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See the best American Airlines credit cards here. 

Starting in May 2019, two AAdvantage Aviator American Airlines credit cards are getting a makeover. Also starting in May 2019, the Barclays Flight Cents program will round each purchase to the nearest dollar to award more miles. There will be several other benefit changes to the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard and the AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard.

If you fly American Airlines regularly, these benefit changes can be enticing.

Flight Cents

Both the Aviator Red and Aviator Silver will feature Barclays Flight Cents program that rounds up your purchase amount and awards 0.5 AAdvantage miles for each cent rounded up. Plus, you earn the standard purchase reward for each $1 spent on the original purchase amount.

Depending on roundup amount, you can get up to 49.5 AAdvantage miles with each purchase using Flight Cents. You may also get benefits lik free bags, Wi-Fi credit, and the ability to earn on select purchases.

Current Aviator cardholders might be familiar with this program as it’s been around since 2017.

If you’re not familiar with Flight Cents, below are two examples for how you can earn bonus miles with spending roundups.

Example 1

You spend $3.01. Flight Cents rounds up the purchase to $4.00 (this is the amount charged to your Aviator credit card) and you earn 49.5 bonus miles plus the 3 base points from the original purchase to earn 52.5 AAdvantage miles.

Without Flight Cents, to earn 52 AAdvantage miles, you need to spend $52 under the standard 1x mile per $1 spent on non-American Airlines purchases.

Example 2

You spend $5.98 and the purchase rounds up to $6.00. This means you earn 1 mile from Flight Cents and 5 base points for 6 AAdvantage total miles.

As you can see, you will benefit more from Flight Cents if your purchase amount require a larger roundup. But, this is an easy way to boost your earning power on your everyday purchases.

Although Flight Cents requires you to pay for these bonus miles, it’s an easy way to earn more AAdvantage miles with each purchase. If paying a penny is worth 0.5 bonus AAdvantage miles, then you can accumulate a small nest egg of AAdvantage miles by using your credit card frequently.

AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard

The AAvantage Aviator Red is seeing several new benefits and changes to several other current benefits. One change is that the annual fee increases from $95 to $99.

New Benefits

Besides the Flight Cents program, there are two new benefits coming:

  • Anniversary Companion Certificate. Get a Companion Certificate for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after qualifying account activity each card anniversary.
  • Wi-Fi Credit. Up to $25 statement credit on inflight Wi-Fi on American Airlines operated flights each anniversary year.

Changing Benefits

To offset the new companion certificate and Wi-Fi credit, these two benefits disappear in May 2019:

  • 10% miles back on redeemed miles
  • $100 American Airlines flight discount after qualifying account activity

Other Card Benefits

As an Aviator Red cardholder, you can also enjoy these American Airlines benefits:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to 4 companions
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 companions
  • 25% in-flight savings on food and beverages
  • 2x miles on all American Airlines purchases
  • 1x miles for all non-American Airlines spending
  • No foreign transaction fee

Starting in May 2019, you can also enjoy 0.5 miles per 1 cent spending roundup with the new Flight Cents program.

AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard

The AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard isn’t accepting new applications at this time. But existing cardholders should be aware that is increasing from $195 to $199. Plus, there will be a benefit shakeup that goes beyond the Flight Cents addition.

Like the Aviator Red, these new changes go into effect in May 2019.

New Benefits

  • Flight Cents. Spending roundups earn 0.5 AAdvantage mile for each 1 cent spending roundup
  • In-flight savings. Up to $25 daily statement credit for in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines operated flights (currently a flat 25% back on food and beverage purchases)
  • Companion Certificate. 2 guests fly for $99 each (plus fees and taxes) each card anniversary after qualifying account activity
  • Wi-Fi Credit. Up to $50 back as statement credits for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases on American Airlines operated flights

10% Miles Back Benefit Disappears

Like the AAdvantage Aviator Red, the 10% Miles Back benefit on redeemed miles disappears to make room for these new benefits.

