UPDATE: OFFER HAS EXPIRED & IS NO LONGER VALID

 British Airways 100,000 Avios Points Offer

If you have been reading the blogosphere, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the new Chase British Airways 100,000 Avios (the name for their miles program) Credit Card offer.

If you did sign up for the Sapphire Preferred last month, and are interested in this new British Airways offer, I would wait at least 1 month to apply.

You wouldn’t want to give Chase the impression that you are only signing up for the miles ; )

While some other bloggers have complained that this offer isn’t technically as good as the original “100,000” Avios Points offer from 2010 and 2011, I personally think that this British Airways card is now the BEST current Credit Card offer available!

For those of you new to the hobby, back in 2010 and 2011, the offer for the British Airways card was 50,000 Avios Points after you signed up and another 50,000 Avios Points after $2,500 or so of minimum spend in 3 months.

The current offer for the British Airways card is 50,000 Avios Points after 1st purchase, an additional 25,000 Avios Points after you spend $10,000 in 1 year, and an additional 25,000 Avios Points if you spend more than $20,000 in 1 year.

From an initial analysis, it would look as if Chase is trying to pull a fast one on us, since to earn the full 100,000 Avios, you would have to spend $20,000 in 1 year.

Since that is not exactly feasible for everyone, it seems that many people have written off this offer and are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next “big” deal.

I 100% understand because I personally don’t think I could spend $20,000 in a year without spending it on stuff that I don’t actually need.

However when you break down the offer and look at how valuable British Airway Avios are, this is actually a GREAT offer!

I did the original British Airways 100,000 mile offer back in March 2010, and I wish I could jump in on it again due to the amount of free trips that 1 sign up bonus got me!

The Benefits

In addition to the 100,000 Avios sign up offer, the British Airways Credit Card also offers the following benefits:

  • 1.25 Avios per $1 Spent
  • 2.5 Avios per $1 Spent on British Airways
  • Free Companion Ticket If You Spend $30,000 In 1 Year (Can be used in conjunction with miles!)
  • Chip & Pin Technology (Great for Europe)
  • No International Transaction Fees

What The 100,000 Avios Sign Up Offer Really Means

Tier 1

The easiest way to look at this offer is to break it up into 3 spending tiers.

If you signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer last month you know that Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to partners like United and British Airways.

Let says you really like British Airways and you got the Chase Sapphire Preferred last month solely because you wanted to convert the 50,000 UR points into 50,000 British Airway Avios.

In that case, to get the full 50,000 UR points needed to convert into 50,000 Avios,  you would have to spend $3,000 in 3 months to meet the minimum spend requirement on the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Not as bad as $10,000 in 3 month, but $3,000 is still $3,000.

When looking at the new British Airways offer, to get the first 50,000 Avios, all you have to do is sign up for the Card and use it once.

The end.

Although there is a $95 annual fee that is not waived, there also is no minimum spend requirement! In my eyes, those cross each other out.

I wish there was an annual fee for the first year on the Chase INK Bold, so I didn’t have to spend $5,000 in 3 months! It would make life a lot easier.

The best thing about this new British Airways offer is that even if you don’t think you can complete the $10,000 or $20,000 spend to get the full 100,000 Avios, just by signing up for this Card, you would get 50,000 Avios, no questions asked!

If you and your travel partner (spouse, friend, lover, child, etc.) both signed up for this Card, without doing any additional spending, you would have 100,000 Avios between the two of you. Not bad!

Tier 2

For the sake of this example, lets say you and your travel partner both signed up for the Card.

As you can see above, you both would already have 50,000 Avios each.

The next tier of this offer is an additional 25,000 Avios if you spend $10,000 in 1 year.

Now before you see the $10,000 and pass on the offer, remember that is $10,000 spent over 1 year.

This equates to only $833.33 a month per a person!

My rent alone is $750 a month!

Plus also remember that you can use Amazon Payments which allows you to transfer up to $1,000 a month for free!

Just by using Amazon Payments, you both should be able to spend the minimum $10,000 spend in 1 year, at no cost to you!

Another cool thing is that these offers fail to incorporate the points you earn from completing the minimum spend.

Unlike most Credit Cards, the British Airway Card earns 1.25 Avios per $1 spent.

This means if you completed the $10,000 spend in 1 year, you would earn $10,000 x 1.25 Avios = 12,500 Avios.

This 12,500 Avios is on top of the 25,000 Avios you will get for meeting the $10,000 spend.

So if you complete the $10,000 spend in 1 year, you will get:

50,000 Sign Up Bonus (Tier 1) + 12,500 In Actual Spend (Tier 2) + 25,000 Spend Bonus (Tier 2) = 87,500 Avios

If your travel partner also signs up and also completes the $10,000 spend, then that is 87,500 Avios for them too!

So between the 2 of you, that is 175,000 Avios!

Wow!

Tier 3

If you can spend an additional $10,000, on top of the first $10,000, in the span of 1 year, then you will get an additional 25,000 Avios.

This would bring the entire yearly spend to $20,000 per a person.

Now I will be honest and say that completing the required spend for Tier 3 is a bit much unless you condense all of your family’s spending onto 1 British Airways card.

So to get the entire 100,000 Avios offer, you would need to spend $20,000 in 1 year, which is $1,666 a month.

If you and your travel partner sign up, then between the 2 of you, that means spending $3,222 a month to complete the Tier 3 spend.

