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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.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
- Plus earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
- Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
- 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
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 Two-Tiered Signup Bonus with a Hefty Minimum Spend
Chase has diverted from the traditional welcome offer of bulk bonus points after meeting a minimum spend. Instead, delivering 50,000 bonus Avios when you meet the first tier of the signup bonus, and a Travel Together Ticket when you meet the second spending tier.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
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.
Statement Credits to Cover Taxes, Fees, and Fuel Surcharges
One of the best additions to the card in recent years is the additional statement credits. Cardholders can earn up to $600 in statement credits each year (to cover taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges).
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. Combined with the Travel Together Ticket you can earn as part of the signup bonus, you can earn two of these companion tickets in the first year of card membership.
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 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 choose 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 two-tiered welcome offer 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 two return tickets to Hawaii from the West Coast!
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