British Airways Tackles The Biggest Problem With Its Award Flights With A New Valuable Card Perk

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INSIDER SECRET: British Airways Avios points are great for booking domestic American Airlines flights because you can avoid close-in booking fees and sometime book cheaper awards at the same time.

The Achilles heel of British Airways award travel has been the excessive taxes and fees you’ll have to pay on many flights. This extra expense often makes it unreasonable to book British Airways economy awards because the fees are usually close to what you’d pay for a cash ticket. Recently, British Airways has taken steps to remedy this issue by reducing the award surcharges on some economy awards between the US and the UK, and they are testing the option on flights within Europe to pay more points in exchange for lower fees.

Now the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is becoming a great tool to take the sting out of award fees. Each year new and existing cardholders will get up $600 in statement credits for taxes, fees and surcharges on British Airways award flights. On top of that, you’ll also earn extra Avios points for hotel purchases booked directly with the hotel.

The best part is that these improvements are being added while no other negative changes are being made to the card.

The information for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

British Airways Card Adds Perks

With the British Airways Visa Signature® Card you can earn a bonus of up to 100,000 Avios points after meeting the tiered minimum spending requirements. You’ll earn 50,000 Avios after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening and an additional 50,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 total in the first year of account opening.

The card earns

  • 3x Avios on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and LEVEL purchases
  • 2x Avios on hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel (new benefit)
  • 1x Avios on all other purchases

The new statement credits for award fees can be earned as follows:

  • Up to $200 per business or first-class award
  • Up to $100 per economy or premium economy award

You can only earn the statement credit on up to three awards per calendar year, so you’ll only earn the maximum of $600 back if you earn the credit on three business or first class flights with fees of $200+. The credit will be applied on round-trip or one-way award flights. So if you broke up a round-trip ticket into two one-way awards you could double the credit for a single trip.

These new award fee credit also can make the Travel Together Ticket more useful. The Travel Together Ticket is a single use companion certificate that you can earn each calendar year you spend $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways card. It is valid for two years.

The way it works is when you redeem British Airways Avios points for a flight for yourself on a British Airways operated flight, you can bring someone else with you for the cost of taxes & fees. The ticket is only valid for flights that originate and return to the US. The ticket is valid for any class of service.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this perk is that British Airways charges ridiculously high taxes & fees on award flights, but the award fee credit could make the charges more palatable in some cases.

Personally, I’ll stick to using British Airways Avios points to book American Airlines flights, but if you can use the award fee credit even once a year it makes this card keeper.

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Jason Stauffer was a writer for Million Mile Secrets where he covered points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. His work has appeared in The Points Guy and NextAdvisor.

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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