British Airways Visa 100K Avios Sign-Up Bonus Is Back (Sort Of)

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One of the first “huge” credit card sign-up bonuses we saw was back in 2009, when Chase offered a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa, with a fairly small minimum spend requirement. Unfortunately we haven’t seen bonuses on the card with equally lucrative terms since then.

100,000 Avios sign-up bonus is back (sort of)

Chase is back with a 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa Signature Card. That being said, in order to earn the full 100,000 Avios bonus, you have to spend $20,000 on the card within a year.

BA-Visa-100K

Here are the details of the sign-up bonus:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • An additional 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend a total of $10,000 on purchases within your first year
  • An additional 25,000 bonus Avios if you spend a total of $20,000 on purchases within your first year

The sign-up bonus of 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 is pretty standard, so basically this sign-up bonuses adds further threshold bonuses for high spenders.

It’s worth noting that the sign-up bonus is available to those who don’t currently have the card and have no received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. So you’re potentially eligible for the sign-up bonus even if you’ve had the card in the past.

The card has a $95 annual fee as usual, which isn’t waived the first year.

Is the BA Visa good for everyday spend?

The the British Airways Visa Signature Card offers one Avios per dollar spent, which is a pretty weak return, truth be told. Up until April of this year, the card actually earned 1.25 Avios per dollar spent, though that rate was devalued by 20% recently.

The card actually isn’t great for everyday spend, given the only bonus category offered by the card is for British Airways purchases, where you earn triple Avios.

If you do want to accrue Avios through everyday spend, you’re much better off using cards like:

So long term this isn’t the card I’d use for accruing British Airways Avios.

Should you spend $20,000 on the card to earn 100,000 Avios?

Earning 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 is a no brainer. But what about an extra 25,000 Avios after spending another $8,000, and then another 20,000 Avios after spending a further $10,000?

Yes, I’d say that’s probably worth it.

For example, if you have a big tax bill, you can pay your taxes by credit card for a ~1.88% convenience fee. That means charging $20,000 of taxes to a credit card would cost you $376. Is that worth it for 100,000 Avios? Absolutely!

It might even make sense to spend $30,000 on the card, as you’ll then have earned a British Airways companion certificate. These can be redeemed for travel on British Airways, whereby you only have to pay the Avios for one passenger, though the full taxes, fees, and carrier imposed surcharges still have to be paid for both passengers (which will typically be $1,000+ each for roundtrip premium cabin travel between the US and Europe).

British-Airways-First-Class

Still, in many cases that can represent a great deal.

For example, a roundtrip off peak first class award between New York and London will cost you 136,000 Avios, so that’s not a bad price for two people. As I said, both would be responsible for the fees, though. For roundtrip first class, those would run you ~$1,186 per person.

BA-NYLON

Whether or not that’s worth it probably depends on your individual circumstances.

Other great uses of British Airways Avios

While the companion certificate might be worth considering if you’ll be spending $20,000 on the card anyway, there are other great uses of British Airways Avios. They have a distance based award chart, so perhaps the best use is for shorthaul economy travel on American/US Airways and Alaska.

New-Avios-Redemption-Chart

The cost for those flights is as follows:

  • 4,500 Avios for a one-way economy flight of 1-650 miles
  • 7,500 Avios for a one-way economy flight of 651-1,151 miles
  • 10,000 Avios for a one-way economy flight of 1,152-2,000 miles

Even after the recent British Airways Executive Club devaluation, the value of shorthaul redemptions remains excellent.

Bottom line

There are many great uses of Avios, in particular for shorthaul travel within the US. If you’re someone who is a big credit card spender, it could absolutely make sense to spend $20,000 (or more) on the British Airways Visa Signature Card in order to get the 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

That being said, if you’re not a huge spender, I’m not sure I’d spend $20,000 on this card in order to get the sign-up bonus when that spend could otherwise be going towards cards with bigger category bonuses.

Do you plan on applying for the BA Visa with the 100K Avios sign-up bonus?

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Comments

  1. When I applied for my card several years ago I added my husband to the account so he has a card with the same account number as me. In this case would my husband be eligible for getting the bonus?

  2. So torn about getting this card, especially with property tax season approaching for us. Any ideas on when the offer will end, or even how long have past 100k offers lasted historically?

  3. Want to clarify a point – “new cardmember bonus on the card” – does that mean a new cardmember bonus on any Chase card or just the Chase BA card in particular. Seems like it just refers to the Chase BA card right?

  4. The 20k must be reached before your card member anniversary or at the end of the calendar year? I’m assuming it is the card member anniversary, so your best bet would be to spend 2k on the card, then wait until 2016 to put the rest of the spend on in hopes to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and get the companion certificate. Am I right, Ben?

  5. Is the companion certificate only good on BA metal? Obviously AA miles are going to be better for domestic travel in premium cabins but if you’re already Avios rich using the companion certificate for domestic premium cabin could be a decent way to unload some (especially since you’re only going to pay fees of $11.20 round trip per person) of them while saving your AA miles for things like Cathay Pacific and Etihad.

  6. @Mike – Per Ben’s post on how to redeem the BA Companion Cert –
    “As the companion ticket is designed for “Travel Together” on British Airways, it can only be used for for flights operated by British Airways and OpenSkies (British Airways’ subsidiary flying between New York and Paris), and can’t include any partner airlines on the companion ticket award. The person who earned the companion certificate has to be one of the two travelers on the itinerary. If you have two companion certificates you can redeem them for a group of four, though, assuming everyone is traveling on the same flight.”

  7. If you earn 25,000 Avios for $10,000 aren’t you earning 3.5/$1 since you get 1 Avios for the purchase, and the bonus at 2.5/$1 once you reach the threshold? It is just earned in bulk instead of at the time of purchase.

  8. Not sure if you realise quite how lucky you guys are with the deals you have access to in the USA! This is an amazing deal and even the ongoing earnings rate is way better than most other countries have. Sadly it’s also the reason things keep devaluing when they keep offering massive sign up bonuses like this!

  9. Lucky,
    Can I use my Avios to fly my parents on CX, SIN-HKG? So my name won’t be on the reservation. Is it possible?

  10. Does the serious difficulty in getting 2 first class seats (other than recently with San Diego) factor into your recommendation of spending toward the companion ticket? I know several people who have earned and never got to use it because it was so restrictive.
    Seriously considering this, but would like to actually use the certificate!

  11. Does the 24 months count from the time the initial sign-on bonus from the last card posted, or the time from the last top-up 25k spend bonus from that card posted???

  12. Is the new cardholder obligated to use their own Avios account or can they credit the points to a spouse’s account?

  13. Also Italian Residents could sign-up this card or it’s only for the US Market? Thanks so much for your answer Ben

  14. Also Italian Residents could sign-up this card or it’s only for the US Market? Thanks so much for your answer Ben!

  15. I was just thinking about cancelling my wife’s card (I have my own that she is on too) so that in a year or two she could reapply and get whatever the bonus award was then. But I just saw a post that the 100,000 bonus was back again. If she cancels today how long would we have to wait to reapply and get the bonus (she last got a bonus back in 2013)? Can she just apply for a second card, before cancelling the one she has, and collect the bonus?

    We have no problem meeting the spend requirements, doing $2000 this year and the rest next year when we’d do our annual $30,000 spend for the companion ticket.

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