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The Comeback: 100,000 Miles for British Airways’ Credit Cards

The Comeback: 100,000 Miles for British Airways’ Credit Cards

Still kicking yourself for missing last year’s much-heralded bonus for new British Airways Visa cardholders—100,000 miles after charging $2,000 in the first three months?

Stop kicking and start clicking.

British Airways and Chase, the card issuer, have reprised the promotion, more or less in its original form. Yes, including that eye-popping 100,000-mile bonus.

This time, though, the offer is better in at least one key respect. Unlike its first appearance—during which the offer appeared and disappeared, seemingly at random, leaving consumers wondering whether they’d earned the bonus or not—the new promotion is displayed prominently on British Airways’ website, complete with a published end date.

Offer Details

Through May 5, new customers for the British Airways Visa Signature card can earn up to 100,000 bonus Executive Club miles, as follows:

  • 50,000 miles after the first purchase charged to the card
  • 50,000 more miles after charging $2,500 during the first three months

Card Details

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Annual percentage rate: variable, Prime Rate plus 10.99 percent, currently 14.24 percent
  • Cardholders earn 2.5 Executive Club miles for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases, 1.25 miles for every $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Cardholders receive a free companion award ticket every year (calendar year, that is) they charge $30,000 to the card.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Deal or No Deal

At the time, I called the original the most lucrative credit card offer ever. While similar in most respects, the new promotion is marginally less generous.

Where the latest promotion requires $2,500, the initial version delivered the second 50,000 miles after spending just $2,000 in the first three months, so the spend hurdle here is slightly higher. But anyone who can qualify for the first promotion can probably qualify for this one as well.

The annual fee for the card has increased as well, from $75 to $95.

And since the first British Airways promotion, there have been other developments in the credit card space. Capital One, for example, upped the promotional ante with their just-ended 110,000-mile bonus for new Venture cards.

The chief negative of this and any promotion that features Executive Club miles is British Airways’ policy of imposing outsized fuel surcharges for award travel on its own flights. Paying several hundred dollars for an award flight to London significantly undermines the value of Executive Club miles, versus miles in a competing program where such surcharges are more modest or, better, non-existent.

But there are ways around the surcharges, including, somewhat ironically, avoiding British Airways’ own flights for award travel. (After the last promotion, readers weighed in with their suggestions for redeeming British Airways miles.)

So, is this a king’s comeback, or an also-ran rerun? Without getting into a hair-splitting debate about the relative value of Executive Club miles versus Capital One miles, this remains one of the best offers ever for a travel-rewards credit card.

Reader Reality Check

Did you take advantage of this promotion the first time? If so, please share any tips for redeeming the miles you earned.

If you missed the first promotion, will you sign up this time? Any plans for using the miles you’ll earn?

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  • D

    This deal sounds awesome, but once i registered and looked for flights from ORD (Chicago) to London or Europe, they have HORRIBLE or Barely NO options for flying out of Chicago. Each month there are only 5 reward flights per MONTH!

    Not worth it

  • 666@aol.com

    The annual fee is not waived. :-(

  • Robert

    How about using other OneWorld alliance flights?

  • Sheila

    Look at the award chart before deciding. BA is on par with others for biz seats from US to UK (100K) but if you want to go anywhere else farther east, you need more miles. Generally, they require more miles for other regions as well. A positive about BA (I was told by an agent from a partner airline) was that, unlike some other airlines, BA releases more Biz and 1st class award seats, and at 355 days in advance, not the usual 330.

  • FS

    And be sure to check out their much higher fees, including fuel charges and add $700.00 to the flight.

  • Belinda

    I took advantage of the first promotion and have since redeemed my miles for a one-way FIRST CLASS seat from Houston to Barcelona (we’re cruising back from Barcelona, thus the one-way ticket). No problem redeeming but did pay $211 in fees.

  • msuddarth

    My wife and I both got the deal. We are flying club world Santa Barbara to London and back next month. Cost $1500 in fees for two tickets, but we never would have pulled the trigger on those seats any other way. Happy so far. Excited, really.

  • Harry Hoffman

    Read the details carefully. This offer is only for new customers. Current BA executive club members cannot take advantage of this offer. Bummer!

  • Roger

    Applied for both my wife and I and just got the cards yesterday. Planning a flight to Japan in the fall. I happened to notice on the page that comes up when you click on the link, there are several footnotes. Footnote #3 says that balance transfers qualify for meeting the $2500 minimum spend. Can that really be true? I have another card with about a $1K balance that I could transfer.

  • Spooner

    Can these BA miles be redeemed on American Airline seats internationally?

  • daxa surti

    do you charge fees to redeem the miles.the 100000 miles you are reawarding for international flight for new credit card reciver is therte is any charges to redeem the 100000 miles for international flight.

  • Russ

    I clicked on the link to set up the Visa account, however the rules stated that you get 50,000 for signing up and 25,000 if you spend $10,000 in the first year and $25,000 more if you spend an additional $10,000 in the first year. So what happened to getting the second 50,000 miles after you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months??

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