Reminder: British Airways Visa One of Best Current Credit Card Offers

by on February 21, 2013 · 23 comments

in British Airways, Credit Cards

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Update: The current offer for the British Airways Visa is 50,000 Avios when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. The current offer for the Premier Rewards Gold is 25,000 points after $2,000 spend within 3 months.

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

In the past couple of days, I’ve been talking about some great credit card bonuses including 50,000 Membership Rewards points for the American Express Premier Rewards Gold and 25,000 points for the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN Savings, but the current British Airways Visa offer is one of the most lucrative credit cards on the market at the moment if you know how to leverage it to it’s full potential. This particular offer has lasted longer than previous similar offers, and based on professional opinion and past experience, I have a hunch that it may be going away very soon. Based on historical patterns, when the current bonus ends, the bonus offer is likely to drop to 50,000 Avios total (vs. the current potential of up up to 100,000 Avios after $20,000 in spend) after about $2,000 spending in three months – or somewhere in that neighborhood.

BA Visa long

By contrast, the offer details were (again, note this offer is no longer available, the current offer is 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 within 3 months):

-You will get 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
-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
- 1.25 miles for every dollar spent on the card
- 2.5 miles per dollar spent on British Airways travel
- No foreign transaction 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.
- 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
Application link

Although the spending requirements are pretty high – $20,000 within a year in order to secure the whole 100,000 Avios bonus – if you can hit that spend, let alone the $30,000 necessary for the potentially ultra-lucrative Travel Together companion ticket, this card can be a great deal. I carry it myself and find elements of it like the fact that I get a 10% rebate on BA tickets purchased with the card to be real, tangible benefits.


Last time this offer came around, I created a whole series on Maximizing the British Airways Visa and the various features of the card as well as British Airways’ Avios frequent flyer program. Here are the posts:

-Master FAQ Post on British Airways 100,000 Mile Offer
-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
-Using Avios to Book Domestic First Class FlightsDirect Flights, London Stopovers and UK DestinationsHow to Redeem British Airways Avios Without Huge Fees

We seem to have reached a really great moment in the credit card market and I hope many of you are able to take advantage of it. If I were doing a churn today, the British Airways Visa would be part of my strategy, while I’d also apply for the following cards:

-Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express for 50,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

-The Business Platinum card from American Express OPEN Savings for 25,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in 3 months

-The Ink Bold from Chase for 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

Applying for multiple cards from the same issuer on the same day is completely possible – and potentially a great strategy with offers such as those on these Amex cards – though with American Express at least, they’ll each count as separate credit pulls, so just be sure your credit score is in good shape before attempting it. And if you’ve been thinking about the British Airways Visa but have been too shy to commit, I’d say now is the time while this offer is still out there.

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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  • ZJ

    TPG, I love your blog and have no problem with this article. But my goodness, I can hear the stampede of haters coming.

  • Lolsde

    lol………………..the most glorious offer of them all……..100K Avios miles..haha

  • T Cohn

    Only because the haters think International F is all there is to life. I get more value out of my Avios then any other airline point/mile, just not on international flights.

  • Ryan

    Isn’t it 50K MR after 1,000 in spend?

  • Gordon_mc

    Last year, my wife & I got one of these cards each. It’s a good card, for the 100k bonus and the lack of foreign transaction fee, but the companion certificate is pretty much useless in our experience.

    I spent 30+ minutes on the phone with BA again yesterday, trying to find a trip to use any of our multiple companion certificates on. No joy, despite trying a huge range of dates and destinations.

    The benefits OTHER than the companion certificate are still worthwhile IMO. So, don’t be put off, but do go into this with your eyes open as regards the real value of the perks.

  • JPL

    I had the British Airways card a few years back and while the Avios points are great, the problem is using them in the United States to fly to London without having to suffer huge fees to use them. My understanding is that Avios works great from London to the rest of the B.A. network but getting to London shouldn’t cost me 40,000 Avios points and $700 USD in fees.

