What I’d Do With 100,000 British Airways Avios – Maximizing the Chase British Airways Visa
Another card I want to look at in our series of maximizing credit card offers is the Chase British Airways Visa credit card – what are its key perks and benefits? What’s the best way to spend those 100,000 British Airways Avios? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive on the Chase British Airways Visa to look at what it offers to the consumer. After we get to know the card, I’ll show you how I would go about maximizing the Chase British Airways Visa and the Avios earned from the welcome offer.
Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card Benefits
The Chase British Airways Visa is not a card I see discussed often, which I find surprising. It offers numerous consumer protections and ongoing benefits for a low annual fee. It also has a massive welcome offer that comes in 2 tiers. Here are the important details of the welcome offer:
- Type of card: personal
- Card issuer: Chase
- Application rules to follow: cannot open this card if you have opened more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months, no more than 2 credit cards in 30 days from Chase (see more here)
- Spending requirements: tiered – $3,000 in 3 months and $20,000 in the first year
- Welcome offer: tiered – 50,000 and then another 50,000 British Airways Avios
- Annual fee: $95
- Learn More
Chase British Airways Visa Benefits
- 3X Points on spend with British Airways, Iberia, or Aer Lingus
- 2X Points at hotels.
- 1X Points on everything else.
- Travel Together ticket for a free companion flight (any cabin, just pay taxes & fees) every year after spending $30,000
- $600 in flight credits available when booking reward flights to London and paying taxes/fees with this card
- Additional cards at no additional cost
- Additional protections like trip insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Learn More
What I Would Do With 100,000 British Airways Avios
So…what would I do with 100,000 Avios in my British Airways Flying Club account? Technically, you’re going to have more than that. After earning the welcome offer on the Chase British Airways Visa, you’ll have a minimum after 53,000 Avios after the first tier and a minimum of 120,000 Avios after the second tier. I’ll use that number for our trip planning.
People sometimes are intimidated by the British Airways Flying Club program when they hear about the hefty taxes & fees sometimes added to tickets. Understanding how to reduce or avoid these fees can make this a great program. I previously talked about finding great redemptions on British Airways for less than 10,000 Avios, which is a great perk in this program. As a member of the oneworld alliance, we can fly on any of the 13 member airlines using our British Airways Avios.
It’s also important to understand that British Airways uses a distance-based award system, so know in advance that flying to city A in a country might not require the same number of points as city B (you can check flight distances here), since they price by flight segment. Enter a great tool: the British Airways Avios redemption calculator. This helps us find the option requiring the least number of Avios to go where we want to go. Maybe routing through Madrid needs less miles than routing through London, and this tool can tell us. Let’s start planning some trips in economy, business class, and first class.
Economy – Wonders of the World
A sweet spot with British Airways Avios economy flights is 3,000 miles. That covers flights like Los Angeles to New York City. It also covers Boston to Dublin, Ireland. That can also cover flights like LAX-HNL for Hawaii. This is one idea. The idea I want to show you is visiting some of the 7 Wonders of the World.
First, we’ll fly from JFK in New York City to FCO in Rome. We’ll pay 24,000 Avios and $134.34 in taxes/fees, and the flight connects through London. A free stop-over in London is allowed and costs nothing extra, FYI.
From Rome, we’ll take a direct flight on oneworld partner Royal Jordanian and fly directly to Amman, Jordan. I previously wrote about visiting Petra, but that was for people across an ocean. Coming from Rome, you’ll need just 11,000 Avios and $149.21 in taxes/fees. The flight is 3.5 hours.
From Amman, use Royal Jordanian again for a direct flight of 1.5 hours to Cairo. Here, we’ll visit the Great Pyramids in Giza, which is a suburb of Cairo. You’ll need a paltry 6,000 Avios for this flight.
Next, we’ll cross the Atlantic to Cancun, Mexico. Here, we’ll visit the famous Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. We’ll use 26,250 Avios and pay $369.05 in taxes and fees. You can play with routes to transit other cities, but look at the dates on my itinerary. I went via London and added a free stopover of 5 days. This costs no extra points to stop in London.
