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You might’ve heard a version of the infamous British Airways 100,000 points deal is back.
It’s a beast of a deal – there’s no doubt about that. And I mean that in a good way AND a bad way.
There are many cons to accept with this deal: the minimum spending, the materiality of the points themselves, and a gigantic black hole of opportunity cost. But let’s call a spade a spade here: at this point I’m taking what I can get.
And 100,000 of any kind of points is nothing to sniff at. So I got the Chase British Airways card again – even after I brutally dumped it a little over 2 years ago.
In This Post
A hard look at this 100K offer, OK
- Link: Chase British Airways card – Compare it here
There’s zero doubt in my mind this offer isn’t for most people. But it’s definitely for me. The more I thought about it, I realized that.
Peeps say British Airways Avios points are difficult to use because award availability on American Airlines (their partner) is scarce – at best. And their best European partner, Air Berlin, recently, uh, went under.
Award flights on British Airways themselves are laden with $1,000+ fuel surcharges.
Not to mention the terms of the deal. You earn:
- 50,000 British Airways Avios points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- An additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
- A further 25,000 British Airways Avios points after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios
$20,000 in spend to unlock the full deal! That’s a LOT of spending. But when you break it down, that’s $1,666 per month if you stretch it out over a year – which is a LOT more palatable.
The rent on one of my Airbnbs is $1,535 + parking and utilities so even if I just stuck that on the card, I’d unlock the full bonus.
What reeled me in: 6X everywhere!
It’s not hard math to see you’ll earn 5X points on everything you purchase. Spend $20,000, get 100,000 points. I know there are 5X bonus categories out there – and I’ll still make the most of those – but to earn 5X on rent payments through Plastiq (even with the 2.5% fee considered) is still a lot of points per $1 spent. More than I’m used to these daze.
But it’s really 6X everywhere.
Because you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent, too. If you spend exactly $20,000, you’ll get the 100,000 point sign up bonus + 20,000 points for the minimum spending. That’s 6X (120,000 points / $20,000)! Not a bad deal at all.
I’ll still likely use my Chase Sapphire Reserve for dining, my Citi Prestige for airfare, and my Chase Freedom for its own 5X quarterly categories. But yeah, I can stick a rent payment on the Chase British Airways card without missing out of any of that.
Previously, I determined it’s worth it to use the Amex Blue Business Plus for Plastiq rent payments even at 2X points per $1. But to get 6X on those payments is obviously even better.
The thought of 6X everywhere on up to $20,000 in spend… I couldn’t hold back any longer.
NOT a 5/24 card
I have 30 credit cards to my name right now. So I’m not falling below 5/24 any time soon. Fortunately, this is one of the few Chase cards NOT impacted by their 5/24 rule – so it’s still open to every commoner in the land, including knaves like me (I’m a knave!).
Honestly – there are not many cards I can get any more. I can’t get most Amex cards because I’ve had them all before. I can’t get Citi cards because of their “family of brands” rule. There aren’t many Barclaycards I care about – and the ones I do, I have. I have my Discover It. And 2 US Bank cards (including the US Bank Altitude Reserve).
What’s left if you’re an “old-timer” to this hobby?
I don’t have the luxury of picking through offers. I have to take what comes my way. Even if this offer isn’t exactly tops on my list, it’s a good deal and a great number of points. And despite not fully knowing how I’ll use them, I know myself – and I know I’ll put them to good use.
Plus, what else am I earning now? The best spending you can do is for sign-up bonuses. And this is one of the more appealing ones out there right now.
I should address this. Back in the day, I could unlock 4 or 5 (or more!) credit card sign-up bonuses with $20,000 in spending. Those days are over for me.
If you’re still new, you should definitely NOT get this card. You’ll miss you on too much. But me, I’m not missing out on anything because there’s nothing to miss. This deal is all I have open to me right now – but you should think about what other cards, bonuses, and category spend you’d miss by putting so much spending on one card.
Are the points really that hard to use?
The other extremely valid critique is: OK, so I get 100,000 of these British Airways Avios points. How do I use them?
There’s no sugar-coating this: they are more difficult to redeem than your run-of-the-mill points.
They’re best if you’re persistent, and flexible with your dates. If you aren’t both of those things, you’ll have a devil of a time getting anything good from them. Period.
That said, I’m still finding niche routes where these points can save a heap.
There’s a Dallas to Toronto flight which OF COURSE American Airlines guards like Fort Knox when it comes to award space. These flights are routinely $550 round-trip in coach. Which like: 💥🙃🔫
BUT. I have found space before. And I’ll find it again. It’s 20,000 Avios round-trip in coach. That easily meets my 2 cents per point rule. And I could theoretically get 6 of them and save myself ~$3,300 (120,000 / 20,000).
And and and. You can still redeem Avios flights outside of the US under 651 miles for only 4,500 points each way (no one talks about that any more). That’s an incredible deal.
There’s also a Dallas to Cancun flight that has space sometimes (you know I love my Hyatt Zilara Cancun). And a Dallas to Nassau (Bahamas) flight. The point is: find American Airlines routes (or other partner routes) you’re interested in and watch them. These points do have value still. You just need a bit of patience (and maybe some luck).
Other ways to use them off the top of my head:
- Jo’burg to Cape Town on BA in South Africa
- Sydney to Melbourne on Qantas in Australia
- Around South America on LATAM
- Around Europe on BA or Finnair
- Certain Fifth Freedom routes that are extremely interesting with usually wide open space
And hey, doesn’t American Airlines have a Dallas to Mexico City flight? Back to the point about finding routes you’re interested in… I’ve been wanting to visit Mexico City for so long by now. That might actually be my #1 use of Avios at the moment.
- Link: Chase British Airways card – Compare it here
Are you in my boat? Are you tapped out, open to any slash most offers, and well over 5/24? I urge you to seriously give this deal a ponder. I couldn’t resist the 6X calculation – it’s just too good despite the type of points.
If you’re under 5/24, just starting out, or unwilling to meet the full spending requirements, my god back away from this.
That’s the polarity of this offer. It’s extremely subjective.
All that to say: I bit the bullet. The card is coming next week. I’ll unlock the full offer. I might even try to get the Travel Together certificate for bleeps and giggles.
My plan is to put my Airbnb rents and maybe some utility bills on this card until I meet the full bonus requirements. And then go back to my other cards.
But for now, the race is on. And pretty soon I’ll be 120,000 British Airways Avios points richer when you factor in the minimum spending requirements. 6X everywhere. Ready for it!
What do you make of this offer? Will you take the bait? Or is it total caca?
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