Credit & Charge Card Reviews (5): British Airways American Express Premium Plus

This review was updated in October 2016 and all the information is correct as of that date

This is my review of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card.

It is part of my series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for.  These articles will be linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page.  My other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Equifax credit report and score.  Your first 30 days are free then it’s £14.95 per month.  You can cancel at anytime.

As with all rewards cards, this is not a suitable product for you if you do not clear your balance in full every month.  You should focus on a credit card with a low interest rate such as the AA Low Rate Card. This has a very attractive representative APR of 6.4% variable on purchases and balance transfers.

Key links:  British Airways American Express Premium Plus application form

Key facts:  £195 annual fee

The representative APR is 76.0% variable, including the £195 fee, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit.  The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% variable.

About the card

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus card is issued directly by American Express. This analysis is focussed on the paid version of the card – I wrote about the free BA Amex card in a separate article.

The general American Express rule is that you can hold two charge cards and two credit cards at the same time. Platinum and Gold are the two widely-held charge card, whilst the credit cards include the Starwood SPG, Nectar, Costco and Harrods Amex cards.

Any American Express you may have which are issued by Lloyds, TSB, Barclays or MBNA will not directly impact on whether you are accepted for this card.

British Airways Premium Plus credit card review

What is the sign-up bonus?

25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 within three months.  This is a special offer which runs until 7th February 2017 and is an increase on the usual offer of 18,000 Avios.

A larger bonus of 26,000 Avios is available if you are referred by an existing cardholder. Please e-mail me at raffles [at] if you would like a referral link emailing to you.

Any other benefits?

When you spend £10,000, you receive a voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one. This voucher is valid for two years.

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. I attempted to calculate the value of the British Airways American Express companion voucher in this post.

What is the annual fee?

The BA American Express Premium Plus card has an annual fee of £195.

You will receive a pro-rata refund of your annual fee if you cancel. American Express is the only UK card issuer to offer this.

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You receive 1.5 Avios per £1 spent on the card. You receive double Avios (3 per £1) when booking flights or holidays directly with British Airways.

What is an Avios point worth?

How long is a piece of string!

This article is my best attempt to calculate the value of an Avios.

Other points to note

You will not receive a sign-up bonus if you have previously held a BA Amex (free or paid) in the previous six months.  You will not have a problem if you have any other American Express card, including Amex Gold.

For clarity, you WILL receive the sign-up bonus if you currently hold, or have held, the Lloyds Avios Rewards cards – this is not a problem.

If you have the card, you can downgrade to the free version at any time. You may want to do this if you have triggered your 2-4-1 voucher but not yet redeemed it, and do not want to continue paying the annual fee.

American Express no longer has a minimum income requirement for any of its cards.

How else can you earn Avios points from a credit card?

The obvious options are the Lloyds Bank-issued Avios card and the two TSB-issued cards.

Don’t forget these less-obvious options though:

The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card offers 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up and is free for the first year.  These convert to 20,000 Avios points.

The American Express Platinum charge card offers 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up.  These convert to 30,000 Avios points.  It has a £450 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.

The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card offers 10,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for signing up.  These convert to 10,000 Avios points.  It has a £75 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.


The current special sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios (26,000 if I refer you) is an excellent offer especially as the card fee is refundable pro-rata if you choose to cancel during the year.  The higher bonus – plus the 50% higher earning rate on your spending – makes the Premium Plus card better than the free card, at least for the first year.

In terms of on-going earning, 1.5 Avios points and the 2-4-1 voucher when you spend £10,000 make the most valuable package on the market for your long-term spending as long as you are confident of hitting the £10,000 target.  If you won’t spend £10,000 on the card each year then the value of the Avios earned will not cover the annual fee.

