The British Airways credit card fee increased yesterday from £4.50 to £5 per booking. This is the first increase since the fee was introduced in 2009 (was it really so long ago?).
Despite this, British Airways still claims that it does not recover its entire credit card costs. Arguably this is a moot point, since it is still cheaper than accepting cheque payments or running city centre ticket offices to receive cash.
Customers could use a debit card, of course, but would have no protection if BA went bust and would fail to receive the travel insurance benefits that come with most credit cards. BA would also lose business, especially for higher priced tickets, to online travel agents who do take credit cards – but also take a commission from BA.
The lucky residents of many other countries in the drop-down menu on ba.com still seem to be exempt from payment …..
At least BA has not gone down the Virgin Atlantic route with a flat charge of 1.5% whatever the total, which is a killer on long-haul bookings. The BA fee is also per booking and not per passenger.
The seat selection fee also crept up a few weeks ago without most people noticing.
The current British Airways seat selection fees can be seen in this chart:
Given the huge number of BA routes, it is impractical to list which flights fall into which band. You can make a pretty good guess, though, based on how far you are flying.
LH is long-haul, SH is short-haul, ‘Upper’ refers to the top deck of a Boeing 747.
I am stunned that there are people paying £85 EACH WAY PER PERSON to prebook seats on a long-haul flight, but clearly this is proving to be a good revenue generator for British Airways. It may be playing on the naivity of very occasional premium flyers, however, since anyone who flies more than two long-haul Club World trips per year is likely to have Silver status (and free seat selection) in any event.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)