  • Ryan

    US domestic shorthauls are all I use mine for

  • Desmond

    TPG, i’ve gotten so many great credit cards from your blog. if i have no intention of hitting the 10k or 20k spend, is this still a good deal? in my case the downside of missing this deal – the first 50k bonus comes after 3k spend vs 1k – isn’t that bad. on the other hand, do you think that there is still a chance that instead the offer will become 100k after roughly 3k spend like last year’s?

  • jlole

    Got it! This adds to the PGR Amex I was approved for yesterday. Now to learn how to use them to their maximum potential along with my Thank yous. I will only make the annual expenditure for one of the cards but will be able to reach the 3 month expenditure requirements for both. Thank you!

  • Santastico

    Had this card more than a year ago and cancelled before had to pay the annual fee. Can I apply for it again and get the AVIOS points for this promo?

  • RomanHans

    This question brings up a good point. Some of us aren’t particularly rich (which is why we’re here) but a lot of the advice here is aimed at the higher end. I’m not going to spend over $1,000 in three months, and I don’t particularly care about companion certificates, airport lounges, or upgrades to business class — which means a lot of the advice here is totally wrong for me. Here, “one of the best current credit card offers” is actually not good enough to bother with.

    Desmond, it sounds like you’re in the same boat. In that case, this card isn’t such a great deal. The “fees” and “taxes” British Airways charges to fly from North America to Europe are surprisingly close to actual cheap ticket prices. Add in the unwaived $95 fee and this deal might save you $200 tops.

  • Gavinmac

    Reports are that this deal expires on February 27, 2013, is that right?

    Also, there are some reports on FT that this card may be churnable by folks who got the BA visa a few years back with the pre-Avios 100,000 miles and then cancelled that card.

  • Sal

    Instead of signing up for this, I would suggest instead signing up for the 50k MR card, waiting for a 50% BA xfer bonus, and scoring an easy 75k avios.

  • Mike

    funny how last year, this was never a good deal but now bloggers say it is because they need to meet their quota for referrals.
    Seriously, to unlock 100k miles, you have to spend so much.

  • disappointed

    I wish it was clearer that the 10% BA discount works ONLY for US-originated and USD quoted fares. I was hoping for saving in the tickets I’m buying for my relatives to come and see us, but that’s not the case.

  • Cree

    The companion is buy one get one with no restrictions other than British airways. You sure you know what u are doing?

  • Cree

    Correction, not BUY but one redemption get one free

  • Gordon_mc

    “No restrictions” other than BA ? LOL – dream on ! The restrictions are up the wazoo, in terms of restricted availability.

    Am I sure I know what I’m doing ? Well, if you actually read my post above then you’d see that I didn’t just try to find the flights myself – I spent time on the phone with the BA folks, having them check too.

    So, if I’m doing this wrong by asking the BA staff to see whether they can find availability that I could not find online, please feel free to educate me as to the correct way. I’ll then be happy to pass along to the BA staff, what it is that they are doing wrong.

  • Chris

    Hi Brian,
    I picked up this card through your link in December. Have 61,xxx Avios currently. What’s the best way to use Avios to get from LAX to Tokyo in economy? Looks like JAL shows good availability but high taxes and fees.

  • Thomas

    I see this card more as a 75k avios bonus rather than the 100k. Between regular spending and amazon payments, you’ll get your 75k+ avios before year end…

  • Sumanthnamineni

    I am planning to book HKG-ORD award tickets on cathay first class and for most of the days I only see 2 award sears available. But 2 adults and an one year old will be travelling. Since one year old does not require a seat, will they allow one year old when I just book 2 seats. I am thinking of calling BA to book the award tickets and any advice would be appreciated.

  • Jonathan

    Has anyone tried using the chip PIN in Europe to pay for anything? i asked the Chase BA people, who were adamant when the told me that the chip isn’t activated for PIN based purchases and you will still be prompted to sign a receipt (like it is done in the US). I am still wondering exactly what the PIN is there for. Thanks.

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