Want 2 Free Trips to Europe? Talk to Chase and British Airways

by John Kiernan on April 11, 2011

ba bonus credit card milesChase, in partnership with British Airways, recently announced a new travel rewards credit card for people with excellent credit that essentially provides any first-time Chase cardholder with two free roundtrip-transatlantic flights within the first three months of being open.

Consumers receive 50,000 bonus miles immediately upon making their first transaction with a British Airways Visa Signature Card and another 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months. Each of these rewards bonuses can be redeemed for a World Traveler Economy class round-trip ticket from the U.S. to anywhere in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany Ireland, Luxemburg, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

Cardholders who spend at least $30,000 in a year will also receive a Travel Together Ticket credit good for two years, which allows them to bring a friend or companion for free whenever they book a flight with British Airways rewards miles. They also earn 2.5 British America miles for each dollar spent on British America goods and services as well as 1.25 British America miles for every dollar spent on everything else.

And while it does have a $95 annual fee and a 14.24% APR, neither should discourage consumers from opening it. Why, you may ask?

First of all, depending on when you fly and exactly where you’re flying to, a round trip ticket to Europe will ordinarily run you between $500 and $1000, if not more. With this card, you get two such flights for less than $100. Seems like a pretty advantageous tradeoff to me.

The relatively high APR shouldn’t be a concern either because anyone opening a rewards credit card should already be paying their balance in full each and every month anyway. If they are not, a 0% credit card is in order.

People who take advantage of this offer by no means have to keep their cards open for long either. Upon being approved for a British Airways Signature Card, you are automatically enrolled in the British Airways Executive Club. Because the miles you earn on your card are transferred to your Executive Club account as you earn them, redemption is not contingent upon keeping your card open. Most of this card’s value is in its initial offer, and once you have benefitted from that, you might feel like there’s not much reason to stick around.

However, if you’re already a loyal British Airways customer or you can easily make it your airline of choice, simply keeping your card open and building upon your bonus miles could be your best course of action.

After all, the British Airways Signature Card has no foreign transaction fees either, making it a perfect spending vehicle for the overseas traveler. Credit card companies often charge foreign transaction fees of 2-3% of each purchase made abroad, which can result in surprisingly high costs for the unaware consumer.

[Disclosure: Some of the links within this article point to CardHub.com, which is owned by the same parent company as Wallet Blog.]

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