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? – December 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 offers:
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
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.