The Link is Live! British Airways Visa 100,000 Mile Signup Bonus!

Here it is. As expected:

  • 50,000 miles with first purchase
  • 50,000 miles after spending $2000 on the card within 3 months
  • 1.25 miles per dollar spent (2.5 miles per dollar on British Airways spend)
  • After spending $30,000 on the card in a year, you’ll receive a certificate for a free companion award ticket when you redeem an awardBritish Airways allows ‘households’ to pool their miles for an award. So two people each sign up for the card. One puts $2000 in spend to earn the full bonus, the other puts $30,000 in spend to earn a companion certificate. 240,000 miles will be earned, plus a companion certificate. This would allow two people to redeem first class tickets between, say, Los Angeles and Dubai.

    In other words, 480,000 miles of awards for nothing but $32,000 in credit card spend.

    I’m not a fan of the British Airways award chart in general, but the signup bonus and the award companion certificate are impressive, to say the least!

  • About Gary Leff

    Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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    1. Unfortunately, the T&Cs seem to preclude you from receiving the sign up bonus if you’ve had a BA Signature VISA card before. Any more insight into this?

    2. I’m thinking of two AA biz class seats to europe or South America or two CX seats somewhere, just for $2000 in spend on two cards.

    3. I’m getting back a :” you will be notified wtihin 15 days”. Bummer.

      Is anyone getting an instant “yes”?

    4. same here, my wife and i both got the “you will be notified by mail within 15 days” is this standard or is anyone getting approved instantly?

    5. Any information on how long this deal will last? It says limited-time offer. I can’t apply for another 3-4 months. 🙁

    6. Hi Gary – thanks so much for alerting all of us to this ridiculously good offer.

      I see that balance transfers count for the $2,000 in initial spend. It doesn’t explicitly include or exclude balance transfers for the $30k in annual spend – do you know if you can reach the annual spend threshold by transferring balances? As always…thanks!

    7. can we get the $30k ‘companion flight’ spend period straight? – the BA 2 for 1 offer says it starts 1 Jan 2010,

      and says: “Every year you spend $30,000 on your BA Visa Card, you will receive a redemption voucher for a companion, valid for 2 years”

      so – its confusing – do you have to spend 30k AFTER Jan 1st, or can you start right away?

      Also: if you somehow spend 30k in the 2 months left of this year (2009) and again next year (2010) do you get two vouchers? it would seem not as it doesn’t ‘start’ till 1 Jan 2010.

      if nothing counts to that 30k till 1/1/10, it seems best not to spend a dime on the card till then, right?

    8. just realised you have to spend $2000 in first 3 months, so yes it is a good idea to hit that target for the 50k bonus, asap.

      Reading the full rules and conditions, it does seem that if you can spend 30k between now and Dec 31st 2009, you will get a voucher. this of course assumes they give you a credit limit enabling that kind of spend!

      therefore in theory you could get a voucher this year, AND 2010, if you are a high spender, and have two companion vouchers, further increasing the miles value.

    9. I noticed on their web site another promotion for a free companion ticket with the little asterisk, of course. taxes, fees ect are extra. So, I priced a ticket from San Diego to London. The extra fees were about 40% of the ticket cost. So, not quite free. And i wonder what the add on fees are for the ff tickets. 40% seems very high. Has anyone booked a ff flight with these guys?

    10. ‘This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time cardmembers with new accounts. Existing cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.’

      I’m curious if the sentence above applies to Chase Signature card holders in general or specifically to holders of the BA Chase Signature card.

    11. I’d also like to get a run-down on whether it’s possible to redeem BA miles and NOT pay usurious fuel supplements and such. While the deal sounds great, I’m not really interested in spending several hundred dollars to redeem “free” award tickets.

      It also impacts the decision of whether to get the cards and spend 2000 each, or put LOTS of spending on the cards to get to 30,000 and the companion ticket.

    12. Not a big fan of BA either, but this seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, when it SEEMS too good to be true, it usually is. But my wife & I enrolled and we’ll see what happens.

      Question – you say with 240,000 miles you can get two first class tickets between LAX and DXB. According to BA’s website, it’s 240,000 miles per ticket. Am I reading their website wrong?

      And to respond to “Jerry”, who complained that the “fees & taxes” were 40% of the cost of the ticket, it’s not BA’s fault. On a $872.24 round-trip ticket to fly round-trip LAX-London, $387.24 of that price is for fees & taxes. And it could be worse! For United in the same market, on their $766.24 ticket price, over 50% is for fees & taxes.

    13. Dittp on Jerry and iahphx posts. If fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees add up 50% the cost of a ticket, is that really a value? In addition, how is booking availability for BA EC, say US-LHR?

    14. iahphx: why couldn’t you just take the 100K miles and spend them on a partner airline in the US. You aren’t oblidged to spend them on BA metal, AFAIK

    15. a question in the same vein as iahphx, can anyone give us any idea as to how much we’ll actually have to pay due to the amazing BA/CAA fees? I’m seeing LAX-LHR is $140+ fuel surcharge each way, plus 50GBP for UK air duty. I’m sure BAA will take their share too. If we get hit with all of these taxes, this makes it barely worth the trouble for lowly economy passengers like myself. AA charges ~$135 total.

    16. I called BA to price taxes and fuel charges on SFO-LHR r/t and was told “about $300-350” including taxes and fuel surcharges. Not exactly free, but still cheap.

