How to Leverage the British Airways Visa 100,000 Point Signup Bonus for Huge Award Travel

Link: British Airways Visa with up to 100,000 point signup bonus

Last week I wrote about Chase bringing back the 100,000 point signup bonus offer on the British Airways Visa.

It requires more spending to get the full 100,000 points than last time — 50,000 points after first purchase, 25,000 additional points after $10,000 in spend within a year, and 25,000 more points after the next $10,000 in spend within a year (ie after $20,000 in spend on the card yields 100,000 points). There’s a $95 annual fee, not waived the first year.

It’s the best current credit card signup bonus out there, but the hefty spending requirements have led some commenters and some other blogs to downplay it, calling it ‘just’ a 50,000 point signup bonus.

I’m going to beg to differ, and hope to show you how you can turn this card hugely to your advantage.

In future posts I’ll write more about ways to help meet the minimum spending requirements on the card.

In this post I’ll focus on the huge value that many other folks have been missing.

  1. British Airways offers household accounts that let you pool your points, so more than one person can sign up for the card and then share the bonuses for a single award ticket.
  2. This card comes with a “free companion award ticket” after $30,000 in spend in a calendar year. That means the points you have in your account can be effectively used twice provided two passengers are traveling on the same award itinerary on British Airways.

With 50,000 – 100,000 points as a signup bonus, and two opportunities for leverage this is actually a really huge offer.

Household accounts let you pool points with up to 7 other people at the same residential mailing address. The only meaningful restriction here is that once you set up a family account, points have to be redeemed for one of the members of that family account. So if seven people join, awards must be issued for one of those seven people.

Two spouses could each sign up for the card and after first purchase there would be 100,000 points available to pool. That’s enough points for a business class ticket roundtrip from the US West Coast to London or roundtrip from New York to Buenos Aires.

Spouses and each of their two parents could sign up for the card, and if their British Airways accounts are at the same residential mailing address all six accounts could be pooled. That’s 300,000 bonus points.

But let’s just stick with the two-person example.

  • One person gets the card and makes a single purchase. That’s 50,000 points earned.

  • The second person gets the card and puts $30,000 of spend on it by the end of the year. They’ve earned the full 100,000 point bonus, and have earned 37,500 points from spending (since the card earns 1.25 points per dollar).

  • In total, they’ve earned 187,500 points and a free companion award ticket.

  • Both people could fly business class roundtrip from the U.S. to South Africa via London (with allowable stopover).

This is the only offer I’ve ever seen that would allow $30,000 in credit card spend to generate 2 business class award tickets to Africa.

I’m not a huge fan in general of the Avios program. And like most non-US frequent flyer programs they add fuel surcharges to award redemptions (including on a companion award ticket, though not when a paid ticket wouldn’t incur such charges such as on US domestic itineraries or US-South America itineraries). But even paying slightly less than the cost of a coach ticket and getting business class is a huge reward. And the leverage opportunities really make this offer unique.

(Using my link to sign up for the British Airways Visa will generate referral credit to me, which I certainly appreciate.)

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 Milepoint.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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Pingbacks

  1. […] The British Airways Visa leverages up by allowing multiple family members to sign up for the card and pool signup bonuses towards one person’s award, and for folks who put $30,000 spend on the card within a year to earn the companion award ticket, there’s the opportunity to use those miles twice (for two passengers on the same award itinerary). BA adds fuel surcharges to awards, which is more than a little bit annoying, some folks think of it as buying a discounted, non-mileage coach ticket and having a confirmed upgrade. Since BA is a 4-class airline, in the case of a first class award, that’s a confirmed three-cabin upgrade. (Some folks have luck making a mock booking on the BA.com website and getting an offer for 50,000 points now and 50,000 in a year – two annual fees but no minimum spend.) […]

  2. […] The British Airways Visa leverages up by allowing multiple family members to sign up for the card and pool signup bonuses towards one person’s award, and for folks who put $30,000 spend on the card within a year to earn the companion award ticket, there’s the opportunity to use those miles twice (for two passengers on the same award itinerary). Given fuel surcharges, some folks think of it as buying a discounted, non-mileage earning coach ticket and having a confirmed upgrade. Since BA is a 4-class airline, in the case of a first class award, that’s a confirmed three-cabin upgrade. […]

Comments

  1. For the 50000 avios with your first purchase and another 50000 avios on the one year anniversary, does the first purchase have to be on a British airways flight or can it be as simple as a cup of coffee?

    Also, if my wife and I each sign up, can we household link these avios?

  2. I just need to understand these points things versus miles and who offers the best card.

    my boss has accrued over a million points with Chase. Their “points” system was INSANE! just a trip first class BA lay flat seat…consumed (just for himself) almost 1/2 a million points!

    He has about the same amount of points with Amex Cent and a one way for him and his wife would consume (as i was told) 200k points.

    When I do the math, that is like 8 points per dollar! who on EARTH has a card that comes close?!

    CapitalOne offers a 2 for $1 but the points system is weird as well. the formula they use is $ (price of ticket) X 100 = Miles (needed) to purchase ticket.

    Chase was insane…I don’t even want to use their formula but suffice it to say….bad all around…and I can’t transfer points anywhere with Chase.

    My head is dizzy…anyone that can explain all this to me in the simplest terms is a very nice human being! lol!

  3. I use the Avios for flights to Hawaii from west coast. 100k miles equals 4 round trips. Not bad for $95.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>