British Airways credit card promotional offer

What's the deal?: British Airways has a promotion to entice people to sign up for a new Visa Signature affinity credit card. First-time cardholders with new accounts will earn 50,000 miles with their first purchase and another 50,000 miles for spending $2,000 in the first three months after the account is opened.

That's 100,000 miles, enough for two coach round-trip tickets or one business-class round trip to parts of Europe, including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. You also can redeem miles for flights on codeshare partner American within the continental U.S., and to Canada, Hawaii and Mexico.

What's the savings?: Potentially, a lot - especially if you rack up that $2,000. (Think about going cashless and using the card for last-minute holiday shopping, groceries, gas, bills and restaurants.)

Even if you don't spend $2,000 in the first three months, for the $75 annual fee you'll still have enough for a ticket to Europe or Hawaii, or two within the U.S., to Canada or to Mexico. If you and your spouse aren't current cardholders, consider signing up for separate accounts.

What's the catch?: If the airline gets a big response to this offer, it could end quickly. Customers will earn 1.25 miles for every dollar spent and 2.5 miles per dollar spent on British Airways tickets. Other bonuses include saving $50 off a qualifying round-trip ticket purchased by Dec. 31.

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- Tom Parsons, McClatchy-Tribune

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