My Experience Applying For The British Airways Visa Card

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At the moment there’s an increased sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000-100,000 Avios, depending on how much you want to spend. The breakdown of the bonus is as follows:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
  • 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening

BA-Visa

In other words, you can spend just $3,000 within three months and get 50,000 bonus Avios, or if you’re willing to spend an additional $7,000 or $17,000, you can get an additional 25,000 or 50,000 Avios, respectively. Even if you only plan on getting to the 50,000 Avios spend threshold, I think the bonus is still very much worthwhile. You don’t really see bigger bonuses on this card without bigger spend thresholds.

I had the British Airways Visa Signature® Card years ago (it has probably been about five years), and the cardmember bonus is available to those who haven’t gotten the bonus on the card in the past 24 months. So I decided to apply for the card.

As far as Chase cards go, the single card I most want is the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, but that card is subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so I wouldn’t be eligible. However, the British Airways Card isn’t subjected to that to that rule, making me eligible.

So I applied online for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card online. The application process was easy, and upon completion I received a notice thanking me for applying, and asking me to call in to finish processing my application. I wasn’t surprised by this notice, since I didn’t think I’d get instantly approved.

British-Airways-Application

Instead I viewed this as a positive notice, since typically you get this message when you’re likely to be approved, but they just need to verify some things or change credit lines around.

I phoned up Chase, and the representative went through my credit report, etc. He spent about 10 minutes analyzing my credit, and then said I could probably be approved, but asked if I’d be willing to move around some credit lines. This didn’t surprise me, given how much credit I have with Chase across my various cards. As it stands, I have the following personal Chase cards:

The analyst asked how much credit I was looking for on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. I said $10,000 would be ideal, and he asked if they could move $5,000 worth of credit lines from another card in order to accommodate that.

I said that was fine, and asked if they could take it from The Hyatt Credit Card. It’s an awesome card that I’ve had for years, but not one I put a ton of spend on (unlike most of the other cards).

The entire call took about 15 minutes, and he said the card was conditionally approved, but would have to go through a senior analyst, and that I should receive a final decision within a week or so.

Bottom line

I’m happy to have applied for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, given that it’s one of the easier Chase cards to be approved for, and you’re eligible even if you’ve had the card in the past (as long as you didn’t earn the bonus in the past 24 months). As is often the case with Chase, I seem to be somewhat limited with the credit they’ll extend me, but they’re happy to move those credit lines around between personal cards.

I’m still undecided as to how much spend I’ll put on the card. I’ll definitely meet the minimum spend for 50,000 Avios, but don’t know if I’ll go for the incremental 25,000 Avios, 50,000 Avios, or aim for $30,000 worth of spend in a calendar year to earn the companion certificate.

Regardless of that, Avios are extremely valuable for travel on British Airways’ partner airlines, like American, Alaska, LATAM, etc.

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Comments

  1. Hey Lucky – you mention “In other words, you can spend just $3,000 within three months and get 50,000 bonus Avios, or if you’re willing to spend an additional $7,000 or $17,000…” Don’t you mean an additional $7,000 or $10,000?

  2. Hey Ben,

    Do you know is this card available to non-US residents, in particular residents of the UK and Ireland?

    Also could you recommend (or do a review) of good facilities for your followers in UK/Ireland/EU.

    Great blog!

    Luke

  3. Valuable for Alaska, Yes; for American, No.

    Have you seen how AA rewards, which were the prime draw of BA miles, have all but disappeared from BA rewards?

  4. @Lucky “Regardless of that, Avios are extremely valuable for travel on British Airways’ partner airlines, like American, Alaska, LAN, etc.”

    Granted your schedule is far more flexible than mine, but where do you usually end up redeeming avios given how poor AA saaver availability is in economy and devaluation for premium cabins. is it better in Europe (Iberia/Airberlin)?

  5. Quick question: You say that the card isn’t subject to the 5/24 rule *for getting approved,* however if one applies for the card, that will count as a new card opening in the last 24 months, correct?

  6. @ TravelinWilly — That’s correct, and the case with virtually all personal cards, unfortunately.

  7. The reason you have to wait for a senior analyst to approve your app is because you are at the upper limit of the credit Chase is comfortable giving you. I had @ $60K total credit line with Chase, and the Recon CSR told me the same thing, but fortunately added “because you have so much credit with us”.

    I took the hint and lowered my total Chase credit line to @ $30K, and multiple Chase apps later I haven’t had any apps need to be approved by a senior analyst.

    The amount will vary from person to person depending on income, spending patterns and credit history. But having an app sent to a senior analyst means your total Chase credit is too high. 😉

  8. Chase seems to be getting tighter with some traditionally non 5/24 cards as well. Applied for Marriott Business and was denied for too many recently opened accounts. Traditionally the Marriott Business has not been an issue.

  9. Lucky, does BA charge YQ for CX awards? How is the availability in CX F/J using Avios?

    May consider getting this card if Avios provide a good value for CX redemptions.

  10. @Luke It’s highly unlikely you will be able to get the card without having an address in the US at least. In fact, BA will not even post avios earned from the card to your executive club account unless it has a registered US address. I’m a British expat in the US and it took me a few months to figure out why none of the avios from this card was posting to BA and none of the Chase customer service agents knew why it wasn’t working. Once I changed my executive club address from UK to US all the avios flooded in. I remember this requirement is in a BA fine print somewhere.

  11. Ben,

    You mention that the bonus is not available to those who have gotten the bonus within the last 24 months. Just so I’m clear, I applied for the card three years ago and have gotten the bonus back in 2014, but just recently cancelled the card within the past several months. Will I be eligible for the bonus now???

  12. @adam When you canceled a card does count with Citi, but not at all with Chase. All Chase cares about is if it’s been 24 months since you last received a specific bonus. Just to be clear, not when you applied for a card, but the date that Chase actually gave you the bonus.

  13. @putout – thanks for the advice, I’m eyeing up an Amex Card which offers some rewards. We’re really so neglected this side of the pond when it comes to rewards!

  14. @DC-PHLyer – Same thing happened to me. I thought that the Marriott Business card isn’t subject to the stupid idiotic 5/24 BS. What a waste of a HP. Sometimes, I dunno what to believe anymore from these bloggers.

  15. @luke Unfortunately that’s not likely to change. Because of the low interchange cap in Europe, it isn’t profitable for banks to offer high rewards or signup bonuses. Bonuses of this scale are basically restricted to the US, Canada, and Australia because most other places have financial regulations that disincentivize banks from offering the same level of outsized rewards.

  16. The new iPhone 8 will probably be $1000 so sometime later in the year you could buy that 😉

  17. I’m not a fan of BA because of their huge fuel surcharges and will do nearly anything to avoid booking on BA using my American Airlines FF miles. But you got me thinking about Avios partnership with Alaska Airlines. This might make me apply for the card.

  18. Another advantage with the Chase BA card is the travel together ticket, when you spend $30,000 more in a year using the card, you will get two award ticket for the price of one award ticket.

  19. I applied for this card on 4/4 and got the message that they needed 30 days to review my application. On 4/18 received a letter in the mail that I was denied due to too much credit with Chase. Called recon, shifted some credit around and was accepted. The Chase rep said I would have my card in the mail within a week or two… Does anyone know- does the clock start ticking to reach the minimum spend on the day I applied? or the day that I called the recon line and was approved?

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