How Much Is The British Airways Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Worth?

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One of the Chase credit cards that’s relatively easy to get approved for and also lucrative is the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. The card has a generous sign-up bonus, and is potentially worth holding onto long term, regardless of whether you plan on using the card for everyday spend, or plan to just hold onto it for the perks it offers.

British Airways Visa Card eligibility

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is available to those who don’t currently have the card, and those who haven’t received a new cardmember bonus in the past 24 months. So many people who had this card in the past are still eligible for the sign-up bonus.

In terms of eligibility beyond that, this card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning that you can qualify for the sign-up bonus even if you’ve opened five or more new cards in the past 24 months.

British Airways Visa Card sign-up bonus

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a tiered sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 bonus Avios, as follows:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within the first three months
  • An additional 25,000 bonus Avios after spending a total of $10,000 within the first year

At a minimum you can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within three months (which is a pretty achievable threshold for most), and beyond that you can earn a further 25,000 Avios for spending a total of $10,000 within the first year, which is also pretty achievable, given how much time you have to complete that spend.

After earning the first 50,000 bonus Avios, you’re earning 25,000 bonus Avios for an incremental $7,000 of spend, and since you usually earn one Avios per dollar spent, that means you’re earning 32,000 Avios for $7,000 of spend, which is ~4.6 Avios per dollar spent. To me that’s an excellent return.

British Airways Card sign-up bonus value

Personally I value Avios at ~1.3 cents each. This means that I value:

  • 50,000 Avios at $650
  • 75,000 Avios at $975

The card has a $95 annual fee, so I value the sign-up bonus (after subtracting the first year’s annual fee) at $555 or $880, depending on how much spend you’re able to complete.

How do I come up with the value of 1.3 cents per Avios? Ultimately there’s no science to points valuations, and it’s both an absolute and relative exercise. For reference, here’s the British Airways Executive Club award chart:

Zone // Flight DistanceEconomy
Off Peak // Peak
Premium Economy
Off Peak // Peak
Business
Off Peak // Peak
First
Off Peak // Peak
Zone 1
1-650 miles
4,000 // 4,5005,750 // 6,7507,750 // 9,00015,500 // 18,000
Zone 2
651-1150 miles
6,500 // 7,5009,500 // 11,25012,750 // 15,00025,500 // 30,000
Zone 3
1151-2000 miles
8,500 // 10,00012,750 // 15,00017,000 // 20,00034,000 // 40,000
Zone 4
2001-3000 miles
10,000 // 12,50020,000 // 25,00031,250 // 37,50042,500 // 50,000
Zone 5
3001-4000 miles
13,000 // 20,00026,000 // 40,00050,000 // 60,00068,000 // 80,000
Zone 6
4001-5500 miles
16,250 // 25,00032,500 // 50,00062,500 // 75,00085,000 // 100,000
Zone 7
5501-6500 miles
19,500 // 30,00039,000 // 60,00075,000 // 90,000102,000 // 120,000
Zone 8
6501-7000 miles
22,750 // 35,00045,500 // 70,00087,500 // 105,000119,000 // 140,000
Zone 9
7001+ miles
32,50 // 50,00065,000 // 100,000125,000 // 150,000170,000 // 200,000

There are so many great ways to redeem Avios, especially for flying shorter distances, where other programs have disproportionately high award costs. This includes shorthaul business class within Asia on Cathay Pacific, shorthaul flying within South America on LATAM, domestic travel within the lower 48 US on Alaska and American, travel between the US mainland and Hawaii on Alaska, shorthaul travel within Europe on British Airways, travel within Australia on Qantas, and much more. I find Avios to be invaluable as part of my overall miles & points strategy, as they’re useful in areas where other currencies aren’t.


Redeeming Avios on LATAM is a great deal

Also keep in mind that British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning you can transfer over points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. That’s great since it means you can easily “right size” your account for the redemption you’re looking for.

Furthermore, British Airways lets you create Executive Club household accounts, which allows you to pool your Avios with other people living at the same address.

