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The best milage sign-up bonus for a credit card. Ever.
Old 11-24-2009, 07:23 AM   #1
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The best milage sign-up bonus for a credit card. Ever.

I'm not normally prone to hyperbole, but this one is true. Chase is offering 50,000 British Airways miles to sign up for its new Visa card and another 50,000 once you spend $2,000 within a certain time frame. The annual fee is $75, but many of the folks at Flyertalk have reported getting the fee waived for the first year.

Even if you don't normally fly BA, it is a One World partner, meaning that you can use it on American metal domestically or any other OW carrier. 100,000 miles gets you a business class international ticket.

Here's the link:

https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWe...F01&MKID=&MSC=

Mike
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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This is a really good deal. We already have the BA Chase card so don't qualify.

Once you are a member of the BA Club with this credit card, in any calendar year where you spend a minimum of $30k it entitles you to a free companion ticket when you redeem a frequent flyer award. So the levels on BA between West Coast USA and London are 50k for economy, 100k for business and 150k for First. So anyone who got this card now and put all their spending thru the card on 2010 would likely have two free First Class ticket on BA to London in 12 months time.

As long time BA members have to tell you I love their First Class service. Nothing like having scones with jam and real clotted cream as you snuggle under your comforter over the Atlantic. From our experience usually it is easy to get availability for frequent flyer flights in economy and first class. It is more difficult to get the days you want in Business.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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I've puzzled through the flyertalk thread on this. What does 100,000 BA pts get me? As in, how many flights to where? For example, I know 40,000 Aadvantage pts from American Airlines gets me a round trip ticket to South America or Europe off-peak from N America. Could I do 2x round trips to Europe or Asia from N America w/ 100000 BA pts? How about Hawaii+2x Mexico? A link to a chart would help as well. Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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100,000 points will get you two tickets from West Coast USA to London, so if you are east coast I am assuming points required would be less.

BA does not have peak/off-peak differentiation on it's frequent flyer rewards.

As to other destinations, obviously BA does not fly to Latin America or Hawaii from the USA. That would be a codeshare on the OneWorld alliance and the points needed likely would be based on what American Airlines requires. I have tried to use my BA points for Qantas flights but they are just about impossible to get, but that is not due to BA preventing me, rather that Qantas are so tight fisted with releasing any decent seats.

oneworld - Home

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...=US&eId=101001
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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British Airways Visa - A World of Opportunities

This fully describes what you get. You should be warned that the taxes on BA flights seem to be high to me, but that is in large part to their fuel surcharge.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
100,000 points will get you two tickets from West Coast USA to London, so if you are east coast I am assuming points required would be less.

BA does not have peak/off-peak differentiation on it's frequent flyer rewards.

As to other destinations, obviously BA does not fly to Latin America or Hawaii from the USA. That would be a codeshare on the OneWorld alliance and the points needed likely would be based on what American Airlines requires. I have tried to use my BA points for Qantas flights but they are just about impossible to get, but that is not due to BA preventing me, rather that Qantas are so tight fisted with releasing any decent seats.
Ok, I think I got it. Yes, 2 round trips from USA to western Europe. Partner airlines can also be used, and it looks like from N America on partner airlines (AA would be one presumably), it is 40,000 pts to South America, 50,000 to the Far east. Hawaii for 35,000 is good too (for us east coasters). If I can seriously fly 2x to Asia for the $75 annual fee plus a little tax on each ticket, that would be very awesome.

Anyone have any idea if the tickets booked through oneworld partner airlines come with steep taxes? If it is based on the partner airline's taxes they charge their FF customers, it shouldn't be too bad. AA charges roughly $70 in tax for most South American and European destinations. London is the most I have seen with $130 or so in taxes on a free ticket.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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Send me a PM with some dates and itineraries and I will run it through our BA FF account to see how much the taxes would be.

I tried a flight from Sfo to LHR round trip and in economy it would cost 50,000 miles + $353 for taxes. Business class is 100,000 miles plus $625.17 in taxes. The dates I used were 1-14 Feb 10.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:33 AM   #8
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Send me a PM with some dates and itineraries and I will run it through our BA FF account to see how much the taxes would be.

I tried a flight from Sfo to LHR round trip and in economy it would cost 50,000 miles + $353 for taxes. Business class is 100,000 miles plus $625.17 in taxes. The dates I used were 1-14 Feb 10.
Ouch! That is some serious tax! I see flights to Europe from the east coast that are $353 total (discount fares obviously). I'm going to sign up for the Executive Club and I think I can then mess around with the itineraries and partner airlines info. I'm pretty sure I can fly on oneworld partner airlines and pay less in taxes. I just checked, and 100,000 miles will get you a multi-segment oneworld flight up to 20,000 miles in length. I think this is the kind that they allow up to 16 segments on, with a number of rules and restrictions though.

