Chase British Airways Visa Now Free For The First Year


Update: The waived annual fee limited time offer for this card was supposed to have ended almost 3 weeks ago.  This limited time offer was the first time the BA card was offered with the annual fee waived for the first year.
If you’re on the fence and don’t want to miss this offer there’s no better time to apply than right now!

-Want to learn more about the BA Avios program. I’ve written up an entire knowledgebase of facts that you can peruse. Read it and you’ll probably find an answer to your question!

-You can click to view a list of every nonstop flight from:
Los Angeles
that can be booked with Avios along with whether there will be a fuel surcharge for that flight.

Chase British Airways Visa Signature Linky

Signup bonus:
-50,000 British Airways (BA) Avios for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

-With this new offer the annual fee is waived on this card for the first year. It is $95 thereafter.

-You will earn 1.25 Avios per dollar spent everywhere and 2.5 Avios per dollar spent on BA tickets. There are no foreign transaction fees and the card includes a chip to use when abroad.

-BA Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, especially for one-way flights, last-minute flights, or flights in business or first class.  But programs like American are not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program which provides an incredible value for short-haul flights.  I’ve booked probably a dozen short-haul tickets in the past year for myself using Avios for travel on their partner, American.  A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute.  But BA allows me to use just 9,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile.  Now I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.
-50,000 Avios has gotten me flights that would have otherwise cost over $6,500. Or those same exact flights would run some 140K American miles not even accounting for the $75 expedite fees and $150 cancellation fees that American would charge with their own miles compared to $0 expedite and $2.50 cancellation when booking an American flight with Avios!

-Cardholders get 10% off paid BA tickets with promo code: CARDOFFERU

-You can earn a free companion award ticket every year that you spend $30K though it’s only valid for travel on BA or Open Skies.  The companion travels in the same class of service, so if you redeem Avios for a first class ticket your companion flies in first as well for 0 Avios but taxes and fees will be owed.

-Avoiding fuel surcharges:
-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American Airlines within the Western Hemisphere
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within Australia.
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, or LAN worldwide. You can fly to Europe without fuel surcharges for as little as 12,500 Avios each way in coach or 25,000 Avios each way in business.
-Flights within Europe also have no fuel surcharges as long as you have earned a single Avios mile in the past 12 months.  That means you can fly to Ireland on Aer Lingus for just 12,500 Avios each way and then fly around Europe from just 4,500 Avios without any fuel surcharges.  Or fly to Israel on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges for just 30K Avios in coach or 50K in business each way.  Bear in mind that Aer Lingus and Alaska Air flights as well as many connecting flights must be booked by calling them, they can’t be booked online though because of that they are willing to waive the phone fee.
-Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also pretty low and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver which I reviewed in this trip report.
-You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios. Not that in order to do that you’ll first need to transfer 1,000 points from AMEX MR into Iberia to activate that account.
-British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.

Advantages of BA Avios over most traditional mileage programs:

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles of a round-trip!

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $40 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $2.50 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and it’s why I always book cheap domestic flights as one-ways).

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.  When flying domestic you should add the infant at the airport for free.

-It’s easy to top-off your BA Avios account thanks to their partnerships with all of the transferable points programs. You can transfer Starpoints to BA at a 20K:25K ratio with the built-in 25% transfer bonus or American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to BA at a 1:1 ratio:

-With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios.

Award bands include:
Band 1: Flights that are 1-650 miles cost 4,500 Avios.
Sample routes: LGA-Cleveland, LGA-Detroit, LGA-Montreal, LGA-Toronto, Miami-Cancun, Miami-Key West, Miami-Nassau, London-Paris, Melbourne-Sydney, Los Angeles-Las Vegas
Band 2: Flights that are 651-1,151 miles cost 7,500 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-Bermuda, Los Angeles-Cabo San Lucas, LGA-Chicago, LGA-Miami, LGA-West Palm Beach, Philadelphia-Miami.
Band 3: Flights that are 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-S. Maarten, JFK-Cancun, JFK-S. Juan, Los Angeles-Chicago, Berlin-Tel Aviv, Hong Kong-Singapore
Band 4: Flights that are 2,001-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios.
Sample routes: Boston-Dublin, JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-Vancouver, Los Angeles-Maui, JFK-Costa Rica, Pittsburgh-Los Angeles
Band 5: Flights that are 3,001-4,000 miles cost 20,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-London, NYC-Berlin, Chicago-Dublin, Dallas-Maui
Band 6: Flights that are 4,001-5,500 miles cost 25,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-Buenos Aires, NYC-Rio de Janeiro, London-Johannesburg
Band 7: Flights that are 5,501-6,500 miles cost 30,000 Avios.
Sample route: NYC-Amman
Band 8: Flights that are 6,501-7,000 miles cost 35,000 Avios.
Sample route: S. Francisco-Hong Kong, JFK-Hong Kong
Band 9: Flights that are 7,001 miles or more cost 50,000 Avios.
Sample route: Los Angeles-Sydney, JFK-Sydney

