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British Airways Credit Card v Kulula v Mango

We estimated the kickback rate on the British Airways credit card as being 0.6% of the spend, which is the same as the rate of Mango vouchers you earn on a Nedbank credit card, but less then the 1.1% you earn on a Nedbank American Express card. For those spending less than R31,000 per month on their credit card, the best earning option is the Kulula credit card (it works on a sliding scale, which is why it's only better for those spending less than that).

Avios Credit Card kickback rate is some 0.5%

On the Avios Credit Card you earn 1 Avios for every R10 spent, but double points at BP & Pick 'n Pay. You need to earn or spend 1 Avios every 3 years to ensure that they don't expire. So, to earn 7500 Avios one needs to spend R75,000 (excluding Pick 'n Pay & BP), and 7500 Avios equates to roughly R390 (see below); so the kickback rate is 0.5%, a little bit below the kickback rate of 0.6% for the Nedbank credit card (which can be used to purchase Mango vouchers) and the Nedbank American Express card of 1.1%. The Kulula credit card provides a bigger kickback rate than the Avios credit card, providing you're spending less than R65,000 a month on it.

What you get on the Standard Bank & Diners Club BA Card

The Standard Bank and British Airways relationship ends on the 31st January 2014, but the Diners Club arrangement continues. So the bit about SBSA is retained for reference purposes only. The British Airways credit card, issued by Standard Bank, allows you to earn British Airways miles (Avios) when you spend, thus securing cheaper flights when you use the miles:

  • For every R8.50 qualifying spend you get one mile for the BA frequent flyer programme (the same rate applies for eligible spend on a British Airways Diners Club Card).

  • If you use the card to purchase British Airways flights, from the in-flight duty free or holidays then you get 2 BA miles (Avios) for every R8.50 spent.

  • Pay for an Avis car rental with your BA credit card & you get 250 Avios.

  • Spend R200,000 on your BA credit card within 12 months you automatically get access to BA Comair's airport lounges, and can take a guest (if they're also flying British Airways Comair), you can take on a companion with you on a free BA Comair flight (excluding taxes, cash charges & carrier fees), and you can get a free upgrade from domestic/regional Y/B/H economy class to Business Class for yourself & a friend.

Calculating the kickback

A one-way flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town, excluding airport taxes, fees & carrier charges, costs 7500 Avios (7500 Avios in turn requires R63,750 spend on the credit card). A spot check of a 1-way flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town came to a total of R1398; which consisted of R1008 carrier charges, taxes and fees; and a R390 fare. So, a R63,750 spend on a British Airways credit card equates to a kickback of R390, or 0.6%.

BA Credit Card Fees

By getting the credit card you become a member of British Airways' frequent flyer program, the Executive Club. The fees are the same as for the Standard Bank Gold credit card, except that there is an additional charge of R270 per month to link up with the British Airways Executive Club. Here's some of the fees... (I haven't tried to cover all of them!), and they will change anyway, so the below will get outdated rather quickly.

Monthly service fee

Card replacement fee in SA

Emergency card replacement fee oustide SA

R270

R106

R106

Retrieval of statement, per statement

Retrieval of voucher

Late payment fee

R20

R55 in SA, R222 international

R135

Account payments

EFT (Internet Banking)

R4 + 1.15% of the transaction value (maximum of R25)

Inter-account transfers

(e.g. a transfer from your credit card account to your cheque account)

Standard Bank ATM

Telephone and Internet Banking

R3.50

R3.55

Provisional statements

Standard Bank ATM

At a branch

1st free, thereafter R4

1st free, thereafter R15

History of statements

History of statement can be made available at a branch, with the cost depending on how much history you want:

2 months

4 months

6 months

R15

R20

R25

Other fees

Currency conversion

2.5% of the value of the transaction in Rands

Standard Bank

British Airways credit cards are issued and owned by the Standard Bank of South Africa.

Who can apply?

South African citizens who are eighteen years or old and earning more than R10,000 a month.

Expiry of Avios

Avios only expire if there's been no flight activity or spending activity on the Avios account over the last 36 month period.

Combine with Flight Specials

With Kulula and Mango's credit card schemes it's obvious to take advantage of flight specials, as you'll benefit from the reduction in airfare. However, it's not obvious that British Airways flight specials should be taken advantage of, as there's a fixed amount of Avios which a flight costs, irrespective of the actual price - although one might find that there isn't availability when airfares are expensive.

Contact details

The phone number for the British Airways Executive Club is 011 441 8500.

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