Harlan Vs Jasmin: Debating the British Airways 100,000-Point Card Offer

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I recently learned team members Harlan and Jasmin had opposing opinions about the current 100,000 British Airways Avios point offer on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.  So I asked them to share their thoughts to show how different folks evaluate the same credit card deal.

Harlan:   I just got approved for the Chase British Airways card!  It’s one of the few Chase cards you can get if you’re over “5/24.”  And with 30 cards in my wallet, I won’t fall below that limit any time soon.

Plus, I can’t access most deals with AMEX or Citi because of their application restrictions.  So I take what I can get these days!

British Airways Card 100000 Point Offer Review 2017
Team Member Harlan Just Signed-Up for the Chase British Airways 100,000 Point Offer! But It’s NOT a No-Brainer for Everyone
Jasmin:   The Chase British Airways card sure is a whopper of an offer!  But the spending requirement to earn the full bonus is really steep.  Even though I qualify for the card too, I’ll be giving it a skip.

Here’s a refresher of the offer.  And who might consider getting this card!

British Airways 100,000 Point Bonus

Link:   Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card

Link:   My Review of the Previous British Airways 100,000 Point Offer

The 100,000 British Airways Avios point bonus on the Chase British Airways card is the best offer I’ve ever seen for this card!

This is a fantastic deal, because the regular sign-up bonus is 50,000 British Airways Avios points after meeting minimum spending requirements.  So this is double the usual bonus!

With this offer, you’ll earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points when you meet tiered minimum spending requirements.  You’ll have to spend:

  • $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account (earn 50,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $10,000 (total) on purchases in the first year of opening your account (earn an additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $20,000 (total) on purchases in the first year of opening your account (earn another 25,000 British Airways Avios points)

So you’ll have to make $20,000 in purchases during the first year to earn all 100,000 British Airways Avios points.  Here’s a post with ideas on how to meet this large spending requirement.

With this card, you’ll also get:

  • 3 British Airways Avios points per $1 you spend on British Airways, Iberia, and OpenSkies purchases
  • 1 British Airways Avios point per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Earn a Travel Together Ticket (your companion flies with you on a British Airways award flight for just the cost of taxes and fees) when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

The $95 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.

If you’ve had this card in the past, Chase typically allows folks to earn the sign-up bonus again as long as it’s been at least 24 months since you last received the bonus.

And the Chase British Airways card is NOT affected by the “5/24” rule!  So if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months (excluding Chase business cards and certain other business cards) you could still qualify.

Check out my series on how to earn and use British Airways Avios points for ideas on how to use the sign-up bonus!

What Are the Pros and Cons of This Deal?

Harlan:   The tiered minimum spending requirement doesn’t bother me.  Because the best spending you can do is to unlock sign-up bonuses.  I organically spend ~$5,000 per month running Airbnbs and paying everyday bills through Plastiq.  So I could meet the full spending requirement in just 4 months!

In fact, I could even power through and spend the $30,000 required to earn a Travel Together certificate!

British Airways Card 100000 Point Offer Review 2017
Get 2 Business Class Seats for the Price of 1 With the Travel Together Ticket! But You’re Still on the Hook for Taxes and Fees for Both, Which Can Be $1,500+ Each

If you have a small business or spend a lot each month, this offer could easily make sense for you.

Jasmin:   I don’t have nearly as much organic spend as you do, Harlan!  And I still have over 50,000 British Airways Avios points sitting in my account from the last time I got the card in 2015.

My favorite way to redeem British Airways Avios points was for award flights on partner American Airlines.  But it’s become so much harder to use them because American Airlines no longer releases many saver award seats.  🙁

Harlan:   I agree British Airways Avios points can sometimes be hard to use.  Because award seats on British Airways come with huge fuel surcharges I don’t want to pay.  And I agree award tickets on their partner American Airlines are scarce lately, to put it mildly.  Even getting to Europe is harder because their partner Air Berlin recently went under! Jasmin:  I don’t like being locked-in to a single airline program.  Instead, I prefer flexible points programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, so I’m not stuck with points I can’t easily use.  Plus, British Airways is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so I could easily move Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways if I ever wanted more.

