Monday, May 11, 2015

Canceling my British Airways Visa card...

As I alluded to in my post about Japan, I've been pretty frustrated with my British Airways Visa card.

My husband and I have both done the $30k annual spend on our BA cards to earn a Travel Together certificate and have found it basically impossible to redeem them due to lack of reward seats. Further, when we have seen availability, the fees are astronomical. Coupled with their recent point devaluation, a trip from New York to Barcelona I just priced out now costs 157,000 points + $2100 + the Travel Together coupon for the two of us. (UPDATE: as I predicted, annual summer business class fare sales are on right now, and you can actually purchase Business Class tickets from NYC to Paris for less than the cost of just the fees associated with this award!)

On top of that, they recently announced changes to cut the earning rate on this card from 1.25 points per dollar to 1 point per dollar while simultaneously devaluing Avios by approximately 30%. Ouch.

To make matters worse, In January, I received a postcard in the mail telling me that I could earn 9000 bonus points by spending $9000 by March 31st. So I did. The miles never showed up. I called. I spent 4 years as a phone rep so I know how to be polite and friendly in order to get my issues addressed. They sent my issue off for "research" and I was told today in writing that the offer wasn't intended for me even though the card was addressed to me.
...Sigh...
I'd had this issue before, so I'd even taken a picture of the card so I'd have proof. In the end, it just wasn't worth the effort or the hassle so I called in and canceled the card today.

I might have kept the card if any of these things were true (sadly, they aren't):

  • Travel Together tickets got "any empty seat" privileges during redemptions. BA offers this to their top-tier elites so there's absolutely infrastructure and precedence in place for this. I'd pay the high price if I didn't have to battle for hours trying to find an award seat.
  • Travel Together tickets could be used on Oneworld partners
  • The card was Chip + PIN rather than Chip + Signature
  • I could take the 30k spend bonus as 30k Avios instead of a Travel Together ticket
  • The hold time to talk to BA's reward flight desk was 10 minutes instead of 60. 

I even took a picture of the offer postcard and they refused to honor it

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