Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card Review (Updated 2016)
The British Airways Visa Signature card is a very attractive travel reward credit card. You get rewarded for your purchases with British Airways, and also receive some great bonuses that offer a lot of value. This article will provide in depth review on this card to help you decide if this card is for you.
Our Favourite Things About The British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Earn 50 000 bonus Avios points: new cardmembers can receive 50 000 bonus Avois points after spending their first $2000 with the card within 3 months of card opening. These are enough points for you to book a flight from the U.S.A. to certain Europe destinations. The only catch to this is you will have to pay for all the fees and taxes yourself. The flights are also subject to availability.
- Earn an additional 25 000 bonus Avios points: You will be awarded another 25 000 Avios points when you spent $10 000 on purchases with the card. Furthermore, you will earn another 25 000 bonus Avios points after you spent $20 000 in purchases in your first year of card opening. The means you can earn a total of 100 000 bonus Avion points if you spent $20 000 in your first year with the card. Yes, some people won’t spend $20 000, but for the people who travel to Europe often, they will spend over $20 000.
- Earn 3 Avios points per $1 spent: You will earn 3 Avion points per every $1 spent on British Airways, and 1 Avios point per $1 spent on all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of points you can earn. The Avion points can be redeemed for flights with British Airways, as well as partner airlines which includes American Airlines, and can also be redeemed for flight upgrades.
- Receive free travel ticket for companion: Every year you can be eligible to receive a ‘Travel Together Ticket’ for any companion that is valid for two years. There are a few catches however, as you must have $30 000 on your British Airways card within the year, you will need to book your own flight with British Airways by redeeming your Avios points.
- No foreign transaction fee: This card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, which is what you want with a travel credit card. You will not be charged when you use this card to purchase an item in a foreign currency. Most foreign transaction fees are 3%.
Things We Did Not Like About The British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Annual fee: This card charges an annual fee of $95, which is to be expected for a travel credit card.
- Need excellent credit: This is one of those cards where you will need to have excellent credit in order to qualify. This is usually the case with many travel credit cards.
- No 0% introductory offer: This card does not feature a 0% period on purchases and balance transfers, which would of been nice to see. You will be charged a 16% variable A.P.R. right from the beginning.
Who This Card Best Suits
- The frequent traveller who often fly with British Airlines.
How The British Airways Signature Cards Compares With Similar Cards
United Mileage Explore Credit Card
This credit card, which is issued by United Airlines and Chase, is a solid travel air miles reward credit card. This card features a bonus offer of 30 000 bonus miles after you spend your first $1000 on purchases in the first three months. Although this bonus offer is smaller then the one with the British Airways cards it does offer some things the British Airways card does not. With this card, you will receive priority boarding privileges as long as you own the card. You will also be able to check your first bag for free, and when you use this card to pay for travel bookings, you will get travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and vehicle rental collision insurance. These little things are nice touches and definitely add up. With this card you will earn 2x the miles for every $1 spent on tickets purchased from United Airlines. and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other airlines.
Both this card and the British Airways card do not have a foreign transaction fee, and both cards do not feature a 0% intro A.P.R. period, as this card has a variable A.P.R. of 16%. Both cards require excellent credit to qualify which is common for most travel credit cards. Overall this card does provide some better perks then the British Airways card, so if you will not be flying with British Airways to often you are better off with this card, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you consistently fly with British Airways then it should definitely be your card of choice.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
This travel credit card offers a solid sign up bonus just like the British Airways card, as you will earn 50 000 bonus after you spend the first $4000 in travel in the first 3 months of card opening. If you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards this is the equivalent to $625 in travel. This card will allow you to earn 2X the points on dining and restaurant purchases and 1X the point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Both cards do not have a foreign transaction fee, and both have an annual fee of $95, although this card waives the fee for the first year. This card, like the British Airways card, does not have an intro 0% A.P.R. offer, as this card has a variable A.P.R ranging from 16% to 23%.
This card and the British Airways card both require excellent credit. A great feature this card has is the 1:1 point transfer to other leading frequent travel programs. This means that 1000 of your Chase Ultimate Reward points is equal to 1000 of the partnered travel programs points/miles. This is a feature that the British Airways Card does not have. This card also has trip interruption/cancellation insurance, travel insurance and vehicle rental insurance which the British Airways card does not have. Again, if you are one who does not fly with British Airways often then you are better off with this card or the United Mileage card. You should only be interested in the British Airways card if you fly with that airline frequently.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
This is another airline branded, travel rewards credit card similar to the British Airways card. This card has a bonus offer that will see you earn 50 000 bonus miles after making $3000 in purchases in the first 3 months card opening. You will earn 2x the miles on American Airlines purchases with this card and 1 mile per $1 spent on all purchases. This is similar to the British Airways card, although it offers 3 miles per $1 spent on British Airways purchases. Both cards do not feature a 0% A.P.R. introductory offer as this card features a variable A.P.R. of 14% to 22%.
Both of the cards require you to have excellent credit in order to qualify. This card recently removed the foreign transaction fee, which helps it compete with the other travel credit cards. You will also have a first checked bag is free bonus, for you and four travelling companies on domestic flights though American Airlines. This card also allows you for group 1 boarding on American Airlines flights. Overall these cards are similar, it really depends on which airline you fly with more frequently. If it’s with American Airlines then this should be your card of choice.
Should You, Or Shouldn’t You, Our Final Verdict
This card does have a lot of value, as it has a huge bonus offer, as well as allowing you to earn 3 points per $1 spent on British Airways purchases. The benefits you can get from this card if you spend a lot, more then make up for the annual fee. The main problem with this card is you have to spend a whole lot of money to receive some of the bonus offers, as well as the free travel ticket for a companion. This card has more of a specific targeted group as it is best for those who spend a a lot of money travelling especially on British Airways flights. If this is you, then you should definitely get this card, as you will receive huge amounts of bonus points, as well as accumulating miles quickly as it awards 3X the points.
However we feel that most people will better benefit with either another card that is branded by an airline, such as United Mileage Explore card and the Citi AAdvantage card talked about in this review. If you don’t necessarily fly with the same airline, then you should go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or any other travel rewards credit card.