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British Airways Credit Card Review

British Airways Credit Card Review

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This article was last updated Jun 13, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

 

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Over the Past 60 Days!

  • Earn up to 100,000 Avios*

  • Earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases*

  • 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases*

Highlights
  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
  • Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

See additional details for British Airways Visa Signature® Card

More Info

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card lets you earn Avios that can be used for rewards on both the carrier and its global airline partners. If you travel regularly on the UK flag carrier, the money you spend on the card can translate into myriad options when it comes to booking reward travel.

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card’s sign-up bonus allows new cardmembers to Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

If you travel regularly on British Airways or its partners under the International Airlines Group banner, this card could be a good option. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers higher Avios per $1 spent on flights and flight-related services than other airlines, plus you get access to flights operated under the oneworld alliance.

But the Avios you earn with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card are lower in important categories like non-airline travel, dining and gas. And if you don’t fly British Airways regularly, you may want to consider either another airline-branded card like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or a travel-branded card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Where the British Airways Visa Signature® Card stands out in its category

A big draw for this card is getting the Travel Together Ticket, which is good for two years. It allows you to bring a companion in the same cabin — even in first class — after spending $30,000 a year and booking a flight with your Avios. You can earn up to 20 Avios per $1 spent by shopping online at the Avios eStore, which features more than 400 retailers including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Apple and eBay.

If you travel regularly on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, LEVEL and OpenSkies, the 3 Avios per $1 spent on those carriers is better than other airlines, which tend to be in the 1-2 points per $1 spent range. When it’s time to redeem your Avios for flights, you can not only use them on British Airways, but you also get access to its 13 partner airlines in oneworld alliance.

You can use a mix of Avios and cash to pay for your British Airways flights. Redeem Avios for hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages and airport parking, or use them for premium cabin upgrades on select paid tickets on British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines.

The card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which can save you money if you travel regularly and use this card outside the country. Your Avios don’t expire as long as there’s activity on your British Airways Executive Club account for 36 consecutive months.

Where the British Airways Visa Signature® Card falls short in its category

New cardmembers have to jump over three hurdles in order to earn the sign-up bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.

If you were hoping that the Avios you earn on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card card would help you get status on the carrier, that won’t happen. And Avios earned in this program won’t be credited toward British Executive Club tier level status.

Unlike other airline-branded cards, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card doesn’t offer you travel-related perks like discounts on redeeming Avios for flights, priority check-in and boarding, a free checked bag, airline lounge access, in-flight discounts or access to a concierge.

You have to pay the taxes, fees and carrier charges on your Travel Together Ticket. For example, a flight from Seattle to London comes up to approximately $682-$1250 in taxes and fees per adult in economy or $1,250 in business class. That’s a bargain for business class, but you might be able to buy an economy  ticket cheaper, depending on the city pair and the time of year the flight is booked.

When booking Avios reward travel, British Airways flights get priority. You’ll only see partner airline availability if you include them as part of your search. You can only book with partners if British Airways doesn’t fly to that destination or it doesn’t have seat availability.

Additional card benefits

  • Decline the rental company’s collision insurance, charge the entire rental cost to your card and you’ll be covered for theft and collision damage.
  • Baggage delay insurance reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays that are more than six hours up to $100 a day, for three days.
  • Purchase protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement covers you and your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags for up to $3,000 per passenger if they’re damaged or lost by an airline.
  • Extended warranty protection adds another year to a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • Access to Above & Beyond, which offers events and exclusive experiences for cardmembers.

Compare it with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

 

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Over the Past 60 Days!

  • Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*

  • Free Checked Bag & Preferred Boarding

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*

Highlights
  • For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • New: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • New: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • New: Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*

See additional details for Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

More Info

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a natural alternative to the British Airways Visa Signature® Card card, especially if American Airlines is your carrier of choice. They are not only members of the oneworld airline alliance, but they are also joint venture partners on flights between the U.S. and Europe, giving both cardholders more opportunities to redeem their miles.

New cardmembers get a Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening* . While this isn’t as good as the bonus Avios you can earn with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you also don’t have to jump through hoops to get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®’s sign-up bonus. That bonus is enough to get a round-trip economy class ticket to the Caribbean.

Once you have the card, you earn Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*. Although the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers more Avios for airline-related spending, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers more points in the popular restaurants and gas categories.

Cardmembers get a $100 flight discount on American Airlines after spending $20,000 or more during your card year and when you renew it. You and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation get priority boarding and a free checked bag on domestic flights. You also get a 25% discount on in-flight purchases.

You can’t transfer your AAdvantage® miles to other airline or hotel loyalty programs, but you can use them on the other 13 carriers in oneworld® alliance, along with 22 hotel partners and 12 car rental partners.

You can make your miles go further when redeeming them for flights using American Airlines’ Reduced Mileage Awards program. This program allows cardmembers to redeem miles for 7,500 miles round-trip or 3,750 one way in the MileSAAver category to select destinations every other month.

There’s no maximum number of AAdvantage® miles you can earn on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, and miles don’t expire as long as you earn or redeem miles once every 18 months.

But this card isn’t perfect. It doesn’t give you a way to earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) to help get status on American Airlines and there’s no access to the Admirals Club airport lounge. If you book travel with the $100 flight discount and then either cancel or change the flight, you lose the $100.

You can’t transfer your miles to other airline or hotel loyalty programs, but you can redeem them on American’s oneworld carrier and hotel partners.

After you get the card’s sign-up bonus, you don’t have other ways to earn more bonus miles. And this card doesn’t offer the travel, rental car and retail perks available with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and other airline-branded cards. You can only book Reduced Mileage Awards travel by calling American Airlines reservations or by visiting airport or city ticket centers. Either way, you’ll be charged a $35 service charge per person for bookings.

When it comes to choosing a card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® gets the edge for several reasons. It has a simple sign-up bonus — Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening* — and you don’t have to jump through hoops to get it. It has higher points per $1 spent for gas and dining. You get perks like a free checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to four travel companions on the same reservation, along with a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases. And there are no limits on the miles you can earn, and they don’t expire as long as you redeem them once every 18 months.

 

British Airways Visa Signature® Card Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Annual Fee $95 $99, waived for first 12 months*
Regular Purchase APR 17.74% - 24.74% Variable 17.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Rewards Earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
Sign-Up Bonus Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Foreign Transaction Fee $0 0%

 

 


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