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The World’s Most Lucrative Credit Card Is Back!

(Editor’s Note: This on-again-off-again promotion is currently on. The latest information is here.)

It was on in November. Then it was off in December. And it’s on again in January.

“It” is British Airways’ bonus-mile offer for new British Airways Signature Visa cardholders: 50,000 miles after the first purchase charged to the card, plus a second 50,000 miles after charging $2,000 during the first three months.

The card also entitles users to a $50 discount on British Airways tickets charged to the card, and a free companion award ticket for cardholders who charge $30,000 or more in a year.

The Visa card comes with a $75 annual fee, and a variable annual percentage rate on unpaid balances, currently 13.24 percent.

Generous credit card incentives have become commonplace in recent years, but a 100,000-mile bonus is unprecedented. As I gushed when it was rolled out the first time, this is the most lucrative such promotion ever offered.

But the offer’s on-again-off-again history is of more than academic interest.

British Airways and Chase, the card issuer, have already proven their willingness to summarily terminate this promotion, so there’s no telling how long it will remain in place this time. I’d suggest taking advantage of this sooner rather than later.

If you’re in the market for plastic, it doesn’t get much more fantastic.

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