Photo: Francois Van (Unsplash)

While U.S. based travelers almost certainly have better airline credit card options than the British Airways Visa Signature Card, its new offer could be intriguing for the right type of traveler.

Currently, you’ll get 50,000 bonus Avios if you spend $3,000 in your first three months, and then an additional 50,000 if you spend $20,000 (total) in your first year. The first tier is definitely worth hitting, while the second will depend on how you plan to put those Avios to work.

Ironically, one of the worst ways to use British Airways Avios is on British Airways flights to England, since the carrier imposes hefty fuel surcharges that can cost nearly as much as a flight on another carrier. That said, you can use them to book flights on partner carriers, including American Airlines, which can often result in fantastic deals.

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Partner redemptions are subject to availability, and based purely on the distance of the flight. The Points Guy has pieced together the company’s new (and sadly, recently devalued) award chart here, but the upshot is that short-haul U.S. domestic flights start at 9,000 points one way (which is okay, but not great), while longer flights like Los Angeles to Hawaii will set you back 13,000 points (which is excellent). If you want to check availability and pricing on any particular routes, you can always create a British Airways account, and use their search tool here.

Don’t forget, British Airways is also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so if you need more Avios to hit a certain redemption, they’re fairly easy to come by after you’ve exhausted your 50,000 or 100,000 Avios welcome bonus.

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Have any experience booking flights with Avios? Let us know in the comments.


G/O Media Commerce has partnered with The Points Guy Affiliate Network for our coverage of credit products. G/O Media Group and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

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