Can I Still Use My Companion Ticket If I Cancel My Credit Card?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
"Reader Questions" are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.
It's a good time to apply for the British Airways Visa Signature Card since it currently comes with an up to 120,000-point sign-up bonus. But TPG reader Nathaniel has a question about one of the features of the card...
[pullquote source="TPG Reader Nathaniel"]If I cancel my British Airways Visa, will I lose the unused Travel Together ticket on my account?[/pullquote]
The Travel Together Ticket is a perk you can earn after spending at least $30,000 on the British Airways Visa in a calendar year. It allows you to redeem a round-trip award ticket on British Airways and bring a companion with you for free, even in a premium class.
However, there are a few catches that can make this benefit rather difficult to use. The round-trip must originate in and return to the US and be on British Airways itself instead of a partner. But you'll also be on the hook for the airline's carrier-imposed surcharges, which on British Airways can be substantial... as in well over $1,000 per person.
You might ask what's the point of a "free" ticket that costs $1,000, and it's a valid question. But it might make sense to use a Travel Together Ticket in first class where a last-minute paid British Airways airfare can run upwards of $16,000 per person. Granted, that's an extreme case, but even $4,000-$5,000 is pretty common. So if you can get two seats which together would normally cost $10,000 for just 119,000 Avios plus roughly $2,000 in total during off-peak dates, that's effectively a redemption value of over 6 cents per Avios, which is pretty solid.
But what about Nathaniel's question — if he cancels the card after spending $30,000 and getting his Travel Together Ticket, will he then lose it if he cancels the card? The answer is a little tricky. If we look at the terms and conditions of the Travel Together Ticket, it states:
Members must remain eligible for this promotion at the time of travel. BA and Chase reserve the right to withdraw any vouchers in the event that the Member is in breach of the terms of the BA/Chase Credit Card or the BA Executive Club Terms and Conditions.
That would indicate Chase at least technically has the right to withdraw the Travel Together Ticket if you're not a cardmember when you want to use it, and if you ask Chase, that's the issuer's official policy on the matter. But that being said, we've seen a number of data points on this question and no one has reported having their Travel Together Ticket taken away after canceling the card.
The Travel Together Ticket itself is valid for 24 months after you earn it, so in all likelihood you're probably okay to cancel the card in the meantime, Nathaniel. But if you want to be 100% completely safe, hang onto it until after your flight. Thanks for the question, and if you're a TPG reader who'd like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.