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British Airways scraps shareholder discount – but other companies have not

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If you held 200 shares in British Airways before it merged with Iberia to form IAG, you will have received a letter or email from BA advising you that the 10% shareholder discount is being stopped from January 31st.

This is not altogether surprising.  The benefit was never rolled over to IAG shareholders so the beneficiaries were an increasingly small number of people who were on the old British Airways share register in January 2011.

It was a particularly lucrative scheme whilst it lasted.  BA shares traded around £1.40 for much of time before the merger with Iberia which meant that you could buy into the shareholder discount for around £280.  

Ignoring the share price performance – which has been excellent – it was very easy for anyone buying premium tickets from their own pocket to get back the £280 very quickly.

It was never a great perk for economy ticket holders because the discount was based on the pre-taxes and charges price.

British Airways was not the only company to offer a decent shareholder discountThis page on the Hargreaves Lansdown website gives a summary of companies who offered discounts as at September 2013.  The list includes Carnival, pub groups Fullers, Marstons and Greene King, Marks & Spencer, Irish Continental ferries, Mulberry, Next, Whitbread (Premier Inn) and Safestore.

There is one other group of people who receive a 10% discount on British Airways tickets – holders of the old bmi credit cards.  If you log on to the Diamond Club website you will see a special link which allows you to book flights whilst triggering the discount.  Luckily, for those of us who still have these cards, there is no sign of this deal going away.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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.)

Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Tayo says:

    For some funny reason, the 10% discount does not reflect when I click through the bmi card site, it gives me the same price??

    • Think Square says:

      It shows the usual price on the front screen, but applies the discount after you’ve selected specific flights.

  • Dwadda says:

    Is there a special link for the 10% discount that I am missing? I don’t have a Plus card and when I login and go to the News and Offers section there are four boxes, one which says ‘Great deals on BA flights’ – is this the discount link?

    • Think Square says:

      After you log in, there is a big banner with a picture of a hut in a tropical ocean (well there is for me, anyway).. Click it.

      • Dwadda says:

        When I log-in it just takes me to the ‘My Account’ page. I guess there is a difference between the fee-free Amex and the Plus Amex – at least for some of us. Does anyone know if it is possible to upgrade the free Amex to Plus – I know you can’t get a new one, but perhaps they do like taking fees.

        • Nick Burch says:

          On the My Account page, below the menu but above your statement there should be a banner. As Think Square says, you should hopefully have a picture of a tropical sea with a hut on it, saying about a 10% BA discount. Click that to be taken to the special booking site. If no discount shows up, go back and click again – I find it doesn’t always take it the first time.

          (I only have the free MBNA BMI amex+visa pack, not the premium/fee one, but the discount link advert shows just fine for me)

  • Oates says:

    Just more evidence, if indeed more were needed, of the erosion of the middle class in Western countries. As capital becomes increasingly concentrated in the hands of highly leveraged financial instis and wealthy individuals companies no longer see any benefit in trying to encourage loyalty in a less diverse shareholder base.

    Thanks neo-liberal economics. Good job.

    • Lady London says:

      Wow! what an interesting issue. What other forums are you on, Oates?

      • Mark2 says:

        Sounds like a BBC blog jealous ranter to me!

        • Oates says:

          Not really. I work in finance and earn a good cut. I just get to see this kind of thing up close every day.

          And to be honest the financialisation of our whole economy and the erosion of the spending power of a good chunk of the middle class does none of us any favours in the long run.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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