50,000 Bonus Miles With British Airways Visa

Jan 13, 2011

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – British Airways Visa Signature Card

Chase is offering 50,000 British Airways miles when you open the BA branded Visa card. Get 25,000 miles with your first purchase and 25,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months.

Other benefits:
–  $50 off transatlantic British Airways flights
–  Get a free 2 for 1 award voucher when you spend $30,000 in a year. This isn’t like your typical “buy one expensive fare and get one free” – this is on award tickets. So if you redeem 100,000 miles for a transatlantic Club World ticket, you get another free. An amazing value.
– No foreign transaction fees. If you travel abroad, this is huge since some banks will charge you a 3% bogus fee on all transactions. This totally negates the value of any miles earned
– 1.25 miles per dollar spent- much better than the 1 mile per dollar on most other cards
– 2.5 BA miles per dollar spent on British Airways

All for a reasonable $75 annual fee. Those 50,000 points are enough for a business class trip within North America (think JFK-LAX/SFO)- a $2,000+ ticket. To see how many miles British Airways charges for awards click here and for partner awards (American, Qantas, Cathay, etc) click here.

Some things I like about the British Airways and the Executive Club program:
1) One way awards, even on Oneworld partners
2) The ability to redeem for miles and cash. I only had 110,000 BA miles, but I use them and roughly $1,000 for a roundtrip first class ticket from US to Europe, which normally costs 150,000 miles
3) They are a very upgrade-centric airline and make it pretty simple to use miles to get into the next class of service- or two.
4) Their new first class product is excellent as I reported here. Seriously, I didn’t want to get off the plane.
5) Nice lounges, including Terraces for Club World and The Concorde Room for first class. You get access even when flying on an award ticket.

Some things I dislike:
1) Very high fuel surcharges- be prepared to pay $400+ for business and first class awards
2) A pretty crappy online award booking tool, which almost makes it impossible to see partner awards. (If you don’t feel like dealing with it, you can pay me to book your award for you and get the most out of your points)
3) Pretty insane amount of miles needed for long-haul travel. 420,000 miles from the US to Australia in first class if flying BA, 240,000 on partners  (vs 145,000 using American miles).

Overall, I think this is a good deal, especially if you like flying British Airways. Last year they offered 100,000 miles for this card (which is why I was able to redeem for first class and fly with Madonna), but I don’t see that offer coming back. And if it does, you know I’ll be writing about it here!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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