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For the past several months, the British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase has been at or near the top of my list of the best travel credit card offers. While this card is generally solid, it got a boost recently because Chase was waiving the $95 annual fee for the first year (Fee is no longer waived). That added incentive took this card from a merely respectable offer to a slam dunk. The improved offer was slated to end at the start of the new year; however, Chase has now decided to extend the annual fee waiver through March 31, 2015, giving potential applicants 3 more months to cash in.
This card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Avios after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership. In my latest monthly valuations of points and miles, I list Avios at 1.7 cents apiece, so I’d value the sign-up bonus alone at $850 worth of award travel. The card earns 3 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways purchases, and a base rate of 1 Avios per dollar spent elsewhere. There are no foreign transaction fees, and you get Chip and Signature technology, both of which make the card more useful for international travel. Finally, you can earn a Travel Together ticket (a companion pass of sorts) when you spend $30,000 in a calendar year. That benefit has its limitations, but can be very lucrative when used strategically for business and first class award redemptions.
Thanks to British Airways’ distance-based award chart, you can put 50,000 Avios to good use, and TPG Contributor Nick Ewen recently looked at 7 Ways to Get Great Value from the British Airways Visa. Both of those posts can help you determine whether this card can help you get where you want to go. The ongoing benefits aren’t that special, but the sign-up bonus is very good with a relatively low spending requirement. As long as the annual fee is waived for the first year, this card will remain among my top travel credit card offers.