Other Card Benefits

You will still continue to enjoy these travel benefits:

  • Free checked bag for you and up to 8 travel companions
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 8 travel companions
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit
  • 3 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on select hotel and car rentals
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee

Redeeming AAdvantage Miles

Are your wheels spinning with how much sooner you can book American Airlines award flights?

There are several American Airlines AAdvantage program changes in 2019. Though there are still a few valuable redemption options to keep your eye on.

Domestic Flights from 7,500 Miles

Award flights occurring within the continental U.S. 48 states and Canada that are shorter than 500 miles only cost 7,500 miles.

This is 5,000 points less than the regular 12,500 miles required for a one-way main cabin domestic flight.

Off-Peak Flights to Europe for 22,500 Miles

Flying on American Airlines to Europe stretches your miles in two different ways:

  • Main cabin off-peak season flights cost 22,500 miles each way (30,000 miles in peak season)
  • You don’t pay a fuel surcharge

For 2019, the off-peak travel dates to Europe are January 10 to March 14 and November 1 to December 14.

Booking outside these dates means you pay 30,000 miles each way for a main cabin seat. Off-peak rates don’t apply to business or first class award seats so expect to pay 57,500 AAdvantage miles each way.

Reduced Mileage Awards

To select U.S. cities, you can enjoy special award flight discounts for owning a co-brand American Airlines credit card. You can visit the Reduced Mileage Awards page to see the current offers.

By owning the Aviator Red or Aviator Silver, you can enjoy these mileage discounts when booking a roundtrip award flight:

  • Flights 500 miles or longer: Up to 7,500 mile discount
  • Flights shorter than 500 miles: Up to 2,000 mile discount

The exact discount amount depends on the discount award code. To enjoy this discount, you will need to call American Airlines to book your trip.


The Flight Cents program addition helps you earn bonus AAdvantage miles on every purchase through spending roundups. This new point earning opportunity can help you book award flights sooner without having to spend a small fortune to earn those extra miles.

4 Comments On "Barclays Adds Flight Cents Bonus Miles to Two American Airlines Credit Cards"
  1. Roger Bartel|

    Dear Johnny Jet,

    I just received a “blurb” from my Aviator MasterCard about enrolling in “flight cents”. I use my Aviator card judiciously and enjoy the free checked bag and opportune boarding for cardholders. I have only a high-school education, but I am always keen to exploit offers if I analyze them as not being exploitive of me. To put it bluntly “Flight Cents makes NO SENSE”!!!!

    They basically give you 1/2 mile for every penny they overcharge you. To put in another way, they give you I mile for every 2 cents they overcharge you!

    Let’s look at a typical award fare scenario. The BEST a person can do is get a one-way award fare for 12,500 miles! To accumulate enough “flight cents” overcharges, to pay for a one-way ticket , you would have ended up paying $250 to Barclays Bank! ($500 to Barclays Bank for the cheapest round trip flight rewards). If I would have just put that same “rounding up” money in my piggy bank, I could use any airline and easily get a round-trip ticket for less than that! I just came back from Wuhan China. I got a round-trip ticket (Houston to Wuhan China) for $399 on Air China!

    I don’t get paid for my comments and I think people like you should do more analysis on such offers. I have exposed many scams and even appeared on network TV in Houston, reporting a scam and a rip-off. People trust my opinion because I have no “conflict of interest” . I try to help my fellow man from falling for offers that seem to offer a benefit, but are actually bad deals.

    Best Regards,

  2. Alicia|

    I am very glad you wrote about flight cents. I remember receiving an ad advertising the flight cents, and I must have followed procedures to get enrolled in this program, I really don’t remembr the details but in my latest
    AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard Statement it shows a charge of $10.82 for11 miles. I think this is a rip off. I don’t know how to stop this program, can you please give an address or better a phone where I can call? I am nost sure if I signed up for just a few months , a month or until I stop it. Any help would be greatly appreciate it.

  3. Jeff Jones|

    The Barclays Mastercard flight cents for AA is not working. Just FYI, when you ask them why they state it is a technical glitch and have no time frame for resolution. It has been going on for 2 months in my account. So don’t count on it. Noticed the issue Jan 2020.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Thanks for the data point!

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