The British Airways Visa 100,000 mile signup bonus offer is back, and in a similar format (and with similar spending thresholds) as was offered in the spring.

  • 50,000 points after $1000 spend within 3 months
  • 25,000 more points after $10,000 spend within a year
  • 25,000 more points after the second $10,000 spend within a year

I don’t like Avios. That’s because I prefer using miles for premium cabin long haul international travel — precisely what has become exceptionally expensive under this program. For instance you’ll spend twice as many Avios points flying to South Africa in first class as you will points in United’s program.

Avios are quite good for short-haul non-stop economy awards. That’s not how I like to use my miles. (You can avoid exorbitant fuel surcharges imposed by the program by flying transatlantic on Air Berlin, for instance, or by flying US-South America or US domestic coach among other options — if a paid ticket doesn’t have fuel surcharges, then the award ticket should not either.)

I don’t much worry about the spending threshold, though, high as it is.

  • At a minimum, a 50,000 point signup bonus can be worthwhile. And then use the points precisely for those short haul coach tickets which would otherwise be expensive. One can deviate from my preferred approach to miles, just as one can get a Southwest 50,000 point card.
  • The best value the card offers, in my opinion, is the companion award ticket they give you after $30,000 spending. Two passengers fly on awards for the mileage price of one (you still pay taxes and fuel surcharges for both tickets). This effectively means you double the bonus.
  • And two people can form a household account, each get the card. Maybe one hits $30,000 spend for the companion award, earns 137,500 miles as a result (because the card earns 1.25 miles per dollar). The other just gets the 50,000 point signup bonus. The resulting 188,750 miles can then be spent twice on a single award that’s entirely on British Airways flights.

This isn’t a link which provides any credit to me, just flagging that the offer is back. And it’s the only 100,000 point offer in the market…

(HT: Million Mile Secrets)

  1. bluecat said,

    Notoriously non-churnable!

  2. Gene said,

    For churners, this represents a 50k offer.

  3. Alan said,

    Wow you get such amazing sign up offers in the USA – so jealous!

  4. blueline7 said,

    Re the companion ticket, is that applicable to just BA flights, or also to CX etc. booked with Avios?

  5. Kelly said,

    The Avios for short haul in USA is a bargain. Thats all I use my Avios for !!

  6. dhammer53 said,

    Gary, we used our Avios points to fly short haul in Argentina, where tickets ran $400 for a short 90 minute flight. The cost per ticket was 9000 Avios points per roundtrip ticket. Not a bad return!

  7. Kimmie said,

    Agreed, the Avios program is inferior to other programs for longhaul travel. Like you, the only lure for us is the companion ticket for an extremely indulgent flight halfway around the planet. Yes, we do have to pay those nasty BA fees through the UK. However, we’ve looked at it as if this is a once-in-a-long-time (BA/Avios) expenditure, not to be repeated any time soon. We’ve broken it down to a $3000 cost (BA/UK airport fees, the annual credit card fee and small surcharge to pay our property taxes) for the two of us to travel business class to somewhere exotic, like Kenya then on to Mumbai, return to the USA. Not the best value, but not too shabby, either. Since our 30K annual spend was met this year in just 7 months (hello, property taxes) we can now return our focus to increasing miles in other programs.

  8. LK said,

    With the companion pass, I don’t mind paying the fuel surcharges for 2 first class tickets. Still, once I’ve burned the miles, I don’t think I’ll keep the card.

  9. romsdeals said,

    LAX-LHR Roundtrip for 2 would cost over $2,000 in taxes. Not too appealing. LAX-Hawaii would be my choice, but availibility is getting harder to come by unless you book very early.

  10. ArizonaGuy said,

    Sure, there are better deals to be had. But even if you have to pay the longhaul APD, roughly $1000 give or take for a BA F ticket is certainly a bargain any day of the week.

  11. Jon said,

    Hi, I am getting into the frequent flyer program and have built up close to 75k on US Airways (since I live in Philly). Since US Air is on the star alliance, I wanted to get into another alliance’s frequent flyer program. With this offer and AA’s offer for 50K miles both on the table, which credit card would be better to get? Does it matter? Does a potential merger with US Air and AA potentially negate this?

  12. Brian said,

    AA for long-haul internationals with low fees. Or BA for short flights. Simply depends on what kind of trips your in the hunt for. Personally. I would go with AA every single time.

  13. Yo said,

    is this churnable (had BA almost 2 years ago when they first promoted the 100K offer)? For domestic, its unbeatable. And AA availability is fair-good.

  14. russell said,

    FYI – there is currently a class action suit against BA for the high fuel surcharge on ‘free’ tickets. No idea if it will drive any change in behavior on their part and increase the value of long-haul on Avios with BA, but we can but hope.

  15. Glenn said,

    @blueline7,

    Based on reading this:

    http://boardingarea.com/dealswelike/2012/04/16/earning-and-redeeming-a-british-airways-companion-ticket/

    It looks like the Companion Pass is only good on BA metal. No franchise, codeshare or alliance air travel is covered.

  16. HoKo said,

    +1 on Yo’s question. I also had this crd during the first 100k promo. Chances of getting the bonus on this one (I closed the card April ’12.

  17. Gary said,

    @Glenn or the last line of my 3rd bullet “that’s entirely on British Airways flights.” :)

  18. tivoboy said,

    Yes, companion cert is only good on BA flights, I’ve used them before to get two people to India in F (new and old first) for about 1800$ total. Problem TODAY is, that inventory to remote destinations, is hard to come by. I’ve been trying to find flights to the continent from SFO and to SA from LHR over the next YEAR and many dates don’t show up. One has to be ready to be quite flexible.

  19. Michael said,

    Re: Gene’s comment above, under what terms would a churner be given the 50K miles?

  20. Mr. Churner said,

    I was able to do the card again in less than 2 years, but I had a legal name change in the meantime.

  21. bdben said,

    I have an Avios household account but when I click on “Spend Avios” and try to do a booking search for 3 pax, it only lets me check up to 2 passengers (the 2 in my household). How can I search for 3 pax? Is this a bug in the BA user interface? Does anyone know a workaround for this? Also — are all of the household Avios available to be spent automatically? Right now it is calculating as if I can only spend my Avios even though it is showing me the total household Avios information.

  22. Gary said,

    @bdben – if you have an Avios household account you are only able to redeem points for members of that household. Try searching for space on the Qantas website

  23. bdben said,

    Thanks for the reply… I wasn’t so much concerned with searching as with booking. So now that I set up a household account for me and my daughter, I can no longer redeem an award ticket for another traveler, e.g. my wife?

  24. Gary said,

    @bdben – add your wife to the household account and then you can book for her too (otherwise you would have to dissolve the household account)

  25. Chris said,

    I’ve had my BA visa since 2005. I am finally getting rid of it this coming year. The Avios program just doesn’t make sense for me. I also get annoyed at how I’ve been a loyal card member and get no bonuses while every Joe that signs up and spends $1000 gets 50K. That being said, I did get the free companion ticket last year and my wife and I went first class from SFO-LHR. Fuel surcharges crested $1200 but to purchase the tickets would have been over $24,000. Considering it cost 120,000 miles that worked out to be $.20/mile redemption value.

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