Be sure to read the BA knowledgebase for tips and tricks to make some flights cheaper.


Other Chase consumer cards you can get at the time as the BA card include the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points, no fee the first year, plus 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), Chase Southwest Visa (through 10/30 you can get 50K signup points and potentially much more, click here to read about it), Chase Freedom (which gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account), and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more).

The Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold business cards both give 50,000 signup points and offer 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and office supply stores, 2 points per dollar for gas and lodging, no foreign exchange fees, free lounge visits, and a waived annual fee for the first year.

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157 Comments on "Chase British Airways Visa Now Free For The First Year"

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Can we do a private message to chase and ask to get our 95$ back for sign up if we joined few months ago?


will chase match the offer and vaive the AF


:( just called them to try to get my fee waived (just opened the card recently) they said “NO” :(


eli, you need to send a secure message for stuff like that.


had this card within last year and cancelled due to annual fee, do you think we can get bonus again?


Which is more valuable, ba avios, southwest airline points or spg points ?


That all depends on your travel patterns but the most valuable point currency is generally considered to be Starwood.

It doesn’t hurt that Starwood can transfer to BA at favorable ratios as well.

And it’s always good to have a variety of points and miles so that you have more options when you’re ready to fly somewhere!


I cancelled a previous BA card about two years ago. Do I still qualify for this offer? I read in the T&C something about only for the first-time card member.


How many Avios is required for CX JFK-YVR?
can i book it online?


Yitz – the answer is in the original post…..always good to read……or use google….or just go to the ba site and look it up yourself…


is it worth a shot trying to call them to ask them to waive the first years fee. I literally opened the card 5 days ago!


jeremy why not read the previous comments and you would know exactly what to do?


Thanks, Dan


Hey Dan, thanks for the detailed write-up…..

Question, I am on the fence of getting the BA card or the Southwest personal and biz cards today…. If you had to choose ? My wife and I have NOT ever applied for either ….

I am guessing you will say get’em all ;)


All miles have their own niches where they excel.

-BA (including the AMEX, Chase, and SPG cards which transfer to it) excels in short-hops that you can book even last-minute for dirt-cheap.
-Southwest (including the Chase UR cards which transfer to it) excels in all domestic tickets for allowing 2 free bags, never having any frustrating capacity controls, and the ability to lock in very low points during a sale or in advance and then being able to cancel for free even on the day of the flight. And the companion pass is one sick deal.
-United (including the Chase UR cards which transfer to it) excels in last minute tickets and business and first class international tickets.
-AA (including the Stsrwood cards which transfer to it) excel in similar areas as United though with a completely different set of partners.
-Hyatt (including the Chase UR cards) excels in very cheap top-tier aspirational hotels.
-Starwood excels in airline transfers and in great 5th night free and other valuable hotel awards though it’s doesn’t have the same value as Hyatt at ultra-high end properties if that’s your thing.

So there’s no easy way for me to tell someone which points to collect or which card to use as it’s really a personal decision and it requires a tailored answer.

Personally I’m sure you know that’s why I collect them all and use 3BM/4BM applications to limit my credit pulls. And that way when I’m ready to travel I have all the options open for me and can book whichever happens to work out best for that trip.

So your guess was a good one :D


Thanks Dan ! You are a guru :)
I really have to think this out. Wife and I just got the AA Citi cards (50k)…. And the clock is ticking on the Southwest deal (annual fee NOT waived)

Would you mind letting me (us) know what the ” 3BM/4BM ” reference means regarding the credit card pulls ?


If you apply for multiple cards from the same bank using different web browsers (3BM=3 browser method) at the same time you increase the odds of instant approval.

Though as long as they’re applied for on the same day you’ll still typically only get 1 pull, though it’s always YMMV.

Good luck!


