans to use American over the next year, at this point, there was no reason to keep it. Having burned most of my AA miles last year my stash is sitting at a pitiful 4,000 miles. With such a small stash the 10% rebate perk, which is by far the best perk, is essentially worthless to me. Canceling the card also allows me to go for the card’s sign up bonus a little further on down the road.
I do appreciate them rolling over my credit limit. Chase does this with ease but I wasn’t sure if Barclay would be the same. They assured me there would be no hard pull for the transfer, which isn’t the case with all banks for some reason. I am glad I am able to keep my credit line the same amount, it should help maintain my credit score.
It seems like Barclay is cracking down on the annual fee waivers. Maybe it was because I didn’t have any spend on the card or maybe they are cracking down across the board. I would love to get some other people’s data points in the comments section.
Being able to transfer my credit limit was at least something for my time. It should help keep my credit score high by keeping my usage ratios down. It also gives me a bargaining chip if I sign up for another Barclay card in the future. I can use some of my large credit line to help open a new account without them needing to extend me new credit.
Let us know in the comments section if you have had any luck on any Barclay retention offers lately.