British Airways Visa Card Bonus and Earning Avios
All your trips to and from London and around the world will be put to use when you can swipe this high-earning card.
Like many partnered cards, when you make purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you get miles deposited directly into your British Airways Executive Club account.
You’ll get 5x Avios for every $1 you spend on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level within your first 12 months of account ownership (3x thereafter), and earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening (earning 2x thereafter). Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The card also comes with a sign-up bonus, described above in the card summary table.
What are British Airways Avios anyway, you may ask? Simply put, this is the currency for their air miles (points).
Avios work the same and are valued just like any other credit card points. Because they are a Oneworld partner airline, you can use British Airways Avios on all the other Oneworld partners, such as American Airlines and Qantas.
Great For Travelers and Their Partners
To make the British Airways credit card work for you, you need to put all of your travel spending through BA, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level on your card.
Just a couple of tickets will earn you thousands of Avios. If you are a business owner using this as your business card, you shouldn’t find it hard to rack up points quickly.
If you have a significant other or travel partner, you’ll find the Travel Together option very appealing. To get this benefit, you must spend at least $30,000 on the card per year.
The Travel Together Ticket works as an additional voucher when you redeem an award flight. Simply use the voucher alongside your award flight to earn a complimentary ticket for a companion.
Ideally, you would hit the $30,000 minimum spend every other year in order to get your companion pass, which can be redeemed to travel along in any class for just the taxes and fees on the flight. Unfortunately, those taxes and fees can be $1,500-$2,000.
After you earn your Travel Together Ticket, it will be usable for up to 2 years. There are a few additional caveats, but they can be tolerated for a voucher worth between $10k-$20k value (if you’re flying first class)!
First, you have to travel on British Airways and not a partner airline. Second, the flight has to originate out of the United States. Third, you have to travel together on the outbound and inbound flights, and those tickets must be booked at the same time.
Bottom Line: The Travel Together Ticket is very valuable but has a few caveats. Be sure to plan up front to meet the $30,000 spend on the British Airways Visa card and choose how to use your voucher.
Other Benefits: Stopovers, International Travel, and More
British Airways is a great airline for international flights and multi-stop destinations because they allow unlimited stopovers “within reason,” unlike most other airlines.
A typical layover is only 4 hours domestically and 24 hours internationally; a stopover is an open-ended amount of time beyond that. You simply select this option when booking your flight and you can choose an additional city to visit.
As an added bonus, this card doesn’t carry any foreign transaction fees if you need to use it while overseas.
Of course, there are much more efficient cards to use overseas than just the British Airways Visa, since you would only earn 1x Avios on anything besides the actual flight.
But if you’re going for the companion ticket’s minimum spend, then by all means spend away!
British Airways credit cardholders also have the chance to get 10% off British Airways flights from the U.S. to London when booking through a specific portal and use a code. It is worth the hassle to save over $100 (which covers the annual fee).
With the flexibility in using British Airways Avios with Oneworld partners and transferring from credit card portals (Ultimate Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, and Amex Membership Rewards), you should find plenty of value in the card.
Bottom Line: Utilize the 10% discount, stopovers, and Oneworld alliance to really get value from using the British Airways Visa card and flying with British Airways.
Some Drawbacks of British Airways Executive Club
Previously, you used to earn 1.25x Avios per dollar instead of the now 1x Avios. Combined with the points devaluations over the years, this makes the Avios a little less valuable. Still, Executive Club has pretty solid inter-European flight deals.
Another negative of British Airways over all the other airlines is their fuel surcharge for international flights. It is painfully more expensive than any of the others (between ~$600-1,200), and it still applies when you are redeeming points.
Therefore, to maximize your value, it’s better to use points for higher classes on BA so you get a much higher level of service for your fees.
So, consider your travel habits carefully to decide if this card is worth it to you.
Someone who flies a lot will find their points building up very quickly and get a reward flight each year!
Bottom Line: While the British Airways Visa card has some drawbacks and 3x points are only available on flights, a big spender can find value through the Travel Together Ticket.