British Airways Credit Card Promotion 2014

Posted by CreditCardGuru

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:

British Airways award flight with points

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).

BA award flight on American Airlines

cash price for flightSee 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.

Here’s the link for current offer of 50,000 bonus points

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 (awarded after you spend $3,000 on your Sapphire Preferred within the first 3 months from account opening). 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.


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

28 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. NC September 7, 2014 at 2:32PM

    Booked 4 tickets to India. Got 10% off the entire price using the card with the promo they have. The $600 saved paid off many times over for the annual fee. Have also used 18k miles for 2 roundtrip tix from PHX to LAX. If you can use them, there are great values to be found.

  2. Marc August 6, 2014 at 9:33AM

    The BA miles have been fantastic so far. I got in on the 50/50 (100 total) in late 2012. I used 20k avios (+$10) to fly roundtrip from DFW to Washington DC. The more amazing part is that I used ONLY 40k avios (+$121) to fly me and my daughter roundtrip from DFW to Belize. The Belize tickets are typically about $800-$100 each. And I still have 40k avios left over. I wish I could take advantage of the 50k avios promo, but unless there’s a way around the current/previous cardholder restriction, I guess I’m stuck. I will be using the advise listed above though and apply for the Sapphire Preferred. My sole intention will be transferring them into avios.

  3. Marvado July 15, 2014 at 11:20PM

    You can use this card for hotel stays all over europe. Well worth it.
    We stayed 16 nights using 130k miles.

    • Roger July 18, 2014 at 2:07PM

      How does one convert avios to hotels? And is there a chain of hotels or hostels that accepts them?

  4. SAPMAN December 31, 2013 at 2:33PM

    Question? I use BA Card and get Companion Pass for $30k spend each year. IF I cancel my card after the $30 spend by, say, May 2014, will the Companion Pass still be valid with Brit. Air for two years after issued – or do they cancel it if I cancel the Chase BA card?

  5. Andre December 30, 2013 at 12:10PM

    Yes it works in Europe but not on toll roads ! Or in any distributing machine !
    The US is still retarded when it come to security of credit cards.

  6. shirley September 5, 2013 at 12:01AM

    It says ‘Previous and existing cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.’ Too bad that I had this card before…

  7. K Goose August 7, 2013 at 8:35AM

    I signed up last year before we went to London and read several posts about how to best use Avios. Check out BA site for fares from London to any number of European destinations and the world is your oyster. Very low points and fares to almost anywhere including Spain, Prague, Rome, etc. Pays to pay for a cheap flight over and then using London as your base of operations, spend you Avios.

  8. olcott burke July 6, 2013 at 1:00PM

    asking if anyone had signed up but did not get the bonus miles for having previously had a British Airways Chase credit card.

  9. Susan February 28, 2013 at 12:02PM

    When I called I was told that Chase Sapphire Preferred does NOT have the smartchip like the British Airways does, so it is not an equivalent substitute if you are looking for a travel card.

  10. Lucy September 17, 2012 at 3:06PM

    This offer looks too good to be true. That’s because it is. I signed up planning a nice trip to Europe. What I found out was that no matter how many points you have, you still have to pay at least $650 in taxes and fees. They’re con-artists and I don’t think anyone should support them.

    • Michael February 27, 2013 at 11:31AM

      If you don’t want to use the points for flying to Europe, use them domestically on their partner airlines. As you see above, I used mine to get tickets to Hawaii (each roundtrip ticket only cost me 25,000 points plus $21.80 in taxes/fees).

      • Laurie August 24, 2013 at 8:49AM

        Which airline did you use domestically?

  11. sidh August 15, 2012 at 3:28PM

    Jaybee is right — this is not a chip and pin card…it’s chip and signature. There is pretty much zero point to a chip and sig card for travelers — what everyone wants and no one seems to offer is a dang chip and pin card w/o foreign xaction fees that will actually work in the unmanned point-of-sale machines ubiquitous around the word.

    • Agus October 25, 2013 at 3:06PM

      although its a chip and sig card. you can use it in europe without any issue, i just got back of Europe (2 weeks between France and Italy) and it was rejected only once in the Pisa train station (all foreign card were being rejected. i use it in the unmanned POI at train stations, subways etc. no issue.

  12. JayBee June 29, 2012 at 7:45AM

    Unfortunately, even the BA VISA card is NOT chip and pin – I just called them again and it is chip and signature. So, if you want to buy a train ticket, rent a velib, buy gas at any unattended kisok in Europe, this is no better than an American credit card. The only way I have found currently to have actual chip and pin capability for an American is to buy a prepaid Travelex card for euros.

  13. Mark May 22, 2012 at 6:40AM

    Can these miles be used on AA for domestic flights?

    • Shirley May 30, 2014 at 1:07PM

      We use our BA miles to fly American all the time. It only takes 20,000 BA miles versus 25,000 AA miles.

  14. Pete April 13, 2012 at 3:08PM

    I am curious if you are able to book international flights with American Airlines, or only domestic flights. It does say “all” AA flights except to/from London…

  15. Carol Martin March 17, 2012 at 3:45PM

    I’ve had the BA card for years and have used miles to fly to South Africa. Imagine my chagrin when I tried to book a flight to SA yesterday and was told it would cost 100k miles plus $950 odd. I can buy a flight on United for $950 and accumulate miles. What’s up BA? Will be canceling my card.

  16. Frank March 14, 2012 at 12:08PM

    I just recently asked what it would cost me to fly to London from NYC. The answer to me was 40,000 miles PLUS $670 in taxes and fees. What’s the real answer?

    • CreditCardGuru March 16, 2012 at 10:50AM

      Hi Frank if that’s what you were quoted for a particular flight it wouldn’t surprise me. Flights to/from the UK have very high taxes/fees. If you look at that cash price breakdown for flights to UK destinations you will see that high taxes/fees are the norm on airlines. Virgin Atlantic seems to have the highest.

      Remember if you use your points domestically on British Airway’s partner American Airlines, the fees/taxes are quite reasonable for reward flights. As you can see in the screenshot above, I only paid 25,000 points + $21.80 for my roundtrip flight to/from Hawaii.

  17. jack duncan January 11, 2012 at 8:45AM

    I took out the British Airways card in April. Having read the information about the card, I was under the inpression that I had to charge $30,000 in one year to get the comp. ticket. Now I find the year is Jan to Dec. In going back and reading the information about the card all but one of them said year and not calendar. I have filed an appeal with Chase.

    • Neil Wright April 16, 2013 at 5:32PM

      jack…i had the same problem. signed up for the card in july. thought i had a “year” (i.e. 365 days from when i signed up) to spend $30k. as of jan 1, i had spent $27k. in march, when i tried to book a flight to paris (knowing i had spent well over $30k) i asked about the free companion ticket and was informed of the jan-dec thing. i checked it out, and sure enough, on the front of the brochures, it says “one year”, but it also says “details inside”. the details clearly said it was a calendar year, jan-dec. live and learn.

  18. Barbara Von Haberstroh December 20, 2011 at 6:29PM

    Great card

  19. Barbara Von Haberstroh December 20, 2011 at 6:26PM

    Can the miles be used on any airline

    • Eric July 14, 2012 at 3:16AM

      I don’t think so. Basically those miles could use in BA and its partner airline. Other than that avios sounds not that much useful.

  20. Sulia November 23, 2011 at 1:10PM

    Being able to get up to 100,000 miles is a fantastic opportunity. This is an application offer too good to pass up.

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