Is the British Airways Credit Card Worth It? For Big Spenders and Advanced Players, Yes

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Is the British Airways Credit Card Worth It?  For Big Spenders and Advanced Players, Yes

Harlan VaughnIs the British Airways Credit Card Worth It?  For Big Spenders and Advanced Players, YesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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I’ve had the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and used the spectacular sign-up bonus for short-haul American Airlines flights to visit family, and to near-international destinations in Mexico, like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta.  And saved $1,000s over the years!

Right now, you can earn 4 British Airways Avios points per $1 spent on up to $30,000 in purchases within the first year of having the card.  If you complete the maximum spending, you’ll have 120,000 British Airways Avios points – now that’s plenty to work with!

That’s a lot of spending to unlock the full potential of the card.  You’ll do best if you have a plan for your points, or live in a place with lots of Alaska Airlines or American Airlines flights to choose from (that are typically expensive).

Is the British Airways credit card worth it?   It’s certainly not for everyone – and if you’re new to miles and points, there are much better Chase credit cards to start with.

Is the Chase British Airways Card Worth It?  Yes, If You’ll Spend a Lot and Have Plans for the Points.  I Used British Airways Avios Points to Fly to Dublin and Drive to Blarney Castle

I’ll break it down for you!

Is the Chase British Airways Card Worth It?

Apply Here:   British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Our review of the British Airways Credit Card

When you open the Chase British Airways card, you’ll earn 4 British Airways Avios points per $1 spent on up to $30,000 in purchases within the first year card opening.

So you can earn up to 120,000 British Airways Avios points – but you’ll need to put $30,000 in spending on your card during the first year to earn that many.

The Best Way to Use British Airways Avios Points Is NOT to Visit Great Britain – Although You Certainly Can, Especially With a Travel Together Certificate!

And if you get your spending done before the calendar year ends, you’ll also earn a Travel Together certificate, where a partner can fly with you on an award flight for NO additional points, although you will have to pay British Airways’ ridiculous garbage “fuel surcharge” fees, which runs from several $100 to $1,000+, depending what cabin and route you fly.

Still, you’ll earn it by proxy if you spend enough, so you might have a use for it.  Though I certainly wouldn’t get this card for that reason alone.

And while $30,000 in spending sounds like a lot, it divides out to $2,500 per month ($30,000 / 12), which, depending on your situation, might be easy.

Of course it’s worth mentioning if you plan to spend that much, you could earn several valuable welcome offers from the best travel credit cards worth potentially tens of $1,000s more.  Always consider the opportunity cost.

Forget British Airways, It’s Their Partners You Want

I mentioned heavy fuel surcharges on British Airways flights.  For that reason, you should put British Airways out of your mind.

The best use of British Airways Avios points isn’t on British Airways, but rather their partners, including:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Japan Air Lines
  • LATAM
  • Qantas

For flights beginning or ending in the US, you’ll pay 7,500 British Airways Avios points one-way under 1,151 miles in coach.

And internationally, you’ll pay 4,500 British Airways Avios points for one-way coach flights under 651 miles.

I Used 4,500 British Airways Avios Points to Fly Between Osaka and Tokyo, and Saved a Lot of Cash on Flights for Two!

If you earn the full 120,000 British Airways Avios points with the Chase British Airways card offer, you could get:

  • 16 one-way coach award flights under 1,151 miles to or from the US on partners like Alaska Airlines or American Airlines
  • ~27 one-way coach award flights under 651 miles internationally on partners like JAL or Qantas

Even if you only value each award flight at $100, that’s worth $1,600 on flights that cost more points ($100 X 16), and up to $2,700 on short flights internationally ($100 X 27).

And of course, you can do much better than that – which means this offer could easily be worth several $1,000s if you plan your awards carefully.

Beware of the Chase 5/24 Rule

The biggest factor to consider here is that this card falls under the Chase 5/24 rule.  That means if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank in the last 24 months (excluding Chase small business cards and certain other small business cards), you will NOT be approved for the Chase British Airways card.

Why is that a big deal?  Because if you’re beginning with miles & points, there are better Chase cards to start with.  I’d recommend any card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points over this one.

Most folks under 5/24 are points newbies.  But if you’re a “veteran” points hobbyist under 5/24, you’re probably planning to get other Chase cards, like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Who Should Consider the Chase British Airways Card?

The Chase British Airways card makes sense if you:

  • Live near an Alaska Airlines or American Airlines hub, and can use the points for award flights
  • Have a particular award in mind to save lots of money
  • Want to jet around with cheap awards internationally, like within Europe, Australia, Asia, or South America
  • Prefer British Airways Avios points and find they’re your go-to loyalty program
  • Are under 5/24 and have all the other Chase cards you want
  • Really want the Travel Together certificate
  • Can handle spending $30,000 in a year to unlock the full sign-up bonus

If none of these apply to you, skip it and consider one of these best travel credit card offers instead.

I personally love British Airways Avios points, but wouldn’t waste a Chase 5/24 slot to open it.

But if this card fits your travel goals and spending profile, you should feel good about applying for the Chase British Airways card and saving money with award flights.  Because it’s certainly possible!

Here’s our full review of the Chase British Airways card for more information.

Bottom Line

The chance to earn up to 120,000 British Airways Avios points with the Chase British Airways card can be worth several $1,000s in award flights, especially if you have a plan to get outsized value with partners like American Airlines and Qantas.

Because this card is affected by Chase 5/24 rule and more pro-level than other Chase cards, it’s best for folks under 5/24 who know how to make the most of this offer.  If that’s you, I’d say go for it.

But if you’re new to miles & points, or want a more straightforward bonus offer, here are the best travel rewards cards to consider.

What’s your take on the Chase British Airways card?

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British Airways Visa Signature® Card

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

  • Earn 4 Avios for every $1 spent on all purchases within your first year up to $30,000. That’s up to 120,000 bonus Avios
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • 4 Avios for every $1 spent on all purchases up to $30,000 in the first 12 months from account opening, you will then earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!

More Info

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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I actually prefer to pay the high fuel charges and purchase 2 BA business class tickets (~$2.5k+Avios) SJC – LHR every other year. It is a great deal for round trip business class, with good connections to other European destinations.

Author

Totally – especially if the cash prices are ridiculously high! Glad to hear you get use from the Travel Together certificate!

I’ve had a BA card for several years. Can I apply for another one? Or activate this offer with my existing card?

Author

You’d have to close your existing card and apply again. That’s what I did.

Or you could open the Iberia or Aer Lingus versions of the card – they all earn Avios and transfer between the airlines.

But you couldn’t add this offer to your existing card. As a pro tip, if you want to keep your current card, Chase has an unadvertised no annual fee version they can downgrade you to.

Let me know what you end up doing! 🙂

Excellent analysis, Harlan.
Is the BA card worth keeping beyond the first year?

Author

In a couple of cases that allen96 mentioned. If you don’t fly BA often, you can do better earning points with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards and transferring them to British Airways.

Thanks as always for reading, Doc, and great to see you recently!

Thank you for making my favorite evenings possible… I am sure PVR was a blast.

Only if you actually fly at least one BA flight a year that costs over $950 and get the 10% off the card allows. Or two flights every two years, etc. I do 4 flights every 4 years (family of 4) so it’s worth it to me.

@allen96
Thank you!