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For a long time, the Chase British Airways Visa has offered 1.25 points per dollar on non-bonus spend.
But starting April 30th, 2015, the card will become worthless. And you should dump it.
I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers saying how you can still get 50,000 Avios, without paying the annual fee of $95 the first year, and that the card is still worth it for that reason alone. No.
I’ve long been a supporter of the Chase British Airways Visa. I’ve even toyed with the idea of putting $30,000 of spend through the card to trigger the Travel Together companion certificate, despite the outrageous (!!!) fuel surcharges. I even researched Fifth Freedom flights, in part to defend the usefulness of Avios.
But this new earning structure, combined with the changes to their business/first class award redemptions, renders the card completely useless.
In fact, many other cards offer better earning rates for British Airways Avios:
- The Chase Ink Plus will continue to offer 5 Avios (Ultimate Rewards points) per dollar on office supply and telecommunication spend
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred will continue to offer 2 Avios per dollar on all travel (a very broad category already) and dining (also very broad)
- The American Express EveryDay Preferred will offer 4.5 Avios (Membership Rewards Points) per dollar on all grocery spend up to $6,000 per year (after 30 transactions per month), 3 Avios per dollar on gas, and 1.5 Avios on all other spend – this alone beats the socks off the Chase British Airways Visa – and it has the same annual fee (!)
Now, I love Chase. I really do. I value my relationship with Chase, and so far they’ve agreed to issue me 6 credit cards, which is incredibly generous.
I find it odd that an airline co-branded credit card will actually offer the lowest earning rate per dollar for spend. Hell, even the American Express Starwood Preferred card will offer the same earning rate – and I don’t give a $#!+ about Starwood points to begin with.
The thing that’s really peeving me is how other bloggers are saying that the 50,000 Avios signup bonus still makes the card worth it. No, no, no.
Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred and call it a day. I’d rather get 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points and have flexibility than have 50,000 Avios – and be tethered to the Chase British Airways card – any day.
In fact, the only way I will keep this card is if I’m offered a substantial retention offer, which I’m not expecting. What would it take for me to keep this card? At least 10,000 Avios – which I’d value at $200 – and nothing less. At least then I’d recoup the annual fee.
Otherwise, I will reallocate the existing credit to my Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus – to earn even more transferrable points – and dump this card like a bad habit.
British Airways, and the Chase British Airways Visa, have both been on my shit list for a while. I value the short-hauls, but don’t find British Airways useful for:
- Long-haul flights (though I flew OpenSkies to Paris last year)
- The Travel Together companion certificate
- Fuel surcharges (which are insane)
- The rather high annual fee on the credit card when compared to other, better cards
- Recent award chart changes
- And now, reduced earning rates on the co-branded credit card, which is really a shame
The co-branded credit card, with the same annual fee as other cards that earn even more points per dollar, should really shine and make me actually want to put spend on it. Instead, the reduced earning is compelling me to dump it altogether. And I hope you do, too.
Instead, I am completely turned off by these changes.
I am nearly shaking with anticipation to cancel this card because of these changes (not really, but you know).
I recommend not applying for it, and if you currently have it, dumping it.
Instead, get a Chase Sapphire Preferred (or a Chase Ink Plus), and call it a day. I value options over being locked into British Airways any day. And frankly, after all these changes, I don’t trust them.
And money talks. If enough people dump this product, maybe it will force Chase to renegotiate their contract with British Airways. Thinking big, but you never know. They changed it once, they can change it again.
Is anyone else planning to dump this now totally non-useful card? More interestingly, are there any valid points for keeping it? Would love to hear from you guys!
Also, losing faith in British Airways other than short-hauls. The game marches on…
(And crap, my “bottom line” was the longest section again! Oops. I do that sometimes.)
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.