One of the benefits of the Chase British Airways Visa Signature card (which is presently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Avios) is a companion certificate after spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. The companion certificate covers the mileage component of an award ticket for the second passenger traveling on the same itinerary. The “catch” is that British Airways imposes fuel surcharges on award tickets, and both passengers have to pay all the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.
A roundtrip first class award ticket to Europe typically costs you a minimum of $1,000 in fees per passenger, plus the mileage for one passenger. So the way I usually look at it is that you’re paying the coach fare for a ticket, and getting a triple upgrade to first class by using the miles, which makes it seem like slightly better of a deal.
I earned one of these a couple of years ago when British Airways offered the 100,000 mile sign-up bonus for the first time on the British Airways Visa. These certificates are valid for (a generous) two years from the date of issue, and as it turns out mine is expiring in just over a month:
Outbound travel has to occur before the expiration date, so it’s not just that I have to book in the next month, but I also have to travel. For example, here’s one option I see available, where the second passenger wouldn’t pay any miles but would pay the taxes/fees/fuel surcharges.
If I had planned this better I would definitely say I should’ve taken advantage of this. A trip to Europe in summer for 75,000 Avios per person plus $1,000 seems like a good value to me. In winter I’m not convinced it’s worthwhile. I do like the Christmas Markets in Germany, but aside from that I’m really looking for sunshine after spending a bit too much time in Seattle lately.
So do I let this beautiful electronic certificate expire, or take one for the team and experience the Concorde Rooms in New York and London, British Airways’ new first, etc., as I had planned on doing earlier in the year?