100,000 Offer for British Airways Visa is Back

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British Airways Visa Signature® Card

This was the very first card to offer a 100,000 point bonus back in November 2009. It’s fantastic to see this offer return. Here’s how to leverage it.

    50,000 after $3,000 spend on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

    25,000 after $10,000 total spend on purchases within your first year of account opening — for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. (So this is $7000 additional spend on top of the first $3000 for 50,000 Avios.)

    An additional 25,000 after a total of $20,000 spend within your first year from account opening — for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.

What’s super awesome as well is that reports I’ve seen is that Chase doesn’t exclude customers who have had 5 or more new card applications within the past 24 months from being approved for this one.

I always loved the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie where each thing you get makes you want something else. Chase’s offer here is brilliant because once you hit each threshold you want to keep going.

In fact, don’t just put $20,000 of spend in your first year on the card, keep going and hit $30,000 because each calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on the card you earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years essentially doubling the usefulness of your miles for two passengers flying on the same eligible itinerary.

Use for Short-Distance Flights

Flights up to 1150 miles each way cost 7500 Avios in economy, or 15,000 Avios in business class. Premium cabin awards on American Airlines, where available, are now considered business class.

You can still fly Los Angeles – Hawaii for just 12,500 Avios each way in economy (or Boston – Dublin, for that matter).

I love booking intra-Asia business class awards on Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific that are short distance, and indeed flights up to 650 miles outside North America cost just 4500 points each way in economy and 9000 in business.

British Airways First Class Upgrades

Upgrades from business class to first class cost just the miles of a coach award ticket with no cash co-pay. And I’ve even upgraded British Airways sale fares booked using the AARP discount.


British Airways First Class

British Airways first class isn’t one of the world’s best, though it’s better than business class. The cabin is gorgeous. And I find the smaller cabin (relative to business) to be more restful.

The aircraft makes a difference as well, with the Airbus A380 better than the 777 better than the 747.

The Companion Award ‘Travel Together’ Ticket Doubles the Value of Your Points!

If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the card you earn a companion award ticket which allows you to book two passengers on an award ticket for the mileage price of one award. You still pay taxes and fees for both passengers. And two award seats must be available in the ticketed cabin for both passengers as well.

The basic rules for the travel together ticket are:

  • Each calendar year that you spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature Card, you earn a Travel Together Ticket valid for two years. Travel must begin by the expiration date of the certificate.
  • Since the vouchers are valid for two years, if you earn one in each calendar year it is possible to have two vouchers in your account at the same time. You can use both on the same trip so that four passengers can travel for the mileage cost of two awards (plus taxes and fees).
  • You can earn only one companion award ticket per British Airways Visa primary account. Spending $60,000 on the card does not earn two.
  • All travel must originate in or return to the US.
  • The person who earns the voucher (the visa cardholder) must be one of the passengers on the award ticket.
  • Only flights on British Airways aircraft may be used on the award.
  • Regular award space must be available for all passengers.

Earn the card’s full bonus and spend $30,000 in your first year on the card and you’ll have both 130,000 British Airways Avios and a Travel Together ticket. That’s more than enough for two passengers to fly roundtrip business class between New York, DC, or Chicago and London for instance.

There aren’t many card offers that can be leveraged into two roundtrip business class transatlantic tickets with a single bonus.

Double Your Bonus With British Airways Family Accounts

British Airways offers family accounts — you can set up your account with family members so you can pool your miles towards a single award.

This means you and a spouse, for instance, could each get the card. After meeting the minimum spend for to earn the full bonus on each card, you’d have a total of 240,000 Avios. Even though these are split between two different accounts, you can spend them on one award ticket as though they were in a single account if you link the accounts together.

Creating a family account — which can be undone — means you can only redeem awards for people that are linked in the family account.

And you can have up to 7 people in a family account, at the extreme if 7 people linked through a family account each got the card and earned the full bonus that would be 840,000 Avios to spend as though they were all in one account.


British Airways First Class

Fuel Surcharges

There aren’t any fuel surcharges if you redeem your points for US domestic flights, or between the US and South America.

But like most frequent flyer programs based outside North America, British Airways adds fuel surcharges onto the cost of an award ticket — whatever that charge would have been on a similar purchased ticket.

Here’s how to keep the cost down (or even eliminate fuel surcharges entirely) when redeeming awards through British Airways:

  • Fly US domestic economy, just 7500 points each way on flights 1150 miles or less including on Alaska Airlines.

  • US – South America flights have no fuel surcharges. Australia domestic is a great deal here, too. Japanese domestic flights can literally have $0 in taxes and fees.

  • The fees are cheap for many destinations in Asia like Hong Kong and Japan.


    Cathay Pacific Business Class. Short distance business class awards can be a value at twice the Avios cost as coach, and Hong Kong flights have very low surcharges.

  • Open an Iberia Avios account as well. Transfer your British Airways points over to Iberia (one-to-one into an account that’s been open three months and has had some points activity). The fees are de minimis when using Iberia points to fly Iberia.

