British Airways American Express bonus back to 9,000 and 25,000 Avios – via an exclusive link

Less than a month after the previous sign-up offer ended, American Express has again increased the sign-up bonuses on the two British Airways American Express credit cards.

This time the offer comes with a catch.  It is ONLY available via a special link, available by clicking here.

You cannot get this deal via the British Airways or American Express websites.  The link was sent to selected British Airways Executive Club members although there are no restrictions on who can use it.

The Premium Plus version, with the £150 annual fee, now offers 25,000 Avios instead of 18,000 Avios. You must spend £3,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

The basic, free, card now offers 9,000 Avios instead of 3,000 Avios. You must spend £1,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

The representative APR on the Premium Plus card is 56.4% variable including the fee based on a £1200 credit limit. The representative APR on the free card is 15.9% variable.

BA Premium Plus Amex

My full review of the benefits of the Premium Plus card is here. Amex’s own home page is here although the higher bonus does not show there.

My full review of the free card is here. This is actually the most improved deal jumping from 3,000 to 9,000 Avios. Amex’s own home page is here but, again, the higher bonus does not show.  My reviews do not reflect the new bonus.

Note that the refer-a-friend deal cannot be combined with this offer.

This offer will be available for two weeks until July 31st. Remember that you MUST use this link to apply.

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.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. polly says:

    BA and AMEX trying to regain customers after all the cancellations in April following avios devaluation. My friend wants the bapp but I will wait for the refer a friend link to return. Shame really. They want me to have my bonus too for helping them get into avios.

    • Customers cancelling in April wouldn’t be eligible for sign-up bonus. Have to wait 6 months after cancellation.

      • Polly says:

        I meant getting new ones in to replace those leaving. Yes we must wait at least 6 maths to re apply. Will be waiting for the next autumn one for myOH to apply and be referred, so we get both the bonuses.

        • Callum says:

          No it’s not. I have no idea why absolutely anything and everything BA ever does now is interpreted as them trying to make up for losing x numbers of customers. They do this bonus several times a year!

  2. Nick M says:

    I got the email yday and was debating which to go for… not sure if we’d be able to max value on the 241 – but still assume the additional 21k avios (assuming 10k spend) justifies the £150 fee?

  3. James67 says:

    Any thoughts on when increased bonuses will return in usual fashion. I am planning to apply by end od October so happy to wait for a referal.

    • I have looked recently at the paterns of this deal and it is fairly regular over last couple of years, normally a new offer starting up 2-3 months after last one closed. Last regular deal ended a month ago but not sure whether this new one will disrupt the pattern or not.

      • James67 says:

        Thanks, so hopefully next one by September at latest.

        • RIccati says:

          Don’t rely on past. Things have changed.

        • James67 says:

          Its not a proble, could do SPG card for 10k if need be but was holding off on that in hope a 20k bonus will reappear.

    • James, OT but just so you know, BA will start operating a 787-9 on the KUL route from early next year, I think I read January. ‘My Flights’ app updated my booking earlier on for a booking I have in March, overall not a big deal although will be good to be on a new plane as opposed to the old 777s currently being used. Avios redemptions for First will get even harder as it will have only 8 seats, although it will be a new improved New First.

      • Polly says:

        I am keeping an eye on the KUL routing also, as that’s where we might use our F 241 next year. Looks like it will be more difficult to get seats then. Chose HKG F for Jan 241 before the devaluation date. Luckily it seems. Are you in F in March or J? BTW how did your recent trip to KUL go? I did the GF to AB for my OH we get,to,reserve seats. Have saved a lot on that too. Even on his Y flt he can reserve the window seat so he can sleep . I hope to do the same for mine when it ends in September too. But with our ex CPH QR J flights in oct we will be almost at silver so will aim to do a couple of short EU flights to obtain that. Tricky to keep on top of all these options!

        • Flying in CW in March, but will keep a watch for F availability for at least one sector. KUL flight was F out, and J back. Both flights were very good, the food was ok, the cabin crew were great and i found the seats to be very comfortable – on both flights i got a lot of sleep, which doesn’t happen when i have to connect via the middle east. So am happy to use BA again next year. Not the bling bling of other carriers, but for a redemption flight it did the job and was a much better experience than MAS 777 out of AMS which i did in Jan.

          The main niggle was the old cabin and IFE, which will be addressed by using a brand new 787-9.

        • James67 says:

          Thanks folks. Is the 787-9 going to have first? Are they not operating a 773ER on route at the moment? Switching to a smaller aircraft seems surprising when AF traffic is up for grabs and MH downgrading CDG to a 772.

          I was planning a comment for you and Polly. I was notified yesterday of a schedule change on my LHR-KUL flight. The plane will now be on the ground for 8hrs 45mins I believe. I’m wondering if they are now going to tag on Bali or Jakarta.

