Today Chase just released a 100K mile bonus for signing up for their British Airways Visa card. Unfortunately, this offer is not like the previous two 100K mile offers where you got the 100K miles just for spending a few thousand dollars in the first few months. Instead this offer is tiered where you get 50K miles upfront, but must spend $10,000 to earn another 25K miles and another $10,000 on top of that to earn the final 25K.
My thoughts on the Chase BA Visa…First, it’s a reasonably good card. The $95 annual fee is pretty high, but you do earn 1.25 miles per $1 spent, which is higher than most airline mileage earning cards. Second, this card charges no foreign transaction fees, which is nice for those who travel abroad frequently. Finally, the true value of this card lies in the free companion ticket for award redemptions. After spending $30,000 in a year, you earn a free companion voucher for any mileage redemption to anywhere BA flies (note that the travel must be on BA, and not partner carriers), which reduces the value of this feature, and I must point out that BA charges some ridiculously high fuel surcharges on award redemptions (especially in business class), which also reduces the value of this feature. However, for those who want to fly in business class to europe, this can be a huge savings considering that you could book a round trip from New York to London in business class for 80K miles and $1,100 each in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges. Considering how expensive business class travel can be, this is great way to travel in comfort at a reasonable price. Think of the 80K miles as the cost of upgrading from coach to business, and it’s a nice feature indeed.
Unfortunately I already took advantage of the BA Visa 100K offer in 2010 so I can’t get this offer again, but if you value the free award companion ticket and don’t mind spending $30,000 on your card in the next year, this could be an outstanding offer!