Other British Airways Card perks

In addition to the great sign-up bonus, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a few other noteworthy perks, including:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • A Travel Together Ticket valid for two years when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year, which can cover the Avios component of a British Airways award ticket for a second passenger (you still have to pay taxes and carrier imposed surcharges for both passengers)
  • A 10% discount for British Airways flights


The Travel Together Ticket can be especially valuable for first & business class tickets

Bottom line

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a generous sign-up bonus that many people are eligible for, and Avios are especially useful for shorthaul awards, where other programs often charge a disproportionate number of points. If you’re eligible for the card’s sign-up bonus but don’t yet have it, I’d seriously consider applying.

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Comments

  1. Anyone in the know, would never opt to fly BA. It’s one comment after another. Can not be secure in mindset if you purchase $3600 J Class seat that BA would not simply delete your seat selection prior to departure.
    Nice team members, but one HORRIBLE management team.
    I had a BA Visa but what a waste of opportunity to spend elsewhere.

  2. Having had the BA Chase Visa card for almost 16 years, your review is spot on. I now spend $30K every two years as I don’t have a need to use the companion ticket every year but have never had a problem for a First booking from JFK to LHR. Yes, the fees are insane, yet when you use LHR as a stopover, it’s been a benefit to add Paris, Rome, Zurich, etc. on the itinerary. And as you point out, using Avios in Asia is the best perk of all.

  3. I signed up for the card when they were offering the 100,000 Avios bonus. Put $30,000+ on the card and with the Travel Together ticket earned, my wife and I were able to fly one way from Boston to Singapore with a 3 day stopover in London for less than $1,200. The BOS – LHR leg was in business class and the LHR – SIN leg was in first class. I think it was a pretty good value.

  4. Typo:

    “50,000 Avios at $650
    75,000 Avios at $975
    The card has a $95 annual fee, so I value the sign-up bonus (after subtracting the first year’s annual fee) at $555 or $980, depending on how much spend you’re able to complete.”

    Should be $880, not $980

  5. Doesn’t British Airways charge a high fuel surcharge, even when booked through points? If so, is this still valuable?

  6. Bob,

    I consider myself “in the know” and I had this card for a decade. It has given me countless benefits.

  7. @Charles Healey – it is also worth noting that if you meet the spending requirements to earn the Travel Together ticket you MUST fly on BA and originate in the United States. The $1,200 in fees I paid for 2 tickets from Boston to Singapore with a stopover in London in business and first class was very well worth it.

  8. I got the signup bonus on this card and spent enough to get the 75K bonus…….. and then AA saver award space dried up. If I was able to get to somewhere with a connection it would cost twice as many miles since BA charges per segment. Only recently was I able to use my miles for a transcon flight on AS and I finally found saver space on an AA flight. Hopefully I’ll be able to use up the rest of my miles before saver space disappears again.

  9. @Joeheg – Milesaaver seats have vastly improved recently, at least least for the routes I’m interested in. Tons of availability especially to Hawaii in Milesaaver Coach if you are interested.

  10. @Tom: great! Happy, you are Happy.
    Obviously it depends on where you live and what your desires take you. For us in the US, using Avios is odd with those short one world flights.
    Flying on BA is never great with all their fuel costs, no way to secure a seat assignment- then….. they are so poorly managed.

  11. Posted this on question board the other day……..Just wanted to point something out I have seen recently in using my British Airways points on American Airlines which I do quite often. The last several times when I have booked I have gone to the AA website after to book a seat and all seats are blocked out. Message reads “we are unable to assign seats for everyone, please check back or we will assign seats at airport.” When I call American they can assign a seat. I have to explain in detail what happened so they waive the $50 fee for doing it over the phone and book me a seat. They gave me a very hard time about it today. Anyway, wonder if you have heard about this or what gives. This has never happened before and I was always able to book seats before. Does anyone know why this might have changed from the past? Thanks. Bill

  12. Booking AA flights via BA miles is not without issues. The “Manage Booking” tool via Royal Jordanian Airlines proves to be of value to manage the bookings (add the AA Advantage # to the booking to better manage the booking via the AA site).

    In response to the prior posting noting issues with the AA agent and seat selection, hang up and call again.

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