        • 787-9 is to have a revised, new and improved First class on it, but only 8 seats. Four class 777-200 on the KUL route at the moment, First class is ok on it as it has ‘only’ 12 seats on it to accommodate the crew rest area access.

          Yeah i have been notified of a change to time slot via various apps (but not by BA!). However BA seemed to have screwed up my KUL – LHR, instead of moving my flight back 20 mins from 0005 to 2345, they have moved it forward to 2345 i.e. instead of moving it back 20 mins (day minus 1), they have moved it forward 23 hours, but haven’t moved forward my connecting LHR to GLA flight. I will leave it a couple of days to see if it sorts itself out, then a long phonecall to BA will have to take place.

        • James67 says:

          had to teply to myself. Problems for me too the, they didn’t notify me that change. I will need to check if mine has gone backwards, or forwards like yours. Wish they would give us some new metal into BKK. To say the planes have been worn and dirty recently is an understatement.

        • Ronster says:

          Hi James, Polly,CV3V & Rob

          Hope you are all well.

          There’s a total of 22 787-9’s and 12 of the even bigger 787-10’s that British Airways has on order.

          Here is the current list of BA 787-9 operations:-

          I cannot wait to be trying out the new F on the above aircraft,since that is what I will be focusing on.I feel it offers the best value for money when it comes to investing your hard earned points. Especially when your using the BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher.

          Even though Qatar has had some amazing deals via Copenhagen, I much prefer uninterrupted sleep of a longer single flight.

          Already have LHR-NRT BA F & HKG-LHR BA F , both reserved with the 2-4-1,(before the 28 April deadline, for 180,000 Avios).We also got 2 x J CX, top deck 747, to look forward to from to HND-HKG (20,000 avios for each oneway segment)

          2016 will be an interesting route planing exercise as the 787-9’s &787-10’s come on line and I decide which 9 hour plus journey to go for. (The longer the better).

          I will be using up my second 2-4-1 Amex Ba voucher for First class in one of the above aircraft.

          Now if only BA would bring back F to flights to EZE. That would be amazing.

          Thanks to you all for your informative inputs and as always a very special thankyou to Rob.


  4. darrenf says:

    Raffles says “Note that the refer-a-friend deal cannot be combined with this offer.” right there in the article.

  5. can someone please remind me about my eligibility for the bonus miles. I hold a virgin mbna and an amex gold charge card

    • They should be fine. Only ineligible if you have held a BA card in the last 6 months.

      • Do you know what the rules are if you’ve held a supplementary BA card in the last 6 months?

    • You are fine as you don’t have any other Avios-earning Amex credit cards.

  6. Marly says:

    This is a really tempting deal, I do wonder thought, if it still worth bothering about Avios due to recent changes. Sorry for my ignorance but when we use the 2-4-1 voucher, taxes have to be paid for 2 right? So if I redeem a Club World, that would cost us around £1000 in taxes and fees for two?

    • yes, you pay taxes for both. You can redeem avios with some airlines where the taxes are significantly lower, but you can only use the 241 on BA flights so you are stuck with paying the ridiculous fees. CW is frequently £1k+ for two people. And then you will need to pay £300 to reserve the seats if you want to be sure you are sitting together (unless you are in First).

      The other thing you need to think about is availability. BA promised to release two seats in CW/First on each flight, but not sure if that is actually happening in practice.

      Even though the 241 is potentially great value, I’m cancelling my BAPP as it’s just not worth the hassle/fuel surcharges. I’d personally rather wait for these great deals we’ve seen recently (Qatar via Doha; Turkish Airlines; BA to HK ex-Germany) than try to use Avios for long-haul redemptions with BA. Avios are still brilliant for European economy, but using a 241 for that is probably a bit of a waste.

      • I took out the BAPP at the last offer and am currently working on my £3000 spend for the bonus and then for a 2-4-1 ticket for next year. I didn’t realise you had to pay £300 to reserve your seats? Why so expensive?

        • James says:

          You do not need to pay for seat selection if you don’t want to, you can select for free at OLCI.

        • I have never flown CW so next year will be a first. In reality can you still get 2 seats together at online check-in or are seats usually mostly allocated by that time. Would have to fly the first time in CW and not get to sit together!

        • Edit: Would *not want* to fly..

        • Not a massive problem. Even if it was, solo travellers are often happy to move if they see a couple split up – I did this on one of my Qatar flights last year.

        • RIccati says:

          Fee x 2 people x 4 flights, assuming one outbound and one inbound.

        • This is one example of where oneworld status has its advantages. After getting CX Gold status last year via Amex Platinum card, which I have now status matched via Gulf Air to Air Berlin for another year (!), the amount of potential fees which I have avoided paying must be close to a thousand pounds, although I doubt I would have actually paid them and just taken what was left at online check in. However, it does give me the chance to try and obtain the best seats available.

