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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 two different spending targets with the first year of ownership. Earn 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 Avios after spending $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
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, Aer Lingus, Level, 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 in Europe like traveling from London to Dublin. Or, in the Pacific to travel from Hong Kong to Thailand.
While each traveler has different tastes, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card 100k offer is probably one of the best offers 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.
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.
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 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
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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.