It’s back!! Well sort of… This is the 3rd year in a row we have seen a 100,000 mile offer for the Chase British Airways Visa Signature credit card. To be frank, to get 100,000 frequent flyer miles in just about ANY frequent flyer program just for getting a new credit card is down right IN-FREAKING-CREDIBLE!! Is this offer “in-freaking-credible” though? Partially.
- 50,000 BA Avios after 1st Purchase
- 25,000 BA Avios after spending $10,000 in 1 year
- 25,000 BA Avios after spending ANOTHER $10,000 in 1 year
- 50,000 miles after your first purchase is GREAT!
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Smart Chip Technology – this card has a chip in it so you can finally use it in European automated machines
- Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases, 2.5 on BA flights
- Redeem your BA miles on American Airlines and other Oneworld Alliance airlines
- Spend $30,000 and earn a companion ticket to fly with you on an actual BA flight (some see this as a con because almost all flights that are actually on BA incur high fuel surcharge fees. If you value business class tickets high, it could be good value for you).
- You only earn the full 100,000 bonus Avios points/miles by spending $20,000 in 1 year
- $95 Annual Fee is not waived for the first year, so you pay it right away
- BA website is pretty awful at finding full Oneworld award space, so you often have to call in to book award tickets
- BA charges high fuel surcharges for itineraries on BA to Europe, Africa, Asia, etc..
I got this card last year for the 100,000 BA miles, and I have not regretted it. I paid the annual fee and have gotten plenty of value out of my miles. So far I’ve used the miles for free flights to the Dominican Republic & Guatemala. I also traded a friend an award flight on my British Airways miles, for an award flight to Vancouver using his Delta miles. That’s all I can remember off the top of my head that I’ve used BA miles for. I also took advantage of a 50% transfer bonus from AMEX MR last year, so my BA mileage balance is currently still sitting at over 100,000 even after how much I’ve used it. Speak of the devil, there’s currently a 50% bonus running from AMEX MR to BA!
Is Chase for real with this $20,000 minimum spend requirement? Companies are not out there to lose money, so I’m not surprised that Chase is trying out this high spend requirement. Let’s be real though, it’s pretty ridiculous. If you only look at this card like a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus, then it’s not so bad. Paying a $95 Annual Fee for 50,000 BA Avios miles is absolutely worth it in my opinion. That’s enough for over 5 FREE round trips from my tinnyyyy home airport in Sioux City, IA to Chicago, IL on American Airlines since those are only 9,000 BA Avios points round trip. There’s some gems in the BA Avios award program with their new mileage based chart, but that doesn’t mean I would want to put $20,000 of my spending on their card to earn an additional 50,000 BA miles. However, you also earn 1.25 BA Avios points per dollar spent on anything, and 2.5 miles per dollar spent on British Airways flights. So if you actually DO spend $20,000 on the card, then you will earn 100,000 miles from the signup bonuses, and 25,000 for your spend (1.25 x $20,000). For a total of 125,000 miles which is 6.25 BA Avios points per dollar spent. Not bad, if you’re really trying to stack up the BA miles! Everybody has different travel and mile goals.
Some would say they’d rather capitalize that $20,000 spending on a card that rewards bonus categories like Airfare, Travel, Dining, Gas, etc. with more than 1 mile per $1. For example, I have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that gives me 2 points per dollar on all of my travel and dining, and the Amex Gold card 3 points per dollar on airfare and 2 points per dollar on gas, etc.. I would earn 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points from spending $20,000 on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card that I could transfer to United, Southwest, Hyatt, etc…
On the flip side – spending $20,000 on this new BA card would technically earn you 75,000 BA Avios miles (25k from normal spending, and 50k from the $20k spend bonus).
I do really like that this card comes with the new chip in it which makes the card more accessible for purchases in European nations. Americans have long suffered in that aspect in terms of using credit cards in Europe. On my most recent trips I never really had problems using my credit card around Europe at restaurants, buying train tickets, and purchasing items. However, I do know that for a lot of automated machines such as renting bikes from the Paris bike system, and some metro station machines, credit cards without the chip in them won’t work. If you already have a BA card and want a new one with a chip, call Chase and they will switch your card over to the new chip version. Some have said it’s a “chip and pin” version, which is technically not as good as a full European chip version. Oh how I wish we all had just one credit card system!
So there you have it. I think this is a good offer over all, but a bit disappointing for most people who were hoping to get the full 100,000 miles. I have updated the link and terms on my TOP DEALS page.