I’m dumping the Chase British Airways Visa – and you should, too

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.

Rest in pieces

Rest in pieces

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.

Dump it

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 (!)

Other thoughts

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.

Other strikes

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.

Bottom line

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.)

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About Harlan

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

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  1. Definitely a good time to consider getting rid of the card, but the earning changes has zero effect on the card bonus. 50,000 points is still a great amount and should definitely be on the list of cards for anyone that values short-haul flights on Alaska, AA, and US Air.
    Getting this card does not exempt you from the CSP and it has an even lower spending requirement than the CSP for the bonus. If Avios are important, then the bonus still makes this a valuable card to apply for, if not keep.

  2. The only reason the other blogs are still recommending it is because of the affiliate payout. I agree, dump this worthless card.

  3. Fully agree with you. Just dumped mine last month after 4 years of being a card holder. All upcoming changes on BA charts made this card completely worthless. Anyone saying otherwise has hidden interests and some gain by saying that.

  4. There is another side to this coin for those with a bit of patience. I got this card back on 08/21/2013. When it came time to pay the annual fee, I called on 08/25/14 and was offered 9,000 to keep it and pay the $95. After meeting that minimum, I called again to cancel on 02/16/15 and got another 9,000. I will eventually cancel this card over the summer and apply again in Sept 2015 (2 yrs after initial 50K bonus) and get another 50K. All in all, 125,000 points (Bonus + spend) for $285. That is a sh*t ton of domestic travel for pennies on the dollar, would you not agree?

    • Good record-keeping!

      Yes, I would agree. That’s the only scenario in which I’d keep it, too. I will call Chase soon to see if they’ll “retain” me.

      Were you putting regular spend on the card between the retention offers? I wouldn’t want to actually use the card knowing that better earning rates exist elsewhere.

  5. This card was incredible, as all cards, are with the 100k offer a year or two ago. I think there was a 30% transfer bonus, so my 120k (had to spend $20k on the card to get both 50k’s) became 160(?) I guess. And you know Avios are super valuable in NYC, but agree with you on 40k UR being more valuable than 50k Avios.

    • They have been, actually. I love the invite recently and neglected to think of that benefit. So yes, there is that. Would be a good one to try and maximize!

  6. I think it’s best to dump British airway reward program. Their tickets are never free after you achieve the appropriate amount of Avios because of the outrageous fuel surcharge!!!!! Availability of reward tickets is always a problem too!!!!

  7. With MIA as my base and roundtrips to Grand Cayman and Providenciales routinely in the $400-$500 range vs 9000 avios and around $100 in taxes, I would heartily endorse this card for the signing bonus alone. Though I agree that Chase really did themselves no favors with the cut to general, non-bonus, spend. So I agree it would be good to see people “vote with their feet.” I would have kept this card had they not messed with the 1.25 avios per dollar spend, but now it looks like I’ll just churn the signing bonus every two years.

    • Same here. I might pick it up again if they do another 100K bonus. And agree – the 1.25 earning rate was sweet for non-bonused spend. RIP, BA Visa.

    • For all the spending required, it becomes borderline not worth it. Might be good to get it you want 100K Avios, but there are ways to earn more points overall with less spending.

  8. Would your answer change if you use the card only to get the 30k 2-4-1 voucher, and if you regularly travel with your spouse to london?

    • I honestly don’t think so. There are so many ways to earn Avios points.

      Plus, the fuel surcharges are just killer. You’re practically better off just buying an AARP membership and using the discount instead of spending $30K on the Chase British Airways Visa.

      Only way I’d say yes:

      If you got the new offer and already spent $20K to get 100K Avios. In that case, you might as well keep going to get the Travel Together pass.

      But I wouldn’t start from $0 just to earn it.

      What boat are you in?

      • I’ve got a household account with over 500k miles and we fly business from the west to LHR then back to NYC once a year.

  9. Nowhere do I see anything mentioned about the 10 per cent discount on BA revenue tickets when using the Chase card. That, stackable with the AARP discounts is a valuable perk. I agree that using frequent flyer miles on BA renders Avios opractically valueless.

  10. I like the card and find it useful for booking hotels. no surcharges, no taxes. you pay zero. For flights – agreed – garbage.

  11. Had my card for 25 years. Never able to book a flight because of no seats even when calling 6 months ahead. And the surcharge is ridiculous. With all my miles !!! I now have United and use it for local flights, then also have Capital One and can choose any airline. Not sure how many miles I have but may d
    also dump it. In fact I rarely use it any more. I prefer to use my other mileage cards

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