Travel Together For Less with British Airways Visa Signature® Card

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 28 June 2017. 1 comment

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When choosing a travel rewards credit card, it's important to evaluate whether or not you would be able to take full advantage of the rewards offered by the card. Unlike cash back credit cards, the value of a "mile" isn't always clear, especially if you can't use them all. However, the opportunity to get greater value from your purchases is sometimes better with a travel rewards card, especially co-branded airline cards like the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

How This Card Works

You must be a member of the British Airways Executive Club program in order to participate in the rewards program. When you open your credit card account, you will automatically be enrolled in the program if you are not already a member. You can earn 3 Avios for each dollar spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for each dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn an unlimited number of Avios which do not expire as long as you collect, spend, purchase, or share at least one Avios every 36 months.

You can redeem Avios for flights or upgrades with British Airways or with oneworld airline partners such as American Airlines, Japan Airlines, and LAN Airlines. Award flights are available with British Airways and with oneworld partners. You are responsible for taxes, fees, and carrier charges with all award flights which can range from $682 to $1,250 for each adult economy class ticket.

Other Benefits

Travel Together Ticket. Every calendar year that you make $30,000 in purchases, you will earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years. Use it to bring a companion in the same cabin (even first class) when you redeem your Avios for a reward seat.

Pros

Annual companion ticket. Each calendar year that you spend $30,000 with your card earns a Travel Together Ticket which is good for two years. A companion traveling with you can use this ticket for a flight in the same class (including first class), on the same schedule. Taxes, fees, and carrier charges apply, and vary according to the flight. Furthermore, the annual ticket is in addition to the Avios you have earned from your purchases, which can result in another round-trip ticket by itself. Note that this can only be used when you use Avios to book a reward flight. (See also: Best Credit Cards that Offer Airline Companion Tickets)

Use Avios for oneworld flights. You can choose from a number of partner airlines with oneworld airlines and are not limited to using your rewards on flights with British Airways. This allows more flexibility in using the rewards earned from your card and allows you to use your Avios for flights with other airlines. (See also: How Airline Partnerships Can Supercharge Your Travel Rewards)

No foreign transaction fee. It is best if you travel abroad frequently to use a credit card for purchases that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. This fee can range from zero to 3% and minimizes the value of any rewards earned from the purchases. Because there is no foreign transaction fee, this card is ideal for making foreign purchases. (See also: Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees)

Cons

Annual fee. If you don't frequently travel with British Airways or you are unable to meet the requirements for the extra opportunities, the annual fee can become a hefty expense. There are travel rewards cards which carries a lower annual fee. (See also: 5 Best Credit Cards with Travel Rewards)

High taxes and fees. Taxes, fees, and carrier charges vary depending on the flight, but can become rather expensive. British Airways has the highest fees so even when redeeming reward flights, you'll need to pay out some cash.

No built in travel perks. Other co-branded airline cards offer travel perks like priority boarding, free checked baggage, and airport lounge access. The only way to get those perks from British Airways is to earn them through flying.

Who This Card Is Best For

The British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card is best for those who frequently fly with British Airways, simply because you can earn the most Avios from those flights. You can redeem with oneworld partners, but the best value for your Avios is often in redeeming for British Airways flights. You also need to travel with British Airways enough to be able to use the companion ticket you earn each year if you spend at least $30,000. Because there is no foreign transaction fee, this card is best for those who frequently travel abroad. If you don't travel British Airways often, you should use one of the other travel rewards cards available that not only may offer a lower annual fee, but also provides a rewards program that you can actually use to offset any expenses.

The information related to the British Airways Visa Signature credit card has been collected by Wise Bread and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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I've had a BA card in the past and found it useless. I couldn't find any flights to use miles on and then when I got desperate to use points on anything it was insane the points they charge for a simple car rental, but I didn't want them to go to waste.