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You don’t need to plan an extravagant European vacation to take advantage of the perks offered by the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. The card offers great flexibility for an airline rewards card and plenty of options for using points with travel partners.
In this post, we'll break down the perks and benefits of the British Airways Visa Card to help you decide if this card is worthy of a space in your wallet.
A High Signup Bonus with a High Minimum Spend
Chase has diverted from the traditional welcome offer of bulk bonus points after meeting a minimum spend, instead, adding additional bonus points on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card up to a set spending threshold.
- Earn 4 Avios for every $1 spent on all purchases within your first year up to $30,000. That's up to 120,000 bonus Avios
If you total up the bonus points you'll earn to reach the full welcome offer, it's a substantial number of miles. Enough to take a family to Europe!
Flexible Redemption Options
Another great perk of the British Airways Visa Card is the option to use a combination of cash and Avios when it comes time to book your award travel. You don’t need to wait until you have all the required points in your account. Not every travel reward card offers this flexibility, usually requiring you to accumulate all the required points in your account for an award.
You can redeem your British Airways Avios with all airlines in the oneworld® alliance, and with non-alliance partners like Alaska Airlines. For example, you can fly American Airlines domestically, or Cathay Pacific internationally.
British Airways Avios has a distance-based award chart, so short hops and positioning flights can be a steal. It's worth mentioning that flying British Airways aircraft for long-haul flights isn't the best value as they impose hefty fuel surcharges. See more on maximizing British Airways Avios.
You can also transfer three out of the big four flexible rewards currencies to Avios, including the following partners:
So if you're shy a few thousand Avios to claim a redemption, you can transfer points from one of these programs.
Chance to Earn Travel Together Companion Tickets
If you tend to spend a lot per month on your credit card, you may be eligible for a Travel Together Ticket. 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.
Great International Travel Features
The British Airways Visa Card is ideal for international travel, as you pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad. Additionally, chip and signature technology allow you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still allowing you to use your card as you do today at home.
As a Visa Signature® card, you'll also enjoy all the travel and insurance benefits associated with being a Visa cardholder!
An Affordable $95 Annual Fee
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card has an annual fee of $95, however, we think the bonus and perks of the card justify the expense.
Downsides to the British Airways Visa Card
In addition to the monster spending requirement to earn the initial welcome offer, the two most common complaints about the British Airways Visa Signature® Card are the excessive fuel surcharges on long-haul flights, and that conditions placed on the companion pass make it hard to redeem for any significant value.
In our guide to searching and booking British Airways Avios Award flights, we cover some examples where Avios awards either don't attract fuel surcharges, or the surcharges are fairly negligible. We wouldn't recommend using your Avios for long-haul flights unless you're willing to endure the hefty surcharges that accompany those awards.
As far as domestic partners, American and Alaska have extensive coverage in the US, with few places out of reach between the two airlines. Award space can be limited when you only have two airlines to chose from, but that is typical of any program outside of the four big transferable currencies.
Pay Attention to Points Expiry
Avios expire after 36 months of no activity. Keep track of your points and ensure you don't lose your Avios by following these guidelines. This is one of the advantages of combining points and cash, you can use however many Avios you happen to have, and you don’t have to worry.
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is a solid airline rewards card sporting a hefty welcome offer of up to 120,000 bonus Avios and some great perks.
Although Avios have lost some of their shine, the program holds a number of sweet spots for US travelers including one of the best value redemptions available, award flights from the West Coast to Hawaii for 12,500 one-way in economy class.
The signup bonus and minimum spend on the British Airways Visa Card are good for four return tickets to Hawaii with Avios left in your account for future redemptions!
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