The British Airways credit card contract was up for renewal recently. I don’t know when the current deal was ending – the only bit of news I managed to find out in advance was that IAG was tendering for a single contract covering all of its airlines.
I had a sneaky feeling – which have been wrong – that some of the aggressive promotional activity we saw from MBNA last year on its airline cards may have been linked to this. Did they want to show BA what could be done if they won the deal?
The inclusion of Iberia and Vueling (the Spanish based budget airline owned by IAG) in the contract played into the hands of American Express, however. I am not aware of MBNA or Barclays, who were the only realistic competitors, having an established credit card operation in Spain of the scale required to take this on.
On Wednesday, American Express held an investor day in New York. The slides are available online but they do not tell you anything interesting. Bloomberg released a summary of the discussion, however, and it confirmed the following:
A new British Airways deal has been signed
A new Iberia deal has been signed (this is currently an Amex and Visa combo)
A new Vueling product is included
The Starwood Preferred Guest Amex deal has been extended
Nothing else is known at this time. There does not seem to be a transcript of the investor day (yet?) which would provide some more information.
We can treat this as good news. The British Airways credit cards are, if we’re honest, a very attractive product with a set of benefits which is well pitched.
The 2-4-1 voucher on the Premium Plus card is the most valuable spending perk of ANY UK credit card as I showed here. You only need to look at the mish-mash of additional benefits offered on, say, the Virgin Black and Emirates Elite cards (which turn out to be far less useful than you think when you read the small print) to realise how good the BA cards are.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.