If you recall the recent sign-up bonus for the British Airways Visa card—a jaw-dropping 100,000 miles after charging $2,000 during the first three months—the airline's latest credit card incentive may come as a bit of a letdown.
Realistically, though, while the new bonus isn't as lucrative as the earlier one—which at the time I called the most generous such offer I'd ever seen—it's still substantial. And British Airways and Chase, the card issuer, have added a new benefit to the card that potentially boosts its value significantly: no foreign currency transaction fees. That makes the British Airways card the first and only airline-affiliated card to waive those fees, although on the hotel side, both the InterContinental Priority Club and Hyatt Gold Passport Visa cards, also issued by Chase, have a similar benefit.
New British Airways Visa Signature cardholders can earn up to 50,000 bonus miles: 25,000 miles after the first purchase, and a second 25,000 miles after charging $2,500 within the first three months.
- Earn 1.25 miles for every $1 charged to the card, 2.5 miles for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases.
- Cardholders receive a companion award voucher every year they spend at least $30,000.
- Cardholders receive a $50 discount on British Airways transatlantic fares.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Annual fee for the card is $75, and the annual percentage rate is variable (Prime Rate plus 10.99 percent), currently 14.24 percent.
Deal or No Deal
Unlike the previous offer, which apparently was targeted but still widely promoted with a wink and a nod, the new bonus is open to all, assuming normal credit worthiness.
That's noteworthy, because there was always an element of uncertainty surrounding the old promotion. I know of some people who applied during the old promotion and received the bonus, others who didn't. It was hit or miss, with no accounting for the difference.
Although it doesn't rate a spot on the "Best Ever" list, the new bonus is among the most generous currently on offer from any travel rewards credit card. And for those who travel overseas, being spared that 3 percent foreign transaction fee is a real financial plus.
The principal negative of Executive Club miles remains the exorbitant fuel surcharges imposed for award flights. In the past, awards on British Airways' partners—including American—could be booked without incurring the surcharges, but there's some evidence that British Airways intends to extend the charges to its partners as well.
If you didn't take advantage of the offer the first time, and kicked yourself for missing out, this is a second chance to earn a solid bonus for a card that offers good value, especially for current and future British Airways customers.
Reader Reality Check
Did you apply for a card when the 100,000-mile bonus was in effect? Did you receive the bonus?
Is this offer rich enough to warrant adding another credit card to your collection?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.