British Airways Visa is Being Revamped, New Benefits Coming This Fall

Chase and British Airways renewed their US co-brand credit card deal. They have partnered for 26 years and last announced an extension of their relationship in May 2015.

Last month I wrote that Chase was surveying customers about how to redesign an airline card. I wrote that,

There are two references in the questions that suggest to me they could be thinking through the British Airways product: carrier surcharges on award travel and European destinations… If I had to guess I’d think this is about the future of the British Airways product.

The bank and airline have announced that “[i]n the fall of 2019, Chase, Avios and British Airways will announce new enhancements to the British Airways Visa Signature Card that were developed with cardmember feedback in mind.”

Here are two value propositions that were surveyed,

Card # 1:
3X points on partner airlines
1X points on all non-partner airline purchases
Travel companion ticket after $30K spend
No foreign exchange fee

Card # 2:
3X points on partner airlines
2X points on hotels
1X points on all non-partner airline purchases
Travel companion ticket after $30K spend
No foreign exchange fee
Receive 10% off flight purchases
Receive $200 off carrier charges on redemption (up to $600 annually)
Pay taxes and fees with points

The survey then tested how much consumers valued each potential benefit. We’ll have to wait until the fall, though, to learn how the card is being revamped.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Ditto. Eliminate the outrageous fuel surcharges on award tickets, and then I might considerate it.

  2. I have had this card for years sort of against my better judgement. I was a (rare) fan of the companion certificate and used several but when they raised their already high surcharges ex-US $200 more for J and $600 more for F I lost interest in that. A $200 surcharge discount doesn’t really change that. Also their 10% discount offer should be changed so it extends automatically to end of schedule. The few times I have tired to use it, its expiration date was before my flight so I couldn’t use it. I’ll be dropping this card before my next AF hits unless the proposed changes are better than this.

  3. Worthless credit card. Crummy hard and soft product. None of the offers match what I can get on Sapphire reserve. But I would be glad to enjoy a generous signup bonus.

  4. The best reason to have Avios is for AA codeshare flights. I recently used Avios for Mexico from DFW.

  5. Yawn. They won’t fix the fundamental flaw of the card: it earns an unreliable and increasingly useless points currency. I wouldn’t apply for that card even for 200k Avios. Eventually these companies run out of Ponzi victims.

  6. I question the 26 years bit. Prior to 2001, my BA card was from Midland Bank which became HSBC.

  7. The fraudulent fees aka “fuel surcharges” (which resulted in a costly class action lawsuit settlement) greatly devalue this card and Avios. Any break on the fees would be positive.

    The massive 25% deval on earnings (used to be 1.25 avios per $1 every) was also a deal killer.

  8. If you are a non-US based airline, no Forex fees should just be implied. Don’t pretend it’s part of the value proposition here.

    And seriously. The fees. That’s why I don’t have a single Avios.

  9. Sounds like BA intentionally increased the business and first class carrier surcharges for US-based passengers so that they could introduce a new benefit to cardholders which is to rebate the new increase… and yet the price even with the rebate is still much higher than what non-US based award tickets get charged.

  10. No incentives here. The best updated card of the year is what Hyatt did, in my opinion.

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