Thanks a million Dan. I will give it a go, and fill you in ;)


Dan: Seems like BA award tickets can only be booked one at a time. Any advice on getting seats together when booking multiple tickets?


That’s not true.
But if there’s just 1 award seat left on a particular flight then if you search for 2 seats it won’t show up.

Do you have any specific example to the contrary?


Which is the best for traveling to England ?


Did a 3BM (or actually 2 apps on Chrome and 1 app on IE) for Southwest, Ink Bold and Freedom. Got pending on all three. Called reconsideration number for business, and answered 20 questions about business than got approved for Ink Bold. Then called reconsideration for personal cards, and got all sorts of questions about why I applied for 3 cards, what I use all of my other cards for, whether I carry any balances….. Then we negotiated moving around some credit limits from other cards, and the rep got me approved for all three of the cards I applied for. I was surprised how helpful and nice she was about the whole thing. Moral of the story – if you’re not approved immediately, it’s a good idea to call reconsideration right away.


I currently have a one way ticket on American booked through BA avios that I have to cancel, are you saying I will only be charged $2.50 to reinstate my points? That would be awesome I was afraid they were lost


Nonstop AA or United.
Or BA via Dublin on Aer Lingus or Germany on Air Berlin.


Correct, as long as you do it online.


Dan- can the ba card be downgraded to a no annual fee card, after the 1st year?

ba fee

anybody have any luck getting fee removed?


How did you get a flight to TLV for only $82.50 in taxes and surcharges? When I tried to book a trip to Paris with roughly 80K Avios, the surcharges were over $600 using 50K Avios points!


@eli: try with a secure message


@MK: They do charge heavy surcharges on most airlines, but on air berlin they dont, so you can fly to isreal on AB with a stop in germany.


Anyone have info on whether past card holders can get this deal?

Also, Dan, any idea how long this deal will last?


Dan I’m also waiting to hear if a past cardholder can get the bonus. Cancelled my BA card about two years ago. Also if yes, can I use the same membership number when applying? Thanks Dan!


To all peplo that having ? about if Chase will match this offer etc… on DDF you will have a better chance getting ppl’s experience.


@milechazzer and dan

did a 3bm with chase just like milechazzer, but could not get approved for the third card. Chase has this policy about 2 cards per 30 days. Nothing I said helped. Is it bad to get rejected from that third card? Will that affect my credit or was the 3bm a no lose situation?


i had a bank of america credit card. which card should I get that will give me a the most bonus points (that I can sell for cash) and the most points for purchases I make?


@Ben: it may depend on how recently you got your card. I got mine two weeks ago and they gladly waived the fee for me after a simple phone call.


Dan, they DO charge fuel charges for flights within Europe, though they are always capped at around $40


Thank you for your inquiry regarding this British Airways 
credit card account.

We are pleased to confirm that we have honored your 
request to receive the first year annual fee waiver as 
part of your enrollment incentive. We have issued a 
$95.00 annual fee credit, which will appear on the next 
billing statement.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the 
Secure Message Center. 


Dan, do chase cards(like this BA card) have any 12 month policy like amex as far as getting bonus points again for same card within a year? Thanks


got my annual fee waive with a secure message@ba fee: SECURE MESSAGE


@Eli: Ugh, who wants to fly on a German airline?


Dan, I have a BA card which I card over a year ago. If I sign up as sole proprietor will I get the 50K bonus? Would you recommend this over a Chase INK? Do you think I could do both for with one credit pull?


Is this offer open to those who already hold a BA card (not over a year old)?


fee removed via chase sm


what # did you call for personal and business to get the credit transferred over?


Thank you for your inquiry regarding this British Airways
credit card account.

The British Airways enrollment incentive that includes a
waiver of the first year annual fee began on July 18,

Since your account was opened more than two months prior
to this date, we are unable to honor your request to
receive an annual fee waiver. A current British Airways
enrollment incentive can only be applied to an account
within a specific period of time following the account

In order to remain consistent and fair to other British
Airways cardmembers that recently applied, we regret to
inform you that exceptions to the two month timeframe
cannot be made.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause

If you have any further questions, please reply using the
Secure Message Center.



Where did you send your e-mail request?


thanks Dan, got approved for 15K line of credit


What are the reconsideration #s for Chase Sapphire preferred personal and Southwest personal and business?
Would like to try to transfer credit.




Approved for BA, SW, and United after a call to reconsideration, awesome!


I got the same canned response as Moshe. I sent the SM to Credit Cards-> fees interest charges. Is there another department I should be sending it to?


