The British Airways mega sign up bonus returns. The Free Money offer from British Airways makes your trips significantly cheaper!

Did you catch the sneak peak of this offer in my $2,325 Holiday Credit Card Application Spree?

British Airways is offering 50,000 Avios points, when you get a British Airways card.

How to Get Your 50,000+ Avios

  1. Open a new British Airways card.
  2. Earn 50,000 Avios after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  3. Spend $9,000 more in the first year and earn 25,000 more Avios.
  4. Spend $10,000 more, also in the first year, and earn 25,000 more Avios.
  5. Redeem your Avios for reward flights.

British Airways Terms and Conditions

  • All reward flights are subject to taxes, fees, charges and surcharges, including airline surĀ­charges.
  • After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus Avios to post to your account.
  • This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time cardmembers with new accounts. Previous and existing cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.

More on the British Airways Card

No Foreign Transaction Fees. Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.

Annual Fee. The annual fee for this card is $95.

Companion Tickets. Every year you spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years when you redeem for a flight on British Airways. If you hit the spending requirements above, you’ll be 2/3 of the way there.

Earning Avios. In addition to the sign up bonus, you’ll earn 2.5 Avios per dollar you spend on British Airways and 1.25 Avios per dollar for all other purchases.

Tips and Tricks to Maximize the Avios

The key to this offer is maximizing your use of the Avios at the lowest possible cost. Here’s a collection of tips and tricks that I keep to reference whenever British Airways rolls out their big mileage offers:

Consider Non-European Destinations. While you can redeem the Avios for transatlantic reward flights, including flights to Europe, you’ll still have to pay the taxes and fees on the free tickets. Since the taxes on flights to Europe are higher than other continents, you can actually save even more money vacationing elsewhere. Of course, if you really want to go to Europe, this is still a cheap way to do so.

Merge Family Accounts. You and a spouse can each get your own British Airways card. They’ll allow you to combine the accounts into one family account. Obviously, I don’t have to tell you that getting 200,000 Avios for you and a spouse is a great thing! With the change to Avios, it looks like you have to call to do this now.

Spending Requirements. If you are looking for ways to meet the spending requirements, you could consider the Chase bill payment center. There are no fees to use it and usually you get rewards on the payments. I don’t know if it will work for this offer, but I don’t see anywhere in the terms where it’s excluded, so you might want to give it a try.

Fly on Partner Airlines. Ironically, this deal gets even better if you don’t fly British Airways and use the British Airways Avios on one of their partner airlines, where the taxes and fees are significantly less. Some of the partner airlines include: American Airlines, Qantas, Japan Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Iberia, Finn Air, and more.

Fly Domestically. Since American Airlines is listed in the partner list, you can use your British Airways Avios for multiple domestic flights, again minimizing the taxes and fees.

Use for Hotel Stays Instead. Readers have expressed frustration on redeeming British Air miles for flights. A reader, Todd, suggests that you skip the flights and redeem for hotel stays instead. He said that 50k miles should get you about 4 free nights ($400-$600 value). Thanks Todd!

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Comments to British Airways 50,000 Avios Sign Up Bonus

  1. Confirm! Confirm! Confirm! (in writing) that you can will be able to use the BA miles on other “partner” airlines. I lost close to 40K miles with Lufthansa. Even though I was told by the airline several times when I enrolled that I could use my Lufthansa “Miles and More” earnings on other Star Alliance partner flights (which included United Airlines), when the time came to use the miles, Lufthansa had changed the rules, and the miles could not be used for United. No exception.

    I’m pretty well set on magazine subscriptions for the next 100 years, though.

    Mr. Mike

    • Thanks for the tip Mr. Mike. I did some screen shots of the partner airline rules just to make sure I have them in case there are any problems.

      I’ll be sure to steer clear of Lufthansa though!

      Madison

  2. Hi Madison! We signed up for this British Airways deal last year. The potential for a free round trip to Europe and a second set of tickets is reason enough to pay the $95 fees. You must use this card for everything in order to get the second series of points. We appreciate the info on Lufthansa from Mr. Mike. We will steer clear of them.

    Kathy Guenther

  3. I got the 100K bonus almost a year ago & still haven’t used the miles. Yes, you can use the miles on OneWorld partners, but at a high cost. For example, I flew from Lima Peru to Los Angeles, CA in January of this year. British Air wanted 50,000 miles in business class, but American Airlines only charges 30,000 for the exact same flight. I’ve checked BA for several flights, but they always charge more miles than other carriers, so the 100K miles aren’t worth as much as they sound like

    Arnold Semmons

  4. Use this offer with caution! I signed up for it last year and the only practical use for the miles is hotel stays. Flights booked on BA are EXPENSIVE and not FREE. As and example, Seattle to London (roundtrip) was about $600 in fees + 50,000+ miles. You can use the miles on AA, but you need to go through BA’s website. You need to book about 6+ mo in advance and flight selection is *EXTREMELY* slim. Its possible to use the miles on Alaska Air, but you need to call BA. I don’t know of anyone who has successfully done this. There are numerous forums related to using BA miles. I suggest reading them prior to signing up for the deal. Don’t expect free flights. However, hotel available is pretty good, so 50k miles should get you about 4 free nights ($400-$600 value).

    Todd

  5. British Air has a fuel surcharge equal to $600 per ticket add tax and your ticket now costs $700. Use your mies to fly on American airlines and you only have to pay the tax. Also – the award locator on BA is really hard to work with. i am sooo disapointed with the card — will close the account soon.

    the cat


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