In the event that you can complete the minimum spend for Tier 3, you will earn:

50,000 Sign Up Bonus (Tier 1)  + 12,500 Actual Spend (Tier 2) + 25,000 Spend Bonus (Tier 2) + 12,500 Spend Bonus (Tier 3) + 25,000 Actual Spend (Tier 3)  = 125,000 Avios.

If you and your travel partner both spend $20,000 in 1 year and complete Tier 3, you will have 250,000 Avios between the both of you!

What To Spend All Those Avios On

As you can see instead of simply calling their frequent flyer miles, “miles”, British Airways decided to name their “miles” and the mileage program, Avios.

In my old posts, I refused to call them Avios and continued to use “miles”, but then British Airway’s PR team emailed me to correct me on my “mistake”, so now I call them Avios.

I am not sure why British Airways came up with such a dumb name for their program but the name change came when, to the dismay of many frequent flyers, British Airways “gutted” their award chart by switching to a distance based format.

This switch got rid of ridiculously generous partner redemptions like using 80,000 BA miles for Business Class award ticket from U.S to Asia on Cathay Pacific.

European Vacation

The ironic thing about British Airway Avios is that they are worthless if you want to travel to Europe.

This is because when flying to Europe, British Airways forces you to fly only on British Airways and you have to stop in London.

It doesn’t matter if you can find a direct award flight on American Airlines (which is a OneWorld Alliance Partner), you still have to fly British Airways.

Why is this bad?

Because British Airways imposes STEEP fuel surcharges on British Airway award tickets, and London Heathrow also has some expensive airport duties.

For example, say you wanted to go to Paris in September and use your Avios for an award ticket.

You might think that since it is an award ticket, you will only have to pay the menial $100 in taxes on the ticket .

Think again!

Not only would you not be able to fly direct to Paris even if there was an available flight on American Airlines, but it would also cost you 49,000 Avios and $668.24 in “Taxes, Fees, Charges, and Surcharges”!

Yes, $668.24 ON AN AWARD TICKET!

However looking on Kayak.com for the same travel dates for a flight to Paris, you could pay only $794 on Finnair.

Before you laugh at flying on Finnair, when you read the fine print, you can see the flight is actually run by American Airlines!

So for only $126 more, you could save 49,000 Avios and actually earn some miles on your flight to Paris!

Domestic Flights

Before you get all depressed thinking Avios are worthless, there is one good thing about British Airways!

In switching to a distance based award system, they made their domestic redemption options amazing!

Even though British Airways doesn’t fly domestically in the United States, you can redeem Avios on their OneWorld partner, American Airlines.

This means that there aren’t any ridiculous fuel surcharges since you aren’t flying British Airways.

So what use to be a flat 25,000 miles between cities in the USA is now variable, based on distance.

The Avios calculator can be found here, but below are some examples of how useful Avios can be for short domestic flights.

For example, while on United, Delta, and American, a free flight from Chicago to New York would cost you 25,000 miles, using your British Airway Avios to fly on American Airlines, it would only cost you 15,000 Avios round-trip. That is a difference of 10,000 miles!

Similarly for a flight from New York to Washington D.C, which would typically cost 25,000 miles on any other airline, is now only 9,000 Avios round-trip.

Although saving 5,000 or 10,000 miles per a ticket is great, the benefits become readily apparent when you look at how much you save on family travel.

If you have a family of 4 and wanted to take your 2 kids to Disney in August, redeeming miles for 4 award tickets on any other airline at a minimum would cost 25,000 miles a person, so 100,000 miles total.

Using British Airways Avios to fly on American Airlines, it would only cost you only 7,500 Avios each way per a person, so 15,000 each round trip.

In other words, ONLY 60,000 Avios for 4 people!

You would save 40,000 miles compared to if you had redeemed miles on United, Delta, or even on American!

That is insane!

What makes this an even better deal is when you look at how much the cheapest flight to Orlando costs in August, a cool $265 a person, or $1,060 for 4 people!

So if you signed up for this British Airways card, and completed the Tier 2 $10,000 spend, you would have enough miles for at least 4 tickets to pretty much anywhere in the U.S. As you can see below, at a minimum you would save $1,060!

If your travel partner signed up, then you would have enough Avios for at least 8 trips in the U.S.

I’ve had the Card in the past, and even I am still amazed at how valuable these Avios are!

 Final Review

While at first this new British Airways “100,000” Avios offer may look unattainable, as you can see you don’t need to spend the full $20,000 to reap the full benefits of this sign up bonus!

If you are your travel partner both were to sign up for the card and only make 1 transaction each, you would have a total of 100,000 Avios at your disposal!

While British Airway Avios are not useful for traveling to Europe, they can be EXTREMELY valuable for short flights in the Continental United States. This is exactly what I use them for!

I have already had this Card in 2010 so I am not eligible for the sign up bonus, but if I was I would jump on this in a heart beat!

If you have any questions about British Airways, Chase, How To Use Avios, etc, you can always email me at FrequentFlyerUniversity@gmail.com.

I always have my iPhone on me, so I typically respond ASAP!

-Parag

 

4 Comments

  • […] I already covered some great ways to use British Airway Avios domestically for free flights within the U.S in an earlier post. […]

  • John K says:

    Can I open a new account with two people and still receive all the bonus Avios? In other words, open one account with the same CC number, but with two people spending on the same account. Or do I have two open two separate accounts to get the full benefit?

  • Parag says:

    Each person that opens a Credit Card will be eligible for the 100,000 offer. Although once the accounts are open, you can pool all the miles together with a family account.

  • […] I'd say if you can spend $25,000 in 1 year, that it might be better to sign up for the British Airways 100,000 mile offer because you could earn almost 131,250 […]

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