British Airways Visa Signature Card Review – 50,000 Bonus Avios

Do you fly British Airways?  (They have over 300 destinations BTW.)

If you do then you should take a look at the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is what many consider an airline miles credit card.  It’s a card that is issued on behalf of the airline where you can typically earn that airline’s miles faster when you buy flights with the card and you can earn additional miles on general purchases.  These miles can then be redeemed for free flights with the airline.

You can also see lots of other great perks in an airline miles card that help make owning the airline’s credit card well worth it.

Let’s break down the benefits of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

Avios Points

First, understand what an Avios Point is.  This is British Airways’ branding for their rewards points.  Some carriers call them miles while others call them rewards.  Some carriers like British Airways have their own name.

These are what you are earning when you use your card and what can be redeemed for flights and such (more on redeeming points later on).

Bonus Miles

You get 50,000 Avios after you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of membership.  Then you can earn an additional 25,000 Avios if you make $10,00 in purchases on your card within the first year of having your card.  Get another 25,000 Avios if you spend an additional $10,000 in your first year.

That can earn you a roundtrip business class reward ticket.  (Additional taxes and surcharges may apply. )

Earning Additional Miles

You will earn 2.5 Avios for every $1 you spend on British Airways purchases.  All other purchases net you 1.25 Avios for every dollar spent.

Smart Chip Technology

The smart chip embedded in the card allows you to make chip-based purchases in Europe and beyond.  In other countries chip-based purchases are more widely used.

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Of course you have the full ability to use your card at home as well.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

When you travel overseas, your won’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees for using your British Airways Visa Signature® Card.  This can be a nice savings if you use your credit card for most of your overseas purchases (a nice alternative to carrying cash and exchanging currency).  The card is accepted at millions of locations world-wide.

Foreign transaction fees are fees that card issuers tack onto your purchases for using your card overseas.  Most cards average between 2-3% in fees.  You can see that having a card without foreign transaction fees can save you some money, especially if you use your card a lot oversees.

Travel Together Ticket

Here’s a cool benefit – If you spend $30,000 on your card in one calendar year you will receive a Travel Together Ticket where a companion can travel with you anywhere with you for a round-trip flight in the same seating class as your ticket.  This can be used when you redeem your rewards for a flight.  This is a voucher that is good for two years (you can only use one voucher per year).

There are no restrictions on the type of ticket you can redeem your Travel Together Ticket for.

A Note About Free Flights

Flights that are redeemed, either with Avios or a Travel Together Ticket, will be subject to fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees.  Right now that’s about $650 per person for economy and $1,100 for business for a flight between NY and London.

The ticket price is still free so you are getting what could be a significant savings still.

Annual Fee

The annual fee for this card is $95.

In Summary

If you fly British Airways with any regularity, then consider this card.

You start off with a lot of miles for your first purchase with the opportunity to earn many more miles.  The card carries an annual fee of $95.  For most cards this would be a hefty price but considering the benefits, the fee can more than be covered.

Of course this card is only useful to you if you fly British Airways.  Also, if you aren’t disciplined with your debt you may find yourself paying more in credit card interest than you are getting in miles benefits.  Know your spending habits before you apply.

*Always make sure you understand the terms of a credit card before you sign up.  Terms for this card may change after this publishing.

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Published or updated March 2, 2014.

Comments

  1. This is certainly one of the best flier cards around but you really need to be a regular transatlantic flier for it to make much sense. If you’re planning on making just one roundtrip ticket to Europe for vacation or something this spring/summer, you may still want to see if you qualify for the card since you’ll rack up the free flight pretty easily and you wont have to deal with transactions fees when you’re spending abroad. Good luck getting approved with less than stellar credit though…

  2. I think we should note something about these “free” trips. Or reward flights if you prefer. They are NOT free. If I get a reward flight, I pay the government taxes and insurance on the ticket. If I use this to fly to London next spring, I will pay approx 550.00 dollars for the ticket (versus 900.)
    So this is definitely a savings – but the roundtrip is NOT free!!

    • Tahsir Ahsan says:

      Dont fly british airways then. use your british airways avios to fly Aer Lingus to london and avoid all taxes.

      These points aren’t free, but if you spend $4 at starbucks, you can get 50,000 points immediately. The value of those points can go all the way up to $2500 if you fly domestically or even more if you fly the correct way internationally.

  3. Those are some great points but spending $20k-$30k on a card is a lot of money!

    I might approach spending that much on my business but definitely not in our personal lives.

    • We’re talking flights that are international which generally cost more to begin with than domestic flights. An international trip can quickly put a lot of money on a credit card if you choose. And then putting your everyday spending on the card to earn points can add up to a lot as well.

      But you have to know your spending and what you will get out of the card before you sign up to make sure it’s worth it to you.

  4. Tahsir Ahsan says:

    Great Review but you failed to mention a few points where this card can be super valuable.

    For example, British Airways has a few partners through oneworld and their points redemption is distance based. This card isn’t only for long haul people. you can redeem these points for super low amounts on American airlines.

    Example: JFK-YYZ for 4500 avios one way + $2.50
    Versus Aadvantage points which is 12,500 miles one way

    Another example:
    LAX-Hawaii 12,500 one way avios
    lax-hawaii- 17,500 aadvantage one way

    Note that you can fly the SAME flight for less with these avios.

    so lets do the math 50,000 after the first purchase.
    11 one way flights assuming you fly JFK-YYZ.. one way costs about $228 with taxes.
    228*11= $2,508 Value for a simple $4 cup of coffee at starbucks.

    Also, the best way to avoid these “high” taxes is to go through a partner airline.

    The best example is Aer Lingus business or economy. USA-Dublin-LHR And MINIMAL TAXES. im talking less than $100

    you just have to be smart with these points.

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