From Cancun, we’ll take a direct flight down to Lima, Peru. In Peru, visit the famous Machu Picchu near Aguas Calientes. You’ll need 13,000 British Airways Avios and $47.27 in taxes for this non-stop flight.
From Lima, take a direct flight with LATAM over to Rio de Janeiro. This 5-hour flight will cost us $29.74 in taxes and 13,000 Avios. In Rio, visit the famous Christ Redeemer, and don’t forget to visit Sugarloaf Mountain, either!
From Rio GIG airport, take the direct flight to JFK that lasts 10 hours. You’ll need 25,750 Avios and $40.33 in taxes for this flight. Remember that Brazil is a great destination due to its limits on taxes and fees for award tickets.
We’ve seen the Colosseum, Petra, Pyramids at Giza, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, and Christ Redeemer. This massive trip will cost 119,000 Avios, which is perfect. We had 120,000 to start with. We’ll pay $890.35 in taxes and fees for this trip. A good portion of that came from routing to London for our free stop-over of 5 days. Playing with the itinerary could provide cheaper options by not passing through London on British Airways.
Business Class – Family Roots and Festivals In Europe
Many people are interested in exploring their family roots and history. Pair this with a festival while visiting where your ancestors came from. Most of my ancestors are from Ireland and Germany. We’ll use our 120,000 British Airways Avios to visit these 2 countries in business class. We can also time this to line up with either St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland or Oktoberfest in Germany. (book early, if you want dates for those holidays!)
British Airways partner Aer Lingus flies direct from numerous cities in the U.S. to Dublin, Ireland. Flying from Boston to Dublin is a direct flight of 7 hours and will cost 37,500 Avios. Unfortunately, British Airways’ site doesn’t show Aer Lingus flights, so you’ll need to call to book.
After St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, we’ll fly direct on Aer Lingus to Munich, Germany. See a Bayern München game, visit Dachau concentration camp, and get down to Hitler’s hideaway at the Eagle’s Nest. If going late in the year, you could line this up for Oktoberfest in Munich (bearing in mind it’s canceled for 2020). This direct flight will cost 15,000 Avios and lasts 2.5 hours.
Lastly, we’ll fly home from Munich to Boston again using Aer Lingus. Remember that you can add a free stop-over along your route. With Aer Lingus, that means stopping in Dublin. You can do this for 60,000 Avios one-way in business class. If you want to fly British Airways via London, you’ll use 64,250 Avios instead.
With your 120,000 Avios, you have enough to take this option and add your free stop-over in London, rather than Dublin. Using Aer Lingus all the way requires 112,500 Avios. Using the British Airways option via London at the end bumps that up to 116,750 Avios and will also add a good amount of taxes and fees, FYI.
First Class –
I’ve previously mentioned some great first class routes on oneworld partners that you could book with your 120,000 Avios. That includes the Qantas first class spot I mentioned here. It also includes this Christmas in the Holy Land post. Since we’re looking at British Airways Flying Club, let’s burn up our Avios with a 10.5 hour flight from Los Angeles to London.
Take a non-stop flight for 10.5 hours of luxury using only 85,000 Avios. You’ll pay $697.90 in taxes and fees to experience British Airways first class from LAX to LHR. You’ll still have 35,000 Avios left after this flight, which is a bonus!
If you’re maximizing the Chase British Airways Visa and its welcome offer of 100,000 Avios, I hope you found some good ideas here. We looked at the perks of the card and the welcome offer. We also looked at ideas for maximizing those 100,000 Avios for some great trips.
Also remember that British Airways doesn’t charge extra fees when redeeming your Avios for flights on Aer Lingus, Alaska Airlines, or LATAM (though they’re leaving oneworld). Also, if you redeem your Avios for flights on American Airlines entirely within the Americas, you won’t be hit with these fees.
Let me know how you use your new British Airways Avios. I love hearing about people’s redemptions.