Upgrade Barclays Red Aviator to Silver Automatically Online

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If you’re interested in upgrading your Barclays Red Aviator card (not open to new applicants), it might be possible to do so directly in online banking.

View from the Wing reported that Barclays was slowly rolling out the upgrades, and listed some reasons why you may NOT want to upgrade the card.

To Upgrade or to Not Upgrade, That Is the Question

Me, I’m not gonna do it.

Because I have 10,000 American miles coming my way when I pay the annual fee again.

Here’s how you can tell:

Click "View Rewards"

Click “View Rewards”

And then…

Click "How my rewards work"

Click “How my rewards work”

There, you’ll see something to this effect:

I only get one round of 10K. But others get 10K EVERY cardmember year. They should NOT upgrade to Aviator Silver

I only get one round of 10K. But others get 10K EVERY cardmember year. They should NOT upgrade to Aviator Silver

I’ll get the 10,000 AA miles once and then consider upgrading to Aviator Silver.

But if you don’t see such language, you might consider making the upgrade now.

Check your account

In my account, the offer was on the right side, under Barclaycard extras:

Click to start, then 2 more clicks to upgrade to Aviator Silver!

Click to start, then 2 more clicks to upgrade to Aviator Silver!

It just says, “Upgrade your Account Benefits.”

When I clicked through, I was invited to upgrade to Aviator Silver.

Click "Tell me more" to proceed

Click “Tell me more” to proceed

After I clicked, I got a long list of details. Including that the upgrade would happen on August 7, 2015.

Page 1 of details

Page 1 of details

Page 2 of details

Page 2 of details

If I’d clicked “Yes, I accept,” the card would’ve been upgraded and the annual fee charged on November 30, 2015.

Should you do it?

I’m holding off to get my 10,000 AA anniversary miles. But if I didn’t have that coming, I’d definitely be tempted by this offer.

When you upgrade, you get:

  • 3X AA miles on AA flights
  • 2X AA miles on hotels and car rentals
  • 1X AA mile everywhere else
  • 5,000 EQMs when you spend $20,000 annually (can get up to 10,000 EQMs)
  • $99 companion certificate when you spend $30,000 annually
  • Free Global Entry (as a statement credit)

So this card is really only worth it if you have a lot of paid flights on American Airlines. Or if you want the opportunity to “buy” EQMs instead of fly to attain/retain status each year. Hey, 10,000 EQMs is 2 round-trip transcons! 

$195 is pretty hefty for an annual fee. But no other card earns 3X AA miles, which are extremely valuable (for now). If you can met the various spending thresholds, EQMs are very valuable, too. And the $99 companion cert if a nice bonus – if you can actually use it.

So it’s a personal decision for a niche crowd. Also consider this card is not available to new applicants. So if you can get it now, go for it.

Bottom line

Barclays is finally loosening the requirements to upgrade from Aviator Red to Silver. I was able to do it in 2 clicks directly in my online banking.

This is great news for a select set of people to whom this card caters.

But if you can wring the benefits out of it, like the EQMs, 3X AA miles, and $99 companion certificate, it would be well worth the $195 annual fee.

Do you have the option to upgrade? If you do… will you?

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. I checked my card and I don’t have the 10,000 miles thing but I do see this:

    “Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the annual fee. Now you can use your bonus miles toward any US Airways or American Airlines flight booked through aa.com or by calling American Airlines Reservations.”

    I got this card in February when it was a US Airways card and did get the 50,000 miles bonus, does this mean when next February rolls around and I pay the annual fee I’ll get ANOTHER 50,000 miles since it’s now a Red Aviator card?

      • I have a few cards that is like this. Some of the US airways cards that I got in February have converted to the Red Aviator card on the website, but I only just received it physically today in the mail about an hour ago, every time I’ve logged in I saw the “Activate Now” button. When I go into the “View rewards” area, and then “How my rewards work” there are 5 expandable bullets. The 50,000 mile message appears in the 3rd bullet for me. It doesn’t say it’s an upgrade offer, it just says I get 50,000 miles after first purchase and after paying the annual fee, lol…let me call them up to confirm

  2. I just got off the phone with the customer service representative, he says I won’t be getting the 50K miles a second time since I already got it in February, but he wasn’t sure why that message was appearing in the bullets. Nonetheless, I guess I’ll keep the card until February and pay the annual fee and see what happens?

  3. Checked my accounts over the weekend (wife and I each have two Red cards). All 4 cards are now available for Silver upgrade. Gotta decide by the end of December. All 4 accounts have the 10K annual bonus when the annual fee is due in February. Thinking of waiting this one out.

    Harlan – has the offer popped up again for you after you skipped the first offer this past summer, paid your fee on the Red card and received your 10K bonus? I’m wondering if the Silver offer is a one time offer, or if it repeats.

    • Oh wow! Is the 10K bonus you have every year, or 1 time only?

      I can still see the upgrade – it never went away. It’s been there ever since I put the post up. Has yours gone and come back again?


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