British Airways Visa Signature Card Benefits & Review 2022
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card can be a natural fit if you routinely fly on this international airline to Europe and the United Kingdom. You will earn Avios on purchases and can also redeem flight statement credits on award flights to London.
This guide can help you decide if you should use this card for international travel.
Who is the British Airways Visa Signature Card For?
The British Airways Visa Signature Card is best for frequent flyers on British Airways to travel between the United States and London. This travel route is eligible for the most card benefits, including statement credits to offset fuel surcharges.
You should also consider this card when you want to earn Avios frequent flyer miles. Most of the redemption options are for British Airways flights but you can also find award space on Iberia, Aer Lingus, and American Airlines.
This card isn’t your best option for domestic air travel as several benefits are exclusive to British Airways-operated flights.
The co-brand British Airways Avios credit card is also subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. As Avios miles and the built-in card benefits are not the most portable travel rewards for Americans, other Chase travel credit cards can be worth applying for first.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|Annual Fee: $95|
Current Bonus: 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
5x Avios on British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus purchases for the first 12 months (then 3x)
3x Avios on hotels for the first 12 months (then 2x)
1x Avios on all remaining purchases
10% Discount on Qualifying Flights
Up to $600 in Annual Flight Statement Credits
Travel Together Ticket after $30,000 in annual purchases
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Travel and Protection Coverage
APR: 15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases
Good to Great credit score required (700+)
Featured British Airways Visa Signature Benefits
Most of these benefits can help you save money when flying on British Airways.
100,000 Bonus Avios Signup Bonus
The current signup bonus is 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000.
Your Avios can be most valuable when booking award flights between the United States and London by getting up to $600 in annual statement credits.
10% Off British Airways Flights
Cardholders can enjoy an exclusive 10% discount when paying cash for British Airways flights originating in the United States. This savings reduces your total cost for the flight, fees, taxes, and carrier surcharges.
Up to $600 in Flight Statement Credits
You can redeem up to $600 in annual statement credits when you book award flights originating in the United States. In addition, you can receive up to three credits per year on British Airways-operated flights.
Your statement credit amount depends on your seat class:
- $100 credit for economy and premium economy
- $200 credit for business and first class
This benefit also applies when you have a codeshare partner complete a connecting flight. For example, you fly on British Airways from the US to London and then Iberia from the UK to Madrid.
This statement credit helps offset the notorious carrier fees that British Airways charges for cash and award flights.
Travel Together Ticket
The British Airways Travel Together Ticket can help you save a little money when you fly with a travel companion.
You receive this benefit after making at least $30,000 in annual card purchases. Then, you have two years from the ticket’s issue date to get a free award seat for your companion when you book your seat with Avios (taxes, fees, and carrier charges still apply).
This perk is valid in the main cabin and premium cabins. This can be a relatively easy way to get a complimentary first class award flight.
Bonus: For your first 12 months, you get two Travel Together Tickets instead of one when you spend $30,000.
Earn up to 5x Avios
Your card purchases can earn up to 5 Avios per $1 for the first year instead of the standard 3-2-1 rewards system.
- British Airway, Aer Lingus, and Iberia flight purchases: 5x for the first 12 months then 3x
- Hotel accommodations: 3x for the first 12 months and then 2x
- Non-bonus purchases: 1x
You will earn unlimited Avios for each spending category.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
There are no foreign transaction fees for this co-brand international airline credit card. That’s a good thing.
Other British Airways Credit Card Features
Here are some of the other additional perks that can be useful.
Baggage Delay Insurance
Essential purchases like toiletries and clothing qualify for up to $100 per day for 3 days for delays exceeding 6 hours.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
You and others in your travel party can qualify for lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger. This benefit applies to lost or damaged carry-on and checked luggage.
Secondary Auto Rental Coverage
Most auto rentals in the United States and foreign countries qualify for secondary collision and theft coverage when you decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver policy.
Qualifying new purchases can receive up to $500 per claim ($50,000 per account) for accidental theft or damage within 120 days of the transaction date.
Purchases with an original warranty of 3 years or less can get a one-year extension.
You can get up to 12 months of complimentary DoorDash DashPass when you enroll by December 31, 2021.
Membership benefits include $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on minimum $12 orders with DoorDash and Caviar.
Redeeming British Airways Avios
Here are some of the best ways you can redeem Avios from your British Airways Executive Club account.
Award flights on British Airways and the two Avios partners (Aer Lingus and Iberia) are the most valuable and most accessible redemption option in most instances.
Each mile can be worth between 1 cent and 1.5 cents for most routes. You will need to pay attention to the fees and carrier surcharge.
Your travel date may also have off-peak or peak pricing.
For example, a flight from New York to London can require the following number of points:
- Economy: 13,000 Avios plus $64 off-peak (20,000 plus $64 peak season)
- Premium Economy: 26,000 Avios plus $279 (40,000 plus $279 peak)
- Business: 50,000 Avios plus $729 (60,000 plus $729)
Once you’re in Europe, you can find short-haul economy seats for 6,500 miles plus $56.70, for example. These intra-Europe hops require fewer miles than booking an alliance flight through a United States carrier.
These flights between European airports may occur on an Avios partner airline like Iberia or Aer Lingus.
There is no longer a published award chart, so you must use the online flight estimator to see how many Avios you need on your travel dates.
Don’t forget that the award flights from the US to London are eligible for the credit card flight statement credits.
Oneworld Alliance Flights
You may also find partner flights for Oneworld partners like American Airlines and Alaska Airlines within the United States.
Economy-class award flights can be as low as 9,000 Avios for flights of 1,150 miles or shorter. A one-way flight to Hawaii from the US west coast can only cost 13,500 Avios.
Searching award availability of Oneworld partners can require more work. You will most likely need to book these award flights by phone.