@Dave: how did you get all 3 approved? The rep told me they can max approve 2 apps within 30 days. any tips?


I don’t see the value in Europe with Avios. I tried to book a flight from Zurich—where I stay for several months a year —to Rome —to use my Hilton points at the Cavalieri in October —- and it wasn’t available online and then I called BA and they couldn’t find a flight for several weeks and there was nothing on Iberia or Air Berlin. The flight on a day in October that won’t work for me costs 15,000 Avios each way ( like Miles and More ) and also costs almost $200. So, what is the value and what am I doing wrong because this doesn’t sound right for a one and a half hour flight that costs $230, if available from Swiss and goes direct!!!!!!


i’ve gotten the points on the ba card in 2011 and in 2012.
here’s hoping for 2013 as well.


This is the message that I sent:

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently paid my $95 annual fee on my BA credit card. I realized that you offer this card with the first year free. Please adjust my account accordingly and issue the $95 refund to my account.

Thank you

This the response that I got:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding this British Airways credit card account.

We are pleased to confirm that we have honored your request to receive the first year annual fee waiver as
part of your enrollment incentive. We have issued a $95.00 annual fee credit, which will appear on the next
billing statement.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the Secure Message Center.

Thank you,


I forgot to add that my account was still within the 2 month time frame.


For free…why not?

Zurich to Rome is going to be served by Swiss, a Star Alliance partner, or by Alitalia, a Skyteam partner.

BA is a OneWorld airline so that’s not a route you’ll want to use BA miles for.
OneWorld has Euro hubs in London, Madrid, Helsinki, Moscow, Berlin, and Dusseldorf. Plus Dublin on partner Aer Lingus.
Nonstop flights are generally going to be originating or going to one of those cities.

So for example a flight from London to Paris is just 4,500 Avios plus $27 tax.


can I downgrade th card to a free one after the first year?



Can you give me Info on the 10% cash back with the Chase checking account or a link to a post. Thank so much for everything you do for us less informed.


The old freedom card policy was that you get 10 pts per swipe and 10% pts for amt spent and 1 pt per $1 spent. Meaning if u spend $10 u got 10 pts for the swipe, 1 pt for the 10% and 10 pts for spending $10.
Now the new policy is that u get 1 pt per $1 spent and in January / February u will get an additional 10% of pts for every pt u earned that yr. meaning if u earned 10000 pts that yr u get 1000. Was that clear? Look around for dans better post about it


is it not a good idea to do a 3BM more often then every 3 months even with different banks? is that true that you alternate and do chase then in 3 months amex and so on?


Any idea when this offer ends?
I’d rather wait until I’ve met spend on a few other of my new cards.


i had a bank of america credit card. which card should I get that will give me the most bonus points (that I can sell for cash) and the most points for purchases I make?


Can I turn one of my existing cards (Hyatt, Saphire, United) into a BA card?




I signed up 2 weeks ago with the $95 annual fee. I called them when i got the card to activate it and spoke to a representative and asked for the fee to be waived for the first year because of the new promotion. they said no problem and told me to do the extra spending, its now 2K in 3 months instead of 1K in 3 months and that i should pay the $95 annual fee if it doesn’t disappear from my account by my payment date and that they will credit my account for the $95. Very nice and easy to deal with.


I called customer service as well but they said that since my account became active more than 2 months ago they couldn’t credit me the 95. She did however give me 5000 avios to make up for the 95 dollars.


I often do 3BMs from multiple banks on the same day.
This is called an “app-o-rama” or AOR.

No idea, sorry.

Depends what kind of purchases but maybe just get a Barclays arrival for 2.2% cash back.

Unlikely but call and see.




Dan do you advise applying for this card(for bonus points) if I already had it and closed it in the last 12 months or am I wasting my time getting a credit pull


Congratulations! We’ve approved your application for a credit card from Chase.
We’ll send your new card and complete account information in the mail within the next two weeks.

Once you receive your card, call the number on the sticker right away so you can take advantage of
everything your card has to offer.

Thank you for applying for a Chase credit card. We look forward to serving you.

I had the card a few years ago. I canceled it over a year ago, I think. Still, I got instant approval!


Thanks, Daniel! Saved me $95.
Also got the fee waived with a secure message.


