The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is a lucrative card that many people overlook, so in this post I wanted to share seven reasons you should consider applying for this card if you don’t have it already:
50K-75K Avios welcome bonus
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is offering a sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 Avios upon completing minimum spend, as follows:
- 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within the first three months
- An additional 25,000 bonus Avios after spending a total of $10,000 within the first year
Personally I value Avios at ~1.3 cents each, so to me 50,000 Avios are worth ~$650, while 75,000 Avios are worth ~$975. In my opinion it can make sense to sign-up for this card regardless of whether you plan on spending just $3,000 within three months, or whether you plan on unlocking the full bonus.
To crunch the numbers beyond the first $3,000 of spend, with this bonus you’re earning an incremental 32,000 Avios for the last $7,000 of spend, which is ~4.6 Avios per dollar spent. I’d consider that to be a solid incremental return.
Not subjected to the 5/24 rule
Many Chase cards are subjected to the “5/24 rule,” meaning that you won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. However, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is one of the few Chase cards that isn’t subjected to this restriction, along with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and The Hyatt Credit Card.
You’re even potentially eligible for the welcome bonus on this card if you’ve had it in the past. The welcome bonus on the card is available to those who don’t currently have the card, and who haven’t received a welcome bonus on the card in the past 24 months.
Huge value in Avios
I’m not a huge fan of redeeming British Airways Avios for travel on British Airways due to the big fees associated with it (though I still do it sometimes). However, I’ve gotten so much value out of Avios for the purposes of other awards, as there’s a way to get outsized value. I wrote a separate post about great ways to redeem Avios without paying huge fees. As a reminder, here’s British Airways’ distance based award chart:
|Zone // Flight Distance||Economy|
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
*Not available in North America
|4,000 // 4,500||5,750 // 6,750||7,750 // 9,000||15,500 // 18,000|
|6,500 // 7,500||9,500 // 11,250||12,750 // 15,000||25,500 // 30,000|
|8,500 // 10,000||12,750 // 15,000||17,000 // 20,000||34,000 // 40,000|
|10,000 // 12,500||20,000 // 25,000||31,250 // 37,500||42,500 // 50,000|
|13,000 // 20,000||26,000 // 40,000||50,000 // 60,000||68,000 // 80,000|
|16,250 // 25,000||32,500 // 50,000||62,500 // 75,000||85,000 // 100,000|
|19,500 // 30,000||39,000 // 60,000||75,000 // 90,000||102,000 // 120,000|
|22,750 // 35,000||45,500 // 70,000||87,500 // 105,000||119,000 // 140,000|
|32,50 // 50,000||65,000 // 100,000||125,000 // 150,000||170,000 // 200,000|
There are so many great ways to redeem Avios, including shorthaul business class within Asia on Cathay Pacific, shorthaul flying within South America on LATAM, domestic travel within the lower 48 US on Alaska and American, travel between the US mainland and Hawaii on Alaska, shorthaul travel within Europe on British Airways, travel within Australia on Qantas, and much, much more. I find Avios to be invaluable as part of my overall miles & points strategy, as they’re useful in areas where other currencies aren’t.
I recently redeemed Avios for travel in Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class
10% discount on British Airways flights
One of the benefits of the best benefits of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is that it offers a 10% discount on the purchase of a British Airways ticket by using promotion code CARDOFFERU at the time of booking. There are some restrictions, like you have to be originating in the US and traveling exclusively on British Airways metal, but you can save big money with this benefit.
Best of all, the 10% discount can be stacked with the AARP discount of up to $200 per British Airways business class ticket, which potentially translates to some significant savings, especially since British Airways often publishes great discounted business class fares.
I’ve used this benefit to book quite a few discounted British Airways business class tickets
A companion certificate after spending $30K in a year
One of the potentially cool perks of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is that you can earn a “Travel Together Ticket” when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. Cardholders can earn up to one of these per year, and it will be deposited in your Executive Club account 4-6 weeks after you’ve completed the required spend.
With this certificate you can book a British Airways award ticket at the full cost of Avios and carrier imposed surcharges, and then for the second person you just have to pay the surcharges. While British Airways has hefty surcharges for travel on their own flights, this can still represent a great deal for first & business class travel, given how much those tickets would otherwise cost.
This isn’t for everyone, though it has the potential to represent a good value, and I know it’s a feature that many value.
Using a companion certificate for travel in first class can be a great value
No close-in ticketing fees
One of the things that I love about British Airways Avios is that there are no close-in ticketing fees. While American and United charge up to a $75 fee for making a booking within 21 days of departure, with British Airways you can make a booking until the day of departure without paying close-in ticketing fees.
This goes especially well with British Airways having a distance based award chart, since it means you can book last minute shorthaul award tickets and pay just the Avios and taxes.
The ability to form household accounts
Often one of the big challenges people have with points is figuring out how to pool them, since you typically need enough points in a single account for a redemption. One of the cool features of the British Airways Executive Club program is that you can form household accounts. This allows you to pool the Avios you earn with up to six other people registered at the same address as you.
This is especially awesome in the context of a credit card sign-up bonus, since the British Airways Visa Signature® Card can earn you 100,000-150,000+ Avios in a single account if you have two people sign-up for the card in a household, etc.
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a generous sign-up bonus, is relatively easy to be approved for (as far as Chase cards go), offers some benefits that many will find valuable (a companion certificate, a 10% off benefit, etc.), and in general Avios are a points currency that are worth collecting, in my opinion. If you don’t have this card and are eligible, I’d certainly recommend applying.