Update: These 100K card offers will end on 6/30!
It’s also worth noting that as of today, you can use the BA Travel Together Ticket for 50% off the Avios required for a solo passenger for a BA flight departing from and returning to the US. Previously it was only valid to bring along a companion for 0 Avios, plus taxes and fuel surcharges, but now it is valid for effectively 50% off the Avios for 1 or 2 passengers.
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Previously these cards required $20,000 in spending in order to earn the full 100,000 bonus Avios!
There is a $95 annual fee, though the signup bonus is worth well more than that.
Signup bonus terms:
- Chase British Airways: You won’t get the signup bonus on this card if you have received a signup bonus on a Chase British Airways card within the past 24 months or currently have a Chase British Airways card.
- Chase Aer Lingus: You won’t get the signup bonus on this card if you have received a signup bonus on a Chase Aer Lingus card within the past 24 months or currently have a Chase Aer Lingus card.
- Chase Iberia: You won’t get the signup bonus on this card if you have received a signup bonus on a Chase Iberia card within the past 24 months or currently have a Chase Iberia card.
You can get the bonus and have all 3 of these cards.
Typically, Chase cards are be subject to 5/24 restrictions, meaning that you are not likely to be approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Note that the Chase system automatically counts cards like authorized user cards and store cards as cards that count towards 5/24, but if you explain to Chase that those cards are merely authorized user cards or store cards they can manually approve you for a new card.
However there have been many reports of 5/24 rules being waived for co-brand consumer cards like these.
You can check your credit report for free at the federally authorized annualcreditreport.com to check how many accounts are shows as being open in the past 24 months.
- 1 Avios per dollar everywhere.
- 3 Avios per dollar on hotels within 12 months of account opening, then 2 Avios per dollar afterward.
- 5 Avios per dollar on Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus purchases.
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
BA Travel Together Ticket:
If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the British Airways card you will receive a Travel Together Ticket valid for two years when you redeem Avios for a flight on British Airways in any class of service. With this ticket you can bring a companion along on a BA flight from the US and back to the US without paying any Avios. Taxes and fuel surcharges apply.
Iberia $1,000 Discount Voucher:
If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the Iberia card you will receive a $1,000 discount voucher towards 2 tickets on the same Iberia flight.
Aer Lingus Companion Ticket:
If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the Aer Lingus card you will receive a companion ticket good when booking a paid economy Aer Lingus ticket.
You’ll need to spend $5,000 on this card within 3 months.
You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee. If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.
My local natural gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay.
British Airways Avios Award Chart:
Here is the BA Avios award chart for partner airlines that I’ve put together (as BA still hasn’t published it) for flying on a single partner airline:
|1 (Flights that don't touch the USA)
|1 (Flights to, from, or within the USA)
Fuel Surcharge Rebate:
- Chase British Airways Cardholders get 3 rebates per year for taxes and fees on one-way or round-trip BA flights from the US.
- The rebate will be automatic on the first 3 qualifying reservations that you make per calendar year.
- The flight may include a partner airline as long as British Airways operates the transatlantic portion of the flight.
- The rebate is capped at $200 in business or first class or $100 in economy or premium economy.
- The credit is per reservation, so you’ll want to book passengers on separate reservations to maximize the benefit.
- The rebate will be capped at $200 in business or first class or $100 in economy or premium economy.
- The statement credit will post within 45 days of the booking.
Sample Avios uses:
- 6,000 Avios is enough for a one-way short-haul ticket from Iguazu Falls-Sao Paulo, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, Hong Kong to Taiwan, and Melbourne to Sydney.
- 7,500 Avios is enough for a one-way short-haul ticket between New York and places like Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, Pittsburgh, or Toronto, or between Miami and the Bahamas or Cancun or Palm Springs to San Francisco.
- 9,000 Avios is enough for a one-way short-haul ticket between New York and places like Bermuda, Chicago, Miami, or Orlando, or between Denver to Seattle or LA and Cabo on OneWorld partners Alaska or American.
- 11,000 Avios is enough for a one-way flight between Chicago and LA, Detroit to Seattle, Hong Kong to Singapore, or JFK to Cancun.
- 13,000 Avios is enough for a one-way flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands, Seattle to Kauai, Seattle to Cancun, Chicago to Anchorage, or JFK to Los Angeles.
- 20,750 Avios is enough for a one-way flight between Dallas and Hawaii or New York and London (though you’ll be hit with fuel surcharges for crossing the Atlantic on most airlines).
- 25,750 Avios is enough for a one-way flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina.
- 36,250 Avios is enough for a one-way flight between the US and Hong Kong in coach. Note that Hong Kong is an exception route and routes like JFK-Hong Kong are charged as a zone 8 award even if it should be a zone 9 award.
BA’s new A350 business class suite can be found on routes like London-Tel Aviv:
You can also transfer transfer BA Avios to Iberia. You can combine Avios via this link via the BA site. Sometimes that link doesn’t work so you can also try this link on the Iberia site to combine points.
You can save Avios on some routes by with Iberia Avios. Iberia’s awards start at 11K Avios round-trip. Iberia also runs sweet award promos. However Iberia partner awards are not changeable or cancellable, so you’ll typically want to use British Airways Avios to book partner award travel.
About British Airways Avios:
In 2011 BA launched the Avios program and it provides a great value for short-haul flights. Unfortunately their domestic OneWorld partner, American, has been stingy with award availability since they merged with USAirways, but there are still bargains to be had. You can also now book Alaska Airlines awards on BA.com.
- There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.
- Earning or redeeming any amount of Avios extends your entire account validity for another 36 months.
- You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lesser of $55 or the taxes you paid. That means you pay just $5.60 to cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and you always should book 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.
- BA.com does not display all available awards, so you’ll have to call BA sometimes to book an award.
- I’ve booked dozens of short-haul tickets using Avios for travel on American. A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days. That means you can get a value of 8 cents per mile.
Avoiding fuel surcharges:
- There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American within the Western Hemisphere. Flights start at 7,500 Avios plus $5.60.
- Alaska flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide, these flights can only be booked over the phone.
- LATAM flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. Many of their flights can only be booked over the phone.
- Flights within Australia, Europe, Japan, and many other countries and regions have little to no fuel surcharges.
- There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within or from Australia.
- Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also very low or non-existent.
- You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios
- 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.
- As long as you have earned a single Avios within the past 12 months then fuel surcharges for intra-Europe and intra-Africa flights will be very low. You can transfer points from AMEX, Chase, or Marriott to activate that benefit.
Will you signup for the Chase British Airways card?