If you travel internationally and collect Avios, the British Airways Visa Signature® card could benefit you
Avios are travel reward points that allow you to turn your everyday spending into flights, hotel stays, upgrades, days out and more. The British Airways Visa Signature® card is an airline rewards credit card that allows frequent international travelers to capitalize on their travels and everyday purchases to collect more Avios.
Some of the perks of this card include earning 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases, and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. This credit card also comes with a generous bonus of 50,000 points if you spend more than 50,000 during the first 3 months from the account opening. And you will automatically become a member of the British Airways Executive Club and you will receive additional travel & purchase insurance packages.
|Product Name||British Airways Visa Signature® card|
|APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases||17.74% to 24.74% variable|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash Advance Rate||26.74% variable|
|Cash Advance Fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None|
|Interest Free Period||Up to 21 days|
|Late Payment Fee||$37|
|Returned Payment Fee||$37|
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$0|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Welcome Bonus||Earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months|
|Reward Value per Dollar||1 points|
|Rewards Points Expiry||36 months|
This card has a lot to offer if you travel often with British Airways and their partners. The most prominent features include a considerable bonus offer on sign-up, multiple options to spend your Avios, a companion ticket reward and built-in travel & purchase insurance.
Earn Avios reward points. The main advantage of this card is that it allows cardholders to collect, spend and share Avios points. You will earn 1 Avios point for each $1 spent and 3 Avios points per $1 for any direct purchase from British Airways, OpenSkies and Iberia (including flights and flight-related services).
There is no maximum limit on the number of points you can earn. You need to use at least 1 Avios point within 36 months, otherwise, all your points will expire.
- Bonus offer. If you are not a current cardholder and you haven’t received any new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the past 24 months, you will get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 during the first 3 months of opening your account.
- Multiple options of spending Avios. You can choose to spend the Avios points on a variety of services and products, including reward flights, hotels, car rentals, food and other experiences.
- Travel Together Tickets. You will receive a companion ticket if your overall purchases made during a calendar year are over $30,000. The ticket can be used on any British Airways flight within 2 years from the date of issue and is available only if the companion travels together with the cardmember for both the departure and the return journey. The tickets need to be booked together and are available only for trips to and from the U.S.
- Executive program – This card gives you access to the British Airways Executive Club program. Any Avios accumulated through your British Airways Visa Card will be transferred to your Executive account as long as your Executive Club address is within the U.S.
Travel & purchase insurance – The Visa Signature Card comes with a list of additional third-party insurance benefits which include:
Auto rental collision damage waiver. Provided for theft and collision damage in the U.S. and abroad.
Baggage delay insurance. If your baggage has been delayed for more than 6 hours, you will get reimbursed for essential purchases of up to $100 (only for 3 days).
Purchase protection. Covers any new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft.
Lost luggage reimbursement. Covers up to $3,000 for any lost or damaged luggage.
Extended warranty protection. Extends a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for additional 12 months.
- No foreign transaction fees. There are no associated foreign transaction fees for any purchases made outside of Unites States, anywhere in the world.
- Chip technology. The card is equipped with a microchip for additional security. You can use this card on any chip card terminal around the world.
Too good to be true?
As you can see, the large number of benefits makes the British Airways Visa Signature® card a very attractive tool for anyone who loves to travel.
The downside is that you have to be a pretty big spender to access a good part of the rewards. Between the high annual fee, the high-interest rates and the high levels of expenditure required, it is clear that you won’t be able to take full advantage of this card unless you travel overseas often, at least twice a year. And if you travel within the U.S. more often than internationally, you might find that the options to spend your Avios are a bit limited.
- High annual fee. To use this card you will have to pay a pretty large fixed annual fee of $95. It will be charged regardless of when you start using your card during the first billing cycle.
- High-interest rates and late payment penalties. There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. A high APR of 17.74% to 24.74% variable will be applied based on your creditworthiness. The late payment fees vary between $15 and $37 depending on your cash balance, but they can be avoided if you make all of your payments on time.
- AVIOS expire. All your Avios points will expire after 36 months if you do not spend at least one of them during this period. Make sure to plan your travels ahead of time if you decide to sign up for this card.
- Fewer options for U.S. domestic flights. You can choose from a variety of reward flights from British Airways and their oneworld partners, but the choices for domestic flights are limited to American Airlines.
- Additional taxes and fees. Depending on your chosen flight and destination, you might have to pay high additional taxes, fees and carrier charges for the companion ticket. These can amount to approximately $682-$1,250 per adult in economy or $1,250 for business class if you travel from Seattle to London. Most of these expensive fees are incurred on British Airways flights, so you can still avoid them – and benefit from your card – if you choose to fly with one of their partners that doesn’t add these surcharges.
Am I even eligible?
Before applying for this card, check the eligibility criteria to ensure that you qualify:
- You are at least 18 years old (19 in AL and NE)
- You are a resident of the United States
- Subject to credit approval – you need to have a good credit score to apply for this card
In addition, you won’t qualify for this offer if you are a current card member of British Airways Visa Signature® card or a card member who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the past 24 months
What documents do I need to apply?
The following information will be required to successfully complete the online form.
- Your full name
- Mother’s maiden name
- Your Social Security number
- Your residential address
- Your email address
- Telephone number
- Details about your overall income (including types of bank accounts)
- Employment status
Compare other Chase credit cards
How to apply for the British Airways Visa Signature® card
- If you go to the Chase website, navigate to their travel cards and select the British Airways Visa Signature® card.
- Click “Apply Now.”
- Fill in your full name, address and your Executive Club Account number if you are already a member of the Executive Club. If not, you will be automatically enrolled and issued a number when your Visa card is approved.
- Fill in your residence type (rent/own/other), monthly housing payment, income information and the types of accounts you own.
- Fill in your telephone number, email, date of birth, Social Security number and mother’s maiden name.
- Read and accept their terms and conditions. Review your application and submit it.
- Your application will be reviewed. If you’re accepted, your card will arrive in the mail within 7-10 business days.
I got the credit card! Now what?
Congratulations on receiving your British Airways Visa Signature® card! To get the most out of your new card, read the following facts before you start using it.
- Enroll in Chase Online. On the “My Accounts” page you can see a summary of your account activity, the bank statement and any upcoming payments.
- To make a transfer, simply go to the Payments & Transfer tab and select “Schedule a Transfer.” The software allows you to select if you want to make a one-time transfer or repeating transfers on a specific day of the month. This will help you to keep up with your payments, avoid penalties and better manage your account.
- On your online account, you will also be able to see the total number of points accumulated. To use your points, select “Use points” and then “Transfer to Travel Partners.” This will allow you to transfer your points to any partner airline and then use them as you wish.
- You don’t have to pay any interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month. The due date will be a minimum of 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. In addition, there is no minimum interest charged for this card, which means that the card is interest-free as long you make all the repayments on the due date.
- To learn more about factors to consider when applying for or using a credit card, read our guides.
This is a wonderful card for international travelers who spend a lot on travel. If you fly often with British Airways and their Alliance or oneworld partners, the options to redeem your Avios are varied and you can easily use every single one of them.