The current charge is a flat fee of £5 per booking, with no fee on award bookings or when debit cards are used. This is obviously unattractive on low value bookings, although in those scenarios you would presumably have no liquidity problem if you used a debit card anyway.
The new structure is a flat percentage rate of 1%. This is obviously attractive for a £39 one-way economy flight to Manchester, but a nightmare for anyone paying for a number of premium tickets.
Whilst the card fee is capped at £20, this is per ticket and not per booking, so a family of four could still be faced with an £80 bill for four Club World tickets.
It is hard to claim that the new structure is ‘unfair’. I would only point out you are more likely to put an expensive ticket on a credit card and may not have the option of using a debit card if you do not have the money immediately available.
There does not appear to be any discount for British Airways credit card holders.
It is not clear if the fee will continue to be waived for anyone who states that their credit card is registered outside the UK.
Whilst Virgin Atlantic scraps its card fee …..
It is possible that British Airways chose to do this because Virgin Atlantic has always had a similar – higher, actually, at 1.5% – card pricing structure.
However, with great timing, Virgin Atlantic dropped all credit card fees when it relaunched its website last weekend.
Whether this survives now that British Airways is charging up to £20 per ticket remains to be seen.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2022 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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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
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
60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus 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:
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
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.