(Update: This offer is no longer available - May 8, 2013.)
The British Airways Visa Signature Card is back again with another 100,000 mile promotion. While it's not quite as good as last year's deal, which offered 100,000 bonus points after simply making one purchase and spending $2,500 during the first three months, the latest promotion still provides new cardholders with the opportunity to earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios points during the first year. The main difference between the two deals is that you'll have to spend a lot more this time around to bank all the sign-up bonus points, which means you may even need to make the British Airways Card your go-to credit card for most of the year. Here's a quick breakdown of what you'll need to do to earn the full 100,000 point bonus:
Spending Requirements for 100,000 Avios Sign-Up Bonus
- Make your first purchase of any amount and get 50,000 Avios points. Unfortunately, the $95 annual fee isn't waived for the first year.
- Spend $10,000 within the first year and you'll bank another 25,000 Avios.
- If you spend an additional $10,000 during the first year, you'll score another 25,000 Avios points for a grand total of 100,000.
You basically need to spend $20,000 on the card during the your first year, which is an average monthly spend of about $1,667, in order to bank the full 100,000 points. That's a fairly healthy chunk of spending each month for many people, so it might even require a full year's worth of use to earn the entire sign-up bonus. However, you'll still get your hands on at least 50,000 Avios after making just one purchase with the card, even if you can't meet the additional spending requirements. In addition, many of you may remember that British Airways pulled a big switcheroo on cardholders last year when they unexpectedly converted British Airways Executive Club miles to Avios points. The new program is now distance based, so don't even think about trying to use these points for flights to Europe via British Airways. The redemption values just don't make sense, and you'll end up paying a boatload in fees. The best way to use Avios points is actually for domestic flights on either Alaska or American Airlines. And for those of you on the West coast, you're really in luck because Avios points can get you to the sandy beaches of Hawaii for just 25,000 points and 5 bucks in fees. How to Book Trips to Hawaii for 25,000 Avios plus $5 After quite a bit of research I've discovered that one of the best ways to use Avios is for direct flights to Hawaii from cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, or San Francisco. Follow these guidelines and you can book roundtrip tickets for 25,000 BA points plus $5-$30 in fees, which is an awesome deal! Equivalent tickets often cost somewhere between $500 to $600. Since I'm based in Seattle, the directions below describe the process I went through with Alaska Airlines, but you should be able to find similar deals on American as well if that's the preferred airline for your location. The overall concept remains the same—look for direct flights to Hawaii at the lowest reward level, and then you should be able to book the same flights via British Airways using just 25,000 Avios points. Here are the steps I recently followed to book a roundtrip flight from Seattle to Hawaii:
- Go to www.alaskaair.com and click the box for "Award Reservations" before doing your flight search. Then choose "Calendar View", which allows you to see all the available reward flights throughout the month.
- Find direct flights from your city to any island in Hawaii at the "Super Saver" level. What you're looking for are flights that could be redeemed using 20,000 Alaska miles plus $3 in fees each way. Forget about the flights that show $5 in fees because that means the flights aren't direct.
- Once you find flights that work for you, call British Airways at 1-800-452-1201 and give them the exact flights to look up in their system. Remember, the flight has to be direct and "Super Saver" for it to work.
- Try to convince the CSR to waive the $25 booking fee since you can't book Alaska flights on BA.com. You might get lucky depending upon who you get on the line. You may even want to try calling back a few times if you keep getting a "no". If you do give up and just pay the online booking fee, $30 plus 25,000 points is still a great deal since it's usually 40,000 miles or more to go to Hawaii using Alaska miles.
If you have good credit and think you'd like to take advantage of this 100,000 sign-up bonus from Chase and British Airways, check out our complete review of the British Airways Visa Signature Card and consider applying online today.