I really love the British Airways Avios reward programme, so I’ve always been looking for the best way to earn Avios via my credit card spend. Discovery Platinum Credit Card with their Fast Miles feature used to be the best – but that was discontinued in 2018. Since then, the British Airways Credit Card offers the best earnings ratio of miles to spend out of any provider. Which is great, because everything else about the British Airways Credit Card is rubbish!

Let’s start with the sign-up process:

British Airways have chosen to partner with ABSA as their card provider and so, as one would expect from one of the least tech-friendly big banks, the sign up process is clunky and outdated:

  • You start by filling in an unnecessarily long and complex online form which isn’t even responsive – so doing it on your phone is a hassle. I checked today and it looks like you can’t even sign up online. They say: “We are currently busy with website updates. If you would like to apply for a new British Airways credit card or for any credit card related queries please call us on: 0861 422000”.
  • You then wait about 1-2 weeks and literally hear nothing. I had given up, but after about 10 days I did get a phone call from ABSA. They asked: “Have you recently applied for an ABSA Credit Card?”. I said “No” because I had applied for a British Airways Credit Card. The agent then said nothing more and hung up (at least I knew at this point that something was happening).
  • The first positive sign I got was a call from the couriers to deliver my card. This part was pretty painless, luckily.
  • After that though, you need to activate you online banking. Let’s just say you need to REALLY want this card to go through this clunky and lengthy process. They use an automated phone call based system which times out often and frankly doesn’t work. I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but it took me about eight attempts until I could get it right. Also, they offer you various phone numbers along the way including: 0861 422000 and 0860557557 (which isn’t actually their number).
  • The ABSA internet banking back-end is also really complicated to use (particularly if you aren’t an ABSA client).

Overall, if you really want to earn the most Avios for your credit card spend (and you’re prepared to deal with frankly the worst bank in South Africa from a service perspective to get it)  – then the British Airways Credit Card backed by ABSA is for you!

Till next time

British Airways Credit Card




Reward programme





  • Best earnings ratio of miles to spend out of any provider


  • The sign up process is clunky and outdated