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There’s no tip-toeing around the fact that Chase has a lot of great rewards credit cards. Choosing the best Chase credit card can be downright difficult, especially for those just starting out. Is it better to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs British Airways Credit card? Let’s take a look.
Best Sign-Up Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs British Airways Credit Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is known as one of the best Chase credit cards for a reason. It comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Not bad at all.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
Those 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points are a nice haul. They are good for statement credits or cash back (not that I would recommend using your UR points this way). Or you can get even more value by transferring your points out to travel partners. More on this later.
The British Airways Visa comes with a sign-up bonus of earning 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Then, if cardholders spend $20,000 on purchases within a year of account opening, they can earn an additional 50,000 Avios. This is a total of 100,000 Avios.
Cardholders earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways. They earn 1 Avios for all other purchases. With 50,000 Avios, cardholders can get 10 low-level one-way tickets at the cheapest Avios booking rate of 4,500 miles (4,000 if they are off-peak), or a round-trip ticket from Boston to Dublin in business class. But more on the value of Avios later.
You can do a lot with 100,000 British Airways Avios. This is a tough call, as both cards have some of the best credit card offers 2019. I’m going to go with the British Airways Visa since you can currently earn up to 100k Avios.
Winner: British Airways Visa Signature® Card (Learn more: Airline Credit Cards)
Best Spending Benefits
The British Airways Visa earns 1x Avios on all purchases. I love earning more than 1x per $1, but 1x doesn’t get me too excited. However, you will get 3x Avios per $1 spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level purchases. You also earn 2x Avios per $1 spent on hotels accommodations.
If you book a British Airways flight that originates in the U.S., you’ll get 10% off (as long as you book by March 31, 2020).
There is an additional spending bonus with the British Airways Visa. Every calendar year that you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket, good for two years.
The Travel Together Ticket lets you bring a companion for free on an award ticket. Well, kind of free. You will still have to pay the taxes and fees on the award ticket. We all know those can be hefty on BA, but still, a great value if you’re traveling in a premium cabin.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel. I said it before, but man do I spend a lot on dining & travel, so it’s nice to know there’s a card with a built-in perk for those purchases. All other purchases will earn 1 point. Other Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include travel protections and the ability to transfer all the points you’re earning.
I think the British Airways Travel Together Ticket offers some great value, but not everyone will want to spend $30,000 in a calendar year. I gotta go with the Sapphire Preferred and its 2x spending bonus on dining and travel that is not limited to specific airlines.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best Perks Chase Sapphire Preferred or British Airways Visa?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa are both chip & signature cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. This makes them an attractive option when you’re traveling abroad. Both of these cards made our best credit cards for international travel list.
Also, both cards are Visa Signature cards, which I’ve written about before here.
Visa Signature benefits are additional benefits you can receive for travel, movie tickets, dining, or special occasions. You can check out the Visa Signature page here. The Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa pretty much even each other out here.
Best Points — Ultimate Rewards or Avios?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns uber valuable Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred out to many top tier travel programs.
You can use them for international travel on United, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, and yes, British Airways. Cardholders can also fly to Europe by transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to United in economy for 60,000 miles.
You can fly domestically with your UR points by transferring to Southwest, British Airways (AA), Virgin Atlantic (Virgin America) or United. I prefer to use my Ultimate Rewards points for domestic flights through Southwest or British Airways (actually fly AA).
And there are many hotel chains that you can transfer your points to, including Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG. I prefer Hyatt, but that’s because I have elite status with them.
And of course, you can also use your Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits or cash back, but I wouldn’t suggest using them in that way, mainly because you can get more value by redeeming for award travel (plus this is a travel site, after all).
Ultimate Rewards points can be combined with household member accounts, and if you hold multiple Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. I do. Combining and transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners is easy.
The British Airways Visa earns Avios. I love Avios, and since Membership Rewards & Ultimate Reward points transfer to British Airways, it’s easy to top off your account. I love having a couple of options to top off my points balance.
The British Airways loyalty program is distance-based. That means the longer the distance of the flight, the more you will pay in miles and in fuel surcharges/taxes. Gross. Flying in First Class and Business Class can be worth the fees, but that’s not for everyone. However, there are definitely some gems.
For example, you can fly to Dublin from Boston in business class for 25,000 Avios one-way, or 12,500 in economy. Smoking. You can also avoid the hefty fuel surcharges by flying air Berlin. And then there’s Iberia. You can combine your British Airways Avios with Iberia Avios to book a flight. And Iberia will sometimes have fare sales like earlier in the year when you could book a one-way business class ticket to Spain for 20,000 Avios!
So you do have some options with Avios to fly long distance and avoid their fees. But don’t forget about their short-haul gems, both domestically and internationally. I’d have taken advantage of these gems many times. Domestically, you will actually be flying American Airlines and US Airways once the merger is complete with American. I always look to British Airways Avios first when I need a domestic flight.
We have also jaunted across intra-Europe with Avios. Last year, after going to Dublin, we hopped over to London for 4,500 and $30 each. That’s not bad at all. Almost felt bad about that redemption. And on our current trip, we’ve used Avios to hop to Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid.
Avios vs Ultimate Rewards
The fact that Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to British Airways and many other programs obviously gives it the edge here. But the British Airways loyalty program is one of my favorites for its redemptions and because you can top it off with Membership Rewards (lower redemption rate) and Ultimate Rewards points.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Conclusion of Chase Sapphire Preferred vs British Airways Credit Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa are both great card offerings from Chase bank, but if I could only choose one, I would have to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Ultimate Rewards points are just too darn flexible.
I could see the British Airways Visa being more attractive if you’re a big spender, so you can take advantage of the Travel Together Ticket, but I understand that’s probably a small market. Also, the sign-up bonus is higher with the British Airways card, so if you had a specific BA redemption in mind, then it could make sense to choose it over the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
My wife and I both have had these cards, and they have actually worked quite well together. It’s hard to go wrong with these two cards. I hope this helps if you’ve been on the fence about applying for either card.
Learn more: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn more about the British Airways Visa Signature® Card: Airline Credit Cards
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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.