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British Airways and Chase have upped the ante in the airline rewards space, offering an increased signup bonus on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card of up to 100,000 bonus Avios.
The latest offer on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is a tiered bonus. Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. 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.
You're eligible for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card as long as you don't currently hold the card, and it's been 24 months since you last received a bonus on your previous British Airways Visa Card (if applicable).
Before applying, we recommend that you read this post on changes to the approval policy on select Chase cards. If you don't meet the eligibility requirements, you may want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead, as being a Sapphire Preferred cardmember you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® to British Airways Avios at a ratio of 1:1.
Breaking Down the Avios Signup Offer
While $20K may appear a comparatively high minimum spend for an airline rewards card, you have 12 months to plan and execute a spending strategy on this card. It is also worth noting that even if you can't reach the $20,000 requirement in the first year, you can still earn a solid 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.
The Travel Together Ticket lets you bring a passenger for free on an award ticket, but you still need to pay the fees & fuel surcharges, which can be costly on long-haul flights. It's best to use the Travel Together Ticket for business or first class tickets to maximize your miles.
3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL, 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations, plus 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases. You'll also pay no foreign transaction fees using the card when you travel abroad
The British Airways Visa Card is a Visa Signature card, so you receive more benefits just for holding the card.
Maximizing British Airways Avios
The British Airways Avios award chart is distance-based, so using your Avios for short haul flights is a great way to get value out of them. Short haul “off-peak” flights start at just 4,000 Avios one-way outside the US! Theoretically, you could get 18 one-way flights through the new offer. For more information, check out this post on how to search and book British Airways Avios flights.
You don't have to fly British Airways to take advantage of their lucrative award chart. As a founding member of oneworld® alliance, you can fly any oneworld® partner airline with British Airways Avios. British Airways is also partners with Aer Lingus and Alaska Air, who are not part of the oneworld® alliance.
Some of the most popular partner airlines to use British Airways Avios on are American Airlines, Alaska Air, Cathay Pacific, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LAN. Some examples of maximizing Avios are:
Short Domestic Hops
You can fly LAX to SFO in economy for only 7,500 Avios and $5 one-way.
Flights to Hawaii
Flights to Hawaii from the West Coast can also be a steal. For example, you can fly from LA to Honolulu for only 12,500 Avios one-way in economy.
Flights to Europe
The cheapest award flight to Europe is booking Boston to Dublin with Avios on Aer Lingus. One-way economy flights are only 13,000 Avios! Business class on this route would be 37,500 Avios each way. You can search for Aer Lingus award availability on the Qantas or United website, and then call British Airways to book.
Flights to Mexico
Flying to Mexico is easy with Avios. From Pheonix to Los Cabos International in Mexico, it's only 7,500 Avios and $30(ish) each way in economy, or a smashing 15,000 Avios in business class.
Intra International Flights
Once you get to an international destination, Avios can be extremely helpful in getting around cheaply. For example, if you did travel to Dublin, but wanted to go to London, then you could book a flight for as little as 4,000 Avios and $14.
You can see the last published British Airways award chart below (BA no longer publishes an award chart):
How to Search & Book BA Avios Awards
You can search and book most British Airways & partner award flights on the British Airways website under the Executive Club tab after signing in to your account. If you don't have an account, you can sign up for free. Alaska Air and Aer Lingus flights require you to find award availability on another website and call BA at 1-800-452-1201 to book your ticket.
There's also no close-in booking fee when redeeming British Airways Avios.
Adding More Avios
British Airways allows users to share an account. You can combine your points and redeem your points with up to 7 members. Here are the rules for creating a household account.
Any time a rewards card offers a signup bonus of this size, it's worth thinking about. Avios are a valuable and versatile airline rewards currency with great partners and lots of options both inside the US, and internationally.
Will you be taking advantage of the latest offer on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card?
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