Q: Is the British Airways 100,000 Avios offer ever going to come back again?
A: That’s impossible to predict, though it’s unlikely this year. The 100,000 Avios point offer has popped up a few times over the last couple years (most recently in February 2014). The spending thresholds to snag that bonus tend to be rather lofty — including $20,000 over the course of a year.
The core 50,000 Avios offer currently is still a pretty compelling value, though.
In a moment I’ll discuss and illustrate how valuable the current 50,000 Avios point bonus offer can be. But first, let me explain to you why this is one of the best airline credit cards on the market… even if you don’t travel to the UK on a regular basis or fly on British Airways’ extensive global airline partner network.
Reason #1: Higher reward value vs. the other airlines
A couple years ago the British Airways frequent flier program (Executive Club) began using Avios points instead of miles. It is a much bigger program now, with many more ways to earn/spend your points.
- 1.25 Avios points for every dollar spent
- 2.50 Avios points per dollar on British Airways
As you’re most likely already aware, most airline cards give you only one frequent flier mile (or point) on regular spending. However, the British Airways Signature Visa offers you 25% more points on these purchases since you’re getting 1.25 points/dollar. Best of all, Avios points have quite a bit of utility, which I will demonstrate next…
Reason #2: Your points will go a long way
Below is an example of the number of Avios points needed for a one-way flight from Chicago to London:
Obviously, for a round trip flight, the amount would be doubled (40,000 pts). This is why the British Airways 100k miles offer was so ridiculously generous… it’s enough points to score you 2 round-trip tickets from the U.S. to U.K. As is the case with all mileage programs, please note you still have to pay the taxes/fees (which can cost a few hundred dollars on a transatlantic flight).
Is a trip to merry old England not your cup of tea? Not to worry, because your Avios points can be be used for many other options. As a partner of British Airways, you can use your Avios points to book award flights on all American Airlines flights, too (except for those to and from London, which is hardly cricket, but I guess they don’t want to compete with themselves).
See how 25,000 points can score you a round-trip flight to Hawaii? At the same time, I got a quote for the cash price for this ticket on the American Airlines website, and the price I was quoted was $589.41.
Pay $589.41 or redeem 25,000 miles and only pay $21.80 in taxes? The value is obvious – for this particular fare you would be getting more than $0.02 value per Avios point!
Now you see exactly why this British Airways credit card promotion for 50,000 Avios points is so valuable. Think about it… you could use the points to score up to 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii
Reason #3: Your credit card benefits
It offers a myriad of benefits:
- Travel Together Ticket (companion ticket) – You earn one of these tickets every year you spend at least $30k on your British Airways Visa Signature card (and it’s good for 2 years after being issued). If you are like most people with a premium travel card, putting all your charges on plastic can allow you to hit this spending level without breaking a sweat. It allows you to bring a companion on your next reward flight for free – just pay the usual taxes/fees on the second ticket and that’s it. You can use the Travel Together Ticket for whichever cabin you choose, wherever British Airways flies, with no blackout dates or other restrictions.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees – Never again will you have to pay that shocking 2-3% fee for using your card outside of the United States.
- Smart Chip Technology – Almost everywhere else in the world uses credit cards with EMV smart chips. Some places won’t accept your card if it doesn’t have it. The number of U.S. cards with EMV chips is growing, but not all have this feature yet. This is a must-have technology if you’re going to fly overseas to Europe or Asia.
- Visa Signature Benefits – This is the highest tier of a Visa card you can get. It means you get a number of premium benefits free of charge on eligible purchases such as Warranty Manager Service (complimentary extended warranty coverage on qualifying purchases), Purchase Security, etc. You also get 24/7 access to the Visa Signature concierge line, which can be quite helpful when planning your next trip or seeking entertainment suggestions when you arrive.
The best current offer in 2014?
The sign-up bonus offer for the Chase British Airways card’s 100k miles may return someday, perhaps next year at the earliest. If it does, you can expect to have quite a large initial spending requirement in order to qualify.
If you already have the British Airways card or you want even more bonus points, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Why? Because Sapphire Preferred lets you transfer points to frequent flier miles at a 1:1 basis on partner airlines such as British Airways, United, Virgin Atlantic and Southwest. It makes for an excellent strategic partner in terms of amassing points that can be pooled in the program of your choosing. Click here to learn about the 40K point Chase Sapphire Preferred Card signup bonus. If you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred along with the British Airways Signature Visa offer, you can score 90,000 points toward free travel!
This review was written or last updated July 30, 2014.