Bits: Which? magazine writes about HFP readers, the BA Amex Premium card lives!

News in brief:

Which? covers the end of Royal Mint commemorative coin purchases

In the past I have written about Royal Mint offers where you could buy commemorative coins at face value – using a miles earning credit card – and then pay them into your bank account.

I was always cautious of such deals because it was often tricky to find backs that would accept them.  Eventually the Royal Mint intervened and told banks to stop taking them.

The story was picked up in Which? magazine this month (thanks to James):

Which? magazine commemorative coins

Is Amex still issuing the BA Amex Premium card to new customers?

If you can remember the peak days of Busted, McFly and Natasha Bedingfield, you might also remember the British Airways American Express Premium card.  It looked like this:

rsz_pic_premium_card (2)

It offered 1.25 Avios per £1 (half way between the free and Premium Plus cards) and required £15,000 of spend (half way between etc) for a 2-4-1 companion voucher with an 18 month validity (half way between etc).

It was only half way successful and was quickly withdrawn by American Express.

However, this comment was posted at Flyertalk this week.  A Premium Plus cardholder who wanted to downgrade – presumably after triggering his voucher – was offered this card as an alternative to the free one.

I doubt this was a random agent who had decided off their own back to relaunch a card last seen when they were still at primary school, so it is possible we may see more efforts by Amex to bring it back.  I know that Amex has continued to re-issue new BA Premium Amex cards on expiry to the few people who still have one.  Thanks to Andrew.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

LAST DAY: 2,400 Avios for £60 LEGO spend, plus other active Tesco bonus deals
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  1. I downgraded last week and wasn’t offered this card!

  2. jovanna says:

    I saw an advert on the TV last week for one of those commemorative £5 coins. The advertisement said it was legal tender in Jersey. I wonder if that’s true and if so, why?

  3. From what I remember, legal tender means that the instrument in question must be accepted as settlement for a debt.

    Is there a loophole here if anyone does some of these coins lying around (such as paying off a credit card bill)

  4. Cheshire Pete says:

    I also downgraded 2 weeks ago, and it wasn’t offered either.

    • When you downgraded did you not have to apply for the free card via the website? I got told to do this!

      • Cheshire Pete says:

        No they sent out new Blue Ones which is actually a nice change from the Graphite one! My account changed overnight and my old card still worked until delivery. All very painless really nothing to fill in just a call to CS.

  5. Genghis says:

    If the BAP card is ‘half way’, does that mean it’s now priced at around £100? If so, could be a good alternative; Losing the extra 2,500 avios from spending £10k on BAPP and the inconvenience of spending £15k v £10k may be worth £95.

  6. O/T question for the collected wisdom… I have the Priority Pass membership from a now cancelled Platinum Amex. After cancelling I’ve heard nothing at all from Priority Pass. Any ideas what might happen if I try to use it to get into the Aspire lounge at T5 next week? Cheers all.

    • Genghis says:

      Won’t work

      • Raffles says:

        Card is refused when there is no credit card backing it up – which there isn’t now.

    • jovanna says:

      I used my PP twice after the AMEX was cancelled. These were a good few months later.

    • Try it, but be prepared to pay if rejected. One son used his a couple of times a year for 2 years with no problems another son got rejected on first visit and didn’t try again.

    • Thanks everyone! We’ll probably give it a go and see what happens…

  7. Silver BA Amex card. I still have this card and I pay £75 a year annual fee. I was told that the 2-4-1 voucher had an expiry date of 12 months. This is my main credit card and I use it all the time. I don’t see any reason why I should get rid of it?

    • Genghis says:

      Thanks J. So the fee has not gone up in line with the BAPP? Makes my argument above even stronger

  8. Which? is often clueless, like in the accompanying image to this article which shows commemerative £2 and 50p, which are in general circulation. It is the commemerative £20, £50 and £100 which aren’t accepted (25p and £5 should still be accepted).

  9. Mrs_fussy says:

    I downgraded last week and was offered the free BA Amex one to keep till I use my voucher so as not to loose the 2-4-1 voucher

    • Barry cutters says:

      You wouldn’t lose it anyway. It stays on your account even if you cancel all together. Don’t listen to Amex

      • Genghis says:

        We were told the same yesterday when cancelled wife’s BAPP. We’ve booked 241 flight but not yet taken flight. I just said “I’m aware of risks but just want to cancel”.

  10. Hi a slightly off piste question about the BA PP 2-4-1. I’ve redeemed four one-way tickets using two 2-4-1s recently ( no availability to suit return dates but have solid contingency for return anyway). I’m continuing to check twice daily (!!) for potential returns in the hope of adding this on with change fee. Does anyone know if I can cancel my BA PP card ( to start the 6 month countdown) now, but successfully add the return leg if it opens up during this 6 month card-less period? Scoured FT and the various HfP comments pages and no joy in finding an answer. Thanks in advance!

