British Airways Visa – A True Traveler’s Card
Travel rewards cards are all over the place now and it can be hard to decipher which ones are actually going to be worth your time and investment. However it IS worth your time to look through some of the benefits of these cards because the mile bonuses you can receive just for signing up and simply spending money on the cards can really add up and save you some cash.
We can sense there may be some wanderlust accumulating in your bones, so we’ll do you a favor and lay out the benefits (and downfalls) of this new British Airways Visa. Not all travel rewards cards are created equal so read on to find out if this card is right for you.
How Will This Card Benefit YOU?
First of all, when you get a British Airways Visa, you earn Avios. This sounds much cooler than air miles or points right? Sounding cool is always important but more importantly, you can rack up these Avios throughout the year while buying groceries or paying bills. You’ll get 1 Avios per dollar spent, not bad. However, if you use your card on British Airways, you get 3 Avios per dollar.
Even better, these Avios only expire when you haven’t used any in 3 years. As long as you spend at least one Avios within a 3 year time span, your balance will continue accumulating without the threat of them expiring before you can use them. The British Airways Visa makes it really easy to use all of the Avios you earn.
They also make it so that rewards members can pay in Avios and dollars. This way, you can use whatever balance of Avios you have, any time, to get a discount on your flight. Whether you have $300 or $30 worth of Avios, you can use them in conjunction with cash to get discounted tickets.
Spending your Avios can get you really high value reward flights if you do it right. The British Airways Visa system has a distance-based award chart where you can stretch you miles to redeem all kinds of flights worldwide.
If you’re a serial traveler and can’t seem to stay contained in the country for long, this card will make your bank trips much easier by charging NO foreign transaction fees. Those are always an unpleasant surprise, but you won’t ever have to worry about them surprising you when you get home when you have your British Airways Visa on hand.
The more you can spend on this card the better. So if you use it as your main card to pay big bills or use it to pay business expenses, you can rack up those points pretty fast. One of the great things about this card is that they offer bonus Avios if you spend more and the set amounts are easily attainable if you use this card frequently.
You can get up to 75,000 Avios PLUS a “Travel Together Ticket”. Here’s the breakdown:
- 50,000 Avios when you make $2000 in purchases within the first 3 months
- Plus 25,000 MORE Avios when you spend $15000 or more within your first year of having the card
- 1 Travel Together Ticket if you spend over $30,000 in a year – These tickets are up for grabs every single year and are good for up to 2 years!
How Will This Card NOT Benefit You?
If you tend to only travel domestically, this card may not be as convenient as others. The fastest way to rack up points on this card is to use British Airways since they offer 3x the Avios. You can, however, use miles on oneWorld partners such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, you just won’t earn as fast if you don’t fly British Airways.
British Airways is slightly notorious for their fuel surcharges and fees so when you book a reward ticket, you may still end up paying hundreds in various fees. Not all oneWorld airlines charge the same fees though, so you may be able to avoid them.
You cannot transfer your rewards to other airlines. Some cards are coming out with more flexible options that allow you to use your rewards on a variety of different airlines. However, the rewards from this card are only applicable to British Airways and their oneWorld partners.
If you have average or poor credit, you may be out of luck. In order to be approved to use this card, you must have excellent credit. If your credit has taken a hit, this card is not in the cards for you.
You’ll get hit with a $95 annual fee. Although these fees are quite common with rewards cards these days, you can also find cards without a fee. If you can’t reach the spending minimum on the card, the British Airways Visa may not be your top pick.
How Do You Get the Most Bang for Your Buck?
Simply put, this card will benefit you most if you consciously use it to reap the benefits of the rewards they have in place. When used correctly it can really pay off. Here are some ways that you can ensure this card will be worth it:
- You frequently travel internationally
- You prefer or frequently fly British Airways
- You can hit the $2000 (In 3 mo.) and $15000 (In 1st year) spending marks
- You can see yourself spending 30,000+ on the card per year
If all of this sounds doable and easy to fit into your current budget and schedule, it’s safe to say this card is worth your time. When you’re able to hit both of the sign on bonus spending marks, you’ll get a whopping 75,000 Avios to start off with and use on your next big adventure.
All in all, this card is a great card for the right person. With the options in rewards cards varying so greatly it’s a great idea to look into a few that fit your needs and possibly even give one or two of the cards you like best a trial run if you can’t decide. You can always try the card for a year and see if the benefits and rewards add up enough to be worth it. If you don’t plan to spend big on this card or you if you don’t fly internationally often, this may not be the card for you.
Ultimately you want to make sure the card goes to work for you rather than you having to work to keep up with the limitations and rules of the card in order to scrape out some benefits. There’s a reason why this card is one of the top up-and-coming rewards cards on the market. If you have some chronic wanderlust in your bones or a business that keeps you on the go, the British Airways Visa will most likely be a great new travel buddy and will end up saving you a lot of cash.