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British Air Card Now Offers 50,000 Bonus Miles, No Foreign Transaction Fees

British Air Card Now Offers 50,000 Bonus Miles, No Foreign Transaction Fees

If you recall the recent sign-up bonus for the British Airways Visa card—a jaw-dropping 100,000 miles after charging $2,000 during the first three months—the airline’s latest credit card incentive may come as a bit of a letdown.

Realistically, though, while the new bonus isn’t as lucrative as the earlier one—which at the time I called the most generous such offer I’d ever seen—it’s still substantial.

And British Airways and Chase, the card issuer, have added a new benefit to the card that potentially boosts its value significantly: no foreign currency transaction fees. That makes the British Airways card the first and only airline-affiliated card to waive those fees, although on the hotel side, both the InterContinental Priority Club and Hyatt Gold Passport Visa cards, also issued by Chase, have a similar benefit.

Offer Details

New British Airways Visa Signature cardholders can earn up to 50,000 bonus miles: 25,000 miles after the first purchase, and a second 25,000 miles after charging $2,500 within the first three months.

Card details:

  • Earn 1.25 miles for every $1 charged to the card, 2.5 miles for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases.
  • Cardholders receive a companion award voucher every year they spend at least $30,000.
  • Cardholders receive a $50 discount on British Airways transatlantic fares.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee for the card is $75, and the annual percentage rate is variable (Prime Rate plus 10.99 percent), currently 14.24 percent.

Deal or No Deal

Unlike the previous offer, which apparently was targeted but still widely promoted with a wink and a nod, the new bonus is open to all, assuming normal credit worthiness.

That’s noteworthy, because there was always an element of uncertainty surrounding the old promotion. I know of some people who applied during the old promotion and received the bonus, others who didn’t. It was hit or miss, with no accounting for the difference.

Although it doesn’t rate a spot on the "Best Ever" list, the new bonus is among the most generous currently on offer from any travel rewards credit card. And for those who travel overseas, being spared that 3 percent foreign transaction fee is a real financial plus.

The principal negative of Executive Club miles remains the exorbitant fuel surcharges imposed for award flights. In the past, awards on British Airways’ partners—including American—could be booked without incurring the surcharges, but there’s some evidence that British Airways intends to extend the charges to its partners as well.

If you didn’t take advantage of the offer the first time, and kicked yourself for missing out, this is a second chance to earn a solid bonus for a card that offers good value, especially for current and future British Airways customers.

Reader Reality Check

Did you apply for a card when the 100,000-mile bonus was in effect? Did you receive the bonus?

Is this offer rich enough to warrant adding another credit card to your collection?

  • Sue

    What is the expiration date on this offer?

  • Tim Winship

    Sue – I had the same question. Will post the answer when I hear back from the BA rep.

  • Joel Haas

    I applied during the original 100K miles offer and did NOT get the bonus. Is there someone to whom one may complain?

  • SJCDAL

    I applied during the 100k, got the card and got the bonus. Very disappointed to see the HUGE fees associated with actually USING the miles to London or Europe. But I may be able to use them on partner Cathay to Asia.

  • Tom

    Tikingx: I applied and was turned down. Letter said my credit numbers were not good enough. I wrote them with copies of our assets not listed on credit report, and then was approved. Good luck !

  • msuddarth

    Got the bonus for self and spouse. Planning to shoot the wad on Club World this May from Cali to London.

  • M.J. Kilker

    Can anyone give an example of the huge fees BA charged on using miles?

  • Bill

    applied for both me and Husband – got the bonuses for 200,000 Miles. Using 150,000 to return next spring from Amsterdam in First! with free stop in London for 3 days. Fees were about $1000 + the $190 total for 1 year membership fees. Still have 50,000 miles left I rate the deal as SWEET!

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