Breaking Deal Alert: 100,000 Miles for British Airways Visa

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Chase is now offering the  British Airways Visa with a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus, which is double the already generous  50,000 bonus they’ve been offering for the past couple months. Details:
50,000 miles after first purchase
an additional 50,000 miles after $2,500 spend in 90 days
1.25 miles for every dollar spent on the card (25% more than most cards)
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 Los Angeles to London business class ticket, 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 already have one, don’t be surprised if you aren’t eligible for this offer. Also, if you’ve applied for a Chase card recently, theres a chance you might get declined- even if you have good credit. However, you can call Chase and ask them to shift some of your existing credit line to a new British Airways card. People have had success doing this in the past, however I’ve never done it so I can’t personally vouch. My opinion is that this promotion is fantastic, so it may be worth the time working with Chase to make sure you are approved.

In fact, even after the sign-up bonus, I think this is a good every day card since its a Visa (accepted lots of places globally), doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, gives 1.25 miles per dollar spent and has the powerful companion certificate if you can spend $30k in a year. I think the $95 fee is more than reasonable considering all of these benefits.

This is a great deal if you fly British Airways, but it’s an even better deal if you don’t because BA charges less taxes and fees when you redeem for Oneworld partners. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s true (just look at the screen shots of British Airways vs. Oneworld awards below).

British Airways is in the Oneworld alliance, so that means you can use these miles for travel on American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, LAN Chile/Peru/ Argentina, Japan Airlines, Iberia, Finn Air, Royal Jordanian, Malev, Mexicana and S7 (Russian) airlines.

If you want to learn more about British Airways miles, check out my post on tips for using British Airways miles, but key things to note:

1) BA allows one-way awards, even on Oneworld partners
2) BA.com has a pretty decent online award search engine once you get used to using it
3) Fees are high on British Airways flights, but not so bad on most Oneworld partners
4) BA is very flexible with stopovers. You can use this to extract huge value from your miles once you know how the system works.
5) No penalty for using your miles for last minute travel and only $50 to cancel a trip on ba.com and redeposit miles.
6) Understand that there are four different award charts and creating itineraries with multiple carriers can get very expensive. Its best when you fly only one Oneworld carrier. Award chart links: BA Only. BA + 1 Partner. Single Oneworld Partner. Multiple Oneworld Partners.
7) Miles only expire if you leave your account inactive for 3 years. There are lots of cheap ways to keep the account active, like spending $1 on the credit card or making a miles purchase.

For the record, I do get a commission when you sign up for the card through my application link, but that’s not the reason why I’m pushing this card- I honestly feel like it’s unbelievable deal, especially when you know all the tricks to redeem for maximum value. So if you support my detailed blog posts, please consider applying through  me  since its the same exact deal, except I get a cut instead of the bank.

Plus, I have a special love of this deal, because last year when I took advantage of their 100k offer, I used the miles for a BA First Class flight to London and got to fly with Madonna (though to be honest I was more jazzed on my return flight getting to experience the New First Class product)!

For an example of the types of awards you can get with BA miles (and the taxes/fees) check out some sample ones I priced out today on Britishairways.com:

JFK-LAX in American Business Class for 50,000 Miles and $5 in fees
Miami to Easter Island for 40,000 miles and $75 in coach
Toronto to Hong Kong in Cathay Business Class for 100,000 miles and $294 in taxes
Chicago to London in British Airways First Class for 150,000 Miles and $734
Los Angeles to Auckland One Way Qantas Business Class for 80,000 Miles and $213
Miami to Sao Paulo in American First Class for 120,000 miles and $56
One Way New York to London to Buenos Aires (how about that for routing!) for 25,000 miles and $533
JFK to Lima in Lan Business Class for 80,000 Miles and $65

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