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The British Airways Visa Signature® card is one of the best cards to earn Avios, which cardholders can use to book flights on British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL, or Iberia.
It also carries a sizable introductory spending bonus which can be a massive perk for British Airway loyalists who can leverage their Avios and make the most of its loyalty program.
However, the British Airways Visa Signature® card is one of the few major Airline credit cards with expiring rewards and high surcharges on rewards flights, so be sure to optimize your redemption strategies.
The British Airways Visa Signature® credit card is designed for avid flyers and travelers. During the first year of card membership, cardholders can earn 5 Avios per dollar spent on the British Airways family purchases.
After the first year, it drops to 3x Avios per dollar. All hotel purchases earn 2x Avios per dollar, making this card a good option for people who want travel Rewards but do not want to juggle multiple credit cards.
Aside from travel and flights, the British Airways Visa Signature® card does not provide much value in other major spending categories such as grocery stores and dining, which is an essential consideration if you consider this card due to its $95 annual fee.
Rewards Redemption for the British Airways Visa Signature® card can be complicated. Most flights booked with reward Avios require the traveler to pay fuel and tax surcharges regardless of how many Avios the flight costs.
British Airways is also unique with their award valuation schedule because they calculate flight prices based on distance flown.
For example, short regional flights often cost ~ 7,500 Avios, while a long-haul international flight May cost over 100,000 Avios plus hundreds of dollars in fuel surcharges.
Many Travelers offset the surcharges by transferring Avios to a sibling Airline such as Aer Lingus or Iberia Since they have lower or non-existent surcharges.
Avios Are also accepted by Oneworld Alliance partners, which comprises 14 other airlines, including Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.
Since this card is a good way to earn Avios, especially with the introductory spending bonus, booking a flight for a steal is possible, but it will require additional planning to ensure you are getting the most out of your rewards without spending too much in surcharges.
The current 100,000 Avios introductory spending bonus is one of the most generous bonuses for a card in this class.
After spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership, you will receive 100,000 Avios deposited into your account.
Since this is easily worth multiple years of the annual fee, new cardholders must do their best to earn the introductory spending bonus.
If you book your trip with the British Airways Visa Signature® card, you will receive baggage delay insurance and lost luggage reimbursement up to a $3,000 limit per passenger.
Travel coverage is important because delays and lost luggage can be costly and hard to replace on short notice. The extra peace of mind provided by travel insurance is a perk many Travelers enjoy.
Although the British Airways Visa Signature® card does not overtly offer a checked bag benefit, British Airways often allows flyers to check up to one bag for free.
British Airways customers often complain about the confusing surcharge associated with rewards flights, and the airline’s solution is to provide annual statement credits that offset these reward surcharges.
The British Airways Visa Signature® card will deduct up to $100 for economy surcharges and $200 for business, and first-class reward surcharges up to the annual limit of $600.
Cardholders who spend $30,000 on the British Airways Visa Signature® card in one calendar year will receive a travel-together ticket which must be booked with a companion award flight good for up to two years on a flight that originates and returns to the United States.
If you can secure a travel-together ticket, you have the potential to offset the cost of a very expensive flight, as long as you play your cards wisely.
For example, you have to book a reward flight with Avios for the travel together ticket to apply, so if you use your 100,000 introductory Avios bonus to book a first-class ticket, you can use the travel together ticket to cover a secondary first-class ticket for your companion.
Like all other awards flights with British Airways, you will be responsible for paying taxes and surcharges on both tickets.
American Airlines and British Airways are too large International Airlines that have a variety of rewards credit cards.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Carries a $99 annual fee that is waived the first year. It generates 2x miles per dollar on fuel, American Airlines purchases, and restaurant purchases.
The rewards redemption is more straightforward than the British Airways system, and it also offers discounts on in-flight food purchases and the potential for ongoing discounts with American Airlines.
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card has a more compelling introductory spending bonus. Still, the choice between the two cards depends on your proximity to airports that serve these Airlines and how you plan on redeeming your miles.
The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is an all-purpose travel credit card that enables you to use your accumulated miles to pay for travel expenses as statement credits.
There are new loyalty perks or airline-specific aspects of the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, which is an important distinction.
If you are a British Airways loyalist or regularly find yourself flying with them, then it is hard to beat a British Airways credit card, especially with its 100,000 Avios introductory bonus, whereas the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card offers a 60,000-mile introductory bonus and 2x miles per dollar on all purchases with it
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the leading travel rewards credit card with a $95 annual fee, 3x points per dollar on dining and travel, and a current introductory bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Many Travelers enjoy the flexible redemption options with the Chase Sapphire Preferred®; however, it does not have any airline-specific benefits that some may enjoy from the British Airways Visa Signature® card.
When deciding between these two cards, decide if the potential to earn a travel-together ticket and accelerated Avios earning takes precedence over flexible reward redemption.
Luxury is the name of the game with the Platinum Card® from American Express. It carries a hefty $695 annual fee, encompassing many benefits ranging from Airline incidental credits to Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credits and much more.
The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers lounge access to the American Express Lounge Network, which can modestly offset the annual fee depending on how much you’re able to take advantage of the perks.
The British Airways Visa Signature® card is co-branded with British Airways, which is advantageous for travelers near a British Airways hub or can take advantage of the generous transfer partners in the Oneworld Alliance.
Applicants should have a good credit score when applying for this card, especially if they want competitive interest rates.
If you are an avid British Airways flyer or want a simple airline credit card that can lower the cost of flying, the British Airways Visa Signature® card is worth considering.
Yes, the Annual Fee is $95.
No, the British Airways Visa Signature® card does not offer any lounge access.
Mid-tier Airline credit cards find themselves in a competitive market, and the British Airways Visa Signature® card stands out with its massive 100,000 Avios introductory bonus. So, if you frequently fly with British Airways, this is one of the best travel credit cards on the market.
Still, it may fall short when redeeming reward flights. If you want to take full advantage of this credit card, then extra planning is required to ensure that you are not paying more on surcharges than the flight would cost if you paid upfront without Avios.