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British Airways may not be highly popular among miles collectors due to the high surcharges it charges on award flights. However, BA’s many US gateways and European destinations make it a great airline for getting a deal to Europe, and booking cheap BA premium cabin flights can be a great way of earning American Airlines status. But, if you’re paying full price for those flights, you’re leaving money on the table.
After all, anyone can pay a $16 per year membership fee to save up to $200 per person off British Airways flights. The promotion is a long-running partnership between British Airways and AARP. And, in case you’re wondering, the American Association of Retired Persons will let people of all ages and any employment status sign up and book British Airways flights with a discount. As a 33-year-old non-retired person, I’m a four-year-and-counting member of the AARP — having signed up originally to book a $1,100 round-trip business class flight to Spain.
While this discount isn’t a guaranteed benefit of AARP membership, it’s been extended each and every year — although it’s been cut back over the years. The latest version was set to expire on Jan. 31, 2019, but we just got the good news that the discount has been extended for yet another year.
Here’s how the discount breaks down for 2019:
- Save up to $65 off travel in economy (World Traveller)
- Save up to $200 off travel in business (Club World)
In order to get this discount, there are plenty of limitations to keep in mind:
- Book by Jan. 31, 2020, for outbound travel through Dec. 31, 2020.
- Must log in and book through AARP’s British Airways discount page.
- Discount only reduces the base fare. This limits the discount for cheap flights.
- Valid on British Airways-operated flights and BA codeshare flights operated by American Airlines and Iberia.
- Must book a round-trip; no open-jaw itineraries allowed.
- Inbound and outbound travel must be booked in the same cabin.
- Only valid for “US residents paying in US dollars only, with travel originating in the US.”
But, there’s some good news. While the terms and conditions state that “this offer is not combinable with any other discount or deal,” we’ve found that you can in fact combine this $200 with the 10% discount you’ll get when paying with Chase Visa cards.
While this discount is designed for cardholders of the British Airways Visa Signature Card, we’ve been able to successfully use other Chase cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to get this discount. For full details and terms on how to take advantage of this 10% off promotion, check out this comprehensive guide.
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One of the biggest benefits that this card offers is a Travel Together ticket (good for two years) that can be earned annually after you spend $30,000 in a calendar year. You'll earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
- Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
- 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level.
- 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations, plus 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book by March 31, 2020.
- 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.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
- Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!