Last week Shelley and I got back from our amazing trip to Kenya and Tanzania, and like we so often do for our trips we used airline points to get our roundtrip tickets. This of course saved us a TON of money. Getting airfare covered via points is one of the most important ways that we keep our net travel costs so low, and that’s why we try to keep ourselves well stocked in points on a continuous basis as much as possible.
However, I have noticed that this is getting a little harder to do lately. For a few years there credit card companies were offering great airline point sign-up bonuses left and right, but over the last 6 months or so that has changed. It’s harder now to find sweet deals, so when opportunities arise you really need to take advantage of them. In my jetlag-induced fog late last week I came across such a deal and immediately jumped on it. If you’re in the hunt for some easy points, you might consider this offer too.
The deal is for a British Airways Visa Signature Card [the offer ended 07/17/12] where you get 50,000 of BA’s Avios points after just one use of the card. You can likewise get two additional 25,000 point bonuses after making $20,000 ($10,000 x 2) in purchases within the first year, but most people will likely be like me and just go for the first 50k mile bonus. There is a $95 annual fee which I’d rather not have, but to me that is more than worth it for that many points, especially with such a miniscule spend requirement.
[the offer for this credit card ended 07/17/12]
Another thing to keep in mind is that according to the research that I did it appears that the best way to actually use your Avios points is NOT with BA. Evidently BA now charges extremely high fuel surcharges when you redeem points for tickets with them. One fuel surcharge example that I saw quoted was for $800 for New York to London – ouch!
But don’t despair. BA is part of the oneworld alliance that includes other airlines such as American and Cathay Pacific, and you can use Avios points to get tickets on those other airlines as well. I did read though that even if you fly to Europe on those other airlines you will still get dinged with those outrageous fuel surcharges, so it’s probably best to use Avios points for domestic flights or getting to Latin America or Asia. I can easily see Shelley and I using these points for getting to Argentina, but who knows, we may use them for another trip to Asia. The world is our oyster!
If any of you have heard of any other good credit card deals like this recently, please let us know. We are ALL about snagging easy points whenever we can, and I’m sure lots of other readers would love to do so as well.