Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

12 months interest-free credit on British Airways flights !

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I have run a few posts recently about the 35,000 mile sign-up bonus on the American Airlines credit cards, issued by MBNA.

This is great deal – as long as you can make the £5,000 spending target within six months.  This is an example of where 35,000 AA miles can take you.

When I wrote my original post, I mentioned that MBNA offers 12 months interest free credit on American Airlines flights booked via and charged to the card. 

American Airlines

Reader Neil dropped me a line to say that, looking at his initial American Airlines credit card statement, 0% interest free credit applies to ANY flights booked via the website.  As all British Airways flights are bookable via, this effectively means that you can get 12 months free credit on BA bookings.

There are three things remember if you want to try this:

First, you would get double Avios points if you pay with a British Airways Premium Plus Amex for your BA flights.  You might find the double Avios more valuable than 18 months interest free credit.

Secondly, if you have an American Express Platinum charge card, remember that you need to pay for your flights with an Amex-issued Amex card to be covered under some parts of their travel insurance.  As the AA cards are issued by MBNA, you would not be covered.

Thirdly, if you decide to use your AA card for interest-free BA spending, you should stop using it for general spending.  This is because – rather sneakily – MBNA charges interest on all new purchase whether or not you settle your bill at the end of the month if you carry forward a balance.  For example, if you carry over £1,000 of spending and spend another £200 during the next month, you will be charged interest on that £200 even if you clear the bill at the month end.

That said, if you can work around the points above, this is another good reason to get the AA card before the 35,000 mile bonus is withdrawn at the end of May.

Comments (33)

  • James67 says:

    I wonder if MBNA ring fence this flight spending. I would be wary of using it gor fear of a nasty surprize such as that many people undoubtedly get by taking up one of their heavily promoted balalance transfer offers.

    • Rob says:

      I have added a 3rd bullet point to address this.

      • 21h21j says:

        Pretty sure MBNA say that they will use any payments against the highest apr first. Also my KLM flights booked on are showing as 0% apr so definately not just flights from

        • callum says:

          All UK credit cards do, including the MBNA card. However, you are always charged interest on purchases – it is just waived if you pay off your statement in full. You wouldn’t be paying off the statement in full so that interest therefore won’t be waived.

          I’m not sure if all cards work like this, but it’s why you’re generally advised not to mix promotional rates with normal rates.

  • flibbly says:

    I’m away from home at present, and don’t have my login details for MBNA with me, so I may well be wrong here, but I’m fairly confident I only got offered 12 months interest free not 18 months. Its possible different people got different deals of course.

    Also, as I mentioned the other day. My statement shows the interest free icon next to BA flights bought from not

    • Rob says:

      … which is just weird! I saw your other post but as I haven’t tried it myself I didn’t want to ‘officially’ spread this.

      It does now say 12 months interest free credit on the application form. I have amended the post title.

      • flibbly says:

        Thats fair enough. It seems they may be erroneously awarding this interest free option on far more than they intended (e.g. see Bobby’s post below)

  • Idrive says:

    Hi i tried to book BA via AA but european flighrs (the ones i searched) were costing 3 times more! I will check again later today!

    • James67 says:

      Yes, changed day unfortunately. There was a golden era about 7 years ago when I was buying BA domestic flights at the basic £30 ow even at last minute. Saved a fortune on that but it hurt a lot when they finally got wise to it.

  • Bobby says:

    just received my first statement and the 2.5k i spent on TACA through is shown as 0% on the analysis page, I pay off in full so wont be testing it out.

  • Alan says:

    Has anyone had the points from their first statement show up in their AAdvantage account yet? I told them my a/c number in advance, but I’m wondering if they’ve just created a second account for me!

    • flibbly says:

      Yes, mine were there in a couple of days.

      • Alan says:

        Ah thanks – will give them a buzz!

        • Neil says:

          I wouldn’t bother today if I were you. I’ve spent the last hour trying to get this sorted and in the end you have to speak to the AA Advantage team in the states. it’s a public holiday over there apparently so will have to call tomorrow. MBNA created another AA account for me, despite me giving them my existing number and after several painful phone calls with people on at least three continents, I’ve given up for now!

          • momomo says:

            It has been 7 days since my fiancée’s statement and still no points. (For the record, she didn’t have an AAdvantage account on application; MBNA created one for her.)

            One MBNA rep told us it could take 5 working days for points to move across, another said 7 calendar days and the latest suggested they should appear very soon after the statement is printed and I should get in touch with AAdvantage. Those who have had points post all seem to have them within 48 hours of statement date.

            I’ll be calling AAdvantage tomorrow too.

          • Alan says:

            Ah OK, that seems rather likely! Will try them later this week.

          • Alan says:

            Argghh! Yes, as expected MBNA have gone and created a new account for me rather than using the one that I’d already given them! I don’t know why they don’t just have the option on the application form to enter your existing card number – would save all this hassle. Now (after 10 min on hold to MBNA to get the new a/c number) am on hold to AA to try and get them to merge accounts!

    • Rob says:

      They should hit AA within 48 hours of your online statement being generated. If it has been longer than that then I would ring MBNA and see what number they used.

  • Polly says:

    Just a thought, don’t you get 3 avios per £1 spent when booking directly with BA, using the BAPP? That would make the booking more valuable?

  • Blackberryaddict says:

    I bought some flights on AY for work, using our corporate travel agent – even those are showing as interest-free on my statement.

  • Sir Stamford says:

    I think there is also a fourth point to note:

    Don’t forget the 10% discount you get for using selected MBNA Diamond Club cards or even as a former BA shareholder by booking directly with BA. If you assume half of the £5k spend is fares and the rest on taxes and charges, you are potentially losing out on £250 by booking BA flights on

    Sir Stamford