Already gotten the bonus on this card 3 times. It’s much easier since they switched over to Avios. Always smart to open a new account to be safe though.


is it worth the extra 20K BA points to go from USA to Dusseldorf on business compared to economy? is it a much better cabin?


i want to apply for this card and some other chase cards at the same time-
how do i apply for the mastercard version of united mileageplus explorer and chase saphire cards? thanks!!


Got the bonus on this card 2 years ago and got the 50K again now with the same number and everything.

And got the $95 credited back as well.


can i churn if i got the card over 2 years ago

Big Boy

Hey Dan,
I was wondering if you can give an extensive post on 5th freedom flights and explain how to avoid FC on BA from NY in order to maximize the BA companion ticket.I think others (not newbies) would also appreciate it.


hi dan – i signed up for this card and added my wife as an authorized user. does the money she spends on her card go toward the $2000 to get the bonus points?



Applied for BA card last year – received 50K points.
For some reason, I received another 50K on the renewal date.
Yes – I demoted my card to avoid the annual fee


How long on average till the miles are credited to the BA account after the minimum threshold is met?
I need to fly to UK in 2 months, and was wondering if these miles would make it to my BA acct on time.



Yes they should.


Just FYI – BA charges hefty fuel charges for cross-atlantic flights. United might be better option if focusing on points.


I have a personal Starwoods, and own a business. do you suggest opening the business starwoods to spend on, instead of my personal – or this card above?
does spending on my personal affect my credit score? its always paid on time…


I was going to use Aer Lingus, which connecting in Dublin, and doesn’t have fuel charges according do Dan’s post:


I live in the UK, and have a US bank account, and wanted to know if its possible to get a USD credit card even though i don’t have a SSN?
If i can get one, which would earn the most avios?


@Dan: do you mean that you do 3BMs from one bank and another 3BMs from a different banks on the same day? do the banks see the credit pull from the other bank?


Is there a BA card that allows you free baggage?


hey dan thanks for everything.i jumped the gun and got an spg card and a ba card b4 the new updates do u think i could get them to (ba)cancel first year fee and spg get 5k extra points bonus i would call and try but rather not waste my time (these calls usely take a while) if u could just give me a quick answer it would be much appreciated.thanks a ton


sorry should have read the whole blog first but i only got one answer that u could waive the ba fee but what about pushing the starwoods card for the extra 5k points thanks


DAN, I had a ba card and cancelled well over a year ago can i get bonus again now?


Can someone please explain to me how I can go about getting my yearly fee waived. I also recently signed up for the ba card. Am I messed over because of this 2 month cut off?

Avios Fan

Got the bonus on this card back in 2011 but canceled it after a year.
Applied a few weeks ago, spend the $2,000 and the points have already posted.


I heard that they are stopping travel to Toronto. Dd you hear anything?


Lol, you should stop listening to whoever told you that.


If i have a chase card i need to cancel is it worth it to call up to apply and have them move the credit limit over or should i apply online and call reconsideration right away?


@Dan ,Just got new card says its not a visa signature. It’s called a visa airline. Do you know any differences. Thanks



Can you get the 50k bonus twice, they closed my account in error so I reapplied for a 2nd card and was approved then they reopened my old account. Now that I have two would I get the 50k bonus twice?

Thanks Dan!

challah baker

Aer Lingus has no availability now for the dates I want. Do they open up more seats closer? (trying to get to London but its a fortune, even with points)
Also, on a different topic, which convertible car seats do you recommend? For every day use, not traveling.


dan, you write that aer lingus flies to ireland for 12500, on ba’s site flights to dublin are 20000, so is it more or less than 3000 miles?

Challa Lover

BA says miles expire 18 months from when posted to account.
is it true for BM? Transferred from UR?

Tried to book AA for short USA haul. transferred to BA ac. then found AA avilable for close date is ONLY with a connection, which makes it into 2 ba flights, costing similar to AA miles if use AA account directly. now miles are hostage at 18 mo expiration…


Probably none that matter.

@challah baker:
How do you know they have no availability?

The Chicco NextFit convertible carseat is excellent.

From Boston it’s 12.5K, from NYC via Boston it’s 17K, from NYC nonstop it’s 20K.

@Challa Lover:
Where does it say anything of the sort??

BA miles are good for 36 months and every time you earn or redeem 1 mile your entire account is extended by 36 more months.

Challa Lover

so 1 mile used re-start new count on all in ac?

do u agree once it has a connection in US, it takes 4500+7500 miles, which doesnt save much over AA? (AND AA 10% back)