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Chase has just announced a huge new benefit for its British Airways Visa Signature® Card. You can now get up to $200 in rebates (per booking) to cover award taxes and fees—up to three times a year. There are a few conditions, but that's a lot of money!
- 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!
- 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
- 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
- 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Why this Benefit is a Huge Win
British Airways Executive Club can be an incredibly useful loyalty program thanks to the unique way it prices award tickets. Instead of paying a flat rate from the U.S. to Europe, the Avios points required for an award is based on the distance you fly. Sometimes, that means you'll pay far fewer points. We've covered this in more detail in our post on British Airways basics.
The problem, when it comes to BA award tickets, is that the program imposes huge out-of-pocket costs when you redeem points. Most of those fees can be blamed on a single factor: the dreaded fuel surcharge. On British Airways operated flights, Executive Club makes you pay for the jet fuel, even when you’re redeeming points. Until now, our advice to maximize value with Avios points has been to avoid British Airways flights like the plague—when you fly with partner airlines like Iberia or American Airlines, you won't pay these huge fuel surcharges.
But this new benefit is a game-changer because Chase is sharing a significant part of the cost to book BA flights when you pay the taxes and fees with your British Airways Visa Card.
With the new benefit, you can claim up to $200 (awarded in the form of a statement credit) for a transatlantic flight. The amount of the rebate depends on the class of service you book for your award ticket:
- Get a $100 credit for economy-class (World Traveler) flights
- Get a $100 credit for premium-economy (World Traveler Plus) flights
- Get a $200 credit for business-class (Club World) flights
- Get a $200 credit for first-class flights
You can claim a credit on three bookings per year, for a total of up to $600 in statement credits, as long as you use your British Airways Visa Card card to pay the taxes, fees, and surcharges.
The Fine Print
The only awards that qualify for this deal are British Airways flights departing from the U.S. and crossing the Atlantic. It's fine if other flights on your itinerary are with partner airlines as long as the U.S. to Europe transatlantic flight is with British Airways. The award travel must be booked from the primary cardmember's Executive Club account.
You must cover the taxes, fees and surcharges of the flight with your British Airways Visa Card to get the rewards. Chase reserves the right to reverse the credit if the flight is canceled, but otherwise, the reward should show up in your account within 45 days.
Transatlantic British Airways awards have some pretty steep surcharges. One-way business- and first-class redemptions can come with taxes and fees well above $500. Economy and premium-economy flights are a bit more reasonable, but one-way award fees can easily exceed $200, depending on the flight.
Based on the language in the terms and conditions, it seems reasonable to assume that you will still get a credit (but only one credit) if you book a round-trip award ticket that also includes a return westbound flight from Europe to the U.S. It's also good news that you can include partners for the non-transatlantic segments of the trip. That means you could include a flight on American Airlines if you don't live in a U.S. city served by BA, and you can continue on from London to another European destination with a partner like Iberia without affecting your eligibility for the credit.
However, you won't get a credit for a one-way trip booked from London to the U.S., and it isn't clear whether you'll get a credit for a round trip that originates in the U.K. (In other words, if your first transatlantic flight is westbound, does flying back from the U.S. to the U.K. still trigger the credit if that flight is operated by British Airways?) We'll continue to update this post as we learn more.
Regardless, this benefit has a huge impact on the value of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. If you can use the credit on a single economy flight, you've covered the card's annual fee of $95.
If you can meet the sizeable spending requirement, you can currently earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios when you open a new account—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.
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