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British Airways Visa Signature® Card Earn Miles Toward International Flight

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Editors Note: This offer is no longer available. It’s never completely safe to sign up for a credit card due only to its initial bonus. Many cards entice customers by offering a decent cash back bonus, then turn around and charge a high annual fee with a ridiculous interest rate. Before you know it, you’re saddled with thousands of dollars of debt, merchandise you never needed, and no way to pay it off. But every once in a while a credit card offers something too good to pass up, if you’re the intended audience. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card 100,000 bonus mile opportunity may be that offer.

British Airways Visa Signature(R) Card (Private)Bonus miles are only as good as the rewards program that defines its redemption. In the grand scheme of things, 100,000 miles can mean absolutely nothing if an airline requires 20 million miles to qualify for a free flight. In the British Airways family, 100,000 miles is meaningful. This big bonus comes in two distributions: first, the airline awards 50,000 miles after making your first purchase with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, and later, you’ll receive another 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 during the first three months.

Once you have your 100,000 miles, you have a few options.

  • Option 1. Most consumers are more likely to use these miles for domestic flights. Although this is a British Airways credit card, cardholders can use the miles by flying with American Airlines, a partner airline. With 100,000 miles, you can fly for free more than once, depending on class and destination. I estimate that the value of this, in terms of estimated savings, is about $1,000.
  • Option 2. The miles could be worth more if you use them for traveling abroad. British Airways allows you to redeem your 100,000 miles for two, round-trip transatlantic flights to Europe Zone 1. You will fly economy class and you will still need to pay the taxes for each ticket, which could be about $300. I estimate using miles for this travel could save about $2,500.
  • Option 3. Rather than fly economy, why not fly in style? You can redeem 100,000 miles for one business class flight to any Europe Zone 1 location. Even with the expected expense for taxes, the potential savings are significant. For example, a business class flight from San Diego to most any United Kingdom location runs more than $5,000.

Europe Zone 1 includes Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Not only does the British Airways Visa Signature® Card provide a monster sign-up bonus, but it also has a decent rewards program. Cardholders earn miles for every purchase, with a two-tier structure:

  1. 2.5 miles for every dollar spent on British Airways flights
  2. 1.25 miles for every dollar spent on all other purchases

There is no introductory offer associated with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card from Chase. The purchase APR is 14.24% variable, depending on the your credit history and quality. Unfortunately, Chase charges an annual fee of $95 to own this card. Considering the big up-front bonus and a free companion ticket every year you renew your membership, the annual fee doesn’t hurt the overall value of the credit card for anyone prepared to take advantage of this offer. In the best case scenario, it would take more than 70 years of being a member before the cost of annual fees surpass the value of the sign-up bonus. In the worst case scenario, anything’s possible, but with 100,000 miles to start with, the annual fee is nothing more than a nuisance.

Writing about credit cards for quite a while, I can honestly say the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers potentially one of the biggest credit card bonuses ever. If you’re planning a trip abroad this year or next and are looking at ways to make the vacation a lot less expensive, consider the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. The 100,000 mile bonus is unbeatable.

This offer has expired as of May 6, 2011.

Updated June 17, 2016 and originally published April 14, 2011.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Ceecee

Still don’t like annual fees. Don’t want to encourage cards that charge them. I guess this is okay for a frequent traveler, but not for those who travel by rail and auto. I’ll pass.

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avatar 2 wylerassociate

this visa card is only good if you’re a regular traveler on american airlines & british airways. If I was a regular traveler to europe (and i wish i was) then I would be using this British Airways Visa Card.

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avatar 3 Anonymous

Good Post.

HOWEVER, when the year is up, and they want another annual fee – CANCEL THE CARD.

Then reapply and get the BONUS all over again. I have done this about 5 times with the Chase United Credit card. My wife and I are flying FIRST CLASS to Japan in MAY – THANKS CHASE!!!!!

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avatar 4 skylog

wow, i can’t believe they do not prohibit this activity. also, as i am sure you are aware your credit report is getting hit with those hard pulls each time. there is a trade off, but i have to tell you, first class to japan is a pretty nice trade.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

david M,
Doesn’t Chase prohibit you from taking advantage of the same offer on the same card within a year or so of cancelling? Are there any restrictions that prevent the strategy you mention?

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avatar 6 Anonymous

Chase has never prohibited this SO FAR. I canceled the United Card after one year at the beginning of March. Last week I applied again and was approved – my new card is in the mail.

Each credit card company is different – Amex will only give you the full bonus once. Then each other time the send you the card you will get only 5,000 instead of 25,000 points (Delta Card).

I got the Citi American Airlines card twice with full bonus. Since then, they now say you will only get the bonus once. I have applied 2 more times and been rejected.

The only restrictions is that you need to pay off the card so that you can cancel it.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

This is the second time BA has offered a huge bunch of mileage for signing up for their card. I have to wonder how easy it is to find a FF seat on one of their flights.

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avatar 8 Anonymous


The above link is to 2 companies that will book you trips for a SMALL fee – $150 for 1 ticket or $250 for 2 tickets. I just used 1 of these companies for my upcoming trip. It was the BEST money I ever spent. We are flying to Japan on Luftansa in First Class and back to the US on ANA in business class. If you price up the 2 tickets it would be $49,500! Thus the $250 and 270,000 FFM is an absolute bargain.

If they are unable to get you tickets – you pay nothing!

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