British Airways Card Rolls Out Underwhelming New Offer

It effectively reduces the number of Avios most new cardholders would earn in the first year.
Robin Saks FrankelJan 31, 2019
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The limited-time offer described in this article expired in June 2019. See our details page on the for the current offer.

The  has introduced a new offer, effectively reducing the number of points (or "Avios") most new cardholders would earn in the first year. Depending on how much or how little they spend, the change could be drastic, or relatively minor.

As of Jan. 30, 2019, the card offers:

After your first year, you'll drop back to earning the card's current regular rewards rates:

(Avios can be used to fly British Airways, or to book tickets at any of the airlines in the , including domestic carrier American Airlines.)

Prior to Jan. 30, 2019, the offered a tiered sign-up bonus that allowed you to earn up to 100,000 in bonus Avios in your first year, structured this way:

Terms for earning and using a Travel Together Ticket did not change.

(As of Jan. 31, 2019, this older offer is still available via Chase's website.)

A key difference is that under the old formula, the bonus Avios you received came on top of the Avios you earned through spending. Under the new system, you simply get 4 Avios per dollar up to the $30,000 spending limit. You don't unlock a big bonus by hitting a spending tier.

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At first glance, the new offer seems better overall: 120,000 potential bonus Avios vs. 100,000. But it's a worse deal for most spenders, and much worse for smaller spenders:

When cardholders start pushing the limits of the offer, they start making up ground compared with the previous offer:

Above $30,000 in the first year, some cardholders might come out ahead compared with the previous system if a lot of their additional spending is with British Airways. But in most cases, people who spend enough to have hit the old tiers will get a smaller haul of Avios now than they would have before.

Other key attributes of the remain the same:

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