Q: Is the British Airways 100k miles offer ever going to come back again?
A: It’s highly unlikely. The good offer for earning 100,000 Avios points hasn’t been around for 2 years (that one gave you the bonus after spending just $3k in 3 months). During the start of 2013 the British Airways credit card had a 100k promotion but it was a disappointment because you had to spend $20,000 to get the full 100,000 points. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a popular incentive so they axed it.
In Q4 of 2013 they have what I consider to be the best signup offer in recent history. Even though the annual fee is $95, here’s why it’s still ridiculously lucrative…
- You can earn a bonus of 50,000 Avios points and the spending requirement to earn them is very reasonable: $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Here is the promo link for this 50,000 points offer
I’ve been a holder of the British Airways Visa Signature card for two years. I applied for it back in spring of 2011, back when Chase had the 100,000 miles promotion (which as mentioned, is highly unlikely to ever come back due to churning abuse).
In a moment I’ll show you just how valuable the current 50,000 points bonus is. 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 abroad!
Reason #1: Higher reward value vs. the other guys
A couple years ago the British Airways frequent flyer program (Executive Club) started using Avios points instead of miles. It’s a bigger program, with 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 I’m sure you know, most airline cards only give you 1 frequent flyer mile (or point) on regular spending. However the British Airways credit card offers you 25% more points on these purchases since you’re getting 1.25 points/dollar. Best of all, you can do a lot with the points, which I will demonstrate next…
Reason #2: Your points will go a long way
Here an example of the number of Avios points needed for a one-way flight from Chicago to London:
Of course for a round-trip flight, the amount would be doubled (40,000 pts). This is why the British Airways 100k miles offer is so ridiculously generous… it’s enough points to score you 2 roundtrip tickets from the US to UK. As is the case with all mileage programs, please note you still have to pay the taxes/fees (which can run a few hundred bucks on a transatlantic flight).
Is a trip to England not your cup of tea? No worries, because you can use your Avios for a lot more. As a partner of British Airways, you can use your credit card points to book award flights on all American Airlines flights, too (except for those to/from London).
See how 25,000 points can score you a roundtrip flight to Hawaii? At the same time, I got a quote for the cash price for this ticket on the American Airlines website (which is the cheapest place to book AA flights) 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 roundtrip flights to Hawaii (excluding taxes/fees of course, which you will have to pay separately).
Reason #3: Your credit card benefits
It comes jam-packed with benefits:
- Travel Together 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). 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 whatever cabin you fly, wherever BA flies, on whatever date you want (no restrictions).
- No Foreign Transaction Fees – Never again will you have to pay that 2-3% fee for using your card abroad.
- Smart Chip Technology – Ever try using your American credit card at say, a train station in France? Good luck with that! Almost everywhere else in the world uses credit cards with chip and pin. Some places won’t accept your card if it doesn’t have it. This is one of the very few U.S. cards that currently comes with chip technology.
- Visa Signature Benefits – This is the highest tier of a Visa card you can get. It means you get a number of extra perks 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.
The best current offer in 2013?
As discussed the signup offer for the Chase British Airways card’s 100k miles will probably never return. It hasn’t been available in over 2 years, except for that funky version that required you to spend a staggering $20,000 to get it.
The current deal, which was just launched on October 23rd, is the best version available since you can earn 50,000 bonus points with a very reasonable spend requirement of $2,000 in purchases within your first 3 months. And don’t forget, you will be earning more value than most airline cards given the 1.25 pts/dollar on your everyday spending (and remember you can spend those on American Airlines, too).
If you already have the British Airways card and/or you want even more bonus points, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Why? Because it let’s you transfer points to frequent flyer miles at a 1:1 basis on partner airlines such as British Airways, United, Virgin Atlantic, and Southwest. Go here to learn about the 40,000 pt Chase Sapphire Preferred Card bonus (awarded after you spend $3,000 on your Sapphire Preferred within the first 3 months from account opening). If you get that along with the BA card offer, together that’s 90,000 bonus points you can earn!
This review was written or last updated November 18, 2013.