Increased Point Earning Opportunity on the British Airways Visa Card

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The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is back with an updated offer of up to 100,000 bonus Avios.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome 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.
  • 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

While $20K is a hefty outlay, 12 months is plenty of time to execute a spending plan, and the points earned will get you enough Avios for flying a family of four round-trip in economy class from the West Coast to Hawaii.

LAX-HNL-12500-Avios
You can fly economy on American LA-Honolulu for just 12,500 Avios each way + minimal taxes.

Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios with this Offer

If you hit the $20K spending cap on the initial offer, you’ll earn a minimum of 120,000 British Airways Avios. (That's 100,000 bonus Avios + one Avios point per dollar as you reach the $20,000 spending requirement.)

To put that value into perspective, 120,000 Avios is enough for four round-trip tickets in business class from select U.S. cities to Mexico or The Caribbean (Avios has a distance-based award chart), which price out one-way at 15,000 miles + around US$30 per person in taxes & fees.

PHX-SJD-Business-15000-Avios

The lowest non-refundable business class cash-fare for the same route will set you back $634 (over $5K total value round-trip for four people), or a whopping $1648 (over $13K value) for a refundable fare. As a comparison, Avios awards are refundable up to 24 hrs before your flight and you only forfeit taxes – in this case around $30 per passenger per segment.

PHX-SJD-Business-Cash-Price

PHX-SJD-Business-Non-Refundable-Cash-Price

See a full run-down on the award booking process in our post on how to search and book British Airways Avios awards.

Recent data points also indicate that this card is now subject to the 5/24 Rule, so if you have opened 5 or more cards in the previous 24 months, it's highly likely you won't be approved for this card.

Highlights of the British Airways Visa Card

In addition to the welcome offer, the British Airways Visa Card offers some great perks.

Downsides to the British Airways Visa Card

BA has a reputation for exorbitant fuel surcharges and limited award availability, particularly on long-haul flights where fuel surcharges can run into the thousands of dollars.

Avios are great for short haul flights and select US awards where the route suits BA’s distance-based award chart i.e. West Coast – Hawaii. To get the full benefits of the British Airways Visa Card requires a fair amount of research and some astute planning, but the rewards are high-value flights to some awesome destinations.

Final Thoughts

Despite big changes to the British Airways award chart in recent years, there is still value in the Avios program if you know where to look. The offer on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is good for round-trip economy flights for four people from the U.S. to Europe (Aer Lingus flying BOS-DUB), Hawaii (AA + Alaska Air flying LAX-HNL), or in business to Mexico + The Caribbean (AA flying PHX-SJD).

Increased Point Earning Opportunity on the British Airways Visa Card
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Comments

  • Binita Patel says:

    Some great domestic redemption opportunities if you can find ’em!

  • New to Avios… may need to sign up. Thanks!

  • I am going to seriously consider this offer. I can do $10K, not sure if I would be able to do the $20K spend.

  • I got the 100k bonus on the BA card about 3 or 4 years ago and canceled the card after a year. Any idea if I can get the bonus again?

  • The annual fee is reasonable. Although the spend requirement would be very tough to meet. This a very tempting offer.

    Are you able to use Avios points to purchase American flights directly on the British Airways website?

  • Mike Simone says:

    Careful with BA Avios. In 2009 or 2010 I got sucked in to transfer 100,000 AE points to BA Avios with a 50% bonus. I planned a trip with my 150,000 avios for 3 people. All was fine until the final button when there was a fuel surcharge of $2,300–only when flying to the UK. I canceled that trip. For years I couldn’t make a reservation anywhere outside the US (and inside the US wasn’t the point of getting Avios points) without going through the UK (even tried to go to South America and it always took me from the US to UK then to South America). Last year I saw that you can transfer miles to Iberia Avios (owned by BA) and in June I’ll finally be able to use my miles without the crazy surcharge. It wasn’t easy to transfer the miles but doable and worth a little effort. Bottom line–be careful, very careful in falling for any BA special deal.

  • can Avios be merged with spouse?

  • amzsinger@gmail.com says:

    Not a British flyer, but a great deal for those who are. I wonder if it’s worth it to use the miles on American??

  • I’d pass on this one. The fuel charges that BA levies on any transatlantic flight make any reward an expensive proposition. The whole avios concept is quite different from the standard mileage program. As for domestic/Hawaii flights, they’ve come down so much in price, it’s cheaper to just buy them using dollars.

