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NEW: British Airways Credit Card Offers 100,000 American Airlines Miles in Signup Bonus

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Aw, nerds! Looks like this offer’s expired and the bonus is back down to 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. It’s still a good offer, but you might want to check out the best signup bonuses out there.

That’s right, the British Airways Visa’s 100,000-mile signup promo is back! The best part is that even though the bonus pays out in Avios (British Airways’ point system), you can redeem them for AAdvantage miles, giving you $1,000 of travel on American Airlines. Since BA is part of the OneWorld Alliance, you can apply the 100k Avios in the signup bonus to any partner airline. Whether you’re flying American or traveling internationally, this signup bonus can net you $1,000 of travel. Here’s how the bonus works: you’ll get 50,000 Avios on your first purchase. If you spend $10,000 in the first year, you’ll get 25,000 more points, and if you spend $10k more ($20,000 cumulatively in the first year), you get an additional 25,000 points for a cool one hundred thousand.

Chase British Airways Credit Card

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit
  • Most valuable for those who fly British Airways or oneWorld partners

Sign-up Bonus

50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$0 Intro Annual Fee The First Year, Then $95

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • APR: 15.99% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 19.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • You will get 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee The First Year, Then $95.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Smart Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

The card earns a higher base rewards rate than most airline cards, giving 2.5 Avios per $1 spent on British Airways and 1.25 per $1 spent elsewhere. As mentioned before, you can redeem your miles on American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and its other partner airlines.* This means that the BA card earns 25% more miles for American Airlines than does the AAdvantage card. Elite status earned on BA carries over to the other airlines as well.

*Caveat: you have to book flights between the US and UK on British Airways, if possible. So you can’t use your Avios to get a flight on American Airlines to London, but you can fly pretty much anywhere else, domestically or internationally.

Everything has a price

There are two major downsides of the British Airways card. The first is the annual fee ($95), which isn’t waived the first year, but which is more than mitigated by the signup bonus worth $1,000 of travel. The second is that if you do redeem your rewards for transatlantic airline flights, you have to pay taxes and fees in addition to forking over your miles. According to Chase’s website, you’re on the hook for about $650 in economy and $1,100 in business class from New York to London. That’s a pretty significant chunk of change. Still, the BA card has a lot to recommend it, not least because you can redeem your miles on airlines (like AA) that don’t have such heavy fees. Plus, it offers some great features for international travelers, including:

  • EMV chip-and-signature technology, so you can actually use your card in Europe;
  • A free companion ticket that you can use in any cabin, every year that you make $30k in purchases or more; and
  • Waived foreign transaction fees, key for any self-respecting international credit card.

The BA card is one of the best options out there, offering you a good deal on domestic as well as international travel. If you’re a big spender, the companion ticket alone can be worth $500+ a year. You earn 25% more rewards than the standard airline card rewards rate of 2 miles per $1 spent on the airline/1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere. And it’s one of very few American credit cards that has EMV technology, which the rest of the world mocks us for not having and which is so widespread in Europe that many places don’t even accept clunky magnetic stripe cards anymore.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Apply Now

on Chase's
secure website

If you’re leery of the annual fee but tempted by the bonus, an alternative is the Chase Sapphire. It pays out 40,000 Ultimate Rewards Points, worth $500 of travel booked through Chase, when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Its $95 annual fee is waived in the first year, making it ideal for those who just want to snag the signup promo. It has no foreign transaction fee, but unlike the British Airways card, it doesn’t have fancy perks like a companion ticket, EMV technology or a higher rewards rate.

  • Dd

    Mistake my friend, AVIOS points and the offer are NOT transferable to AAdvantage miles. Sadly Avios suck, they are expensive, surcharges are exorbitant and attempting to use their site for partner filght is close to impossible. Save the $95 annual fee and walk awayto better milage programs…

  • Sbalchemy

    caveat emptor… or however you spell it… buyer beware… i got this card, and yes, you DO ge the miles, but BA charges a “fuel surcharge” to cross the pond that can run the same as a discount ticket… I am not sure about AA….

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      BA’s fuel surcharge makes redeeming for a British Airways ticket quite a hassle, but thankfully, if you redeem for an American Airlines reward flight, you can avoid the surcharge. Your miles get really, really, really devalued when you redeem on BA, but they pretty much retain their value on American.

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    Great offer!!
    Feeling cool to see this awesome offer!!
    I was seeking a such type of offer! I will test it ASAP!!

  • blakjak

    Big disclaimer to people who plan on booking AA flights using AVIOS flights: Some award travel is not even available when redeeming Avios points. I’ve run into this case a couple of times. I’ve called the AVIOS Executive Club and they mentioned that not all AAdvantage Award Travel is released to British Airways for booking.

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  • sree

    Actually the miles are a great to be used to upgrade flights rather than book new since it makes sense.

  • Tobinc

    good luck trying to redeem AVOIS points for travel on American Airlines within the U.S. I’ve been trying for over 1 year and there is NEVER any availability. I’ve given up and am using them for car rental and hotels — only problem is that AVOIS points are only worth about 1/3 cents per point that way.

    • Micah008

      After doing a search, make sure you then click “Include Partners”. Then, you may need to use the “Search up to 7 days later” and “Search up to 7 days earlier” buttons to find dates with availability. Otherwise I would just call them.

      The website is very difficult to use, but at least for me there are some dates available.