That’s why I have my eye on the Chase Ink Business Preferred card and its 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus.  The bonus is nearly as high as the Chase British Airways card, and the minimum spending requirement is $15,000 less!

Of course, I’ll have to wait until I fall below 5/24 to get it.  😉

British Airways Card 100000 Point Offer Review 2017
If You’re Flexible With Dates, You Can Still Get a Great Deal Using British Airways Avios Points on Expensive American Airlines Flights
Harlan:   If you’re persistent, or have certain awards in mind, British Airways Avios points can still save you a LOT of money.  For example, I’ve been wanting to visit Toronto again for a long time.  Non-stop round-trip flights from Dallas are expensive – usually $500+!  But I found round-trip coach award seats for 20,000 British Airways Avios points.  So the sign-up bonus from the Chase British Airways card could get me 5 of these award trips, which would cost ~$2,500+ if I paid with cash!
British Airways Card 100000 Point Offer Review 2017
Harlan Used British Airways Avios Points to Fly From Vienna to Budapest!

Or I could use the points to book short one-way flights under 651 miles outside the US for only 4,500 British Airways Avios points, like:

  • Between cities in Europe on British Airways or Finnair
  • Sydney to Melbourne, or Auckland to Sydney, on Qantas during a trip around Australia
  • Johannesburg to Cape Town during a visit to South Africa
  • Around South America on LATAM

Again, these flights can be expensive.  And 100,000 British Airways points would be enough for 22 of them.  That’s also extremely handy if you want to fly with your family or friends!

Jasmin:   I agree those are great ways to use British Airways Avios points (Toronto is awesome).  But there’s an opportunity cost here considering the huge amount of spend you’ll need to make to earn the full bonus.  I’d rather spread that spending out to meet minimum spending requirements on several new cards, and unlock multiple sign-up bonuses across different miles and points programs instead.

I wouldn’t recommend the card to anyone new to our hobby, either.  Better to focus on Chase Ultimate Rewards point earning cards first, because those are affected by the Chase 5/24 rule.

Plus, applying for the Chase British Airways card will add to my (or anyone’s!) 5/24 count.  That’s why I’ve been focusing on small business cards lately – because most small business cards will NOT show up on your personal credit report and affect your 5/24 status.

Harlan:   Those are important observations.  I agree you should NOT consider this card if you’re new to miles & points.  Or if you’re waiting to fall beneath 5/24.

And you’re right – $20,000 is a LOT to spend on points that might be hard to use!  As an “old-timer” to the hobby, I simply don’t have as many options as when I started.  Back then, I could meet 4 or 5 (or more!) minimum spending requirements by spending that much.

But these days, I’m considering the positives and taking a chance on this offer.  Because I’d rather earn something and have those points to use.  You never know when an opportunity might pop up!

Plus, I’m not putting my non-bonused spending toward anything more lucrative right now.  This offer is my best chance for a big sign-up bonus.  Even if I have to work a little harder to earn the points and use them, I’m willing to take what I can get! 😉

Jasmin:   Fair enough.  I’ve been at this hobby for a while, too, but there are still a few other lucrative cards I’m eligible for.

And quite honestly, if I could easily make $20,000 in spending to unlock a single bonus, I’d rather pick up the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.   I’d earn 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending a total of $20,000 on purchases in 3 months.

Being a flexible points card, I’d have loads of options for using AMEX Membership Rewards points.  And I could always transfer points to British Airways if I needed to.

We’re starting to sound like an old married couple so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree! 😉

Bottom Line

Team members Harlan and Jasmin have different ideas about the current 100,000 British Airways Avios point offer on the the Chase British Airways card.  This offer is definitely NOT “one size fits all” and that’s OK!

This deal will especially appeal to folks who:

But it’s NOT a great deal for folks who:

What do you think?  Is it worth signing-up for the Chase British Airways card?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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