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The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is back with an updated offer of 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Hit the $30K spending threshold and you’ll also get a BA Travel Together Ticket, British Airways’ version of a companion pass. Cardholders earn a Travel Together Ticket, valid for two years, every calendar year you spend $30K or more on your British Airways Visa Card.
- The card earns 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.
- The British Airways Visa Card features no foreign transaction fees, great when you’re traveling abroad, and also has chip technology for making chip-based purchases in Europe & beyond.
- In addition to a number of award sweet spots we’ve detailed in other posts, you can use your Avios on any oneworld® partners, and you have the ability to mix a combination of Avios and cash to book your travel reservations. This is particularly handy when you want to redeem an award that is just out of reach and you don't have the time to earn the required number of Avios. It’s also a fantastic way of using points that are close to expiring (Avios expire after three years of account inactivity), ensuring your Avios don't go to waste.
- British Airways is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and Marriott Rewards, so you can also top up your Avios account with points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
- The card has a $95 annual fee.
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.
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).
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