US Bank LANPASS Card Vs. Chase British Airways Signature Visa

In case you haven’t heard, the offer on US Bank LANPASS card has just been increased to 30,000 miles. You might say: why should I care? And what does it have to do with Chase British Airways Signature Visa?

Let me explain why you should at least look into it. First, here are the details of the offer:

lanpass

And here is  direct, non-affiliate link

I’ve seen this increased bonus before and never really paid much attention to it, but recent  post on DoC caught my eye. If you are planning on flying to South America, the sign-up bonus  will  get you one roundtrip ticket to places like Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. See award chart here  That’s not a bad deal, but I’m writing for regular families who will likely need more than  one ticket.

Here is where it gets interesting. You can redeem your kilometers on flights operated by American Airlines. Look at the chart:

lanpass AA

The flights are priced one-way (in kilometers), based on a distance flown. That’s why this offer is actually much better than it appears at first glance. You can see an example of Miami-Orlando flight. The distance  happens to be 323 kilometers. It qualifies for the lowest tier award  pricing of only 6,000 kms one-way.

But it gets better. The bonus of 48,000 kms can actually get you four roundtrip flights from Miami to Nassau, since the distance is very short. You can get from Miami to Cancun or from New York to Toronto for only 8,000 kilometers. There are many possibilities, and you can easily calculate the distance by going to Great Circle Mapper website.

Simply plug in your airport combination, and it will display  it in miles:

mia-nas

The distance between Miami and Nassau is 184 miles or 296 kilometers, which falls into lowest-tier pricing of 6,000 kms. One mile equals roughly 1.61 kms. By comparison, Avios program charges 7,500 miles for the same exact route.

If you fly American Airlines frequently, and happen to take short flights, this offer probably deserves a look. Of course, the availability is another matter. Remember, LANPASS will only be able to book SAAver flights on American Airlines. I’ve written about this issue recently.

Where Chase British Airways card comes in

The sign-up bonus on this card is tiered. Here are the details:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend $15,000 on purchases within your first year for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.
  • Annual fee of $95 is not waived.
  • The offer pays me commission.

Unless you are going to put $15,000 on it, you are looking at getting 50,000 Avios after paying $95 annual fee. If you plan on redeeming Avios on super short flights on American Airlines, LANPASS Visa offer might be a better fit for you. Remember, you are getting 48,000 kilometers with the latter, and the first annual fee is waived. See full terms and conditions for LANPASS program.

There are few things to consider:

1) US Bank can be difficult when it comes to approvals. I’ve never had any issues, but others report repeated denials.

2) If you are thinking about redeeming miles for flights on Aer Lingus, Chase British Airways Visa is a better fit. LANPASS kilometers can not be used on Aer Lingus flights. As of now, you can still get a roundtrip economy flight form Boston to Dublin for only 25,000 Avios (plus minimal surcharges), one of the best values in the hobby. Read my post on Avios program, and why it can be a good deal for American families.

3) If you are looking to fly on a long-distance AA flight, LANPASS program is not a very good deal. Let me give you an example. Nancy (who writes for this blog) is planning to fly from Dallas to Vancouver.

It costs 10,000 Avios one-way, as long as sAAver flights on American are available. The same exact route will cost 27,000 LANPASS kilometers. The distance is 1,754 miles or 2,822 kms, so it falls into the 8th tier on the chart.

4) As of now, Chase British Airways Signature Visa is reportedly not subject to 5/24 rule.

Bottom line

I haven’t personally dealt with LANPASS program, so can’t  vouch for ease of this particular redemption. However, assuming everything goes as planned, you can get great value on short non-stop award flights operated by American Airlines. In many cases, LANPASS beats Avios program or comes very close. Kilometer for mile, this offer is worth a look.

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