One for the Canadians — British Airways Visa 50,000 Point Signup Bonus

Canadians for the most part don’t have the degree of competition in their native frequent flyer programs or amongst their credit card-issuing banks as exists in the U.S. So signup bonuses are generally smaller and rewards tend to be less lucrative.

So it’s exciting when there’s a big bonus that our friends up North can take advantage of, eh?

Through November 30, RBC has brought back a 50,000 point signup bonus for the Canadian version of the British Airways Visa. (Not my link.)

  • 15,000 Avios points on approval and 35,000 more after $5000 spend within 3 months
  • Earns a companion award ticket after $30,000 spend in a calendar year.
  • Unlike the US British Airways card which earns 1.25 points per dollar, this one earns 1 point per Canadian dollar spent
  • $165 Canadian annual fee

It’s a hefty annual fee, an regular readers know that Avios points are far from my favorite currency. But the signup bonus is certainly worthwhile and there’s potentially real value in the companion ticket if you view it as buying a discounted, non-mileage earning coach fare and getting a triple upgrade on a first class redemption.

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, 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. The bonus Avios offer is great, but even without the extra 35k for signing up, I think the card is worth it if a BA flyer. Gary posted info about 10% discount on BA tickets using the Chase Visa; the Canadian equivalent is available with this card too. Also, every dollar of purchasing with BA earnings 2x miles.

  2. the fee isn’t that hefty relative to most other Canadian card fees, just fyi.

    SPG is $120
    Amex Platinum is now $699
    Chase Marriott Canada is $120
    Amex Gold Rewards is $150

    etc. etc.

  3. Hi Gary,

    Can you elaborate a bit more on “getting a triple upgrade on a first class redemption”. I understand that the 2-4-1 certificate is valid on BA and taxes/fees will be applicable on both tickets. But are you suggesting that one account can redeem for economy and both passengers will be upgraded to First Class? Can’t be right, can it?

  4. @Sam you redeem for a first class award but wind up pay in fuel surcharges an amount that’s perhaps 2/3rds the cost of a coach ticket

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