As of this weekend, Chase has begun waiving the annual fee during the first year for its British Airways Signature Card. You can now earn 50,000 Avios points (more on that in a moment) after completing a $2,000 minimum spend in three months, with no annual fee in the first year.
In addition to the signup bonus, the card also offers the following benefits:
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a “Travel Together Ticket” good for two years
- In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 2.5 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1.25 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad
The interesting thing about Avios points—managed by British Airways—is that the best way to use them has nothing to do with British Airways. If redeeming for BA flights, you’ll pay some hefty fuel surcharges, diluting the value of the points.
So what do you do instead? You redeem them for flights on OneWorld partners, in particular American Airlines (for short-haul flights in the U.S.) and Iberia (for transatlantic flights with no fuel surcharges).
Even with a relatively conservative estimate of $0.02 each, 50,000 Avios are worth at least $1,000. With a bit more work, you should be able to earn even more value from them.