This is post #2 of a series regarding the British Airways Avios program.

Related Posts

  1. Earn 50,000 Avois Points for British Airways Credit Card
  2. Earning and Redeeming a British Airways Companion Ticket
  3. Creating a Household Account with British Airways
  4. Top 10 Redemption Opportunities for British Airways Avios Points
  5. Get a $50 Statement Credit with British Airways Credit Card

With the new 100k British Airways Avios offer that was just announced, I wanted to highlight a potential perk of the credit card – a free companion ticket when you spend $30,000 on the card in one calendar year. NOTE: This offer is now 50,000 points for new applicants, no longer 100,000 points. This “Travel Together Ticket” is valid for a companion to fly with you (the cardmember) in any cabin when you redeem your Avios points for a free flight.

Details:

  • Spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature Card in a calendar year (not rolling 12-months)
  • Voucher is valid for two years from the date issued
  • Free ticket will still need to pay applicable taxes, fees, fuel surcharges
  • Companion must travel with the cardmember on all segments
  • Redemption Flights and vouchers may only be used for flights on British Airways mainline service
  • You can only earn one voucher per calendar year regardless of spend on the card
  • You will receive the voucher 4-6 weeks after the billing cycle where you hit the $30,000 in purchases
  • You voucher cannot be extended or transferred

When first reading the new credit card offer, Mr. Deals said: “I am getting this card and putting all my business spend on the card – I want that free companion voucher!” However, what stands out to me the most is the terms and conditions that can easily be glossed over:

“Redemption Flights and vouchers may only be used for flights on British Airways mainline service, which have a BA prefixed flight number. Travel on franchise, codeshare or alliance airlines is not permitted.”

As you might remember from my first post on this offer, as a general rule of thumb the best redemption opportunities are for redeeming on US domestic travel and to South America (there are some other great routes as well which I will highlight in a later post). Both these flights are on partner airlines and not on BA operated flights, thus not allowing the companion voucher to be used. However, do not totally discard this perk. If you are looking to redeem on business or first class to Europe, this companion ticket could really come in handy given the cost to purchase this ticket could be $5,000+. For a first class round-trip ticket from JFK to London, for example, you can redeem 120,000 points + $ 1,096.21 per ticket. While I would NEVER pay for first class, these two tickets would have cost about $10,000 each. Ultimately, for about $2,000 and 120k points you are getting $20,000 worth of flights. This is giving you a redemption value of 10 cents per point – which is unbelievable!

Key Links:

  • British Airways Chase Visa Application Link50,000 Avios points for new applicants after $1,000 in spend in the first 90 days; $95 annual fee; earn 1.25 miles per $1 spend on all purchases and 2.25 miles per $1 on all British Airways purchases; free companion pass valid for 2 years after spending $20,000 annually on your card; no foreign transaction fees. Card application link.

  • Spencer W. said,

    Do you know whether you need to still have the Chase BA Visa at the time of redeeming the voucher? Also, would you need to pay the taxes with that card? There’s a 2.5pts/$ benefit of doing so, I realize–just wondering what would happen if you canceled the card first–I’m assuming you’d still be okay, but thought I’d check.

  • NYBanker said,

    I’ll reach my minimum spend for this year shortly, and I still have last years voucher (which has 18 months to go). Can I do buy two, get two free on the same flight? My wife and I both have BA chase cards (on the same account).

  • purplnuprl said,

    It’s nice to see a post on boardingarea.com not merely glossing over the BA companion voucher. 95% of content on this blog network is directed towards BA redemptions on partner airlines which is pretty easy and a borderline copout.

    As a multiple companion voucher offender, I appreciate any additional insight on maximizing rewards with it.

  • ffi said,

    NYBanker, You can and I have. You can’t get 2 free for 1 paid, but if you and your wife pay in points, 2 kids are free. YOU must be on the PNR though, she cant redeem your cert without your being there on the trip

    I think of the companion voucher as the points redeemed in value. If I need 360k points for 2 to go to Asia in Biz, this means I save 180k points.

    Alternately, I can use 135k AA x 2 to go to Asia
    So 270k AA = 180k BA +2000$ + companion cert

    If I just look at spend to get there
    If I spend 140k on AA card I will get 140k AA
    If I spend 140k on BA card, I will get 175k BA anyway with the 25% bonus. I also get the 2 for 1

  • dealswelike said,

    @NYBanker – exactly what reader ffi said. Does this help, or do you still have additional questions? Let me know!

  • dealswelike said,

    @Spencer W – That is a great question actually. I’ll get back to you with that.

  • dealswelike said,

    @purplnuprl – Glad you appreciate this post. The companion voucher can definitely be misleading for some who quickly read just the bullets and not the full description.

  • Greek2me said,

    @spencer w- Posters on FT have said they successfully redeemed travel together vouchers even after canceling the BA Chase card

  • jp said,

    Just asking if there is any particular routing that reduces or saves the huge fuel surcharges on BA using the companion voucher?
    When one stops in London, what triggers the fuel surcharge? Just touching down, or does the stopover of several days increase the charges?
    Do you then consider 1st class seating the best use of the companion voucher?
    Any input or secrets on the use of the voucher would be appreciated. As it sits, it appears that using the companion voucher to fly to Europe is only about 20% less than buying a discount seat from travelocity. In other words, not that great of a deal considering the limitations of award travel. And definitely, definitely not free or even budget travel. After all, I just spent 30,000 dollars to get that voucher… that’s a LOT of money. Input?

  • jp said,

    Hmmm, More thoughts on the companion voucher… Is there another way to look at this?
    As I see it, that 30K in actual dollars spent would get me a flight on AA using mile points (30K AA miles at 1/1, plus 10% redemption refund of AA miles put back into my account), plus save me $1000 (the BA fuel charges on 2 tickets) if I used AA or anybody else to just buy a flight outright.

  • BU said,

    I have received two companion vouchers in the past two years and have not been able to use them, since no flights are available for the dates I choose. Granted, I am trying to fly between San Francisco and London (any airport), but I have been trying since last year! One of the vouchers will expire on Aug 12 this year. Any tips, ideas on how to redeem them? I don’t want to get the feeling that this whole thing is a scam.
    Tnx

  • dealswelike said,

    @BU – flights should typically be available as long as you are flexible a few days here or there.

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