Update: These offers for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which I consider to be pretty lucrative.
Why you should get the card
- You can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- The annual fee is $95
- You’re eligible for the card if you haven’t received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months (so if you had the card a long time ago you should still potentially be eligible to apply)
- Avios are arguably the single most valuable points currency for shorthaul travel within the US, given that awards start at just 4,500 Avios one-way; that’s almost invaluable for last minute award tickets on American, US Airways, and Alaska; the value of this isn’t changing with the upcoming British Airways devaluation
Redeem your Avios efficiently for domestic travel on American
What’s changing about the card
Per a letter sent in the mail to card members, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card will be changing the earnings structure for spend on the card.
As of April 30, 2015, the earnings structure on the British Airways Visa will change to the following:
- Earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
So basically they’re increasing the return for British Airways spend, while they’re decreasing the return for everyday spend. That’s a pretty unfortunate move, since on the surface the 1.25x Avios per dollar earnings rate at least set the card apart a bit.
It’s worth noting that the other benefits of the card won’t be changing, including:
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
- Travel Together Ticket every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases using the card
Continue to receive a companion certificate after spending $30,000 on the card per calendar year
Why the change shouldn’t really matter
While the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a great sign-up bonus, it’s actually not the best way to earn Avios through credit card spend, regardless of whether it offers 1.25x Avios or 1x Avios per dollar spent.
Personally I’d rather earn Avios in one of several other ways:
This change is a bit puzzling to me. The British Airways Visa has been working hard to gain market share in the US over the years with mega sign-up bonuses, so I don’t get why they’d make the card less rewarding. I’d assume the extra 0.25x Avios per dollar spent wasn’t breaking the bank for them. I do wonder whether this change was prompted by British Airways or Chase.
Regardless, I still think the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is worth applying for given the sign-up bonus and waived annual fee the first year. And you might as well do it while you’re earning 1.25x Avios per dollar spent.