(This post does not contain any affiliate links)
I know you’ve most likely heard about the new 100,000 Avios offer on the Chase British Airways Visa credit card already but I wanted to share a few thoughts on it, specifically on a few different items to evaluate before applying. A lot of digital ink has been spilled expressing how amazing this offer is and while I agree it is a good offer, I’d like to express some words of caution because this offer is NOT for everyone.
Here are the key details of the offer:
- 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 in 3 months
- 25,000 additional Avios for spending $10,000 total in the first year
- 25,000 additional Avios for spending $20,000 total in the first year (so 100,000 total Avios if you spend $20k or more in a year)
- $95 annual fee NOT waived
As you can tell that is a LOT of spending to take full advantage of this offer and unlike the normal offer on this card (which is 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 in 3 months with the annual fee WAIVED) this offer does NOT waive the annual fee. While a 100k offer is normally great, here is a list of items to consider before applying for this card.
- If You Are Unsure if You Can Spend $20,000 in a Year on This Card
This is probably the most important point to make. As I mentioned above, the normal offer on this card has the annual fee of $95 waived and you can earn the same 50,000 Avios from this offer (this offer is still available here). If you gamble and think you can spend this much but fail, you would have paid a $95 annual fee on this offer for no reason. Please make sure you have a plan to meet this large minimum spend.
- Do You Fly American Airlines or Alaska Air?
It might sound funny to those who aren’t already aware but you don’t actually want to use these points to fly British Airways. That’s because British Airways will tack on hundreds or thousands of dollars of fuel surcharges on award flights on their metal (and most of their partners with some exceptions). Instead you should plan on using these points on American Airlines/Alaska Air domestically or to the Caribbean/Mexico. Since British Airways’ award chart is based on the distance of the flight, a 100,000 Avios can go a long way. See the chart below for flight costs. Basically, if you don’t plan on using a good portion of these points for American or Alaskan flights, I’d rethink if this is the right offer for you.
P.S. Yes, I am aware of other good uses of Avios (US to South America, Australian domestic flights etc.) but practically speaking the majority of my readers would be using these points for AA or Alaska Air flights.
- You Had This Card & Received a Signup Bonus within the Past 24 Months
This is actually a quite simple rule to follow. Chase will not award you the bonus points on this offer if you received the signup bonus within the past 24 months. (Thanks to Justin for catching this!)
- Losing the Opportunity to Put Spend on More Rewarding Cards
Assuming you are not into manufactured spending, most people would need to use this card full time for a while to meet the minimum spend requirement. Since this card only earns 1 Avios per dollar spent with no bonus category (except for 3 points per dollar spent on British Airways), you are giving up 2x, 3x or even 5x points earned in certain categories. Without knowing your personal situation and spending habits, does it really make sense to put all your spending on a 1x card whose points have limited usefulness (as described above)? Of course only you can answer that question.
I don’t mean to sound so negative about this offer as I think this offer works for the right individuals – in fact, I plan to apply for this card myself. I posted this because I know a lot of people are going to see “100k offer” and think it is amazing (and a lot of blogs have written as such). My advice is to analyze your personal situation and ask yourself if it really makes sense for you. I think the four points I presented above are a good starting point for this discussion and if you find yourself wavering on a few, rethink whether this offer is good for you. The old offer of 50,000 Avios with no annual fee for the first year is still available as well.