The Lesser Known British Airways Visa Perks: Priority Boarding, 10% Off and Free Bags

by on April 23, 2012 · 21 comments

in American, British Airways

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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.

I got the British Airways Visa 100,000 mile offer last year and since have used some of those miles for friends and family members for short-haul flights. Without fail, each time these people, who don’t have elite status with American, are given Priority AAccess (boarding and seat assignment) for these flights. This is not a published benefit, but is a nice little perk for those who like to redeem their BA miles for American Airlines awards – made even better since short- and mid-haul flights can be huge bargains – plus there are no last minute ticketing fees and only $2.50 in taxes per segment.

10% Off BA Tickets

Another little-discussed benefit is the 10% off any British Airways flight feature when you book tickets with your card. I wrote about this back in November, and that promotion is now a full-time feature of the card. You get 10% off any British Airways flight when you use your Chase British Airways Visa card. The great thing about this promo is that the 10% comes off of the total ticket price, including taxes and fees. On top of all this, you also earn an 2.5 miles per dollar spent on BA miles when you use the BA Visa card.

Here’s info from the promotion page.

Receive a 10% discount1 on every British Airways round-trip flight booked through when you use your British Airways Visa®card with promotion code: CARDOFFERU. Flights must be booked and outbound travel completed from now through December 31, 2012. You always get a great deal when you book with us directly and now that deal will be even better.

10% off when you book through

  • Discount is off the total cost of the fare (including taxes, fuel and surcharges).
  • Choose from any of British Airways 300+ destinations.
  • Travel in any cabin—World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World or First.
  • Book up to eight friends and family members travelling on the same flight.

Promotion code: CARDOFFERU

Free Bags?

A third benefit that used to be accidentally offered on AA award tickets was two free checked bags. There are reports that this benefit is no longer being offered and indeed the booking screen confirms 0 checked bags now. I’m curious to see if anyone has any recent experiences getting free checked bags on BA economy awards on American Airlines. The AA system still gives PriorityAAccess by accident, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the system thinks people are elite and doesn’t charge for bags. I’ve only recently redeemed for first class awards before the Avios change, so I don’t have any experience yet redeeming for domestic coach AA awards.

Potential 2.5 miles
British Airways is also offering many of the people who got the card last year 2.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases for this quarter. I suppose this is a way to keep current cardholders engaged while they promote the new 100,000 mile offer. Even if you don’t get the piece of mail, it will automatically register your account so check your statements to see if you are indeed enrolled in getting the 2.5 miles, or call Chase to see if your account is eligible.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Rob

    I’ll find out next week, and will post that, flying MIA-TPA on AA booked with Avios.

  • Charlene Wang

    I recently cancelled my BA Chase card, but am still getting promotional news from them in the mail. I recently got a postcard that said all 3 of these perks were features of the card. Earlier this month, I also got a postcard saying that from April-June, I would receive 2.5 Avios/$1 for all categories of spend (not just BA spend).

  • Robertr

    “Since I’ve only redeemed these for first class….what a d**che.

  • thepointsguy

    I’ve only redeemed BA miles pre-Avios for Cathay Pacific First awards, which are an amazing value. I do redeem for coach, just using other airline miles. Not sure what your point is.

  • thepointsguy

    I’ve heard reports of that as well- I didn’t personally get offered it (at least that I saw), but will remind people to read their snail mail from Chase/BA!

  • BartNY

    Plan on booking YYZ-LGA using my avios for next week but not 100% sure of the dates.

    Do you know if it is possible to change award tickets if I’m unsure of the dates or should I just wait to book my ticket last minute since it’s the middle of the week (Tue,Wed or Thur)?

    Either way ill let u know about the luggage when I book the ticket

  • thepointsguy

    They will charge you a $70 fee to change the dates of your award, so I’d wait until they are solidified before you book.

  • MaryJ

    I used Avios to book a few short haul domestic flights on AA and even though the confirmation email very clearly says “2 free checked bags”, AA has refused to honor it and instead insisted that their policy, not BA’s apply, so, $25 for the first checked bag.

  • arcticbull

    I believe their change fees are USD40.

    However, if you do a cancellation/redeposit/reissue online they should charge you just the lesser of USD40 and the taxes and fees you paid (so if you paid $2.50, it should be $2.50, but don’t quote me on that).

    It’s only $65 if you do it by phone (USD40 + USD25 call center fee). Shockingly they didn’t “enhance” everything in the EC->Avios shenanigans.

  • BATraveler

    I received the Chase BA card with 100,00 point bonus in February 2010, acheived the $30k annual spend for companion ticket and we absolutely loved the BA New First Class product flying across the pond. So much so that I am accumulating miles and the $30k spend to do it again. Several weeks ago I received the snail mail stating “earn 2.5 Avios per $1 on all purchases up to $4,000″. The key here is “UP TO $4,000″. I changed my spending from the AMEX Business Rewards Gold (which will give a 50% bonus on transfers to BA until May 31, 2012) to the Chase BA card which will give me 2.5 miles per $ as opposed to 1.5 miles per $ on the AMEX Business Rewards Gold. However, now that I have re-read the promo with its $4,000 spend cap it looks like AMEX is going to get the bulk of my spend thru May 31, 2012.

  • Disappointed

    Two issues with this. I have had the card for a while. (i) Three transatlantic trips on BA and numerous trips within Europe and I don’t get priority boarding on BA. (ii) I have yet to get the 10% off to work. This is not valid for intra-european trips nor for code share across the pond. Since there are no direct BA flights from my airport (only codeshare with AA to JFK), I can’t get the discount. These limitations will result in me cancelling the card and stick to Chase Sapphire instead.

  • ConstantPitches

    I was hoping the constant repetitive credit card pitches would end after the Chase deal was discounted, but low and behold the British Airways card is the new one to pitch to death.

  • Krivokrasov

    I used BA miles to fly American from DEN – KOA, and I did not get free bags.

  • econjon

    Everything I’ve read on FT points to no free bags. But I’ll be flying JFK-YUL next week, so I’ll give it a shot with my roller just to see what happens!

  • PJ

    did you mis-spell you name? should that be ConstantBitches

  • SB

    Is it true BA-Avios won’t let you redeem points on AA for first class tickets on short/mid haul flights in the US? Their website only let’s one choose Economy or Business , but business is a non-existent class on most AA domestic flights.

  • Mferrell35

    Just got off the phone with Chase and the lady had no idea what I was talking about wrt the 2.5 miles per $ on all purchases promotion. Help please?

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