British Airways Visa Signature® Card review

Smiling woman thinking about the British Airways Visa Signature Card at the airportImage: Smiling woman thinking about the British Airways Visa Signature Card at the airport

In a Nutshell

For big spenders who love to travel, there’s a lot of value to be found in the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. Cardholders who can meet the high spending requirement could earn a huge sign-up bonus and annual Travel Together companion ticket. With options to redeem on partners like American Airlines, these points are good for a lot more than trips to the U.K.
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These offers are no longer available on our site: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, United℠ Explorer Card

Pros Cons
Great rewards-earning rate for British Airways purchases Low rewards rate for all other purchases
Can earn an annual Travel Together ticket (good for two years) To earn the annual Travel Together ticket, must spend $30,000 each calendar year
Generous sign-up bonus $95 annual fee
Redeem Avios for low-cost rewards flights  

Key details about the British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Huge Avios sign-up bonus

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Avios if you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account. Then you can earn an extra 50,000 Avios if you spend a total of $20,000 in purchases within the first year your account is open.

Annual Travel Together Ticket

If you spend $30,000 on purchases using the card within a calendar year, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket that is valid for two years. This companion ticket works like a buy-one-get-one when you book an eligible reward seat on British Airways. You’ll still pay taxes and fees, which can exceed $1,000 per passenger in some cases.

Earn just one Avios for every $1 spent on regular purchases

While the British Airways Visa Signature® Card gives you three Avios for every $1 spent on purchases at British Airways and other qualifying airlines, and two for every $1 spent booking directly with hotels, it only gives you one Avios per $1 on other purchases. Considering that some cards offer big bonuses on popular categories like travel and restaurants, the reward rate on this card isn’t very impressive.

Other important features

  • No foreign transaction fee — Use the card in the U.S., England, or anywhere else Visa is accepted with no additional charge.
  • Rental car insurance — Use this card when renting a car and receive theft and collision damage coverage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Baggage delay and lost luggage insurance — You could get reimbursed for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing up to $100 per day for three days when your bags are delayed for more than six hours, and up to $3,000 per passenger if your bags are lost or damaged.
  • Purchase protection — Get coverage on new purchases made with the card for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim (up to $50,000 total per account).
  • Extended warranty protection — Extends U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by one year on eligible warranties of three years or less.

Understanding your points and redemption options

Avios are points that give you many redemption options. British Airways allows you to redeem these Avios for flights on British Airways or with a oneworld carrier or other airline partners.

The number of Avios you use on a rewards flight depends on the date, destination and seating class.

Depending on the destination you have in mind, a 100,000 Avios bonus could be worth some major flights. Where you go is up to you.

Who this card is good for

The current landscape of travel rewards cards is very competitive, so it’s important to look at a card’s rewards, benefits and costs to decide if it’s right for you. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card’s benefits are decent, so the huge sign-up bonus alone might make the card worthwhile if you’re serious about credit card rewards.

Interestingly, this card doesn’t offer any perks related to British Airlines. If you’re after typical airline credit card perks like priority boarding or waived baggage fees, then this isn’t the card for you.

And if you don’t spend a lot with British Airways, or at least $30,000 per year to qualify for the Travel Together Ticket, this card probably isn’t worth the $95 annual fee.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: This card is good for people who don’t want to be tied to one airline and want extensive travel insurance benefits.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: If you want to earn good flat-rate rewards on every purchase with a lot of flexibility on using your miles, consider this card.
  • United℠ Explorer Card: If you’re going to stay loyal to one airline, this card is better suited to people who want to tap into card benefits every time they fly.

About the author: Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He has an MBA in finance from the University of Denver. When he’s away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world, flying small… Read more.