While this booking method requires more effort, you might be able to pay less than booking directly through the airline. You can also avoid the carrier-imposed charges that British Airways charges for its flights.
Your points can be worth approximately 0.5 cents each for hotel bookings. That’s roughly the same redemption value as booking directly through most hotel loyalty programs.
This isn’t the most valuable redemption option, but if you do not travel internationally as often as you anticipate, this can be an easy way to use your Avios for nearby trips.
Rental Cars and Experiences
Your points can also be worth 0.5 cents for car rentals and experiences. You will need to book experiences at least 72 hours in advance.
Here is a rundown of the standard card fees:
- Annual Fee: $95
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Purchase APR: 15.99% to 22.99%
- Late Payment: Up to $40
British Airways Credit Card Compared to Similar Cards
These cards can be a better option for domestic and international flights. These cards also let you transfer points to your British Airways Executive Club account.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 1:1 point transfers to British Airways and over 12 other airline and hotel partners. Your points are also worth 1.25 cents each when booking award flights, hotels, and car rental through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Other card benefits include:
- Earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards on purchases
- Annual $50 hotel statement credit
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Primary car rental insurance
This card also has an impressive 60,000 Ultimate Rewards signup bonus worth up to $750 in travel rewards.
The annual fee is $95.
The Citi Premier offers 1:1 point transfers to British Airways and each point is worth 1 cent each when you redeem for award flights through the ThankYou Travel Center.
You will also earn 3 ThankYou points per $1 on these purchases:
- Air travel
- Gas stations
One additional travel benefit is the $100 annual hotel discount when you book a minimum $500 stay through Citi ThankYou.
The annual fee is $95.
Gold Card from American Express:
The American Express Gold Card is a hybrid travel and dining rewards card but your points are most valuable for award flight bookings.
British Airways is a 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partner and each point is worth 1 cent for award flights.
Selected card benefits include:
- Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash for rides and Eats
- Up to $120 in dining credits per year
- 4x points on dining worldwide
- 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year then 1x)
- 3x points on flights you book from the airline or on amextravel.com
- No foreign transaction fee
The annual fee is $250.
Capital One Venture:
The Capital One Venture earns 2x miles on purchases. Hotels and car rentals through Capital One Travel bookings earning 5x miles.
Each Venture mile is worth 1 cent when you redeem them for travel statement credits from the past 90 days and upcoming bookings.
You can also transfer your miles to British Airways. Unfortunately, the transfer ratio is somewhat dismal at 2:1.5. The airline is a 1:1 transfer partner with American Express, Chase, and Citi.
The annual fee is $95.
If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne earns 1.25 miles per $1 and you still have access to the airline and hotel point transfers.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides several premium travel benefits that can be better than the award travel statement credits and Travel Together Ticket benefits that require significant spending to start reaping the rewards.
You can enjoy these benefits immediately:
- Annual $300 travel credit
- Priority Pass Select lounge access
- Earn up to 10x Ultimate Rewards on purchases
- 50% travel redemption bonus
- 1:1 point transfers
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
The annual fee is $550 for the primary card plus $75 per authorized user.
The annual fee is $95.
You will pay a 0% foreign transaction fee on all purchases.
Flight purchases at British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL earn 5x Avios for the first 12 months and then 3x points.
All other flight purchases only earn 1x Avios.
Bookings directly from the hotel provider during the first 12 months earn 3x Avios and then 2x after the first card anniversary. Third-party travel booking sites only earn 1x Avios.
Avios are worth up to 1.5 cents for most British Airways-operated flights.
You can redeem Avios through your British Airways Executive Club account for flights that British Airways operates. It’s also possible to book award flights on Avios and Oneworldpartner airlines, including Iberia, Aer Lingus, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.
You can transfer Avios from your British Airways Executive Club account to your Iberia or Aer Lingus loyalty account. This can be an easy way to avoid the British Airways fuel surcharges when another Avios partner serves your destination.
Avios expire after 36 months of account inactivity.
The Travel Together Ticket covers the required points for a travel companion’s award flight (taxes and fees still apply) when you purchase your seat with Avios.
You earn the ticket after $30,000 in annual card purchases and it expires two years after the issue date.
You can redeem up to three statement credits per year for either $100 (economy and premium economy) or $200 (business and first). The maximum value of all three credits can be $600.
The credits only apply to British Airways-operated flights departing the United States for Europe. You must purchase your award ticket with points and the credit reimburses the cash-paid taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges.
British Airways Visa Signature cardmembers will need to visit an exclusive page on the British Airways website and enter the promotion code CHASEBA10.
Following these steps reduces the fare price by 10% on qualifying British Airways-operated flights. The discount applies to one-way flights and roundtrips.
You will need good or excellent credit to qualify. Your approval odds can qualify with a minimum 690 credit score if you satisfy the other application guidelines.
The current British Airways Visa Signature Card signup bonus is 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.
This bonus can be worth up to one roundtrip in a premium cabin between the United States and Europe.
You’re eligible for this bonus if you haven’t received a signup offer for this card in the last 24 months. It’s possible to stack Avios if you recently earned the Avios signup bonuses for the Aer Lingus and Iberia credit cards.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The British Airways Visa Signature Card can be the best of the Chase co-brand cards earning Avios if you primarily fly British Airways.
This card is worth having if you can use the reward flight statement credits and 10% Chase purchase discount.
However, your point redemption options are relatively limited. Another round of international travel bans between the United States and Europe can make it difficult to redeem your Avios for domestic travel.
Also, British Airways has some of the highest carrier-imposed charges for cash and award flights.
As British Airways is a 1:1 transfer partner with Chase, American Express, and Citi, applying for a flexible travel rewards card that lets you redeem points for flights on multiple airlines can be a better long-term option.
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