The British Airways Visa currently has a 100,000 Avios (miles) bonus until Thursday. The spend requirement is a little high (although do-able for anyone) to earn the last half of the Avios. However, for just a little more you can earn their companion pass, known as the Travel Together Ticket.
In the past the Travel Together was a questionable value but now I would absolutely shoot for it. The restrictions and fees were just too high to go meeting a $30,000 spend requirement. Now the spend requirement is part of earning the miles as well. The important thing here is understanding the details of the card and the Travel Together Ticket.
- “Every calendar year you spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature Card, you will earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.”
- The card has a $95 annual fee, starting when you’re approved.
- The Travel Together ticket is only good on British Airways. While you can redeem the miles for any One World partner, you can only use the companion pass with BA.
- British Airways always has high fuel costs… but still not a bad deal.
- You must be a cardholder of the BA Chase Card when you book the Travel Together ticket.
- All travel must originate and return to the US.
So the Travel Together Ticket requires $30,000 of spending in a calendar year on the British Airways credit card, which is only $10,000 more than the $20k required to get the last 25,000 Avios of the advertised bonus. This is no problem as there are many many ways to get around that.
So if you apply for the card now, you have until December 31 to spend $30,000. You’ll have to buy a lot of gift cards from CVS and be an Amazon Payments regular… but it’s do-able. Once you get the companion pass, book your ticket and cancel the card before this date next year. As far as the terms and conditions go, you just have to be a card holder when you book the ticket.
It’s really not a bad way to spend $30,000 either. You’ll earn 1.25 Avios per dollar. Thus you’ll have 137,500 Avios and a companion pass. Not a bad way to go.
You can use this companion pass on any class, including first class. The problem, however, is that each traveler (companion traveler included) still needs to pay for fuel charges, which are astronomical for BA flights! On top of that, for some reason first class seats have double the fuel charges! A flight to Dubai for example would cost 240,000 Avios and $1,345 in fuel. Remember that even using a companion pass, the cash part is per person! Is it a deal? Well sure. So instead of considering this a “free ticket,” consider it the ability to pay an economy price and 240,000 Avios for first class seats.
Still, economy would cost only 80,000 Avios and half the fuel cost. Am I suggesting flying economy? NO! But surely there are better ways to use miles. If it’s your honeymoon… then do it and don’t think twice. Otherwise, use AA miles and fly BA First Class. Although, I don’t really care how you use it, since it’s still a great deal. And I can’t honestly say that I won’t cave and book a BA First Class flight with the Companion Pass. But if I did it it would be from west coast USA to Europe as it’s the same price but more time in the air. Call me a nerd.
Is it worth it? Might as well meet the $30k if you’re already trying to spend $20k anyway. To be honest, the fuel surcharges on BA economy aren’t much worse than many of your other OneWorld options. Do it and go big. 137,000 miles is enough for a lot of flights and now you’d have a companion pass.