Should You Get the Chase British Airways Card, Even If You Don’t Want the Full Sign-Up Bonus?

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Update: Beginning February 2, 2016, British Airways will no longer offer 1-way, short-haul (under 650 miles) coach award tickets on partner airlines in North America for 4,500 British Airways Avios points.  Instead these flights will cost 7,500 British Airways Avios points.

UPDATE: The offer for the British Airways card in this post has expired.  But check Hot Deals for the latest offers!

Million Mile Secrets reader, Jeff Hwang, tweeted:

Do you think it’s still worth getting the Chase British Airways card if I only complete $10,000 in spending on purchases within the 1st year to earn 75,000 British Airways Avios points?

Jeff is referring to the tiered sign-up bonus on the Chase British Airways card where you can earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points.

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

75,000 British Airways Avios Points Is Enough for 16 One-Way Coach Award Flights from Miami to Grand Cayman!

75,000 British Airways Avios points is still a lot of points, so yes, I think it’s worth it!  But I’ll show you other options that might be easier.

I’ll go over the details of the sign-up bonus.  And help you decide if it’s a good idea for you!

About the Chase British Airways Card

Link:   Chase British Airways

It’s possible to earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points with the Chase British Airways card.

To get the full bonus, you’ll have to spend:

  • $2,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account (earn 50,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $10,000 (total) on purchases in the 1st 12 months of opening your account (earn an additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $20,000 (total) on purchases in the 1st 12 months of opening your account (earn another 25,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $95 annual fee

So you’ll have to make $20,000 in purchases during the 1st year to earn all 100,000 British Airways Avios points.

Even if you signed-up for the card to earn 75,000 British Airways Avios points, that’s still enough for:

  • 16 one-way coach award flights under 650 miles (or 8 round-trip flights)
  • 10 one-way coach award flights over 650 miles, but under 1,150 miles (or 5 round-trip flights)

If each short-haul 1-way flight under 650 miles costs $200 out-of-pocket, that’s over $3,000 you’ll save by redeeming British Airways Avios points instead.  And of course, you can earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points and save even more!

Read my review of the card and some ideas about how to meet minimum spending requirements.

Meet in the Middle

Jeff wants to spend $10,000 on the Chase British Airways card, which is enough to unlock the 2nd tier of the sign-up bonus.  He’ll earn 75,000 British Airways Avios points, which he can use for travel on partner airlines like American Airlines, Air Berlin, and Qantas for big travel here in the US, in Europe, or Australia.

While it’s certainly much more than spending $2,000 to earn 50,000 British Airways Avios points, it’s also much less than $20,000 to earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points.

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

Not Too Much, but Not Too Little.  Just Right!

One of the reasons I love miles and points is because each person can pursue the kind of travel that’s right for them.

Perhaps Jeff has a goal in mind and wants to spend $10,000 on the card to get 75,000 British Airways Avios points for Big Travel.  And then put his other spending toward the sign-up bonus on another card!

Or maybe the idea of spending $20,000 is a little too much.  But keep in mind there are lots of ways to spend $20,000 over the course of an entire year!

As always, do what’s best for you!

75,000 British Airways Avios Points Is Worth It

Link:   Wandering Aramean’s Avios Calculator

You can use Wandering Aramean’s Avios Calculator to figure out how much flights cost with British Airways Avios points.

Enter your starting airport, and you’ll see a color-coded map of all your options.

It costs 4,500 British Airways Avios points for a 1-way coach award flight under 650 miles.  And 7,500 British Airways Avios points for a 1-way coach award flight over 650 miles, but under 1,150 miles.

Depending on where you are, you can visit lots of places for fewer points than with other airline programs.  And save a lot of money doing it!

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

Folks in Miami Are Lucky to Have Lots of Ways to Redeem British Airways Avios Points!

For example, folks in Florida can visit lots of dozens of nearby destinations for 4,500 or 7,500 British Airways Avios points, like:

  • Aruba
  • Bermuda
  • Grand Cayman
  • The Bahamas
  • Dominican Republic
  • Dallas
  • Memphis
  • New Orleans
  • Most of Central America, including Costa Rica and Nicaragua
  • And many more!
Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

British Airways Avios Points Are 1 of the Cheapest Ways to Get to Hawaii From the West Coast

And folks on the West Coast can use British Airways Avios points to get to Hawaii in coach on partners Alaska Airlines or American Airlines for 12,500 British Airways Avios points each way!

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

Hawaii, Anyone?  Fly to Any Hawaiian Island From Several West Coast Cities

You can use British Airways Avios points to fly on Alaska Airlines to Hawaii from:

  • Anchorage
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • Seattle

So with 75,000 British Airways Avios points, 3 people can enjoy a trip to Hawaii together!

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

Don’t Forget Europe!  British Airways Avios Points Are Terrific for Exploring Many Countries

When you fly to Europe, you can use British Airways Avios points to visit more countries.  When you start from Berlin, you can fly to over a dozen European cities for 4,500 British Airways Avios points 1-way in coach, including:

  • Budapest
  • Copenhagen
  • Milan
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Vienna

Lots of Short Flights Can Add Up Fast!

The biggest reason British Airways Avios points are so valuable is because short flights can be more expensive than longer ones!

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

Ouch! Miami to Grand Cayman Round-Trip Would Cost ~$531

To return to an example above, short flights from Miami to the Caribbean can cost a lot!  Round-trip flights from Miami to Grand Cayman are ~$531 in January.

But you can book the same flights with 9,000 British Airways Avios points.  That’s a terrific deal!

Remember, 75,000 British Airways Avios points is enough for 8 of these award tickets!  Assuming each trip retails for over $500, like this 1, you’d save over $4,000!

