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Is there a ‘secret’ 6000 Avios bonus for upgrading to BA Premium Plus?

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Is Amex running a ‘secret’ upgrade bonus on the British Airways American Express cards?  Two readers have contacted me in the last three weeks to say that they received 6,000 bonus Avios with their first purchase.  Both had rung Amex to upgrade from the free British Airways Amex to the Premium Plus version.

We know that Amex is running a 15,000 point bonus to upgrade from Gold to Platinum.  There is also a 5,000 point bonus to upgrade from Green to Gold.

BA Premium Plus Amex

However, so far, I have not heard of any ‘formal’ upgrade deal on the BA cardsIf you have received an email from American Express offering you an incentive to upgrade, please let me know.

If you want to switch from the free BA Amex to the paid card, one way is to cancel the free card, wait six months and then apply directly for the Premium Plus version.  This allows you to get the usual sign up bonus of 18,000 – 25,000 Avios.

The downside of this, though, is that you need to start again with your qualifying spend towards the 2-4-1 voucher which is issued at £10,000.  If you upgrade directly, your spend to date (and your existing Amex membership year dates) are carried forward.  If you have already spent over £10,000 on the free BA Amex, your 2-4-1 voucher will be issued instantly.

With no formal proof that this offer is running, you should not upgrade purely to get the 6,000 bonus Avios.  Neither HFP reader was told he would receive the bonus – they just turned up!  If you were thinking about it anyway, though, it is something else to weigh up in your mind.

If you want to compare the cards, my review of the free BA Amex is here and my review of the BA Premium Plus Amex is here.

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (39)

  • Adrian says:

    Whilst not completely on topic – for the last week I have been getting an unexpected bonus Avios for every £ on my BAPP. The only offer I knew of was the ‘spend £5k get 7.5k bonus Avios’ but it doesn’t appear to be that.

    Anyone have anything similar happen, or can shed any light? I’ll happily stay unaware if it continues mind…

    • RB says:

      That’s funny – been happening to my colleague too. Apart from some recent spend on BA, I don’t use the card but perhaps I should test it out….
      Happy spending!

  • Jason Prince says:

    I have recently upgraded to the premium card and I did get 6000 bonus avios points which was a nice surprise. I called AMEX prior to upgrading and bonus avios was not mentioned. Best thing is that we are now only £1600 away from companion voucher as opposed to £11800.

  • Diane says:


    I have a question. At the weekend I called Amex to downgrade from Premium to blue card, as I have my 2-4-1 ( it is showing in my BAEC ). However Amex told me that I needed to activate my voucher by following the instructions on my e-mail I had been sent notifying me of my 2-4-1. Otherwise I wold lose the voucher. There was nothing on the e-mail about activating it. Can you advise please.


    • John says:

      I’d be interest in knowing this also. Once the spend has been hit and the 2-4-1 recieved there seems little point in holding an Amex at all when I can simply transfer to my companion card via my spouse. Then wait six months and start all over again but with a ‘welcome’ bonus.

    • Rob says:

      I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about! You got a duff agent I think.

  • olybeast says:

    I got this also mate

  • Chris says:

    OT but it is about Avios and I think you didn’t post that yet.

    Iberia is offering 20% if you buy Avios before 23 February 2014.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks, although not desperately exciting at 20 per cent off! Will look.

      • Richard says:

        The amount also increased to 35,000 + 7,000 bonus, compared to 24K maximum previously.

        There were/are targeted promotions of 3,000 points for purchase before Christmas and 1,500 purchase ongoing (register via your Iberia Connect profile) and last year’s 2x Avios per Iberia flights promotions (BA flights did not get the double credit).

        Looks like the airline needs to attract business/passenger numbers but the new seats reservation system is a mess, and asking to bid for business class upgrade of very questionable value is annoying. No point in “bidding” when the minimum bid worths a ticket price. Iberia is also easy on changing flight times/cancelling the early morning flights from Heathrow — I assume these departure slots are cheaper but the airline is often not ready operationally (no plane/late arrival/crew).

        PS I should really register on Flyertalk

  • Blenz101 says:

    I remember receiving this over a year ago.

    During the telephone conversation with them they appear to treat the upgrade as a new application and then manually transfer over the membership information – I had just assumed at the time that I had been incorrectly given a signup bonus based on how they deal with these upgrades.

    I guess the fact that the bonus differs from the regular signup offered on the website makes it more likely that there is an incentive to upgrade albeit one with Amex have failed to advertise.

  • Technoholic says:

    Yep, I also got the 6000 bonus points and I called to upgrade

  • Gulliver says:

    Likewise here; an upgrade from BA Amex to BA Premium Plus Amex in Sept 2013 via the call centre resulted in 6,000 Bonus Avios showing on the Oct 2013 statement. I cannot recall whether this was expected or not.