It’s not often that credit cards offer 100,000 bonus points. Usually, they set the limit at 50,000, 60,000 or 70,000 rewards points. That is why heads turned when Chase recently increase the bonus offer to 100,000 Avios for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card as it is double their normal offer. But is it the best 100k travel card offer?
How to Earn 100,000 Avios with the British Airways Visa
First off, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offer is tiered. To earn the 100,000 bonus Avios, you need to hit three different spending targets with the first year of ownership.
- Earn your first 50,000 Avios by spending $3,000 in the first three months
- An additional 25,000 Avios are awarded after spending $10,000 in the first year (75,000 Avios)
- Final bonus of 25,000 Avios is awarded after spending $20,000 in the first year (100,000 Avios)
The first spending target of 50,000 Avios is the normal bonus offer for the British Airways Visa. The second two spending targets are identical to the same offer Chase offered for this card back in 2013. Even though it has been a few years since travelers have seen this offer, Chase didn’t increase the spending requirements.
You will qualify for this offer if you haven’t owned this credit card within the most recent 24 months. And, it doesn’t appear that this card is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule meaning you will likely be approved if you have received at least five new credit cards within the same 24-month time period.
Can You Use 100,000 Bonus Avios?
While the ability to earn 100,000 Avios just by signing up for a new credit card is awesome and worthy of any traveler’s consideration. You need to decide if the bonus points are worth it.
After all, each credit card application means your future applications for Chase credit cards like the Sapphire Preferred or Southwest credit cards might be denied because they are subject to the 5/24 rule.
Secondly, you need to spend $20,000 in 12 months to get all 100,000 Avios. If all that money is spent on British Airways flights, you will earn an additional 60,000 Avios in purchases rewards as the card earn three Avios per $1 spent on purchases from British Airways, OpenSkies, and Iberia. Otherwise, you only earn one point per dollar spent on non-British Airways purchases.
While the British Airways award chart has been recently devalued, there are still a few travel sweet spots that allow you to easily use your 100,000 British Airways Avios.
The British Airways award chart is distance based and they also have a penchant for adding expensive fuel surcharges to long-haul flights. But, you can avoid those extra fees and find cheap flights when you fly on American Airlines which is a British Airways partner.
For 7,500 Avios plus $5, you can fly one-way on American (or other domestic air carriers) within the United States. Some of the routes you can fly for this price are San Francisco to L.A., Chicago to Charlotte, and even Austin to Chicago.
U.S. West Coast to Hawaii
Another possibility is flying from the U.S. west coast to Hawaii. British Airways doesn’t fly there but American and Alaska airlines do. One-way flights start at 12,500 Avios plus $5.07 in taxes and fees. This means you can get a round-trip ticket for 25,000 Avios and $10 in taxes & fees for an economy ticket.
Using the Avios calculator can help you determine the Avios necessary if you also need to add a connecting flight.
International Short Haul Flights
Another way to maximize the value of your bonus Avios is flying international short-haul flights of 750 miles or less when you fly internationally. You might take a domestic carrier like American or United across the ocean without getting stuck with the stiff BA fees. These fees can be as much as $682 in economy or $1,250 for first class. They might be worth the trade off if you can get the Travel Together ticket by spending $30,000 on your British Airways Visa in a year.
To “country hop” you can fly other British Airways or its partner carriers for 4,000 Avios in the off-season. Base fares during the peak-season start at 4,500 Avios which is also very reasonable.
You might use this method to visit several countries within Europe like traveling from London to Dublin. Or, in the Pacific to travel from Hong Kong to Thailand.
Other 100,000 Point Credit Card Offers
Right now, there aren’t any other 100,000 point credit offers available. The most recent one was for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier. That offer has since downsized to 80,000 points and you only have to spend $3,000 total. Marriott’s 80,000 point offer is still one of the strongest travel rewards offers available. And, possibly the best offer for hotel rewards credit cards.
While 100,000 Marriott points are nothing to laugh at, as you can get anywhere from two to five luxurious nights in some of their finest properties in the country and across the world, hotel points simply aren’t as valuable as most airline rewards points.
With most hotel rewards programs, you are doing good to get a redemption value of 0.5 cents to 1 cent per redeemed point. Many airline miles, including Avios, can be worth anywhere from 1 to 2 cents per mile on most routes.
Marriott has some nice perks with their rewards program as you can get the 5th night free after redeeming points for the first four nights. And, you get one free anniversary night at any category 1-5 hotels. Plus, you have more possibilities to earn bonus points from Marriot and Starwood stays (5 points per $1), and also for dining, car rental agencies, and airfare purchased directly from the carrier (2 points per $1).
If you plan to use Marriott more than British Airways and their travel partners, the Marriott would be the better option. Especially if you can only “afford” one credit card application at the moment. And, you get a free anniversary night each year which can be well worth the annual fee if it the Marriott Rewards Premier is only a secondary credit card.
The Best 100k Credit Card Offer
While each traveler has different tastes, the British Airways Visa 100k offer is probably the best offer currently available. You do need to spend $20,000 in the first year to get all 100,000 Avios, so it is by no means a “cheap offer” but the bonus Avios can save your thousands of dollars in airfare when you choose the right routes.
Offers like the Marriott Rewards Premier, Amex Delta credit cards, and Hilton credit cards are also very lucrative and you should consider these offers too, but, there are many domestic and international travel possibilities with the British Airways Visa where you can get a value of one to two cents per Avios and only pay $5 in fees.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.