          When evaluating a fare with BA against, say Emirates who don’t charge for seat selection, BA becomes even worse value.

      • James says:

        BA does not promise to release 2 seats in First.

    • Correct

  7. Ralph says:

    If referring a family member in a BA household Account, still better to “refer a friend” for 9,000 + 19,000 Avios for 28,000 Avios total

  8. this reminds me, I need to cancel my BAPP.

  9. Got an email yesterday from Amex- spend £35 on amazon and get £10 back (only for BAPP, couldnt work for PRG when I tried). I combined it with the amazon £50 prime offer.

  10. RIccati says:

    It’s understandable that BA does not want to increase the bonus (cost, trying to keep issued Avios number at bay).

    However, 25K Avios is a number for European travellers — would I go for the effort of applying for a card and spending 3000K to get a return flight to a European destination, which would otherwise cost about £120?

    After the devaluation, long haul travellers especially ones who use Avios to travel on partner airlines (peak pricing)… wouldn’t run to apply for a BA card.

    As Raffles says for other cases, BA card bonus is now only good for a top up.

  11. Hamzah says:

    Off Topic

    Does anybody know of any cheap redemptions for getting to Doha from Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

    I have quite a few Etihad points, but it’s working out £200 in taxes – not sure if that is cheap?

    I also have quite a few Avios points stashed away.

    • A Qatar Airways redemption using Avios would seem the obvious answer! 4,500 Avios plus a tiny bit of tax. Availability will show on but you may have to phone to book as is a bit wobbly with Qatar.

      Or just pay cash. Tickets are very cheap in economy for what is, after all, a very very short flight.

      • Hamzah says:

        Thanks Rob.

        I’m on but the only flight it lists if, Dubai/Abu Dhabi via Heathrow to Doha?

        • For cash it will only show BA flights. For Avios redemptions it will show Qatar. There are 12 flights a day or something so they will definitely be there!

        • Slightly OT, but i could do with some advice on earning points for biz flights to BKK year after next.

          I’ve currently got a paltry 8000 Avios (i’ve been hammering Flying Club!) but want to look at Avios redemption on QR flights ex-EU, is that possible? I’ve tried looking on the Avios website but cant see a calculator to work out how many points i’d need and how hard i’ll have to work to earn them!

          Any help would be appreciated!

        • Link to the Avios spend calculator is in the right hand margin towards the bottom!

          Basically, BA charges by LEG remember. This means you pay XXX-Doha and Doha-YYY separately.

          Much of Europe, including Germany but NOT the UK, is under 3000 miles to Doha. Thie means that redemptions from many countries fall into the cheaper pricing band. Frankfurt to Doha is 75,000 Avios return in Business whilst London to Doha is 120,000 Avios return (reduced to 100,000 if you fly on BA and choose an off-peak travel date).

  12. Can anyone tell me if my and wife both get the Barclaycard Hilton card and make separate bookings at same hotel one night after the other with the vouchers can the two nights be merged into 1, so we would stay in same room etc ? Thanks

    • tell me, if me and my wife* cant speak English today.

    • What's the Point says:

      Yes, but email the hotel before hand.
      Tip – book the first night with the person having the highest Hilton status level.

      • What's the Point says:

        I meant to say, email the hotel after you have made the bookings and tell them they are linked.

  13. Iain2015 says:

    Raffles correct me if I am wrong but in the past the normal 25k sign up bonus and 9k referral has normally come back a couple weeks after the “special offer” reappears post reverting to 18k

    Food for thought for some no doubt…

    • My gut feeling is that August will be the low bonus (no-one applies in August anyway) and it will go back up in September.

      • Fenny says:

        Curses. Having just ordered a new car for 1 Sep pickup, I’m looking for a card with a decent sign up bonus to pay the deposit on.

  14. Colin JE says:

    Dumb question but presumably if I already have the Premium Plus card already I wouldn’t qualify for the sign up bonus on the basic free card?

    • Correct.

      It is not really a dumb question, though, as MBNA DOES let you have both versions of the Virgin card at the same time and get the bonus on both.

  15. Alan Clarke says:

    If my girlfriend is currently the account holder and I am the supplementary holder – can we apply for a new card in my name and add her as a supplementary to take advantage of the welcome offer again?

    • Yes, works fine

    • Polly says:

      Better to wait for the new offer later and get your full referral bonus as well…

      • Hi Polly – I was keen to apply for the card but didn’t get around to it. Does Amex tend reopen the offer and if so, do you know roughly when this may occur and what sort of Avios bonus they offer?

        Many thanks


        • It has been at 9k / 25k for about 5 months out of the last 12 months, if you wait until late September I am pretty sure it will be back.

        • Dear Raffles,

          Thank you very much for your help and quick response!