The application form for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card can be found here.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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  1. Sussex bantam says:

    Raffles – I’ve just triggered my first voucher and can see it in my BA account. I understand I can downgrade to the free card to refund the fees without any problems. What happens if I cancel it completely ? I’d like to start the 6 month clock ticking again…

    • I will be in the same position as you in about a months time. Interested to hear what to do. I want to refer my husband next then cancel my card or downgrade but as you say you want to start the clock ticking again but that doesn’t work if you have to downgrade until you redeem the voucher. What is the best advice Raffles ?

    • They might tell you the voucher goes if you cancel. It doesn’t. It stays in BA for you to use, BUT you must pay with an amex card.

      • You definitely retain the voucher, and you can pay the taxes on ANY Amex card when you book. Neither of those are problems.

        There is a risk that if you use the voucher and then cancel your booking, the voucher does not come back – but you will probably have a new BA Amex by then anyway which should ensure this doesn’t happen.

        • So If you had to cancel a flight and you had cancelled the card but were then a supplementary cardholder on your husbands card, then the voucher would be retained ie we would both have the card but just the other way round ? Thanks

          • Not necessarily – a supplementary cardholder is NOT a cardholder in the legal sense. That is why Amex lets you have the bonus, because technically you are a new cardholder.

        • Hi Rob, I’ve triggered and redeemed 2 x 2-4-1 for 4 LHR to SEA return in 1st for next October. With all tickets safely showing as booked now in my BA account, I’ve called AMEX to cancel mine and my wife’s BA Amex cards (both downgraded from BA AMEX PLAT after triggering the initial bonus) only to be told that I should keep the cards and can only safely cancel (without affecting 2-4-1 booking) after I have taken the redemption flights end of next October …. is this true? or is this a call center person not fully aware of Ts&Cs around 2-4-1s?

  2. If you are an economy flyer long haul, how do the BA Premium and the Lloyds Premium card stack up against each other?

    • This article has some thoughts –

      Which card is best is more about whether you travel alone (Lloyds better) or with someone else (BA 241 voucher can be used).

      The bigger question is whether you are getting a good deal from using Avios for long haul economy redemptions, and even that is not simple – in general it isn’t great value but that is not true at peak times or if you want a flexible ticket (which a redemption is) or if you catch a sale like the current ‘40% off Avios redemptions’ one or if you fly Aer Lingus / airberlin and pay minimal taxes and charges.

  3. Amex tracking is shaky on the affiliate side. The referrals, on the other hand, do track.

  4. How do I refer my husband for a card, is it the same link? Can this be done through top cash back?

  5. I think they’re tightening up on the double dip

  6. Also of note is the exceptionally good travel disruption and bag delay insurance with the BA card. It is far better than Amex plat (or cent even). It is one reason I’d consider the card even if you’re not big on avios.

    • Jon, Rob,
      Can you claim a travel disruption under both CC insurance and EU 261/2004? Thank you.

      • Yes potentially, as they pay for different things. You won’t get both though if you are just claiming for a delay. Amex will deduct anything you receive from the airline, but will top up to their maximum.

      • And to add, Amex will require receipts. EU 261 won’t for the standard cash payout.

    • Hi Jon

      Thats interesting. I have both. What are the particular insurance advantages of using it to book and pay for your trips in comparison to the Platinium card?



  7. does anyone know if my wife can get a ba (£150) card in her own name if she is already a holder of a card from my account?

  8. Always thought the BAPP wasn’t a pro-rata refund if you cancelled?

  9. So, this is a newbie question I know, but after 6 months without a card can you churn the BAPP card and get the 25,000 bonus again? i know you can with the amex gold, but I can’t see it mentioned for the BAPP card, thank you Adrian

  10. Yes, you’re eligible. You are only disqualified if you’ve had a BA or BA Premium Plus Amex in the last 6 months.

  11. Wife and I both have the fee free bog standard BA Amex. I know you cant see into the future but to use a sign up bonus is it worth cancelling my wifes give it 6 months then sign up/or wait for a decent sign up bonus for the BAPP? The 6 month wait is annoying mind….