The British Airways Visa is a great card from Chase that offers some of the greatest value in sign-up bonuses – the 50,000 Avios (BA’s points) are worth 11 short-haul award trips on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and US Airways (and that is just domestic partners). That is the most free trips you will get from any single co-branded credit card out there!
Will the British Airways Visa Be Worth Using Anymore?
But, not only is the bonus pretty great, the card also offers 1.25 Avios per dollar spent everywhere. For the purpose of earning Avios, that is definitely the best way to earn them in non-bonus category spending. The only other cards that could touch that feature in the earning department is the American Express SPG card or the American Express Preferred Everyday (which earns a 50% bonus on Membership Reward points after 30 transactions in a month). The Amex SPG card gives 1 Starpoint per dollar, but when you transfer those points to British Airways in blocks of 20,000 points, you will receive a bonus of 5,000 miles. So, for every $20,000 of spend, you will earn the same 25,000 Avios (when transferred to British Airways).
When it comes to realizing your rewards sooner, the British Airways Visa is really the best card for that. For every $4,000 you spend on the card, you will receive enough Avios (4,500 Avios taking into account the 1.25 earnings) for a one way short-haul award ticket. On some of those flights (under 650 miles), the actual cost can be into the several hundreds of dollars. Pretty great return!
Changing From 1.25 Avios Per Dollar To 1 Avios Per Dollar
However, come April 30, that earning structure is going to change. It will go down to 1 Avios per dollar spent and 3X Avios for purchases on British Airways (up from 2.5). Unless you are trying for the British Airways Together certificate (which takes $30,000 of spending in a year and that allows you to fly another person for free on an award ticket as your companion – but you will pay the heft taxes and fees on both tickets), it makes no sense to use the British Airways Visa anymore after April 30.
The card still is a great one to get for the sign-up bonus, but after that, stick it in the drawer and rotate it out later for a different Chase card. Even if you purchase British Airways tickets a lot, you are better of using the American Express Premier Rewards Gold which also awards 3X points on airline purchases. The reason I would opt for the Amex Premier Rewards Gold over the BA Visa is that you would earn Membership Reward points that can be transferred to several airlines, not just British Airways. In fact, with transfer bonuses (like the 40% bonus from earlier this year), you can realize even more points.
This card is worthwhile for the bonus points, but forget about using it after that. If the British Airways Together Certificate is valuable to you, you could continue using it to hit that big $30,000 spending, but be ready for big fees on those award tickets!