[Application Link: 50,000 Avios miles after $2,000 spend in 3 months]
Forever a question mark in the award space, British Airways Avios miles are either the best or worst out there – depending on whom you ask. The 50,000-mile offer from Chase is still out there. Here are the details:
- 50,000 Avios miles after spending $2,000 in 3 months
- $95 annual fee (waived first year)
- 2.5 points per $1 spent on British Airways, 1.25 points per $1 spent everywhere else
- Travel Together companion ticket after $30,000 spent in calendar year
- 10% discount on British Airways purchased flights (round-trip from U.S.)
- No foreign transaction fees
- EMV chip card
- Approval difficulty: Hard (700+ credit score with good income)
- Churn status: Moderate (Can be reapplied for after 24 months)
British Airways Avios miles can be redeemed for short-haul flights at excellent rates, often for as little as 12,500 miles one-way. This is because the airline has a distance-based award system, so any flights fewer than 3,000 actual miles are eligible for the 12,500 rates.
And, with the ability to book on partner flights such as American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air Berlin and Aer Lingus (Boston to Dublin is still only 12,500 miles!), a variety of U.S. and international flights are available. Unfortunately the British Airways website heavily favors their own routes, so I recommend using this tool to find a non-fuel surcharge route (more on this later).
Other benefits of the card are unique, although the actual value depends on your travel habits. The Travel Together companion ticket means two seats can be booked with one award ticket, but the big disclosure is both passengers must pay fuel surcharges. Again, beneficial for those spending over $30,000 a year but I would recommend researching further before using this as a selling point.
Meanwhile the 10% discount on purchased British Airways round-trip flights is a great benefit, provided you buy BA flights often. Note that both of these benefits require the cardholder to be departing from the U.S. and have a physical address there.
You may be wondering why I mentioned fuel surcharges twice in the good news section. And that is because, more so than any other airline, British Airways award flights carry significant fees for fuel. These surcharges can easily soar into the several hundred range for international tickets – making coach redemptions not all that practical.
As an example, I have found $800 tickets in economy that would have $400 in fuel surcharges - plus all the Avios miles - if booked as an award. While some view this as a deal, it pales in comparison to other large airlines in the space.
One caveat to this is many business and first class flyers find value even with the fuel surcharges, using Avios miles to book several thousand dollar tickets for a few hundred in fees.
The Final Word
My strategy is always the same: earn as many miles as possible, across multiple airlines, and then travel exactly as you would like to. Meaning disregard the most “economical” use of miles on a 4-stop, 26-hour journey, and just use the miles - they are worthless if they just sit in your account anyway.
By having 50,000 Avios miles, you enable more flexibility to travel, particularly within the U.S. If you have a Chase application to spare and already have one of their top cards, my recommendation is apply before this deal expires. If you are still on the fence, read this review of Avios miles – the best I have come across, albeit a bit dated.
A final note is that Chase is a difficult issuer to be approved for. Make sure to have a 700+ credit score and at least $70,000 in income, which in my estimation is the baseline to being approved. This estimation is not endorsed by Chase, however, and is based on readers, research using this approval database and my own experience.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to Chase.