British Airways 50,000 Avios Sign Up Bonus

For a second time this year, the 100,000 British Airways Avios credit card is available.

The card is definitely not as good as the original 100,000 offer [get 100,000 Avios after spending $2,500] which I don’t expect we’ll see any time soon, but it’s a very solid offer nonetheless.  Earlier this year when this offer was available, my wife signed up for the card and we just decided to settle for the 50,000 Avois.

British Airways Visa 50,000 Avois Offer Details

  1. Sign up for the card and get approved.
  2. After spending $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get 50,000 Avios.
  3. Spend $10,000 in the first year on the card, and you’ll get an additional 25,000.
  4. Spend an additional $10,000, and you’ll get another 25,000 points.
This card comes with a $95 annual fee that is not waived for the first year.

I’m guessing that not many of you will be able/willing/interested in spending $20,000 on the card in the next year.

So, what if you were to sign up and spend $1,000 in three months for 50,000 Avios miles?  Would that be a good deal?

To be clear, I don’t think spending $20,000 is worth 50,000 Avios.  I’d much rather have that $20,000 to reach the minimum spend on other cards (since it is the minimum spend that limits my ability to apply for new cards).  However, I think spending $1,000 for 50,000 Avios is a solid deal.

The problem?

Chase is putting up a ton of good sign up bonuses so you’ll need to pick and choose:

  1. Ink Bold and Ink Plus are currently reduced to only $5,000 minimum spending (usually $10,000) in the first three months.  After reaching the minimum spend, this card comes with a 50,000 Ultimate Reward payout.
  2. Southwest credit card 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000.  This offer is even sweeter when you can add a business credit card and go for a Companion Pass.
  3. Chase Sapphire Preferred – There is not currently any promotion offer with this card, but it still has the solid 40,000 point sign up bonus after spending $3,000 in 3 months.

What you need to know about British Airways Avios:

A few months ago, I wrote that the British Airways Visa is the card that I get the most negative feedback regarding. (And Chase Sapphire Preferred gets the best feedback).  The issue, I believe, is one of false expectations and a lack of understanding where Avios really excel.

To educate yourself, I suggest you read this introduction and overview of British Airways Avios.

1.  Late last year, Avios transitioned into a distance-based program.  The further your flights, the more Avois you’ll spend.  This is great news for short haul flights and bad news for longer flights.  Here are some samples:

  • Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia = 100,000 miles round trip
  • Toronto to Chicago = 9,000 miles round trip
  • Miami to Kingston, Jamaica = 9,000 miles round trip.
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo, Japan = 50,000 miles round trip
  • West Coast to Hawaii = 25,000 miles round trip
You can use the BA Avios mile calculator to determine how many miles a trip will require.

2.  Avios prices your mileage travel by segment.  Let’s say you want to fly from New York to Sydney, Australia.  We’ve just seen that LAX – SYD would require 100,000 miles.  However, you’d also need to be prepared to get a leg from JFK – LAX.  That would add another 25,000 miles round trip.  Any time you connect through a city you’ll be paying more miles.

Obviously, your goal would be to use your Avios points for direct flights.

3.  British Airways Avios miles have CRAZY expensive fuel surcharges on certain destinations.  You don’t want to use these points to fly to Europe.  If you’re thinking about getting this card for a specific trip, head over to ba.com and check out what the fuel surcharges would be for your selected flights.

How I use Avois:

My primary uses for Avios are for short flights.  This may be a positioning flight to Dallas from Denver (4,500 each way).  It may be connecting with my parents during a stop over in a American hub like Chicago or JFK.  Both of these cities require 4,500 each way to fly to/from Chicago.

I see Avois as a completely unique tool in my mileage tool box. When I need a short hop, Avois gets the nod.

If you want to know if Avios are ‘right’ for you, feel free to send me an email with some of your preferred travel destinations, and I’ll let you know.

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