If anyone else is interested in getting lots of free airline miles, there is a thread at flyertalk forums that discusses "credit card churning" for Citicards American Airlines Aadvantage program. You can basically get a new credit card roughly every 70 days that gives you 25000-30000 miles in the Aadvantage program. That equals a flight to most anywhere in the US and offpeak trips to Mexico. We have done this 3x for DW and I, and have racked up ~93000 miles each. No annual fee on the cards the first year. It is a little of a hassle, but we got roughly $2300 worth of airfare to south america for it, and still have enough for a trip to Europe, and then some more.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:19 PM   #9
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The other good thing with British Airways is your can have a household frequent flyer account to pool your miles rather than separate accounts for each family member.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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I finally signed up for 2 cards (me+DW). We'll see if we get approved and where these miles will take us. Rumor is the deal ends Nov 30.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
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I think it all depends on what your attitude is to miles as to whether it is a good deal for you. For example, we very rarely use any points for the purchase of an economy class ticket. They are so cheap and affordable it almost seems a waste. For us, we usually use the points to either upgrade from economy to first/business (depending on what the airline has available and their policy on upgrading purchased tickets, or the other use we have is to use points for a business/first class ticket. I know a lot of people will tell you the upgrade is not worth it, however for us when we are doing long haul we figure it is worth every point. It's not likely that we will ever buy a business class ticket given the exorbitant prices, so we feel like we are treating ourselves when we go where our dollars won't take us.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:18 PM   #12
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I've heard that diversity of opinions,too from flyertalk and elsewhere. Upgrades are a cost-effective way to get business or 1st class tickets without paying thousands of dollars.

I'm hoping to get cheap/free coach tickets. However I have never actually been on a flight longer than 5 hrs (east coast to vegas). It isn't bad at all. We have a 9 hr flight from Miami to/from Argentina and Uruguay in March, so we'll see how that goes in terms of comfort and trying to sleep. I may find that 9+ hr flights are too uncomfortable in coach and that upgrades are worthwhile.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:33 PM   #13
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It also depends on how quickly you have to hit the ground running on arrival and how kind jetlag is to you. I find if I am in business class I can usually catch a few hours sleep which makes all the difference. My flight back from Australia last month was 14 hours and I got zero sleep. Arrived at LAX at 7.00 a.m. and walked around like a zombie until I went to bed that night at around 9.00 p.m. so was about 40 hours without sleep. If I had to go to work the next day it would have killed me.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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I was psyched to do this until I saw that tax. Will have to think about this one.
However, I have taken several realllly long distance flights. Comfortable? Well, not really...altho I did get to sleep on a flight from DC to Madrid in the evening once. Nobody on the plane hardly. Primo service, tho. Even gave us little cloth houseshoes to wear, lights out and we all went to sleep. Not bad.
I wouldn't take a long flight again without compression hose on that go to the knee. Your legs can really swell up if you sit too long. Just an idea, folks.
And take magazines or something to read. Long flights--even with a movie--can get incredibly boring.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:10 PM   #15
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Someone reported that the $75 annual fee was not charged on his first account statement. I think that is when they usually charge the fee, which means the fee is probably waived the first year. Cancel before year 2 starts in 12 months, and you are fee free.

Re: taxes, if you can book with a partner airline instead of BA, you might be able to avoid the huge taxes/fees and pay something much less (usually under $100). I think this would work, but don't have the points yet to click most of the way through the reservation process at ba.com, hence I can't tell how much tax will be on there.

Dangermouse, do you mind checking some random date and see how much tax is on something like LAX-HNL or LAX-MEX or MIA-EZE? MIA-EZE was $66 for me I think on American Airlines (partner of BA). Just wondering if you pay tax based on what the partner airline charges or some other tax/fee based on BA's charges when you are flying on American Airlines or LAN planes. This is probably answered somewhere at flyertalk.com for the diligent searcher.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:33 PM   #16
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Dangermouse, here's a better detailed itinerary to check, similar to the one I'm going on in march. MIA-EZE March 10, return EZE-MIA March 17. The BA.com website shows the flights on LAN Argentina/Chile both going and returning for 40,000 miles (a steal for south american travel). My tax on a similar itinerary was $66 through American Airlines. Here's to hoping that the tax on LAN is like AA's and not BA's!
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:42 PM   #17
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Good news, looks like you pay the partner airlines taxes, not BA's. I ran the itinerary and dates thru BA site, however nothing showed up for AA, it is Lan Chile going out and the flight is Miami-Lima-BA. Coming back it is BA-Miami direct on Lan Argentina. Cost would be 40,000 miles plus $61.50 in taxes.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:47 PM   #18
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LAX-HNL using the same dates is 35,000 points plus $5 in taxes going on American Airlines. Can't get the Mexico itinerary to work, think it must have something to do with Mexicana as even though the dates show as available when I select it says unavailable and I have tried a few different dates. American does fly the route but haven't found any availablity for them, it's all Mexicana.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:06 PM   #19
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Good news, looks like you pay the partner airlines taxes, not BA's. I ran the itinerary and dates thru BA site, however nothing showed up for AA, it is Lan Chile going out and the flight is Miami-Lima-BA. Coming back it is BA-Miami direct on Lan Argentina. Cost would be 40,000 miles plus $61.50 in taxes.
That's great news re: taxes on South America flights and Hawaii flights. Unfortunately partner airline (non-BA) flights are very hard to come by from my home airport (RDU). And for some reason I could get decent flights from RDU to PEK (Beijing), for example, but one leg was always on a BA flight (via london it seems), as a result, it cost more miles and probably the standard BA taxes/fees plus longer flying time.

Anyway, at least I know I can get some tix to some decent places for very little in taxes on non-BA partner airlines. Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:54 PM   #20
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Update: I finally was approved for the British Airways credit cards for me and DW. That's 200,000 points ladies and gents! That may take us to Hawaii (35,000 pts each) and Asia (50000-60000 pts each) or Hawaii, Europe or S America, and Mexico or domestic. That's roughly $3500-5000 worth of "free" flights (and I'll probably have to pay a hundred or two in taxes using partner airlines).

They are still accepting applications for the BA card if anyone is still interested. https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWe...F01&MKID=&MSC=
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