In 2010, when British Airways offered a 100,000-mile sign-up bonus for its loyalty program-linked credit card, it was hailed as one of the most generous credit card promotions ever. The offer: 100,000 bonus miles after new cardholders charged $2,000 within three months. Quick, easy, and lucrative.
It was big news at the time, and set a new standard for credit-card promotions.
Since then, there have been quite a few 100,000-point sign-up bonuses offered for various rewards credit cards. But rarely if ever was such a outsize bonus achievable after just $2,000 in spend.
When British Airways reprised its own 100,000-mile offer, in early 2016, new cardholders were required to charge a hefty $20,000 within 12 months to earn the full bonus.
Not surprisingly, the latest British Airways 100,000-mile credit card offer is more like the 2016 promotion than the original 2010 offer.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after charging $3,000 within the first three months
- Earn 25,000 bonus Avios after charging $10,000 within the first 12 months
- Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after charging $20,000 within the first 12 months
So yes, there are potentially 100,000 miles on offer, but only after spending $20,000 within 12 months.
Current cardholders and those who have received a sign-up bonus for the card within the past 24 months are ineligible. There’s no published end date for the offer, so it could be withdrawn or downsized at any time.
- Annual fee: $95
- Annual percentage rate: variable, currently 16.49% to 23.49%, based on creditworthiness
- Cardholders earn 3 Executive Club miles for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases, 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- Cardholders receive a free companion award ticket every year they charge $30,000 to the card
- Smart chip technology, so the card can be used for chip-based purchases in Europe
- No foreign transaction fees
The Executive Club Caveat
For most consumers, $20,000 is a lot of spend. But a year is a long time. And 100,000 is a lot of miles.
As always when discussing British Airways’ Executive Club program, the issue of sky-high fuel surcharges on award tickets must be raised. While it’s possible to get solid value by redeeming miles for flights on British Airways’ partner airlines, it does require extra work to circumvent the most noxious fees.
Reader Reality Check
What would you do with 100,000 British Airways miles?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.