Barclay Returns with Flight Cents Today (Amazing Mileage Earning)

(we don’t have any referral links for the Barclay Aviator Card)

The Barclay Aviator Card has been one of my favorite cards for a while, mostly because they have amazing promotions that make it super easy to rack up a ton of miles. It’s not widely mentioned on the blogs, probably because finding referral links to make a commission are hard to come by 🙂 

Their extremely lucrative and popular Flight Cents promotion that they tested last year is back starting today, and I want to give it proper due on the blog. We will be using it to the max, and you should not miss this one.

American + US Airways merger, from CNN.com

American + US Airways merger, from CNN.com

Flight Cents

American Airlines and US Airways merged quite some time ago, and the credit cards were a bit of a SNAFU. Barclay held the US Airways portfolio and Citi was American. They were both allowed to issue cards and Barclay went with “Aviator” as their moniker.

Flight Cents is a promo that they rolled out last year that on paper sounded amazing. Would it work out to be the same in reality? The answer – a resounding yes. Here’s how it works.

Also, I made some updates from the comments section below – apparently I’m not a math major. BUT – in the initial run before the rollout here, the earning was 1 mile per penny, now it’s 1 per 2 pennies. Sorry y’all!

  • Make any purchase, let’s say a Latte for $3.20
  • You get 3 miles (for the $3) and they will round up the purchase to $4.
  • The extra 80 cents you get 1 mile per 2 cents, so an extra 40 miles.
  • Total miles earned off of your $3.20 latte ($4 purchase) = 43

As you can see, depending on what you buy and how often you buy it, this adds up to a MASSIVE amount of miles.

Last year during the promotion we received an extra 13,000 miles just off the flight cents promo alone. Think of all the things out there that you buy that you don’t round-up and how many miles you can earn.

Setting the Threshold

In order to “opt-in” to the promotion you have to set your Flight Cents threshold. Barclay isn’t just going to go hog wild on your purchases, rounding up like crazy. They want to make sure to put a limit on your spend (half because they don’t want to go overboard with your bill and the other half to make sure you don’t abuse the system).

Your Flight Cents threshold will be set to $0 by default, but when you log into your Barclay’s account you can set a different level. My suggestion? Max it out at $500.

Set your threshold

Now, each month you can not spend past $500 in rounding up. That shouldn’t be too hard. Even if you made 15 purchases a day and rounded up 99 cents on each one, that wouldn’t get you to $460.35, so I don’t expect anyone will reach the $500 limit. It should be noted that if you did make 15 purchases a day that rounded up that much, you would earn an extra 23,017 miles each month. You would be buying miles at 2 cents each. Not the best, but not the worst either for an extra promotion.

Danger Will Robinson

My thought? Skirt under the radar with this one. Barclay’s is notorious for shutting down accounts that game the system. You should make normal purchases in your day to day, and if you find that you’re going to be able to use your Barclay card for some of then, that’s a win! Just use this as an extra way to bulk your AAdvantage account with extra miles.

Plus, you don’t want to be “that guy…” You know “that guy,” right? The ass that kills the deal for everyone? Yea – don’t be that guy.

Signing Up

You should be enrolled automatically right now, but in order for it to work, you must set the threshold. Log in to your BarclayCard account and the signup will be on the right hand side.

Happy Earning!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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18 Comments

  1. Why would you pay 2 cents per mile?

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    • Why does 2 cents a mile seem outrageous?

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  2. Hi Jon,

    I’m a little miffed on your math. How did you derive the notion that “You would be buying miles at 1 cent each?” In your example, you clearly state that “you get 1 mile per 2 cents.” Can you please provide some clarity? Obviously, 1c/mile is a steal for almost any premium class award.

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  3. btw, it would be you earned 43 miles off your $4 latte (your all in cost), not $3.20.

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  4. Um, constantly buying AA miles at 2 cents apiece is a good deal? What universe do you live in? It was good when they initially rolled it out at 1 penny per mile, but at 2 cents per mile, it’s really a waste of energy. Their buy miles sales often come close to or lower than 2 cpp, and you can buy in bulk when you need to immediately top up for an award, whereas with this you are hoping they don’t devalue their program even more before you can redeem your miles.

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    • I live in a universe where you can fly from Europe to the Middle East with Etihad for 62,500 miles. If you bought at 2 cents a piece, that’s $1300. Much better than the $8k sticker price. Also, the sales come up a lot, yes, but require a larger purchase. This is a much smaller number in smaller increments.

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      • “I live in a universe where you can fly from Europe to the Middle East with Etihad for 62,500 miles.”

        Wow, how do I get a guarantee that AA won’t deval their award chart while I earn up to 49 miles per transaction over the next several years? Sounds like a great lock in you have!

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        • I’m happy to get into a debate about devaluation with you, but you’re going to be right by default. Airlines always devalue their award charts. It’s as guaranteed as a domestic coach airline meal to be tasteless and soggy. As a matter of fact, American Airlines just relaxed their Etihad awards to allow better routing and using LESS miles. So yea, how do YOU guarantee that any airline, hotel, credit card, or shoppers program won’t devalue. You don’t. So you earn and enjoy the rewards while you can. #KThxBye #Truth

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  5. That’s not the way this works. Using your example above, your $3.20 gets you 3 miles. Then, you are CHARGED an additional $0.80 for the 40 miles – it’s not a free ride to the next dollar. So you’re paying $0.02/mile for the top off – I don’t find that a very good value. I took part in the original promo where different people got different values – mine was $0.01/mile and I used it A LOT. At $0.02 a mile, I’m definitely not a buyer. And I wouldn’t worry about maxing this out, Barclays will be happy to sell you as many miles as you want at that price.

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    • You’re right – I was also in at the 1 cent promo. I did better math (duh… my bad) and yes it is 2 cents. Still not a bad one to top off the account. I wouldn’t go out of my way, but an extra is fine by me.

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  6. isn’t it like buying AA miles for 2 cents per mile? how do you get the 1 cent per mile number?

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    • Because I’m shitty at Math 🙂

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      • At least edit your post to show that it’s not really an amazing value.

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      • It’s not (just) your math….this promotion is terrible, and you calling it amazing is totally wrong. The whole post, especially the title is misleading.

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        • Defend your position.

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  7. nvm, I’m late to the comments…carry on, nothing to see here.

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  8. is it on the business card as well? thanks . . .

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    • Honestly I don’t know. It doesn’t list it on their page

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  1. In Defense of Buying Miles at 2 Cents Each | No Mas Coach! - […] as a pilot throughout last year and it’s back this year in a slightly tweaked format. Here’s the read,…

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