While I’ve written a detailed review of the British Airways Visa, in this post I wanted to focus on some of the main reasons you should consider getting this card.
Why you should get the British Airways Visa Card
The British Airways Visa has a reasonable $95 annual fee, a massive welcome bonus, and best of all, it has benefits that make the card worth holding onto long term, at least for those who fly British Airways every so often. Let me share eight reasons you should consider picking up the BA credit card, in no particular order.
100,000 Avios welcome bonus
The British Airways Visa is currently offering its best-ever welcome bonus, as the card is offering 100,000 bonus Avios after spending $5,000 within the first three months. That’s a reasonable spending requirement for such a big bonus, and this is the best offer we’ve seen on the card.
Save 10% on British Airways flights
The British Airways Visa offers a 10% discount on British Airways flights originating in the United States (just use promotion code CHASEBA10).
If you fly British Airways on revenue tickets with any frequency, this could save you a huge amount of money. There are surprisingly few restrictions associated with this, as it works on most British Airways metal flights departing the United States in all classes of service.
Best of all, the entire fare, including the surcharges, are discounted by 10%.
3-5x Avios bonus categories the first 18 months
The British Airways Visa has some elevated spending bonuses for the first 18 months of card membership. Many may find these to be worthwhile, as you can earn:
- 5x Avios per dollar spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL for the first 18 months of card membership (and then 3x Avios thereafter)
- 3x Avios per dollar spent on hotel accommodations for the first 18 months of card membership (and then 2x Avios thereafter)
It could definitely be worth taking advantage of those bonus categories, particularly while you’re trying to qualify for the welcome bonus.
Award surcharge rebate
Not only can having the British Airways Visa Card save you money on revenue flights, but it can also save you money on award tickets.
While British Airways has reasonably good award availability (and consistently makes at least four business class award seats available on all flights), unfortunately the airline has hefty surcharges when redeeming Avios for most British Airways flights. That’s where having this card comes in handy, and the annual fee can be covered over and over.
The British Airways Visa Card offers up to $600 per year in statement credits on reward flights. You can get up to three credits per year, as follows:
- Earn a $100 statement credit for an economy or premium economy booking
- Earn a $200 statement credit for a business class or first class booking
This only applies to British Airways awards originating in the United States. If you do redeem Avios on British Airways often, this could be valuable.
Earn a companion ticket
If you spend $30,000 on the British Airways Visa Card in total during a calendar year, you can earn a companion certificate. With this, a companion can fly with you for no extra Avios, and you just have to pay the taxes, fees, and carrier imposed surcharges. This can also be used for one passenger, in which case the number of Avios will simply be reduced by 50%.
This has the potential to be a phenomenal deal, whether you’re traveling to London, or are looking to connect beyond there.
Pool Avios for great oneworld redemptions
One of the challenges that many people have with a credit card strategy is that they earn rewards in too many programs, and then don’t actually have enough points in any one program to redeem.
The great thing here is that there are lots of credit cards that can earn you Avios, as you can also transfer over points from Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Beyond that, you can also pool Avios between Executive Club accounts, and you can even transfer Avios between Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar Airways.
There are so many great ways to redeem Avios, whether you’re looking to travel on British Airways, or a partner airline with lower surcharges.
Rental car coverage
The British Airways Visa offers primary rental car coverage outside the United States, while it offers secondary rental car coverage in the United States. This applies to damage up to the cost of most rental car vehicles. Make sure you read the full cardmember agreement for details.
Access to Chase Offers
Chase Offers has been getting more and more useful lately. With this, you can save money for purchases with select retailers by enrolling your card and then making an eligible purchase. This feature is available on most Chase cards, though all cards have different offers.
The more cards you have, the better the odds of getting good deals.
Tip: Consider the Aer Lingus & Iberia Cards
If you already have the British Airways Card, it’s worth being aware that Chase has two other cards earning Avios — I’m talking about the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (review) and Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review).
These cards all earn Avios in their respective currencies, but you can potentially consolidate these all in a single account. The Avios cards all have the same excellent welcome bonuses, spending bonuses, and annual fees, though the perks are tailored to each individual airline.
The good news is that you may be eligible for all three of these cards, and the Aer Lingus and Iberia cards are often overlooked.
The British Airways Visa has an excellent bonus of up to 100,000 Avios with a reasonable minimum spending requirement, which is as good as it gets on this card. On top of that the card offers some phenomenal perks, like 10% savings on revenue British Airways flights, up to $600 in statement credits on British Airways award flights, and more.
Regardless of whether or not you intend to actually fly British Airways, earning Avios is worthwhile, given the ability to redeem on partner airlines, including Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. If you don’t yet have this card and are eligible, I’d seriously consider applying.