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The British Airways Visa Signature Card by Chase was my first points & miles credit card. I’ve already explained why your first cards should be Chase Sapphire Preferred or Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. Unlike those two cards with versatile points, the British Airways Visa Signature Card earns British Airways Avios which can be difficult to redeem. My favorite way to use British Airways Avios are trips from California to Hawaii. You can earn a lot of Avios, and a lot of trips to Hawaii, with the British Airways Visa Signature Card if you can meet the high spending requirements.
British Airways Visa Signature Card Sign-up Bonus
Currently, this card has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 British Airways Avios after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. The minimum spending requirement is pretty standard for a travel credit card, but make sure you’ve done your financial check-up first. You can earn an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first year.
Elevated sign-up bonuses are pretty common for this card. Most recently, the bonus was an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 on purchases in the first year. That’s a total of 100,000 Avios after spending $20,000 on purchases. That offer has expired, but it was pretty steep anyway. If you choose to wait around for the elevated bonus, consider whether you can actually meet that spending requirement.
Chase’s 5/24 Rule
This card is issued by Chase which usually imposes the 5/24 rule that I explained here. However, according to this post from Doctor of Credit, the British Airways Visa Signature Card may not fall under that rule.
If you decide the British Airways Visa Signature Card is part of your points & miles strategy, consider exhausting all other cards that do fall under the 5/24 rule first.
British Airways Visa Signature Card Annual Fee
As with any credit card, you should thoroughly read the pricing, terms, and offer details on the Chase website before you apply. You can find all of those details here.
As previously mentioned, I don’t discuss things like interest rates on this blog. You should pay your balance off every month and never pay those fees. If you pay interest fees, you negate your free travel and you lose the points & miles game.
This card has an annual fee of $95. The fee is not waived for the first year.
British Airways Visa Signature Card Bonus Spending Categories
With the British Airways Visa Signature Card, you earn 3 Avios for British Airways purchases. You earn 1 Avios on all other purchases.
British Airways Visa Signature Card Additional Benefits
This card comes with additional goodies like no foreign transactions fees, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, baggage delay insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement.
You can also earn a Travel Together Ticket when you spend $30,000 in a calendar year. This ticket allows you to book one ticket with Avios and take a companion for just taxes and fees. We used this ticket to fly to London in lay flat business class as I explained in my London Trip Report Part 1.
But be warned, the Travel Together Ticket requires you to fly on British Airways metal through London. This means you’ll pay astronomical taxes and fees. I’ll explain more tomorrow in my London Trip Report Part 2.
Redeeming British Airways Avios
You can redeem Avios for flights on British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines, oneworld partners, and other airline partners. My favorite is Alaska Airlines. Some partners can be booked online. However, some require a phone call to the British Airways Executive Club including Alaska Airlines. This can make redemption a frustrating and time consuming process. I’ve explained the process in greater detail in Redeeming British Airways Avios. But honestly, I’ve been pretty lucky with short wait times and friendly(ish) customer service representatives. (With the exception of the customer service representative who tried to sabotage my ticket home from London but more on that tomorrow.)
Avios do not have a fixed value so I can’t give you a concrete value for this sign-up bonus. Your value will vary greatly depending on your redemptions. I’d say they are worth at least 1.5 cents which is the same as the minimum value of Chase Ultimate Rewards when you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve. British Airways is a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards Chase so you can easily obtain more Avios by transfer.
At 1.5 cents per point, the current 75,000 avios sign-up bonus is worth $1,125 in free travel. If you wait for the 100,000 avios sign-up bonus, that’s worth $1,500 in free travel.
Final Thoughts on the British Airways Visa Signature Card
The British Airways Visa Signature Card will always have a place in my heart. That’s how I started in this hobby. But it won’t always have a place in my wallet. Read more here about the value I obtained from this card and why I eventually cancelled it. Once you’ve exhausted the bonus Avios, you’re better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card which are British Airways transfer partners. However, if you’re trying to get from the West Coast to Hawaii or you’re shooting for that Travel Together Ticket, it could be worth applying.