Only 3 Days Left to Get the 100,000 Point Signup Bonus British Airways Visa

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

The most lucrative current credit card signup bonus is scheduled to be pulled June 7.

The offer is:

  • 50,000 points after first purchase
  • 25,000 points after spending $10,000 on the card within a year
  • 25,000 additional points after spending the next $10,000 on the card within that year

There’s a $95 annual fee, spending earns 1.25 points per dollar, and the card has no foreign currency transaction fees.

After $30,000, they award a free companion award ticket – the second passenger travels on an award booked on British Airways flights for no additional points (though both passengers are charged taxes and fuel surcharges).

And of course there are plenty of ways to goose your spending to get there.

(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, and of course no companion award ticket if you don’t do the spend. I haven’t been able to make this work, though.)

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 (so a husband and wife each get the card, and get two bonuses they can combine.. get kids or parents to get the card and pool the bonus points as well). And put $30,000 spend on the card within a year to earn the companion award ticket, you get to spend those pooled points twice (for two passengers on the same award itinerary).

Given fuel surcharges, some folks think of it as buying a discounted, non-points 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.

I make the point frequently that there are three different types of credit cards — those you get for the signup bonuses, those you get for the benefits of having the card, and those you get because they’re lucrative to actually put spending on.

The British Airways card is clearly a card you get for the signup bonus. At up to 100,000 points on offer, it’s the current most lucrative signup bonus on the market. And that goes away June 7, so worth jumping on now.

100,000 points is enough for business class travel from the US to London (some cities in the US it’s less than 100,000).

It’s also enough for two passengers to fly roundtrip in business class from New York or Miami non-stop to most cities in South America (without fuel surcharges).

Two great examples of how a single credit card, and some focused spending, can send you off n a premium class of service.

(I do receive referral credit if you use my link for the British Airways Visa, and I appreciate it greatly.)

Update: Word on the street is that the offer is being extended, not yet clear for how long but some rumors are either ‘through end of June’ or ‘another month’ — will update y’all when I confirm new end date for the offer. In the meantime it remains in my view the best current signup bonus in the market.

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 »

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  1. Just wondering, why would you use Avios points when BA charges an arm and a leg for taxes/fuel surcharges?

  2. here’s how to get the offer for 50k now and 50k after one year. i did this a few minutes ago so i know it works. a little labour-intensive, but worth the payoff. just follow the directions closely:

    1. open an incognito window on google chrome.
    2. go to the BA site and search for a one-way flight from chicago to london on an upcoming saturday (i chose june 23). it should price out to around $1400.
    3. hit continue a bunch until you get to passenger details.
    4. enter your details on this page. you MUST select YES that you are the name on the card that will be paying.
    5. you should come to a screen that says “earn 100,000 avois” which gives you the option to apply for the card. if you instead came to the payment screen, CLOSE the incognito window, open a new one and repeat.
    6. choose “Yes, I’d like to pay for this flight using my new card.” you will NOT actually have to pay for the flight. click on apply now.
    7. it will show the details of your flight along with a big price. hit “continue to credit card application.
    8. after you complete the application, you will be taken to a screen (hopefully telling you that you were approved) which will confirm that you have not yet bought the flight. it will redirect you to the payments page. just close the window, and you’re safe.

  3. @Nick M — as I’ve written about extensively —

    * No fuel surcharges for American domestic and Alaska redemptions. No fuel surcharges to South America. Low fuel srucharges intra-Asia

    * Good value award chart for short-haul domestic

    * Fuel surcharges can be worth it when redeeming a first class award, especially with companion award to double the value of miles, and fuel surcharges are seen as a deep discounted non-mileage earning coach ticket with confirmed triple upgrade.

  4. Gary,

    Haven’t been able to make it work or haven’t tried? It’s really quite simple using the step by step emily laid out above.

  5. @Ike perhaps it was the “incognito window” and the need to rinse, repeat in step 5 that had thrown me off, I’ve tried a few times but not half a dozen since I already got this card and am not personally eligible for the bonus.

    Plus to me it’s a non-issue, as I’ve explained I believe the real value in this card is actually putting $30k on it and getting the companion ticket to double the value of the miles — which is more than the $20k required for the full 100k bonus RIGHT AWAY rather than waiting a year (and paying a second annual fee).

    I simply flag that there are other options to get the card, quite clearly in each post about it, because I want to make folks aware so they can take the best approach for their own preferences/value function/situation.

    As I say, I believe the best value is getting the full bonus right away after putting a full $30k not $20k on the card, and spending the miles twice using a companion award ticket.

