Over 5/24? Get This Card

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British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Chase wants to make sure you aren’t getting its cards just for the signup bonus. Those bonuses are expensive and take awhile for them to earn back. So they won’t approve new accounts for many of their products when the applicant has had 5 or more new credit cards within the past 24 months. That only excludes a very small portion of the population, a low single digit percent most likely, but the group has a high likelihood of continually switching products.

If you’ve had 5 or more new cards in the last 24 months you’re out of luck for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for instance (which is why you should get it first when you’re getting started with miles and points).

But this rule doesn’t apply to all of Chase’s cards. And there’s one with a huge bonus in particular to consider if you’ve already had several new accounts from various card issuers in the past couple of years: the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

It has one of the biggest signup bonuses of any credit card. You can currently earn up to 75,000 Avios: 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, then an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.

That sounds like a lot of spending to earn the full bonus but frankly it’s a great card to get even if you were going to stop at 50,000.

And these points are great for short-distance flights, because travel 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. And you can still fly Los Angeles – Hawaii for just 12,500 Avios each way in economy.

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.


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.

Plus if you spend $30,000 in a year on the card, you double the effectiveness of your points because you earn a ‘Travel Together’ 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, but you stretch your points because you only pay miles for one.)

Earn the card’s full bonus and spend $30,000 in your first year on the card and you’ll have enough points 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.

Plus since British Airways offers family pooling of points, two people can get the card and its bonus,
and then combine points for an even bigger trip using the travel together ticket.

Or if you don’t have enough points from this card alone, 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.

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. Indeed, there’s some value in these points for selected uses, if and when there’s award or upgrade availability. But you might also mention that BA itself offers poor seats and service in both trans-Atlantic economy and especially business class, with the seats in both classes for intra-Europe flights so tight that they make U.S. carriers seating seem luxurious. Also, the very high dollar co-pays for some international flights using Avios points, which can cost well over a thousand dollars. And finally, the glitchy BA website and very inconsistent customer phone service.

  2. @ Gary — Please stop telling people that 5/24 doesn’t apply. Chase still denies my applications, even for supposed non-5/24 cards. The reason given? Too many new cards in the last 24 months. I won’t bother applying for Chase cards at all until I (if ever) achieve 4/24 or less. I don’t waste my time on Chase anymore.

  3. Data point. There are many reports of people trying to use their Avios points to fly on American Airlines… without any luck. Is it possible that well has dried up the way domestic AA awards has?

  4. @dhammer53 – American’s award availability has gotten a bit better in the past few weeks, and they promise much better by the end of the year, we’ll see if that happens.

  5. So if I got the 1st 50k avios more than 24 months ago, but the rest of the 100k bonus within the last 24 months, am I not eligible to get another signup bonus?

  6. The BA 2:1 deal is only valid on BA flights only. So in addition to the very high taxes for premium seating that means about ~$1,000 per seat for Europe from the US, can’t do itineraries involving partner carriers (so no AA connections to a BA gateway) and really hard to search on the BA website to connecting itineraries if you travel over in First and connect in Club. Just doesn’t work.

    First and Club have the same prices for taxes so it’s worth to go for the marginally extra miles and fly BA First.

    This is great program if you live in a BA US gateway and want to do simple itineraries traveling as a couple.

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