Review of the British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

May 27, 2015

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The British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card is a popular card among travelers. Issued by Chase Bank, it offers points for purchases – known as “Avios” – that can be redeemed for travel expenses, as well as other travel benefits.

This card is meant mainly for spending with British Airways, where you’ll earn 3 Avios per dollar. There’s no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee for the first year, after which it is $95.

Chase and Avios recently announced the multi-year continuation of their relationship, meaning that this card or another co-branded card should be available for years to come.

British Airways Visa Signature Card
Apply Now

British Airways Visa Signature Card

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Interest Rate: 17.74%–24.74% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 3X Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases
  • 50,000 bonus Avios for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 25,000 bonus Avios for spending a total of $10,000 in the first year; 25,000 bonus Avios for spending a total of $20,000 in the first year
  • Automatic enrollment in the British Airways Executive Club programme
  • Earn a Travel Together Ticket for each year that you spend $30,000 or more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee

The information for British Airways Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Rewards

You’ll earn 3 Avios per dollar for every purchase made with British Airlines, and 1 Avios per dollar for all other purchases.

There is currently an offer for 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

The Benefits

You’ll be able to earn a Travel Together Ticket if you spend $30,000 in purchases in 1 year. You can use this ticket to bring a companion with you when you redeem your Avios for a reward seat, even in first class. Carrier charges, taxes, and other relevant fees will still apply. The ticket is good for 2 years.

This card has Chip-and-Signature EMV technology, a must for travel credit cards to provide better accessibility in foreign countries.

Cardholders will be automatically enrolled in the British Airways Executive Club program, an exclusive club that provides special travel benefits and services. These include a platform for managing, sharing, and redeeming Avios, as well as access to members-only deals and offers through Gate 365, an online marketplace for cardholders.

A current offer, for example, is a limited-time deal to get 4 Avios per dollar spent when shopping at the Saks Fifth Avenue website when accessed through Gate 365.

Depending on your credit history, you may be issued a Visa Platinum card (for lower credit scores) or a Visa Signature card (for higher credit scores). Each of these levels come with different services, and you’ll need to check your particular card terms to learn what is available to you.

Click here for a description of the full set of Visa benefits.

Platinum cardholders, the lower level, will probably have access to an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, providing coverage against theft and damage for rented vehicles as long as the rental company’s own insurance is declined.

An Emergency Cash Advance or Emergency Card Replacement is available if necessary.

Some Platinum cards also feature Travel and Emergency Assistance Services to provide help if you get into trouble on the road or in a foreign country. This includes medical and legal referrals, as well as help finding local services.

Cards at the Visa Signature level will include more exclusive benefits, potentially including:

  • A Concierge Service to be your over-the-phone assistant for arranging travel and locating hard-to-find purchases
  • Purchase Protection to cover purchases against damage and theft
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement to provide funds if your luggage is lost
  • Travel Accident Insurance that covers you and your family when traveling by common carrier

The Costs

Annual Fee Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$95 17.74%–24.74% Variable 17.74%–24.74% Variable 26.74% Variable 0%

The Fees

Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Terms Up to $38 Up to $38

The Bottom Line

If you frequently travel with British Airlines this card could end up saving you quite a bit of money. The reward points, Avios, will accumulate quickly at 3 points per dollar when you spend with British Airlines, and you can find more deals and discounts through the Gate 365 marketplace to maximize your purchasing power.

The British Airways Visa Signature card has two features that you definitely want to find on a travel credit card: a lack of a foreign transaction fee, and the presence of EMV technology, in this case as Chip-and-Signature. These features mean that you’ll be able to use the card more freely while abroad, without being charged for it.

If you don’t often fly with British Airlines, the annual fee on this card will probably make it a bad choice to own. Check your own spending patterns – is there a particular airline that you fly the most with? There’s a decent chance that you can find a travel credit card that will fit into your habits, save you some money, and make traveling more enjoyable.

Do you use this credit card to get around? What are your favorite travel features, with this card or others? Let us know in the comments below!

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