  • British Airways partner Aer Lingus has really low charges.

  • airberlin, a oneworld partner, does not add fuel surcharges onto their fares.

  • Remember to check whether two one-way awards are cheaper than a roundtrip.

Other Ways to Get British Airways Avios

You can transfer points to top off a British Airways account at one-to-one from a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which is offering 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months plus 5000 points for adding a (no fee) authorized user to the account and making a purchase within that same timeframe. These points can be transferred instantly once earned.

Points from the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card transfer as well.

Finding Award Space and Booking Your Award

The easiest place to search for availability of all (3) partner airlines for those short haul domestic non-stop flights is the American Airlines (AA.com) website. That site isn’t great for most of its partners, but it does cover American and Alaska. Of course you have to make your booking directly with British Airways.

For most other awards in the oneworld alliance the British Airways website is quite good for searching space and making initial bookings.

Making changes to awards though has to be done over the phone, by a special department, and then tickets get queued for re-issue and if travel is in the future it can take a week or more for the re-issue to happen. Book one-way awards, cancel them online (it’s cheaper, forfeit the taxes on a domestic award instead of paying a fee), and rebook instead of changing.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Exactly. He coincidentally discovered the card when he got his affiliate link. He had no idea until today.

  2. There couldn’t be dumber criticism of Gary than the two comments above. He wrote a great piece on a 100,000 point signup bonus, but he didn’t do it fast enough? He tells us he gets credit if we use his links, yet pointing that out is somehow a gotcha? Some people.

  3. @David B, I’ll guide your thoughts.
    Some readers, unaware of this better offer, may have applied for a suboptimal offer and thus missed out on earning extra points. An ethical decision would be to inform the readers of a better offer and perhaps even suggest that they wait with that application until your favorite blogger gets the affiliate link.
    If blogging is about establishing a trusted “personal” relationship, the reader should be made aware of the lost opportunities when applying for a certain CC.
    This behavior illustrates Gary’s unwillingness to put the reader first and provide the readers with the most optimal information.

    By the way, Gary has written many, many 100000 BA offers to day. By now it shouldn’t take much effort to copy, modulate and post.

  4. ABC your complaint is about suboptimal offers but Gary is writing about the best offer and I haven’t seen him write about any suboptimal offers for this card.

    If the complaint is he didn’t write about this fast enough, are you saying he’s responsible if someone applied for a card offer he didn’t write about that had a lower bonus during the past week?

    I don’t see where you’ve even shown that a lower bonus offer for this card existed over the last week, in fact you said that the offer for this card changed and has been at this level. Again your criticism falls flat, haters gonna hate and all that.

  5. I guess the reasoning should be:
    If Gary knew about a good 100k link existing out there, and decided to wait until he got the referral link, to post it, that’s not necessarily wrong, AS LONG AS he acknowledges it.
    So, unless Gary tells us that he didn’t know about it for the last 2 weeks, it’s hard to defend him.
    The fact that this is useful information know, doesn’t excuse the lack of transparency here.

  6. This criticism is ridiculous. Nothing is free in this world and all you millenials who expect everything to be free on the internet are due for a rude awakening in our next recession when all the VC capital dries up. Why don’t you go down to the corner store and buy something for .50 more than Amazon, and you can have it today!! Greener than Amazon and at least the money stays in your community instead of going back to Seattle, and perhaps stalls the crumbling of our local business infrastructure for another two days, the same two days you’d be anxiously awaiting the arrival of your Prime present.

    Idiots. Okay rant over. Thank you Gary.

  7. I would be more critical if he was promoting a lesser offer for the BA card while a more lucrative one without an affiliate link was out there. As long as he references better offers than what are in his links when that happens, I’m usually ok with it.

    @Gary, a few references in the last paragraph to US Airways you may wanna fix.

  8. I wish BA would get rid of their ridiculous “fuel surcharges”. I still have 80,000 avios from the last 100K offer. I cancelled the card a couple of years ago…. I wouldn’t mind moving the AVIOS to Iberia, but I found it almost impossible to do…. they don’t make it very easy.

    I can’t imagine anyone using AVIOS to fly to London from the US, you can almost buy a ticket for the cost of the fuel charges. I always end up on American Airlines.

  9. oh yeah. The “fuel surcharges” were somewhat acceptable when gas was $4 a gallon, but now with $2. or so these days it’s really just a fee that BA is collecting. Ridiculous.

  10. Hi – I’m a fairly inexperienced traveler, so sorry if this is a newb question. If I get this card for myself, spend the $30k in one year to get the 130k points and companion ticket, will that give me enough incentives to get a free round-trip flight for a family of 4 from Boston to London? Thank you.

  11. Haha, wait, I see it now on the offer site: “Taxes, fees and carrier charges are approximately $682-$1250 per adult in economy or $1250 in business class based on travel from Seattle to London.*” Nothing free about that. LOL. Probably better to just buy tickets.

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