    • Don’t forget there’s no close-in surcharge for redeeming BA avios

      I regularly redeem Avios at 24h notice (once in a taxi on the way to the airport) and compared with last-min walk-up fares, you can save $$$

  • My wife has a small business. I’m thinking about getting her a credit card reader to allow her to receive customers payments. Can I use that card to take my payments? The money is going into her pocket and then will go to her bank. Consequently, I can theoretically buy from her and then get the money back when it hits her bank. Would this work?

    • Doing this would likely violate the merchant agreement that she signs which allows her to accept credit cards. Most every merchant agreement requires a bona fide purchase, where the person providing the credit card is receiving a product or service consummate to the price paid to the recipient. What you’ve outlined is not that and could get you both in hot water.

  • Douglas Kerr says:

    I will not use miles on BA. The fuel surcharges are as nearly much as a discounted fare. It is truly absurd what BA does, and it makes using miles pointless. Avoid BA rewards at all costs, and avoid the headache of trying to find a use for this charge card. It is very nearly a scam.

    • I know that BA applies high fuel surcharges for award bookings. Is this also the case when using Avios to book for AA or other OneWorld redemptions?

      • it depends on the route / airline. That said, the one place where Avios are particularly bad to redeem are for flights between the US and Europe — with a couple of exceptions such as air berlin and aer lingus.

  • gary klein says:

    As noted avios are very hard to use as there is virtually no availability on any partner airline> I have well over 200,000 avios and have tried to book a Hawaii flight on AA using them but there is NEVER any availability. You can use them for hotels, however, as I booked a good NYC hotel for 17,000 avios per night.

  • I got this offer in Sep of 2015 and canceled the card in August of 2016 before the 2nd years fee came due, do you think I have to wait 2 years before signing up again like other cards?

  • rodney ross says:

    Have BA rewards, I agree difficult to use for us here in States

  • A few years ago I applied for and was approved for this cc. Met the spend and got the bonus miles. Shortly after that my husband got a job transfer and voila! We were moving to PHX from Florida! We used my BA miles for personal house hunting trips back and forth from FL to AZ, several times. His company’s policy was to pay for one house hunting trip with additional trips being the responsibility of the employee. PHX is a huge place and having BA miles to burn was a gift because we did not have the pressure that normally occurs in relocation situations. As such, I”m a huge fan of having BA miles as we experienced first hand how valuable Avios could be domestically.

  • Great timing for me. I’ve recently completed minimum spend requirements on three other new cards and I’m in a good position now to apply for this one. Count me in!

  • Got this one

  • This is a great value for people leave in the US. 5 one way to Europe or 4 round-trip between Hawaii and West-cost US and great short haul value.

  • Damn thats some serious spend. I would have to imagine you can do the spend more efficiently on other cards. I cant imagine any of the 20K will be more than 1 point. Unless you fly BA all the time this doesnt really make any sense to me.

  • Do you recommend calling to book partner awards using Avios? I am having trouble finding availability.

    • Do you recommend calling to book partner awards using Avios? I am having trouble finding availability.

      >> In general, no, I don’t. which partners are you looking for and on what routes?

    • gary klein says:

      That’s because there is never any availability on AA or other partners, depending on where you want to fly. For me, the best use of Avios is for hotels.

  • I make lots of domestic flights from PHL on AA. It sounds like these points might transfer easily for mundane flights within the US, but I’m not familiar with redeeming Avios with their partners. I’m guessing PHL to RDU or SMF on AA wouldn’t really be worth the points?

  • I agree, with many commenters, that BA Avios is not the program for you if you want maximum return value in the form of free flights. However, if you’re looking for discounted premium cabin travel, and you’re willing to pay the economy fare in the form of the fuel surcharges BA levys on awards, then BA Avios are a good way to upgrade your travel experience.
    For instance, a couple of years ago we, and 4 of our friends, were traveling to England in August; peak season. For the 2 of us, we paid $2400 + 120,000 BA Avios + a Travel-Together-Ticket for BA First Class. Our 4 friends (who are not into miles & points) each paid $1200 for economy, flying on other airlines. We had a great experience in the JFK Concorde Room, and were also fortunate to have delightful flight crews on both legs. Bottom line: it was a no-brainer to use our Avios to upgrade that trip. And there was not a second of their flights that our friend weren’t been wishing they had been in a position to do the same.

  • Great offer, I need to build up my Avios account again.

  • I recently saw a lot of British Avios flyers in one of the airport lounges, that access must be standard or at least pretty common.

  • Interesting, hadn’t considered AVIOS for US based flights. I was always wary of them because of the surcharges

  • wish the domestics would do this deal.

