British Airways Signature Card Review | Credit Shout
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British Airways Signature Card Review

By Taryn Estrada / June 7, 2021

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If you’re looking for a travel card that comes with a big sign-up bonus and bonus rewards on British Airways, you may want to check out this credit card offer. As an airline credit card, the British Airways Visa Signature Card comes with a great sign up bonus but underperforms in other areas.

In part, that’s because its associated loyalty program levies large surcharges on certain award tickets, dramatically devaluing its rewards in some cases. While the card offers statement credits to help offset those famously high surcharges, they’re not big enough to cover them completely. These factors make the card more complicated and less appealing than other airline cards.

The card might still be a good choice for two types of people: loyal British Airways customers who can meet the high spending thresholds required to unlock more benefits, and those who are undeterred by the program’s limitations and enjoy puzzling over creative, strategic redemptions.

British Airways Visa Signature Card Review

British Airways uses rewards points that are called Avios, this is a currency that it shares with other airlines. Just so you know, Avios is both singular and plural. Let’s take a look at the details.

Card Type – Airline

Annual Fee – $95

Sign-Up Bonus – You can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. You can also earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of starting your account.

Foreign Transaction Fees – None

Reward Levels

  • Get 3 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and LEVEL.
  • Get 2 Avios for every dollar spent on hotel accommodations.
  • Get 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Up To $600 In Statement Credit Toward Taxes, Fees And Charges On Award Flights – You’ll get up to $200 per award booking toward taxes, fees and charges when redeeming Avios for a reward flight on British Airways, on up to 3 bookings a year and $600 total in credits.

The value of your Avios will be based on redemption, so they can vary. However, in most cases, they’re usually worth 1 cent apiece (give or take).

Travel Together Ticket – If you make $30,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year,  you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket, you’ll have 2 years to redeem it. The Travel Together Ticket does cover the fare of one other person for the same flight and cabin, even first class, when you book a reward flight on British Airways originating in and returning to the U.S. Keep in mind though, it won’t cover taxes, carrier charges or fees.

British Airways Visa Signature Card Benefits

Let’s take a look at the top British Airways credit card benefits.

A Solid Sign-Up Bonus 

The big highlight with this credit card offer offered by British Airways Visa Signature®Card is the large sign-up bonus. The offer gets better as you spend more on your card. Here’s that offer: “Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. On top of that, you also earn a Travel Together Ticket after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within the first year of your account opening.”

Travel Together Ticket 

With this card, you can earn one Travel Together Ticket each calendar year you spend more than $30,000 on your card. Now, this Travel Together Ticket can be very valuable. In fact, it could potentially be worth thousands of dollars, if you end up redeeming it for an expensive ticket. One example of this would be a first-class international fare, that could cost a lot of money.

Now, you’ll still have to pay taxes and other fees on the ticket. You’ll also need to redeem this ticket within 2 years. While it may not be the reason you grab this card offer, if you’re already spending more than $30,000 in card purchases each year, might as well take advantage of it.

No Foreign Transaction Fees 

If you’re a frequent traveler, this is another feature that can be a benefit, this card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S.

Statement Credits

The British Airways Credit Card can help with surcharges. Cardholders are eligible for up to $600 in statement credits each year, which can be used to pay for fees and flight taxes booking tickets on British Airways using Avios. The credit varies depending on what type of fare you book, and you can use this statement credit benefit up to 3 times per year.

Here’s the levels.

  • Business or first class: $200 statement credit per use.
  • Economy or premium economy: $100 statement credit per use.

The credits make taxes and surcharges a little easier to accept, but they generally won’t cover the entire bill for your award flights. If you use 50,000 Avios on a trip and have $208 in taxes, fees and carrier charges, you’ll still owe $108 with the $100 credit.

Drawbacks of the British Airways Visa Signature Card

One of the drawbacks for the British Airways Visa Card is the fact that your Avios can expire if you don’t collect, spend, share or purchase any for 36 consecutive months. If you’re going to get this card, make sure you keep that in mind.

If you’re not a fan of that, you may want to think about getting the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which gets you miles that remain active as long as your account is open.

Should You Get The British Airways Visa Signature Card?

The British Airways Visa Signature Card is a solid travel card, but it benefits those of you that plan on spending tens of thousands of dollars a year. The sign-up bonus is a good offer, the annual fee is fair, and if you travel a lot, this could be a good card for you.

If you’re not a frequent flyer, you’ll likely want to choose another travel card.

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Editorial Discloser: Opinions expressed here are authors alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.