Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Free 100,000 Airline Miles!

Big Breaking News!  Yesterday, the New York Times suggested that the British Airways Visa Signature Card sign-up bonus offer of 100,000 miles is “possibly the most lucrative credit card sign-up bonus ever and equivalent to two round-trip coach tickets from North America to London.”  Count me in!!  It’s funny, but I’ve been aware of this offer already for a few weeks now, since I’ve been investigating credit card free mileage programs.  But the offer keeps getting better and better and there’s really no reason not to apply now!

I used to love my Capital One® No Hassle Rewards Visa credit card.  When we got it in early 2001 (it was then called the Capital One® Visa MilesOne card), I thought, after much research, that it offered the best deal for acquiring airline miles.  There was no annual fee, the miles earned never expired, there was no limit to the number of miles you could earn, and there were no blackout dates or seat restrictions.  You earned one mile per net dollar purchase made on your credit card and their redemption schedule was comparable to other mileage programs.  You could fly on any major airline but you had to book through Capital One’s 24 Hr Travel center – not a problem, they were competent every time I called them.

Up until the summer of 2003, you could get a U.S. to Europe round-trip coach class ticket costing up to $1,000 with only 50,000 miles.  (Loved it!)  Then they upped it to 85,000 miles for the same thing.  (That’s a pretty big increase.)

Then came the big whammy.  Effective December, 2007, miles redemptions became based on ticket price, not destination.  This sucks.  Let me give you an example:  let’s say you wanted a $1,000 ticket to Europe.  Under the old guidelines that would have cost you 85,000 miles.  Under the new guidelines, the ticket dollar price x 100 is the number of miles required, so a $1,000 ticket will cost you 100,000 miles!

They tried to hype up the change, exclaiming:  “No more Saturday overnight stay required!” and “No need to book through Capital One® travel service anymore!”  Well, we didn’t buy it.  We knew it sucked.  

We decided to try an airline exclusive credit card and got the United Mileage Plus® Visa card.  The first year was no annual fee, and I think we got a decent number of bonus miles for signing on, so it was worth it for awhile.  But last summer we didn’t have the best experience on United Airlines, and decided to blow them off.  And now, just as I was narrowing down my choices for a new mileage card, this British Airways deal comes along!  Perfect!


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