    17. Called Visa to get my question answered. They say you can have a Mileage Plus Signature Visa, for instance, and still get this one.

    18. Ed et al:

      Per the mileage fine print “BA Miles cannot be earned or redeemed on American Airlines transatlantic flights between the United States and London.” That is, you can potentially use BA miles on AA domestically, but don’t plan to get to Europe on AA.

    19. After reading through these posts, I went to the very lengthy flyertalk thread on this subject. As “Ed’ notes above, it does seem possible to cash out your 100k miles using BA partners and thereby avoid their nasty fuel surcharges.

      But since the companion ticket you earn by spending 30k is limited to BA-only flights, it would not appear possible to avoid the fees for that reward.

      Unless someone has different info, this would cause me to get the card and spend 2k, but not try to get to 30k in spending to get the companion ticket. I could see how that companion ticket MIGHT be worth the fees (especially for biz class travel), but 30k in spending is a lot for me, and I don’t think it would be worth giving up other card bonuses to do.

    20. I agree w/ iahphx. The miles, to me, seem most valuable for a non-BA award ticket in that I getting the $30k in spend would mean taking $30k away from another card. So maybe 2 cards for this household and just see if I can find some time to use them.

    21. Spending 2K to get 100K is no brainer. But I’ll wait on the $30K for 2-4-1, probably do it in 2011 instead of next. IMHO, tons of people will be signing up for this and redemption could be hard. Plus, fuel charges can change any time, and I’m hoping it’ll come down.

    22. Where does 480,000 miles come from?

      You earn: 50k+50k+2k = ~102,000
      Spouse earns: 50k+50k+40k = 140,000
      total = 140,000

    23. @Mark,

      It seems the presumption is that with 242K miles and using the companion pass, the value would be equal to 484K miles. That condition is only true for a RT where the entire miles AND the companion pass are used. If the companion pass were used on a 25K AA RT, then the value is much less.

      Again, this is an intriguing offer. While the miles-at-any-cost lemmings run for the cliff, I think this offer is emblamatic of all the choices Gary outlined in his CC summary post a few months ago. One should consider credit score effects, ability to redeem miles on BA and BA partners, the BA fuel surcharge, LHR fee, taxes, etc.

      If one’s goal is long distance F or CW travel (e.g., LAX-DXB), in essence, at WT or WT+ prices (adding up all of BA’s charges since the companion pass can only be used on BA metal), then this is an outstanding offer. For those looking for ~free travel, even domestic coach redemption on AA would be worth the $75 annual fee and $2K spend for 100K miles (presuming you didn’t cancel the card before the $75 was due).

    24. Sorry, but I have found that frequent flyer seats on BA have always been hard to book and had problems at the time of use. Your mileage may vary.

    25. Just got back my app :Too many request for credit.

      Shot down!

      (Wish i didn’t go apesh*t with all those new cards back in Aug and Sept!)

    26. @1BigGuy, YMMV indeed, I’ve always found BA seats easy to book. Depends on the routes you’re looking at of course. And of course you can use BA miles (but not the companion certificate) on their partners as well.

    27. Correction to my earlier post since the companion pass is only valid for BA metal:

      It seems the presumption is that with 242K miles and using the companion pass, the value would be equal to 484K miles. That condition is only true for a RT where the entire miles AND the companion pass are used. If the companion pass were used on a 50K BA RT, then the value is much less.

    28. The BA helper (Dilly) over on FlyerTalk said that despite the T&C language he had confirmed with BA personnel that it was OK to have had a BA VIsa previously if you did not have one now. You could still get the 100K bonus. Can’t get on FT right now for some reason but Dilly was going back to BA to check again after another FTer was told you could NOT have had a previous BA card. Confusing. Anyone else know anything more for certain?

    29. The free companion ticket is with a full fare purchase and companion must fly on same flights.
      I have found it more economic to buy two cheapest tickets. The cost has been lower than one full fare

    30. No @Barry Cox, that’s the old offer, this is a free AWARD companion with award redemption after spending $30k on the card in a calendar year.

    31. Well, it works, believe it or not! I charged two grand in the first month, and I now have 102,717 miles in my brand new BA frequent flyer account. The BAD news for people that haven’t applied is that they’re no longer offering this promotion.
      Thanks, Gary!!

    32. I signed up for the Chase British Airways Signature Card on November 4th, 2009 on the BA website, and was approved. I opened my BA FF miles account at the same time. My account was formally opened on November 19th, 2009. After my first statement, I have only received 30,000 miles. When I called Chase, they told me I didn’t sign up for the 50k/50k program. Bologna!! It was the only reason I signed up for the account!! I’ve now been told that they need to research my application. This is a CROCK!! I better get my miles!!! I’m pissed.

    33. ps. I’ve also spent over $3,500. in 3 weeks in order to receive the extra 50k miles. Has anyone had this experience? What was your outcome? Any suggestions on recourse? The only offer on the BA site for a Signature card was the 50K/50K offer. They claim my application was routed to the 30k offer. That’s not what I signed up for!!

    34. Same here. I expected the 50,00 deal but only received 30,000 Perhaps the better business bureau is the best recourse. I think they are guilty of “bait and switch”

    35. I took advantage of the offer in February 2010. It came out for a few hours on 1 day and I am good to go (50,000 plus 50,000).
      You must act fast as it is a limited time offer and can be withdrawn in a few yours.

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