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Update: The current sign-up bonus offer for the British Airways Visa is 50,000 Avios when you spend $2,000 within 3 months of account opening.
This is the first installment in my new Maximizing British Airways Avios series. Other posts include Spotlight on Taxes and Fees, Distance-Based Awards, Travel Together Companion Ticket, Household Accounts, Using Avios to Upgrade Paid Tickets, The Avios and Cash Option, Save Money on Fuel Surcharges by Transferring British Airways Avios to Iberia, Using Avios For Non-Flight Redemptions.
While a link slipped out last Friday, Chase just officially launched the British Airways 100,000-mile bonus to affiliates like me. The card usually comes with a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus, but with this deal you can get 100,000 miles if you spend $20,000.
-You will get 50,000 bonus Avios after your first purchase
-25,000 bonus Avios after you make $10,000 in purchases within the first year of account opening
-Plus an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you make a total of $20,000 in purchases within the first year of account opening
Additional card features and fees:
-New: Smart Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip-based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.
– 1.25 miles for every dollar spent on the card
– 2.5 miles per dollar spent on British Airways travel
– No foreign transaction fees
– Companion certificate after $30,000 in spend. This companion ticket allows a second miles redemption for free. So if you use 100,000 miles for a business class ticket from Los Angeles to London, the second business class ticket costs 0 miles (you only pay taxes). A huge value if used properly.
– $95 annual fee
The T&C of the offer state that this is for first-time British Airways Visa holders, so if you got this card last year, you technically can’t get it again. However, a TPG reader did email me proof that he applied last year during this promo, canceled the card this February (replaced it with a Sapphire Preferred) and then applied again for a BA Visa under the 50,000 point sign-up and then secure messaged Chase to get the 100,000 and they confirmed he was eligible. I can’t confirm this will work for everyone else, but I just thought I’d share the information that this new offer may be classified as a new product from last year’s promotion.
How To Hit The Spend Requirements
That $20,000 spending requirement in the first year is quite a big sum for many consumers thinking about getting this card. However, with a bit of diligence and savvy in your spending habits, you’ll meet it (responsibly!) before you know it. Since I’ve written about this before, I won’t go into too many of the details, but my best advice is to put as many of your expenses on your credit card as possible. However, there are still a number of ways people are creating spend without realizing 100% of the cost, whether it’s buying gift cards or paying your taxes (and then writing off that cost as a business expense), so look at all your options and channel your spending into the ones with the most payable potential for you.
And then hey, once you’re at $20,000, try going for the $30,000 threshold that earns you a free companion ticket on the airline and take advantage of those expensive premium class redemptions. I’ll cover maximizing that award in a separate post.
With a bonus this tantalizingly big, but also fairly large minimum spending requirements, there are of course a lot of questions about the card, the bonus and the rewards. Here are a few that came in, and my thoughts on them. Please feel free to ask your question in the comment section below and I’ll do my best to get you an answer.
-Can you apply for this card if you got another Chase card within the past six months?
Yes. The general rule of thumb is one Chase application per month, but it all really depends on your credit and relationship with Chase. If you get denied you can always call the reconsideration line at 1-888-245-0625 and shift around other credit lines if necessary to get approved.
-If your partner got this card already, and you apply this time around, can you combine all your Avios into a single household account?
Yes. Even if you were an additional cardholder, you can still apply and get the bonus as a new customer. You can also combine points with up to 7 other people through BA’s useful Household Account feature as long as you all have the same address in your Executive Club profile.
-Can you redeem British Airways Avios points for OneWorld (AA) Round The World (RTW) ticket? If so, for how many miles and taxes? Are taxes ridiculously high with fuel surcharges?
BA doesn’t have Round the World ticket options. Your ticket would just price as consecutive one-way awards and you can use the Avios calculator to figure out how many miles your itinerary will cost (I generally don’t recommend Avios for Round the World awards). Remember, British Airways prices all segments one by one, so if you fly New York- London- Madrid, the awards prices New York- London and then London to Madrid so try to include as many non-stops as possible.
-Can the companion ticket be redeemed on partner airlines, or just British Airways flights?
Just British Airways flights, which means you will have to route through London and pay high pay taxes/fees- there is no way around that, but that doesn’t mean the companion ticket can’t be a great value.
-How long will this deal last?
TBD. Last time around, it was good for about a month, so that would be my best guess. But as always, good deals come to an end, so apply sooner rather than later if you want this card, and remember, I recommend at least a month between Chase applications.
Strategy For Maximizing The Bonus
Last year I did a 10 part series on How to Use British Airways Miles and I’ve been meaning to refresh the series since British Airways made key changes to the program in November. Next week I’ll start highlighting the best ways to maximizing Avios, so even if you already have the card or are going to transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards (at a current 5o% bonus) or Chase Ultimate Rewards you can understand how to get the most out of the program.
New Maximizing Avios Series
-A Spotlight on Fees–Taxes and Fuel Surcharges
-Award Pricing–Maximizing the Avios Distance-Based Formula
-Using Avios to Upgrade Paid Tickets
-The Miles & Cash Option
-The “Travel Together” Companion Ticket
-Calling In To Book Awards: The Best Option With BA
-Tools to Find Award Tickets