The British Airways Executive Club has taken several hits recently, starting with their award chart devaluation, which will go into effect on April 28, 2015. In addition to this, we learned last week that on April 30 the earnings structure on the British Airways Visa Signature credit card will change. Earnings on regular spending will drop from 1.25 Avios to 1 Avios per $1 spent. Meanwhile the category bonus on British Airways purchases will increase from 2.5 to 3 Avios per $1 spent. I guess that’s supposed to soften the blow?
A 0.25 decrease in the earning rate isn’t a huge loss but those who put an annual $30,000 worth of spend on the card to earn the British Airways Travel Together Ticket may be disappointed that they’ll be earning 7,500 fewer miles after hitting their target. For most people, the point of putting such a large amount of spend on the British Airways credit card isn’t to increase their Avios balance – it’s to get the Travel Together Ticket (if you can look past the massive fuel surcharges). Once you’ve earned it and still want to add to your balance, you can continue earning 1.25 Avios per $1 spent by channeling your spend onto the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards. For every 20,000 Starpoints transferred to British Airways, you’ll earn an extra 5,000 points – increasing your earnings on non-bonus category spending to 1.25 Avios per $1.
Another way to generate even more miles is through the Chase Ink Plus Business card. Since Ultimate Rewards transfer to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio, cardholders can earn 2 – 5 Avios per $1 spent by maximizing Ink Plus category bonuses. The card pays out 2 points at gas stations and hotels along with 5 points on office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV service. The Chase Freedom credit card, with it’s 5x quarterly bonus categories opens up even more opportunities to maximize everyday spending through credit card bonuses.
Ultimately, the reduction of the standard earning rate on the British Airways Visa Signature credit card is just a minor inconvenience. If you’re capping your spending at $30,000 to earn the Travel Together Ticket, you’re earning just 7,500 fewer miles and if you’re serious about increasing your Avios balance, you can do that more efficiently by directing your spending onto the SPG Amex or Ultimate Rewards credit cards.
Despite the recent devaluation and high fuel surcharges on long-haul flights, there are still some good uses for British Airways Avios. I’ve always gotten great value out of redeeming them for short-haul American Airline flights with distances of under 650 miles. Dan’s Deals had a great series a while back, covering all direct flights that can be booked with Avios out of major airports. Some of the redemption rates will be slightly off due to the upcoming devaluation, but the information on short-haul flights is still relevant since those awards won’t be negatively impacted.
Does the lower earning rate on the British Airways Visa Signature credit card affect your credit card spending?
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