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Chase has a lot of great rewards credit cards including flexible cards and co-branded airline cards. If you fly British Airways often, you may be wondering if it is better to go for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, one of the top Chase cards that comes with flexibility. Or, should you go with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, since it earns rewards specifically for British Airways? Let’s take a look.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs British Airways Credit Card: Best Signup Bonus?
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Member FDIC
Those signup bonus points are a nice haul. They are good for statement credits or cash back (not that I would recommend using your UR points this way). Or you can get even more value by transferring your points out to travel partners. More on this later.
British Airways Visa Signature Card
New British Airways Visa Signature® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Avios after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Cardholders earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL. Cardholders also earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. Plus, earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Plus, new British Airways Visa Signature Card cardholders can get 10% off British Airways flights starting in the United States when you book through the website provided in the welcome materials.
You can do a lot with British Airways Avios. This is a tough call, as both cards have some of the best credit card offers. I’m going to go with the British Airways Visa since you can currently earn more Avios.
Winner: British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Best Spending Benefits
British Airways Visa
The British Airways Visa earns at least 1x Avios on all purchases. I love earning more than 1x per $1, but 1x doesn’t get me too excited. However, you will get 3x Avios per $1 spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level purchases. You also earn 2x Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations.
There is an additional spending bonus with the British Airways Visa. Every calendar year that you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket, good for two years.
The Travel Together Ticket lets you bring a companion for free on an award ticket. Well, kind of free. You will still have to pay the taxes and fees on the award ticket. We all know those can be hefty on BA, but still, a great value if you’re traveling in a premium cabin.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
There are several Chase Sapphire reward categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
I said it before, but man do I spend a lot on dining & travel, so it’s nice to know there’s a card with a built-in perk for those purchases.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is known as one of the best Chase credit cards for a reason.
I think the British Airways Travel Together Ticket offers some great value, but not everyone will want to spend so much in a calendar year. I gotta go with the Sapphire Preferred due to its flexibility.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best Perks: Chase Sapphire Preferred or British Airways Visa
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa are both chip & signature cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. This makes them an attractive option when you’re traveling abroad. Both of these cards made our best credit cards for international travel list.
Also, both cards are Visa Signature cards, which I’ve written about before. Visa Signature benefits are additional benefits you can receive for travel, movie tickets, dining, or special occasions. The Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa pretty much even each other out here.
Best Points — Ultimate Rewards or Avios?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns uber-valuable Ultimate Rewards® points. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred out to many top-tier travel programs.
You can use them for international travel on United, KLM, and yes, British Airways. Cardholders can also fly to Europe by transferring their Ultimate Rewards points to United in economy for 60,000 miles.
You can fly domestically with your UR points by transferring them to one of Chase’s travel partners. I prefer to use my Ultimate Rewards points for domestic flights through Southwest or British Airways (actually fly AA).
And there are many hotel chains that you can transfer your points to, including Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG. I prefer Hyatt, but that’s because I have elite status with them.
And of course, you can also use your Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits or cash back, but I wouldn’t suggest using them in that way, mainly because you can get more value by redeeming for award travel (plus this is a travel site, after all).
Ultimate Rewards points can be combined with household member accounts, and if you hold multiple Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. I do. Combining and transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners is easy.
The British Airways Visa earns Avios. Since the American Express Membership Rewards® points & Ultimate Reward points transfer to British Airways, it’s easy to top off your account. I love having a couple of options to top off my points balance.
The British Airways loyalty program is distance-based. That means the longer the distance of the flight, the more you will pay in miles and in fuel surcharges/taxes. Gross. Flying in First Class and Business Class can be worth the fees, but that’s not for everyone. However, there are definitely some gems.
For example, you can fly to Dublin from Boston in business class for 25,000 Avios one-way, or 12,500 in economy. Smoking. You can also avoid hefty fuel surcharges by flying air Berlin. And then there’s Iberia. You can combine your British Airways Avios with Iberia Avios to book a flight. And Iberia will sometimes have fare sales like earlier in the year when you could book a one-way business class ticket to Spain for 20,000 Avios!
So you do have some options with Avios to fly long distances and avoid their fees. But don’t forget about their short-haul gems, both domestically and internationally. I’d have taken advantage of these gems many times. I always look to British Airways Avios first when I need a domestic flight.
We have also jaunted across intra-Europe with Avios. A few years ago, after going to Dublin, we hopped over to London for 4,500 and $30 each. That’s not bad at all. Almost felt bad about that redemption. And on a more recent trip, we’ve used Avios to hop to Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid.
Avios vs Ultimate Rewards
The fact that Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to British Airways and many other programs obviously gives it the edge here. But the British Airways loyalty program is one of my favorites for its redemptions and because you can top it off with Membership Rewards (lower redemption rate) and Ultimate Rewards points.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa are both great card offerings from Chase bank, but if I could only choose one, I would have to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Ultimate Rewards points are just too darn flexible.
I could see the British Airways Visa being more attractive if you’re a big spender, so you can take advantage of the Travel Together Ticket, but I understand that’s probably a small market. Also, if you had a specific BA redemption in mind and are a frequent traveler on this carrier, then it could make sense to choose it over the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
My wife and I both have had these cards, and they have actually worked quite well together. It’s hard to go wrong with these two cards. I hope this helps if you’ve been on the fence about applying for either card.