Best Point Earning Credit Cards

Will The British Airways Visa Be Worth Using At All Soon?

New York City Marathon
Written by Charlie

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?

New York City MarathonBut, 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!

British Airways Visa

All the circles represent cities within 650 miles of the pins!

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!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Not for me. I got the bonus already last year, annual fee is coming up, so it is next on the chopping block. Chase BA Visa, it was real…peace out 🙂

  • I think it warrants stating that even if you pay for a ticket outright (on BA, at least), you’re still going to pay fuel surcharges and other fees. That being so, getting a free companion ticket – in any class of service, mind you – is still a pretty sweet deal, especially if you spend enough to warrant Club World or First, as I do. You’ll be paying the fees either way, but I’d certainly rather do that on what would normally be a $3k or $4k ticket, especially since the soft and (most of) the hard product are superior to what you’d get on US carriers.

  • After enjoying seven companion tickets, I absolutely will not leave my BA Visa. The companion ticket, especially First to/from JFK, with a stopover in London more than offsets the annual fee and fuel surcharges.

    • Good for you! I hear so many stories of people that do the spending and never end up using the certificate that it is great to hear from people that DO get tremendous value out of them. Keep it up!