  • Paul Milligan says:

    BA Avios are dire when flying BA. Premium Fees are charged by the airline and normally come out around £500 / $640us per seat for a return F or J ticket. They even charge such fees when the operating carrier does not. Its day light robbery and the biggest issue with the scheme.

    In the UK we can only dream of 120,000 bonus credit card sign up. at best its 30,000 for a paid BA Amex card with a £195/$250 annual fee. If you spend £10,000 / $12800US you can get a companion voucher which allows two people to travel for the price of one excluding fees which are fully charged. If using for premium redemption then that a further £1000/$1280US on top.

    There are no fees ex HKG and EZE where the governments have rightly made them illegal.

  • kyle s engman says:

    I was excited about this offer but after reading the comments I think I will pass

  • Great bonus but not sure if I would spend all of the $ I0k In order to get them. Good for someone who will be able to spend it though.

  • $20,000 is an awful lot of money to spend to get the full bonus. May not be an issue for those with deep pockets or can fly for business and get reimbursed, but there seems to be a lot of opportunity cost involved with this system.

  • A great use of AVIOS is on Aer Lingus in business class from Boston to Dublin.

  • Looks like a great offer!

  • 20,000$USD in a year?
    I think we do spend that – but, I prefer to spread that out over a few cards to get more benefits.
    We’ll look into the card though, we need an airline card – we’ve been doing the hotel card game for a bit.

  • gary klein says:

    If you book a flight with Avios and then decide to cancel, is there a charge for getting the Avios redeposited into your account? I know you lose the tax ($5.60) but are the Avios returned free of charge?

  • Great currency for AA flyers, if only AA award availability weren’t so abysmal…

  • I find them more useful on short hops in Europe on Finnair, Iberia, and Air Berlin. AA really zapped award space making it a pain to use them

  • Avios are poor value transatlantic on British Airways, but you can get good value particularly on Airberlin. They can be good value for inter European flights on BA.

  • I love avios for US travel.

    . Problem lately is finding availiblity on AA.

  • Wish we would have those credit cards in Belgium… So hard for us to get large amounts of miles.

  • pmilligan@talktalk.net says:

    Wow, this is one reason why I hate BA. In the UK the usual sign up bonus is a paltry 9,000 miles. Brits don’t have much of a choice with FF programmes as BA have a monopoly on many routes ex LHR and almost all domestic services, Fares ex the UK are the highest in western Europe whilst service is the pretty poor in premium cabin. Indeed I now prefer AA across the pond.

  • That is really a huge spending……would prefer to see 60k bonus but with a lower spending

  • joonsik Byeon says:

    Great chance to collect AVIOS!

  • Meh. That’s a lot of spend

  • Great bonus and it’s a visa card so win win!

  • As always “if you can find them” there are some sweet deals

  • That’s a lot of miles!

  • Quite a nice bonus. It’s just a shame that BA charges so much in fees for redemptions.

  • That’s a lot of spend for the bonus.

  • 20k is pretty steep, especially since it’s going to be 1 point per dollar spent.

  • It’s ironic that perhaps the worst use of Avios is on long-haul flights on BA’s own metal…

  • A great use of Avios is on Latam if you want to avoid excess fees. A direct JFK to SCL flight round-trip on Avios was only around 50 dollars in fees last year. I had read elsewhere that you should include your Frequent Flyer number on Avios award flights on Latam so I put my AA number in the booking and was extremely (but pleasantly) surprised a few weeks later when I checked my Aadvantage account.

  • “While $20,000 is a hefty outlay….” THIS! And when you add their truly insane fuel surchages you mentioned in your article than it makes the whole offer rather unappealing in my view of course.

  • No 5/24, and you can now pay estimated tax ($20,000 incurs a fee of about $360 from the least expensive option the IRS has available) makes this an offer to consider.

  • $95 annual fee for 100K sign up bonus, worth it! Even with the high spend requirement, which gives you lots of time to complete.

  • I really wish BA avios are easy to use… 300K avios but usually can’t find availability on AA for places that I want to go…

  • @Shaw says: “Don’t forget there’s no close-in surcharge for redeeming BA avios. I regularly redeem Avios at 24h notice (once in a taxi on the way to the airport) and compared with last-min walk-up fares, you can save $”

    The way I seemingly frequently roll, this flexibility has real value for me. Hat tip to booking in the taxi, however! Haven’t done that yet.

  • That is a very interesting suggestion re LATAM. I wouldn’t have thought about them.

  • What do you think about all the new posts that Chase is shutting down all accounts because you have too many inquiries?

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