  6. Gary,

    Thanks for the response and the reasoning why this version of the card holds more value to you. For me, the companion cert would be worthless as I’m in Hawaii. Plus I have no interest in premium cabins, but I can see why some might prefer to use their miles that way.

    Oh, and having the card before does not necessarily preclude you from getting the bonus again. I signed up under the 1st 100k bonus, cancelled the card, and just got the card and bonus miles again! I’d say if you got the 100k the first time around you stand a better chance of getting it again now than if you had just gotten the card last year.

  7. Emily,

    All went well, I did exactly as you suggested , Until I completed the application. Then it took me to a screen that said you ca not be approved instantly and , said I woul hear from Chase within the next 30 days

  8. what sort of redemptions would you use the companion cert for? i’m having a hard time finding any with reasonable fuel surcharges that are actually on BA metal.

  9. @emily I wonder if you’re overconstraining the situation? Fuel surcharges are going to be high to most destinations served by BA (unless the itinerary originates in Brazil – hah). But take an award to Affrica, sure you’re going to spend like 190k miles for 2 business class tickets. You’re going to pay big fuel surcharges. But those are not more than the cost of a coach ticket! And you get first class. For two passengers, at an average of less than 50k miles each way per person. That to me is a good value proposition.

  10. I find the comment about it being “hard” to get the offer by buying a ticket to be disingenuous. It’s really quite easy. No incognito window necessary. Sounds like someone wants more referral $$$

  11. @stvr — I flagged the other offer in my post, with a link to how to get it. It’s not like I deleted the comment walking through how to do it. And nowhere did I use the word ‘hard’ that you put in quotes. So your comment strikes me as disingenuous.

    I explained quite clearly I tried a few times, it didn’t seem to come up with it, I reported my findings but still am sharing others’ successful experiences. And I’ve shared it several times in the past, too! Along with my analysis of when one version of the offer is better than the other.

    As they say, “haters gonna hate.”

  12. Million Mile Secrets just posted that the BA. Chase offer has been extended. No new deadline at this time. I am not surprised-I’m guessing Chase may have a big pile of Avios after BA gutted the program last November.

    Gary’s careful analysis convinced me. The Chase offer works well for two groups. First, those who will use Avios for cheap rewards on primarily short hop routes that price high on other carriers. Second, using Avios and the 241 certificate for what amounts to an upgrade from coach for the cost of getting the card, putting $30k of spend on it snd winding your way thru the scheduling restrictions and inconveniences that come with only using the cert for BA metal flights. I wouldn’t say all that is free, but it does come with no additional financial outlay. Plus you get to try BA service, which is not as great as many say, but to me is clearly better than most, including (by a mile) sll the US carriers.

  13. @Sam I think you’ve got it. Meanwhile you’ll also see that I had posted an update at the bottom of the post about the offer apparently being extended

  14. man, people do not give you bloggers a break, do they?! all you said was that you could not get it to work but that you hadn’t tried a ton of times.

    i think people need to understand that you CAN’T stand behind these “alternative” offers because you can’t vouch for them. the best you can do is point them out and let us post helpful comments, which is exactly what you’re doing. that’s far more helpful than some bloggers i could name!

  15. I tried multiple times a few weeks ago to get the BA offer to come up, but it just would not work.

    STVR – Clearly you’re new here if you think this blogging community is being selfish with information. Their whole existence is centered on sharing what they have learned. It would not have grown so large if they had not earned our trust.

  16. How is this for meeting the minimum spend requirements – use Charge Smart to pay my mortgage with my BA Visa. It looks like Charge Smart will charge me around 2.37% for this, so at $30,000 it would be $711 in fees. (Obviously this will be less by switching all my spending to this card, but this guarantees making the minimum spend in the first year.) Seems like a good value for those who might not otherwise make $30K in a year.

  17. So now the question is are the 100,000 Avios worth $95 and the opportunity cost of losing out on, say, 40,000 Capital One points that I could have earned with that $20K spend?

    Keeping in mind that there is no way I’m going to pay $1K for an award ticket regardless of what class it’s in, that I don’t really want to go to South America, that 100K Avios will only net me 2.5 domestic US round-trips on AA that I’ll likely never be able to book (their saver award availability has been rivaling that of DL lately), that heck if it’s short haul I’ll drive anyway thank you, and seeing that I still have 300K+ Avios and two 2-for-1 certs left over from the last time around that I still can’t put to good use, I can only come to one conclusion…

    Nah.

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