    • Won’t be a problem because they don’t cancel the first leg, they simply amend it (booking ref stays same)

      • Woot! Thanks Rob.

      • I doubt it’s a problem, but they often refund the one way avios then charge the full return. Whether they refund and reapply the voucher seems to unknown??? (Though do we know if a cancelled card creates a problem restoring a voucher when a booking is cancelled anyway?)

  11. Are BAPP existing cardholders being hit by the fee increase to £195? I’m sure I saw some comments from people who’ve had letters saying their fee is going up but I haven’t had one and my anniversary is September.

    • You will get one ….

      • I have a BAPP card which my wife had a blue free card and referred me for it through the website. Now that her card has been closed for 6 months when I look on the refer a friend page I only have the option to refer her for the BAPP card. Can I no longer refer friends for the free Blue card?
        Also is the pro rata refund still available on the BAPP card?

        • Genghis says:

          You can – it’s just a bit fiddly now. Do a little Google on how to do it now. Though you might be better off your wife getting the BAPP card over the Blue (even with the fee increase – see Raffles’ analysis).
          Yes – pro-rata refund still available on BAPP. We got one yesterday.

    • Genghis says:

      My wife cancelled BAPP yesterday but we received a letter this week saying fee is going up to £195 and that fee increases are applicable from September (I presume this is across the board for existing card holders?)

    • I had a letter saying my discounted £30 fee would countinue to be honoured, so YMMV!

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Got mine last week…

    • Annex B p14

    • Yeah, it appeared about a week ago – consensus here was that it looked a bit rubbish but no harm having, it doesn’t seem to require spend to be on the card.

      • Just a thought – question for the collective wisdom here :-) I believe most insurance policies (at least all the ones I’ve ever had to wade through) have clauses along the lines of “if you’re covered by multiple policies, we may only pay our share of a claim”. So is there a risk that having a bunch of freebie / bundled / not-so-good policies from credit cards etc might actually cause problems if you ever had to make a claim on your ‘proper’ policy? Can you take a credit card (or other product) but refuse the bundled insurance?!

        • I know of the sort of clause you mean – I don’t see how they could force you to use some of the cover from a free policy like this though.

          • When asked if I have any other cover I always say no and conveniently forget that I probably have something via my current account or whatever. What happens, for example, if Amex insurance insist you split the claim with Supercard (who gave you insurance you never asked for) but Supercard has a £500 excess?

  12. The face value commemorative coins can however easily be used in any machine that takes UK coins, as indeed can Gibraltar sterling coins. Not great if you have thousands but very useful for smaller quantities, especially at stores that allow you to convert coins into notes or store vouchers.

    • The “face value commemorative coins” can be spent as normal coins. Why on earth would you separate these out just to pay 8% to coinstar?

      Gibraltar / IOM / CI / St Helena / Falklands coins can just be put into a bag with other coins and paid into a bank.

  13. Hi,
    A random amex question.

    I have business amex card, if I also apply for personal amex gold, would I get 20.000 bonus points?


    • Funtime says:

      I emailed Amex CS some time ago about this and was told no.

      However, sometime ago Amex said that business cards were for solely business use and not for personal use so may be worth a call?

      • So, does that mean any business Amex charge card or credit card can’t be used to pay for a families holiday so then not be able to use priority Pass?

    • Hello I have the green Amex corporate card. I got a gold card no problem

      • But is that Green card from YOUR business or given by your employer?

        The question relates to self employed business Gold and a personal Gold. You probably would not get a bonus – some do but I know those who didn’t.

  14. OT bits – Revolut now allow top-ups via Visa and MasterCard –

    1% fee for using credit card to top up, but then £500/mo allowed in ATM withdrawals with no fee. Card is free to get and no additional credit check. You can hold balances in a variety of core currencies and swap between them for free. Exchange rates seem decent and update live.

  15. Not sure if I read this right but is it the case that if you cancel once you have triggered the 2-4-1 voucher the voucher remains in your account to use until it’s natural expiry?

  16. Nick Haley says:

    Just me or does anyone prefer this light silver card colour to both the premium dark grey or the dark blue free one? Perhaps it’s having come from / weened myself off the Platinum!

    • I think it’s just you!

      Not many people stuck in the time warp of credit card colour = importance, I don’t think it gets you that far anyway unless you are seriously important

  17. Like many other commenters I recently downgraded from the BAPP card after receiving the news about the fee increase, this one would have been tempting.
    After downgrading I noticed that my online account shows that I only have a small amount to go before hitting the 20k target needed for the 2-4-1 voucher on the free card and should hit that before my renewal. Does anyone know if it’s possible to get two vouchers per year this way?

  18. I also downgraded from the BAPP card today and was offered the £95 intermediate card – with the explanation it’s not on the website and only available to existing card holders. I was informed the Companion voucher validity is 12 months not 18 months as the above article states. I elected the free card I have just earned my voucher, and taken out the Gold charge card referred by my partner.