Should You Get The Chase British Airways Card Even If You Don't Want The Full Sign-Up Bonus

Besides the British Airways Card, You Can Earn British Airways Avios Points by Transferring AMEX Membership Rewards Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, or Starwood Points

And remember, there are lots of ways to earn British Airways Avios points!

Here’s my full series about how to earn & use British Airways Avios points for Big Travel with Small Money!

Other Ways to Get Big Travel With Less Spending

With the current British Airways card offer, you can spend $10,000 to earn 75,000 British Airways Avios points.

But there are ways to get just as many British Airways Avios points by spending less money.

Depending on your credit situation, you may consider opening a 2nd card to earn more points with less spending.  The downside to this is that you’ll incur 2 credit pulls instead of one.  But for folks who have excellent credit but would find it difficult to spend $10,000 in a year, this might be a good option.

1.   Chase British Airways Card + AMEX Starwood Card

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

With the AMEX Starwood card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

This can become 30,000 British Airways Avios points.  That’s because you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to partner airlines.

So you’ll earn a total of 80,000 British Airways Avios points for $5,000 in spending ($2,000 on the British Airways card and $3,000 on the Starwood card) instead of $10,000!

Plus, the $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.

Keep in mind you can only earn the bonus once per lifetime on AMEX personal cards.  So be sure you want to transfer these Starwood points to British Airways instead of using them other ways!

2.   Chase British Airways Card + Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

You’ll earn 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer instantly to British Airways Avios points at a 1:1 ratio.

So, you can earn 90,000 British Airways Avios points for $6,000 in spending ($2,000 on the British Airways card + $4,000 on the Chase Sapphire Preferred).  The $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.

And, if you have the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Freedom, you can combine all of your points into 1 account!

Keep in mind that Chase has made it harder for certain folks to open new cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  They don’t like to see a history of using Chase cards for the bonus then not using the card much after that.

3.   Chase British Airways Card + AMEX EveryDay Card

Link:  AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

The AMEX EveryDay card earns 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 on purchases with your new card within the 1st 3 months.  That’s not a huge number of points, but it’s 1 to consider because you only have to spend $1,000 to earn the bonus and there’s NO annual fee.

Plus, you’ll get access to money-saving AMEX Offers.

The 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point bonus converts to 8,000 British Airways Avios points.

In total, you’ll earn 58,000 British Airways Avios points for $3,000 in spending ($2,000 on the British Airways card $1,00 on the AMEX EveryDay card).

Or you can substitute any card that earn American Express Membership Rewards points.

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Premier Rewards Gold Card From American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
American Express® Mercedes-Benz PlatinumThe Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Green Card
Blue from American Express® Note: These are the ONLY AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points that can NOT be transferred to airline & hotel programs. But you can use these points on the Membership Rewards website for other redemptions. Includes personal AND small business versions of the card.

You have lots of options, so always do what’s best for you!

Bottom Line

I think it’s worth it for reader Jeff to spend $10,000 on the Chase British Airways card to earn 75,000 British Airways Avios points.  Or, he can open 2 cards and get even more points with less spending, if it’s a concern.

75,000 British Airways Avios points is enough for 16 one-way coach award flights under 650 miles, and enough for 10 one-way coach award flights over 650 miles, but under 1,150 miles.  It’s also enough for 3 people on the West Coast to fly round-trip to any island in Hawaii!

You can use British Airways Avios points on partners like American Airlines, Air Berlin, and Qantas, to see more of the US, Europe, and Australia – and save a lot of money!

Jeff, I hope this helps you decide.  Have a wonderful trip wherever you decide to go!

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8 responses to “Should You Get the Chase British Airways Card, Even If You Don’t Want the Full Sign-Up Bonus?

  1. Do you know when this offer expires? I had too many inquiries recently.

  2. Looks like some Dan’s Dealers starting to ask questions.

  3. According to the application rules, you cannot apply for this offer if you already have this card. I received 100,000 when I applied for this card back in 2009. I currently use this card infrequently and was wondering if it would be possible for me to close this account and reapply for this offer. I realize closing my account and opening another new one will affect my credit rating, but maybe the benefit of all the miles will offset the negative? I could use the miles toward a business class seat to Europe. That is what I used the miles for previously and it was fantastic.

  4. Assuming one goes for the 20k spend for the full 100k points, would it be worth it to go for the 30k spend and get the companion pass as well?

  5. hi,

    do you know if British Avios point expire similar to United or are good as delta (no expiration )? planning to cancel the card once I get the bonus posted.

  6. It seems like a waste to get approved for such an exceptional offer and not earn the entire 100K bonus.

    It is doable! Check out MMS tips for meeting signup bonuses and focus on hitting $20K in spending. With the change in the transfer ratio between Amex and BA, this signup bonus is even more valuable.

  7. @Ken – An end date hasn’t been announced yet.

    @Arleen – You have lots of options! That’s certainly 1 way to do it. As always, do what is best for you! If you think you’ll use the points for Big Travel, it might be worth it!

    @DT – I personally don’t like paying high fuel surcharges. Be sure to run the numbers to make sure you’re getting a good deal. It could be worth it if you can easily spend that amount to earn the companion certificate.

    @Prashant – According to British Airways:

    “Your Avios stay with you as long as you collect, spend, purchase or share at least one Avios every 36 months — any longer and your Avios will expire and be removed, so remember to take action before those three years are up.”

    http://www.britishairways.com/en-us/executive-club/collecting-avios/avios-expiry-rules

    @MilesMethods – Thank you for your helpful advice!

  8. I keep finding very few AA flights available on Avios. When I search BA if it doesn’t list an AA award flight do I just call? Or does it have to show an AA award ticket available on the AA site before I call BA to use the Avios points?