The British Airways Visa Signature card is a smart travel card with simple, straightforward ways to earn rewards that may be redeemed with several different airlines. Here are the details:
||50,000 bonus Avios when you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
- 3 Avios per $1 spent on British Airways purchases
- 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases
||None (this makes it easy to keep the card year after year)
||$0 Intro Annual Fee The First Year, Then $95
- $5 or 3% for balance transfers, whichever is greater
- $10 or 5% for cash advances, whichever is greater
- Up to $35 for late and returned payments
- What are Avios? Avios are British Airways' club currency. Think of it as the equivalent of miles or points in other rewards programs. Accordingly, the BA Executive Club is simply the name of the British Airways frequent flyer program, for which you will be automatically enrolled upon approval for the British Airways Visa.
- 50,000 Avios are enough for a round-trip from North America to Europe. This is good news, since British Airways has over 200 destinations over 90 countries.
- There are no earning caps on rewards, and British Airways' leniency on rewards expiration is far more generous than some other travel loyalty cards. You only need to make one active purchase, redemption, or transfer within 36 months in order to retain your Avios.
- There are no foreign transaction fees, which is particularly useful since this is already a card for a foreign airline. Another considerate perk is that the card is EMV capable, affording you greater security, accessibility, and convenience worldwide.
- There are no over limit fees and no penalties for returned checks.
- To avoid paying interest on purchases, note that the British Airways Visa has a slightly shorter runway, with your due date being a minimum of 21 days after the close of your billing cycle, compared to the most often marked 25 days with other cards.
- When you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on new purchases with your card, you earn a Travel Together Ticket.
- Though this card is specific to British Airways, Avios may actually be redeemed with any OneWorld alliance partner airlines, which include but are not limited to: AirBerlin, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Qantas, and last but not least, American Airlines.
- A pro-tip is to check partner airlines for cheaper flights before purchasing with British Airways. For example a British Airways flight to Shanghai might cost more than a Cathay Pacific flight to Shanghai.
- Avios are not to be confused with Tier Points, which are a separate entity earned through travel with British Airways as a way to work up to elite statuses offering additional benefits. Tier Points cannot be spent, and they reset every year.
- If you would prefer not to spend all your points at once, there is an option to supplement your Avios with cash so you can keep saving for your next reward flight.
- On its website, British Airways offers multiple tools to help with your travel plans. Not only can you book travel and search for your desired flights, but also view your flight cost in Avios. • Visa signature benefits are applicable to this card.
Areas of Limitation:
In general, most critics agree that travelers will find it more difficult to earn and use points under upcoming changes to the Avios program starting April 28, 2015. While it is arguable that many, if not most travelers will see decreased redemption values as a result of these program changes, there are also benefits that arise - particularly relevant to those who travel first and business class.
As a member of the OneWorld alliance, the British Airways Visa Signature carries a well-established rewards program that allows cardholders considerable freedom in redeeming rewards by providing access to multiple airlines. Moreover, a sign up bonus worth a roundtrip flight to Europe, alongside a waived annual fee for the first year, make this a valuable airline card for frequent travelers.