Is the Chase British Airways Card Worth It for 50,000 Points? Maybe.

Update: This offer is NO longer available. To see the latest credit card deals, click here

The tiered sign-up bonus for the Chase British Airways card ends on October 5th, 2017 – in one week! Until then, you can 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

Committing to spend $20,000 on a single card is a lot to ask. And it’s certainly not for most peeps.

chase british airways card

Fly to Amsterdam with British Airways Avios points and ride a bike

But it can be worth it to see this as a 50,000 point sign-up offer to spend $3,000 within the first 3 months – that’s much more reasonable. And forget about the other tiers.

50,000 points for that amount of spending it a respectable sign-up bonus. Especially because this card is NOT subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.

And a thank you to Ben for helping to unravel the numbers of this deal even more!

Pick up 50,000 British Airways Avios points

If you open this card and spend $3,000 within the 3-month timeframe, you’ll earn at least 1 point per $1 spent in addition to 50,000 British Airways Avios points. So you end up with 53,000 points for spending $3,000 – which means you earn ~18 cents per $1 (53,000 / 3,000). That alone is an incredible rate of return.

Remember, you can still book flights outside the US under 651 miles for 4,500 Avios points each way. So 53,000 Avios is enough for nearly 12 short one-way flights, or 6 round-trips (53,000 / 4,500).

I have personally booked Sydney-Melbourne on Qantas and Vienna-Budapest on Air Berlin (RIP). And you can still fly cheaply around Asia on JAL and Cathay Pacific. Or around Europe on Finnair or British Airways.

a close up of a logo

Viva Oneworld

Or short flights on any of these airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

It’s also extremely easy to wring value from these short flights. I always want my points to be worth 2 cents each. So before redeeming 4,500 points, I want to make sure they’re worth at least $90 – which is beyond doable.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

SYD-MEL flights are $110 to $294 each way – and all of them meet my 2 cents per point requirement

If your 12 one-way flights are even $100 each, that’s worth $1,200 – which is a very good value from one sign-up bonus. That’s if you just wanted 50,000 Avios.

Why would you stop after earning 50,000 points?

Quite simply, opportunity cost. If you’re not locked out of most sign up offers (unlike me), your $20,000 in spending can unlock many money sign up bonuses. Assuming each one is $3,000, that’s another 5+ offers you could unlock ($17,000 / 3)!

Also, your incremental return does decrease. Though you get ~18 cents per $1 for the first $3,000, that rate plummets afterward. You get:

  • ~5 cents per $1 to earn 32,000 Avios for $7,000 more spending
  • 3.5 cents per $1 to earn 35,000 Avios for $10,000 more spending

Those are still fantastic earning rates for non-bonused spend. But if you can do better in a 5X or even 3X category to earn transferable points, it might be worth skipping the extra spending on the Chase British Airways card.

a screenshot of a credit card

How to meet 90% of your minimum spending in 15 seconds with Plastiq payments 😂

Personally, I have a ton of spending I can run through this card – and I’d rather get 18X, 5X, or 3.5X British Airways points than 3X Citi ThankYou points for paying my Airbnb rents through Plastiq. I’ll continue to put my mortgage payment on my Citi AT&T Access More MasterCard though – which still earns me 3X on those payments.

Admittedly, my case is unique so I’m going to power through the $20,000 in spending to unlock the full bonus. But many peeps would do just fine to stop after $3,000 and 50,000 Avios points.


Bottom line

Wanted to post again about this deal because it’s one of the few most of us can still get.

If you do decide to earn the full sign up offer, it averages out to 6X point per $1 spent on $20,000. That’s an extremely decent deal.

Do NOT get this card if you’re still under 5 opened cards in the last 24 months. Fill those slots with other valuable Chase cards like the Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, and then return to this offer later.

Another consideration: the 100,000 point offer is going away on October 5th, 2017. It will likely drop to 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months – exactly the deal described in this post. But if you wait, you won’t have the option to earn the extra points. So having that choice might be worthwhile in case your card planning goals change – and you have a full year to complete the rest of the spending.

Finally, check out my other post on this deal for more analysis. I hopped on this offer after giving it some consideration. Now that it’s been confirmed to end in a week, now is a good time to consider if it’s worthwhile for you.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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