100K British Airways Bonus Offer: Not Worth It for Many
Hilary Stockton

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Four Seasons Preferred Partner, VirtuosoPeninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Shangri-La Luxury Circle, Langham CoutureRitz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

100K British Airways Bonus Offer Not Worth It


The 100K British Airways Visa signup bonus is back, but this offer has gone from being a great deal a few years ago to only #7 on my Best Travel Credit Cards page, for reasons I'll go into below. But first, here are the offer details:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after $3000 spend within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Additional 25,000 bonus Avios (so total 75K Avios) after spending $10,000 total on purchases within the first year, or additional 50,000 bonus Avios (total 100K Avios) after spending $20,000 total on purchases within the first year 
  • 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases 
  • Smart Chip Technology 
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel Together companion ticket valid for 2 years after $30,000 spend within a calendar year 
  • $95 annual fee is NOT waived for this offer


5 Reasons the 100K British Airways Visa Offer Isn't Worth It to Many

1. Poor British Airways First Class Award Availability for Popular Routes

Is there British Airways First Class from London LHR to Los Angeles LAX? Of course, and on the A380 no less, if you want to pay about $17,000 round trip or ~$12,000 one way for it. Is there any first class award availability? Nope. Not only for April, 2017, but also May 2017, June 2017...in fact not anytime in the next year. So don't count on redeeming British Airways Avios for First Class between LHR and LAX. Not happening.

2. Expensive British Airways Award Chart, Especially for First Class and Business Class Long Haul Flights

Given that you can fly JAL First Class from NYC to Tokyo one way for 70,000 Alaska miles + $19, for a 14.5 hour flight, British Airways First Class (a much inferior product vs. JAL First) is expensive at 100K Avios + $477 (peak pricing) or 85,000 Avios + $477 (off-peak) for a shorter one way from LHR to SFO of less than 11 hours.


3. Poor AAdvantage Saver Award Availability for U.S. Domestic Awards

If you've opted out entirely of international long haul first class and business class awards and are seeking to use your Avios for shorter intra-regional flights, you'll need a lot of flexibility. For example, most months there is *no* saver award space for nonstop flights between Miami MIA and NYC JFK.

Poor AAdvantage Business Saver Award Availability


As a result you can't use British Airways Avios for anything except economy class on the nonstop, and even that can be limited.

Poor AAdvantage Saver Award Availability Even in Economy for MIA-JFK


4. High Fuel Surcharges on British Airways Award Flights

Certainly the high APD (air passenger duty) on flights departing the UK and British Airways' high fuel surcharges are well known to anyone redeeming for first class and business class on British Airways, but it bears repeating. Count on ~$480-$500 in taxes and fees each way on first class or business class awards between the U.S. and Europe.


5. "Meh" British Airways First Class Product

Unfortunately, in comparison to other top first class cabins, such as Singapore Suites on the A380, Singapore First Class, JAL First Class, Etihad First Apartment on the A380, Emirates A380 First Class, ANA First Class, Cathay Pacific First Class, Lufthansa First Class, etc. British Airways First Class is a let down. It has too many seats in First Class and feels cramped for a first class product, the mattress pad is thin and the bed not very comfortable, and the service and food and drink quality have steadily declined over the years. It's just not worth it to us spending the $30K to earn the Travel Together ticket, then spending the miles and fuel surcharges to fly this product.


6. High Spend Requirement to Earn 100K Miles and Travel Together Ticket

Unlike, say, the 100K Chase Sapphire Reserve, which only had a $3000 spend requirement and effectively a $150 per year annual fee ($450 annual fee less the $300 annual travel credit) the British Airways Visa requires $20,000 total spend within the first year, and $30,000 within a given calendar year if you want to earn the Travel Together ticket. That's a good chunk of most people's yearly personal spend on credit cards, so there could be opportunity costs vis-a-vis other spend opportunities to earn other signup bonuses or category bonuses.

While I would be sitting this one out regardless, since I earned a British Airways Visa bonus within the last 24 months, we have the opportunity to apply my husband for this card but won't. In fact, I still have Avios languishing in my British Airways Executive Club account that I haven't had occasion to use, since my Chase Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, AAdvantage miles and Alaska miles have been so much more valuable for our recent travels and award redemptions.

Do you plan to apply or sit out this 100K British Airways Visa bonus offer?

Recommended Posts

Review: British Airways First Class 747 London to New York

Review: British Airways Concorde Room Cabana London Heathrow Terminal 5

Review: British Airways First Class Lounge New York JFK Terminal 7

Review: British Airways Concorde Room New York JFK

British Airways: TSA PreCheck Needed

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel or cruise with us.

If you enjoyed this, join 200,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book luxury hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Amenities! 

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Picture?type=large Peter W. commented 06 Apr 2017
I totally agree with EVERYTHING you wrote. It's too bad that BA has gone downhill so much and is no longer a premium airline.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 07 Apr 2017
It is sad, especially for the airline that introduced flat bed business class. If the first class hard product was better I wouldn't mind so much about the decline in food and service quality, especially on short red eye flights from the East Coast, but the bed is just not comfortable or private enough.
Picture?type=large Suhail K. commented 07 Apr 2017
Same opinion here. I literally had to fight to get my bonus points added to my account. Very poor customer service. I canceled my card in less than 1 year
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 07 Apr 2017
Suhail, sorry to hear you had such a poor customer service experience just to get your bonus points. Hope you were at least able to use them well after receiving them.
Leave a Comment
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
  Which credit cards should you use for which spend? TravelSort reader Ann writes "I've read many of your previous travel credit card posts, but I'm curious about which credit cards you're using most now, and why. My husband and...
  This ANA First Class 777 Review for a New York JFK to Tokyo Narita flight is part of a new trip report including Tokyo luxury hotels, restaurants and sushi bars. Having previously enjoyed JAL First Class, we were looking...
  Can you earn Ultimate Rewards points at Shop Through Chase with an AMEX or another credit card? TravelSort reader Jeff writes "I plan to buy a new iPhone and would prefer to put it on my AMEX, since I've...
  Virgin America First Class markets itself as the way to fly in style, but my recent flight experience was very much style (if you can call it that) over substance. Here's my review of Virgin America First Class: Virgin...
  This British Airways First Class 747 Review is one of my several reviews of British Airways First Class; see all posts tagged British Airways, or for other airline first class and business class reviews, see my Airline Reviews. Since...
  Persistence often pays off, including for award tickets. I book many AAdvantage awards for Award Booking clients, because even though Alaska miles are often less expensive, have the advantage of allowing a stopover on a one way award, and...
  A 50K CitiBusiness AAdvantage Bonus Offer without the usual 24 month restriction is available, via Reddit, and I've updated my Best Travel Credit Cards page with this offer. Normally Citi cards have language stating that the bonus is not...
  This Japan Airlines (JAL) 777-300ER Business Class Sky Suite Review is from our recent trip to Japan, including ANA First Class, JAL Business Class review, and Tokyo luxury hotel reviews and Kyoto luxury hotel reviews. For previous posts in...
  The British Airways Concorde Room lounge offers private cabanas for passengers traveling in British Airways First Class, as well as complimentary 15 minute spa treatments at Elemis Spa. I although I previously reviewed this lounge a few years ago,...
  There's a 50K Korean Air Skypass Visa Business card targeted bonus offer, which I received in the mail recently. The issuer is US Bank, so if you've already taken advantage of other attractive offers from Chase, AMEX and Citi,...