Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
The 100,000 Avios points British Airways card is back!
This is better than the 50,000 point offer which pays us a commission, but the mother-in-law rule says that I share better offers regardless of whether or not they pay a commission! So I’ve removed all links to the other 50,000 point offer over the weekend.
British Airways 100,000 Points Visa
You can get up to 100,000 British Airways Avios points with the British Airways card:
- 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
- An additional 25,000 points after spending $10,000 in the first year (the $3,000 spending is included in the $10,000 needed)
- An extra 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 in the first year
The $95 annual fee is NOT waived for the 1st year.
To get the full 100,000 points you have to spend a total of $20,000 in the first year.
If you aren’t able to make the $20,000 spending in the first year, think of it as a 50,000 points card offer for spending $3,000 within 3 months.
For most folks who can’t spend $20,000 a year, this is a 50,000 point offer.
Additional card benefits include:
- Earning 3 points per $1 spent on British Airways and 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
- A companion certificate which lets you redeem British Airways points for 2 tickets (for the price of only 1 redemption) on British Airways flights (no partner flights allowed) after spending $30,000
- No foreign transaction fees
Emily and I both got this card in 2009 and received 100,000 points each!
The 100,000 point offers are offered about once a year. The standard offer is 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
How To Use British Airways Points
British Airways uses a distance based award chart so it’s much cheaper using points for short flights than for long flights. This makes it a great compliment to other airline miles like United or American Airlines which can be used for long distance flights.
But British Airways charges fuel surcharges. So using miles for coach award tickets isn’t the best deal. British Airways doesn’t charge fuel surcharges for flights within North & South America on Alaska or American Airlines. There are also no fuel surcharges on Air Berlin and Aer Lingus flights from the US to Europe.
1. Short Distance Flights
You get the best value from British Airways points when you use them for short distance non-stop domestic flights on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines.
For example, it is only 4,500 Avios points for a 1-way coach award from Kansas City to Chicago using British Airways points.
That same flight will cost you 12,500 miles each way if you redeemed American Airline miles for travel on American Airlines.
British Airway points are also great to use for short-haul Qantas flights in Australia, Cathay Pacific flights in Asia, British Airways flights within Africa, flights within Japan on JAL and flights within South America which are usually very expensive.
You have to pay for each segment separately, so a flight to the same destination could cost more if you have connections!
For example, it is 2,495 miles (Use Great Circle Mapper to find out the exact distance) from New York to Los Angeles, so you would pay 12,500 British Airways points each way in coach on a nonstop American Airlines flight from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles.
But you would pay 17,500 points each way if you connected in Chicago.
That’s because you’d fly from New York to Chicago (733 miles or 7,500 British Airways points) and from Chicago to Los Angeles (1,745 miles or 10,000 British Airways points).
2. British Airways Flights From The US To Europe
British Airways charges fuel surcharges for flights on British Airways so the “free” award ticket could cost you quite a bit! And it usually isn’t worth redeeming British Airways Avios for flights in coach to the UK on British Airways.
For example, you’d pay 20,000 British Airways points & $253 for a one-way coach award to the UK. This is still lower than the cost of a paid ticket to the UK, so it could be worth it if your goal is to save cash.
It is 40,000 British Airways points in business class or 60,000 British Airways points in First Class for a 1-way ticket from London to Chicago + ~$573 in taxes and fees. But that’s still much less than a paid business class ticket.
British Airways has pretty good award availability as well and it is not uncommon to find more than 2 seats in the first or business class cabin. And British Airways has great First Class and Business Class seats. Check out our First Class trip report!
Even with the fuel surcharges, using British Airways Avios points to Europe in business or first class will usually cost less than the price a regular coach ticket.
To be clear – you can fly to Europe without fuel surcharges if you use American Airlines or United miles. But British Airways could be an option if you’ve run out of other airlines’ miles. Sure, you’d pay fuel surcharges. But it is still less than the cash price of the ticket.
Or you could redeem your British Airways Avios points on Are Lingus or Air Berlin to avoid fuel surcharges!
3. American Airlines Or LAN Flights To South America
You can fly Business Class from Miami to Buenos Aires or Santiago Chile for 50,000 British Airways points plus $2.50 each way, with NO fuel surcharges.
It is only 25,000 miles plus $2.50 for a 1 way flight from Miami to Buenos Aires on American Airlines in coach.
You get 50,000 British Airways points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
You get the remaining 50,000 points for spending an extra $18,000 in the first year for a total of $20,000 in spending.
$20,000 within 1 year is a lot of money, unless you’re a Big Spender. But it should be easier to spend $3,000 within 3 months. So this is a 50,000 point offer for most.
The best use of British Airways points are for short distance flights or on Air Berlin or Aer Lingus where they don’t charge fuel surcharges.
British Airways charges high fuel surcharges on most award tickets, but there are no fuel surcharges on flights within the US or between North, Central, & Southern America.