Link: British Airways Visa Signature Card 100,000 Avios Offer (Offer Expired)
The British Airways 100,000 sign-up bonus is back and like an annoying US Airways flight attendant, the blogosphere is avariciously hawking the card, as I shamelessly do here, while heatedly debating whether this offer is worthwhile.
Here’s the quick summary: it’s still a good offer, but if I had to choose one, I’d rather sign-up for the Chase Sapphire preferred card.
Unlike the last rendition of the 100,000 offer, you don’t get the 100,000 Avios after putting $2,500 on the card. Instead, you get 50,000 points after your first purchase, 25,000 more after spending $10,000 on the card, and an additional 25,000 after spending $10,000 more. The $20,000 in additional spend must be within on year. Since BA gives you 1.25 Avios/dollar, you really earn 120,000 Avios after $20,000 in spend.
The real deal, if you are so inclined, is to put $30,000 in spending on your BA card. That will net you a free British Airways companion voucher, which essentially halves the number of miles needed on an all-BA award trip for two. Save those miles and you can use them to get a buy one, get one free award from the USA to South Africa or East Asia via London (with a stopover in London if you so desire). You do pay for taxes and fuel surcharges on the free companion ticket, but I think $1500 is a small price to pay for four longhaul flights in first class. The companion vouchers are good for a couple years, so if you are saving for an even bigger trip, say BA from Los Angeles to London to Singapore to Sydney and back, you don’t have to use your companion voucher right away.
Here’s a summary of the offer details:
- Up to 100,000 Avios awarded (50,000 after your first purchase)
- $95 annual fee, NOT waived the first year
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1.25 Avios earned per dollar spent
- 2.5 Avios earned per dollar spent on British Airways
- “Travel Together” (free companion) ticket annually if you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year
- Smart chip technology
- Offer limited to first-time British Airways cardholders only
Here’s the thing, this card is a great deal if you run a business like mine where you rack up thousands of dollars each month in business expenses, but for the average household, this card may not be the best deal.
I encourage you to sign up for both if your credit will bear it, but if you have to choose one or the other, I earnestly believe the 40,000 mile offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is better.
If you specifically want to fly on BA or OneWorld, you are best sticking to the BA card since you get 1.25 rather than 1 mile per dollar, but the beauty of the Sapphire Preferred card is that you can transfer your points to a number of Ultimate Reward partners, including United Airlines and Hyatt.
Say you are going to Europe and find British Airways space on the outbound but nothing on the inbound. Chances are there is Star Alliance space and United and British Airways both allow one-way awards (BA charges by segment for their flights). With Ultimate Rewards points, you have that flexibility.
So the 100,000 mile sign-up bonus from British Airways is a good one, especially if you can put $30,000 in spending on the card and travel in premium cabins (because the fuel surcharge doesn’t make sense for economy class redemptions). But the Chase Sapphire Preferred card makes even more sense. Get both if you can, but the Sapphire first.