6th Update 4/26/13: a 50,000 with $1,000 version of this is now out. See details here.
5th Update 1/31/13: this is gone again!
4th Update 12/5/12: this is back again! Go here to apply.
3rd Update 7/17/12: this is gone again!
2nd Update 4/12/12: this is back! The new version of this offer is 50k miles at signup, 25k add’l after $10k in spend and a second 25k add’l after $20k in spend. The spending thresholds are higher but you now have one year versus three months.
Update 5/6/11: the link is no longer working. Congrats to those of you who signed up. Enjoy your trips! Leave a comment with how things went.
You can now earn 100,000 British Airways miles, redeemable for two economy tickets or one Club World (business class) ticket from the US to Europe, when you apply for the British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase via this link and charge $2,500 to the card within 3 months.
British Airways is nice. Their service and offering (food, wine, etc.) is much better than what you’d get from a US domestic carrier. Club World is even nicer with lie-flat sleeper seats, fine wine, gourmet meals, 10″ TV, desk, power for your laptop and a touch-button privacy screen.
A Club World ticket means access to 70 BA airport lounges worldwide plus 170 partner lounges. Indulge with free food, drinks, wifi and complimentary fine wines.
At New York JFK or Heathrow, refresh in one of their shower suites, get a complimentary massage in their travel spa or watch a movie in the 20-seat cinema.
How much is this worth?
Well, I just priced out two Economy (it’s “World Traveler” on BA) tickets from Chicago to Rome in June on BA through London Heathrow. They were $2,132 each or $4,264 total. One business (Club World) ticket was $4,832.
If you want to push it, an exotic destination like the Maldives that would cost 90,000 miles in Economy for one ticket or 180,000 in Club World currently costs $10,120 or $14,148, respectively in June from Chicago.
Yes, a $10,120 round-the-world plane ticket to the Maldives can be yours with very little effort!
How about TWO free business class tickets to Europe?
If you spend $30k in one year you’ll earn a Travel Together voucher, valid for a free companion ticket in conjunction with any reward flight on BA taken within 2 years from the date of issue. This means that you can redeem your 100,000 mile bonus (and any additional miles you’ve accrued) and get two tickets for the amount listed on the BA award chart.
Yes, $30k is a high hurdle so this is not for everyone. That said, when you start to count utilities, cell phones, groceries, etc, it might look more reasonable.
It is very important to note that in the grand scheme of “companion” air promos, this one is real whereas most are not worth the hassle.
Your account will see 50,000 miles about 6-8 weeks after your first purchase using the card. When you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days of having the card, the other 50,000 will post to your account.
Since BA is a member of OneWorld Alliance, you can easily book flights on partners like American Airlines, Iberia, LAN, Qantas, Cathay, and more. Round trip domestic trips (except to HI) are typically 25,000 miles via American, so this bonus in all gets you enough for 4 such trips.
You can also pool up to 6 people’s miles into a household account, which can be especially useful for group trips. Yes, there is no reason not to get both yourself and your spouse/significant other a card.
Normal use of the card earns you 1.25 miles per $1 spent, a very attractive ratio equivalent to the Amex Starwood and better than 1:1 airline cards like the Citi American AAdvantage Visa. It’s fair to say that the Chase British Airways Visa is a worthy rewards card in it’s own right, bonus or not.
This card has a $95 annual fee and there in no fee waiver with this app. There is no foreign exchange fee, which is relatively rare (most are at least 1%) and great when travelling. It has a very average 14.24% APR on balances.
Of note: British Airways adds fuel charges in addition to the standard airport taxes and fees often associated with award travel. Since most airlines do not, there is a bit of sticker shock when you see the fees they tack on. Flights through Heathrow are particularly painful with charges into the hundreds of dollars. To me, it doesn’t significantly reduce the value of 100,000 BA miles but it is annoying.
Here is the active link to the application.
Here are two posts also on this topic:
For more great travel deals, see our sister site TravelHacks.com!