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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – British Airways Visa Signature Card
It’s been a bit since we’ve seen the British Airways Visa Signature Card offer a sign-up bonus better than the standard 50,000 Avios, but now an elevated, tiered offer is back. With this current bonus, you can earn up to a total of 100,000 Avios, though you’ll need to spend a significant amount to net that amount of rewards.
You’ll earn 50,000 Avios after you spend $3,000 in the first three months from account opening, plus an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend a total of $10,000 within your first year from account opening. You can earn another 25,000 Avios — for a total of 100,000 — after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening. This is almost identical to the 100k offer we saw back in late 2015.
Is it worth it?
TPG currently values British Airways Avios at 1.5 cents apiece, so earning the full 100,000-point bonus will get you approximately $1,500 in value. That said, you need to spend a tidy sum to get all those Avios — at least $20,000 in your first year from account opening, to be exact.
If you book a lot of travel or can simply charge a lot to your credit card accounts, hitting the $20,000 mark may be doable, but even in that case, you need to consider the opportunity cost that comes with using the BA Visa for non-British Airways purchases. While this card earns you a respectable 3 Avios per dollar (equal to a 4.5% return based on TPG’s valuations) on purchases with the airline, you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar on everything else. So unless you can comfortably spend $20,000 on British Airways purchases alone in a year, there’s a pretty good chance you’d be getting a better return on your spending by using another card for non-BA expenses. (And there are arguably better choices, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for BA purchases as well.)
Still, even if you can’t meet the highest-tier spending requirement to get 100,000 Avios, this card could be worth it if you’re looking to stock up on rewards toward a flight on BA or one of its partners. At the very least, this new, limited-time sign-up bonus includes the same standard 50,000-point offer as its lowest tier, with the same $3,000 spending requirement. If you spend that amount in the first three months, you’ll get approximately $750 worth of Avios (again, based on TPG’s valuations). With that stash of rewards, you could book a one-way business-class flight on BA from New York to London, though keep in mind that this airline is notorious for its high fuel surcharges ($506.10 for this route on a sample flight in May). And while you can no longer book short-haul awards for 4,500 Avios one-way in the US, you can snag these flights for 7,500 Avios, so you could get six one-way short-hauls with 50,000 Avios.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can earn a Travel Together Ticket when you spend a minimum of $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. This perk entitles you to bring a companion for free (minus taxes, fees and carrier charges) on a British Airways flight originating in and returning to the US. Plus, this card has a relatively reasonable annual fee of $95, and it doesn’t impose foreign transaction fees.
Finally, keep in mind that the BA Visa isn’t your only option for earning Avios. British Airways is a transfer partner of the following programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. So if you have points with any of these programs, you could always move them over to BA’s Executive Club to book your award flight — and with Starwood, you’ll get a 5,000-point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer, to boot.
If you’ve been wanting to stock up on Avios, this current British Airways Visa offer could be right up your alley. You’ll get 50,000 Avios after making $3,000 in purchases in the first three months, while big spenders can rake in 100,000 Avios after $20,000 in spending in the first year. This card isn’t your only option for earning Avios, but it could be a solid choice, especially if you plan on making frequent purchases with the airline, since you’ll earn 3 Avios per dollar.
Will you be taking advantage of this tiered sign-up bonus?
Featured image courtesy of Dan Kitwood via Getty Images.
- 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
- In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
- 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.