British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card

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British Airways loyalists stand to gain the most from this card, especially in the first year when they can earn up to 75,000 bonus Avios (points).

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our airline category page.

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Editor’s note: This offer may have expired or is no longer available.

 

For avid British Airways travelers, here’s a card that offers big travel rewards for big spending on the airline. Not only does the British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card offer a generous sign-up bonus of 75,000 points within the first year if you meet spending requirements, but cardholders can also get a companion ticket each year if they spend $30,000.

Review

As with many airline-specific rewards cards, the British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card offers the most rewards for purchases made through the airline. Cardholders can earn 3 Avios, British Airways’ term for rewards points, on every $1 spent on British Airways. All other purchases get just 1 Avios per $1 you spend.

You’ll also collect 50,000 bonus Avios if you spend $3,000 in the first three months and then another 25,000 Avios if you manage to spend $10,000 within the first year. This offer is only good for new cardholders.

However, new and old cardholders both get a chance to snag a Travel Together ticket if they spend $30,000 within one calendar year.

Keep in mind, you will be required to pay taxes, fees and carrier charges on this companion ticket, which isn’t cheap. Depending on the flight, economy travelers will have to cough up between $682 and $1250 per adult and business class passengers will pay $1250 in taxes and fees. You have two years to use the Travel Together ticket once it’s issued.

The $95 annual fee seals the deal on this card being designed for frequent swipers. If you don’t use your credit card often, you can end up losing money on this card. You’d have to spend about $1,000 per year on British Airways purchases and approximately $550 per month to break even. If you don’t think you’d spend that much and you still want to earn travel rewards on what you do spend, then you should consider getting a no-annual-fee card, like the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.

Who should get this card

Unless you mainly travel on British Airways, then there’s no real reason to get this card. It’s truly designed for the ardent British Airways flier, as they will get the maximum rewards for their purchases through the airline. The $95 annual fee means that you need to spend at least several hundred dollars per month on the card to get value; so if you’re traveling on British Airways often then you could end up with some valuable rewards come year’s end, such as a free companion ticket.

Fees and APR

  • There is a $95 annual fee.
  • You’ll pay a variable APR ranging from 17.49% to 24.49%.
  • The cash advance variable APR is 26.49%.
  • You won’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee.

Extras, perks and using points

Cardholders who make $30,000 in purchases during a calendar year will earn a Travel Together Ticket.

International travelers won’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee.

You’ll get to choose your seats 24 hours before departure.

How this card compares

Citi Prestige® Card
  • 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1X points on all other purchases

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our airline category page.

Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

17.49% to 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness, for transfers completed within 2 months from date of account opening. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$450.

Balance Transfers Intro APR

The Citi Prestige Card gives air travel rewards at a rate of 3X points to the Amex Platinum’s 5X points. But, it comes with one perk that could make it worth more to you: on hotel stays of four or more nights booked through the Citi concierge, get the fourth night free. For some, this benefit could exceed the cost of card ownership.

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
  • Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Regular APR

17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable based on your creditworthiness

Annual Fee

$89 (waived first year)

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% intro for first 12 billing cycles following each BT that posts within 45 days of account opening

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard will likely appeal to those who want the most flexible redemption options for their miles.  You can use your earnings to book travel, get a statement credit for travel purchases, or for gift cards and select merchandise.  This may be of greater value to you depending on your spending habits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

17.74% - 24.74% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s hefty sign-up bonus, boosted redemption value when using the Chase portal, and a generous rewards program make this card a stand-out among travel rewards cards offering big value for minimal cost. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for everything from flights to lodging to cruises, this also makes it one of the most flexible redemption programs among travel cards.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.