Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$750 for air / hotel / car bookings. Or transfer points to United, Southwest, Hyatt, and more.
No annual fee.
We hate British Airways surcharges and the destruction of award availability on American’s own flights to Europe. And we talked about how we can’t recommend American AAdvantage miles for travel to Europe in Business or First Class anymore.
But there is one situation we overlooked where paying the ghastly British Airways fuel surcharges can be a good value.
It’s flying from the West Coast to Europe during the peak summer season.
Yes, you’ll get hit with $1,000 – $1,300 in taxes and fees on top of 100,000 – 125,000 miles for a roundtrip award in Business or First Class.
But here’s why it can be worthwhile:
So as sad as it seems, this is still a good value for your points.
And availability is really, really good right now.
Take a look at this royal display for next June and July out of LAX. This is availability for at least 2 seats per flight.
And Seattle to London is an absolute gold mine…
While coach fares with lousy routing are running $1,500 and more
There’s no more stylish way to get to Europe than to fly in true First Class on British Airways. And if you just picked up 100,000+ easy American miles from credit card deals, well, a flight this long is worth the treat at least one way of your trip.
Still not sure?
If you’re booking with AAdvantage miles, you can change your flights up to 21 days before departure with no fees. And if you happen to find flights that don’t involve surcharges (think American, US Airways, Air Berlin, and almost Iberia) you’ll get the fuel surcharges you paid refunded.
An even better deal
The best deal of all is to take advantage of the British Airways travel together ticket which gets you 2 award seats for the price of 1 (though you pay the taxes and fees for 2 seats).
When you spend $30,000 in a year on the British Airways Visa you’ll get a Travel Together ticket that’s valid for up to 2 years.
(The information related to the British Airways Visa Signature credit card has been collected by MileCards.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.)
The catch is you need to be entirely on British Airways flights originating in the U.S., and as noted below most of the availability above involves connections on American or Alaska. Some East Coast gateways have great non stop availability. For example if you want to fly from Atlanta to London in Business Class it will cost you just 100,000 Avios roundtrip for 2 of you, plus about $1,000 in fees each. So it’s like getting tickets to Europe for $1,000 each + 50,000 miles each.
Not bad – it’s like buying a cheaper than coach ticket and getting to upgrade for 25,000 miles each way.
Last summer Avios availability from the West Coast was dreadful, so take advantage of it while you can.
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