Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.
Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.
The British Airways Visa Signature® from Chase Bank is the card to have if you’re a loyal British Airways customer. Outside of high rewards on airline ticket purchases, this card gives all users the opportunity to earn a Travel Together Ticket, which is one of the most high-valued credit card rewards available. Those individuals who value flexibility in their travels might want to consider a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead – it offers slightly lower rewards rates, though its points can be transferred to a number of different partner airlines (including British Airways).
- High rewards rate on British Airways purchases, along with opportunity to earn a Travel Together Ticket (companion ticket)
- High value bonus ($750)
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 Annual Fee
- High fees when redeeming rewards for flights
- Chip & Signature technology not accepted in many places in Europe
Review: Is the British Airways Visa Signature® Card Worth It?
Individuals who are dead-set on travelling with British Airways will be hard pressed to find a travel credit card that offers better value than the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. Between the high rewards rate of 4.5% on British Airways ticket purchases, and a 50,000 Avios welcome bonus (reached after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening) the card has a lot of short-term and long-term earning potential. If you frequently travel with one or more people, and charge at least $30,000 annually to your credit card, the card's Travel Together Ticket offers unparalleled value – this benefit alone is worth hundreds of dollars.
British Airways is known for adding on high fees to their rewards flights. Therefore, even with the Travel Together Ticket, you shouldn’t expect to be flying for free just because you have this card. While you will be saving in the long-term, other loyalty programs might end up costing you less out of pocket. The Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card, another airline co-branded credit card, is a good alternative for domestic travelers in that regard.
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card has no foreign transaction fees and an EMV chip, making it better suited for international travel than the average card. However, the type of EMV technology that comes with the card might cause some difficulties when traveling to countries which use a ‘Chip & Pin’ variant of the technology – more below.
Bottom Line: If you have strong brand loyalty to British Airways, and spend above $30,000 annually, this is one of the best credit cards you can have. If you meet those two requirements, and travel frequently, then the $95 annual fee becomes well worth it.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card Rewards & Benefits
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is all about earning users Avios – these are British Airways frequent flyer miles. Cardholders will predominantly earn Avios from through using their credit card to make purchases. 3 Avios are awarded for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases, and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Avios can be used to book British Airways flights, upgrade seats, rent hotels and more.
Because British Airways is notorious for charging high taxes and fees (e.g. fuel surcharge), it is often times more beneficial to use your Avios to book flights with other airlines. Points can be redeemed for travel with any one of the other OneWorld alliance partners - including American Airlines, Airberlin, and Qantas.
Cardholders can also earn 50,000 bonus Avios by making $3,000 in purchases in their first 3 months of account opening. Balance transfers, cash advances, and purchases of cash-like products (money orders, foreign currency, etc.) do not count towards the minimum spend. We estimate this bonus to be worth approximately $750, making it one of the most valuable welcome offers currently available. This estimate assumes you redeem your Avios at a rate of at least $0.015 per point. Plus, right now, you can earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 on purchases or 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend a total of $20,000 on purchases within your first year of account opening.
The rewards rate on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is between 1.5% and 4.5%. We calculate this value as follows: by spending $1 towards a British Airways ticket, you can earn 3 Avios. Assuming the value of a single Avios to be $0.015, spending that $1 earned you a total of $0.045 (3 x $0.015). Therefore, you earned 4.5% of your purchase back in the form of rewards points. The math works the same way on the lower end of the points earning spectrum, when you are awarded 1 point per $1.
This high rewards rate puts the British Airways Visa Signature® Card up there with some of the best airline miles credit cards. The graph below illustrates how the rewards rate on this card compares to that of some of its competitors in the air.
Travel Together Ticket (Companion Pass)
Every year you make at least $30,000 in purchases (an average of $2,500 per month), you will be awarded a Travel Together Ticket from British Airways. This is essentially a “buy one get one free” coupon on a single itinerary. Therefore, depending on where you go, this British Airways Visa Signature® credit card offer is worth hundreds of dollars.
You may earn just 1 Travel Together Ticket per year. It will be issued at the end of the billing cycle you reach the $30,000 spend mark. However, you will need to wait another 4-6 weeks before that ticket turns into a voucher on your British Airways Executive Club account. From the date this voucher is issued, you have two years to use it. Even though you can hypothetically hold two Travel Together Tickets at the same time, you may not use them on the same trip. The ticket cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions.
This travel together does not excuse you from paying taxes, fees, and carrier charges. Currently, reward flights' total charges are somewhere between $682 and $1,250. These are fees you’d pay regardless if you were going to fly. Therefore, these fees don’t detract from the value of companion ticket.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card & International Travel
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card has no foreign transaction (FX) fees but has an EMV chip – two qualities which make it well suited for international travel. By having $0 FX fees, users will not be charged the typical 3% premium for using their card abroad – as is common with many other credit cards.
British Airways Visa Signature® cardholders might find it difficult getting their credit card to work in certain countries. Unfortunately, the EMV technology that comes with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is not of the best variety. This card is a ‘Chip & Signature’ variant, as opposed to a more secure ‘Chip & Pin’. The difference can be huge if you plan to use your card at unmanned point of sale terminals in Europe. In France, for example, many gas stations and train ticketing stations, without an attendant, will only accept Chip & Pin credit cards, which can leave travelers in a tough bind.
How Does the British Airways Visa Signature® Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?
In order to get a sense of the value the British Airways Visa Signature® Card holds, it’s imperative to understand how it compares against the competition. When considering other credit cards, the value of this card largely came down to one’s loyalty to British Airways. If you already use the airline for all your travel, and do not plan on switching, then the airline's co-branded card is an attractive offering.
British Airways Visa Signature® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best credit cards available to customers who spend a lot on travel and dining. IT provides rewards rates between 1.25% and 2.5% in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. While these rates are lower than what we see on the British Airways Visa Signature®, one must consider rewards flexibility. Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used to book travel with a number of different airlines (including British Airways). If you travel exclusively with British Airways then the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is the better deal. Otherwise, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent addition to any traveler’s wallet.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card vs Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
If you travel predominantly around the U.S., Mexico & the Caribbean we recommend going with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card over the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a highly sought after airlines miles credit card. For people who frequently travel domestically, Rapid Rewards points are some of the best frequent flyer miles to have – due to the program's great redemption options and availability. The current Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card bonus stands at 40,000 points, which you get after spending at least $1,000 in the first 3 months of your account opening. Plus, you can earn 20,000 points after spending $12,000 in your first year of account opening.
Credit card rewards are highly dependent upon your individual spending profile – a card that is valuable to one person may not be to another. You can use our tool below to calculate your customized rewards rate for each card.