Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

LAST CHANCE: Apply for the BA Amex cards before the sign-up bonus drops

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A quick reminder that the ‘higher than usual’ bonuses on the British Airways and British Airways Premium Plus American Express cards end at midnight on Wednesday 8th.  I wouldn’t leave it until the last minute, however, in case the offer switches off early.

The Premium Plus version, now with a £195 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.

British Airways Premium Plus American Express

This special offer ends TOMORROW, Wednesday 8th February.

My full review of the benefits of the Premium Plus card is here.  Amex’s own home page is here.

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.  Both reviews reflect the higher bonuses.

As usual, I am obliged to remind you that the representative APR on the Premium Plus card is 76.0% variable including the fee based on a £1200 credit limit. The representative APR on the free card is 22.9% variable.

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (51)

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

  • Roger says:

    OT- BA Related

    I booked a ticket on BA flight via Trailfinder (using Amex CB offer).
    The booking class allows upgrade using Avios.
    However when I try to check upgrade online it says, unable to upgrade online, contact your travel agent.

    Does this mean if you use travel agent then you are unlikely to be able to upgrade using Avios or cash? Any feedback?

    • AndyR says:

      If all flights on your ticket are operated by BA you should be able to upgrade using Avios. You might have to call BA to do it if it doesn’t let you online.

    • Sam says:

      You can’t upgrade with Avios if travel agent has booked you onto the cheapest economy fare.

  • Stephan says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I have the BA basic and I would like to refer the BA premium to a friend. I know the past this was possible but I can’t seem to find the link to do it anymore. It only lets me refer the card I have. Any idea on how to do this? I’m waiting to hear back from Amex.

    • avidsaver says:

      When your friend receives the referral link they will have the option to chose either card. I’ve just a referral from my partners basic and chose the premium option.

  • Crow says:

    My OH called last night to switch to the free card (renewal due in a few days) and was warned that once downgraded it would never be possible to upgrade again to the paid Premium Plus version. Is that true?

    • Mike says:

      First I’ve heard of this – not true. My wife downgraded on line a couple of months ago and we’ll go through the upgrade process in 6 months time. Hopefully the sign up bonuses will be increased to 25 k by then.

  • Matt says:

    Separate point from the sign-up bonus, but I’m planning on upgrading my free card to premium to take advantage of the better 241 voucher. My card renewal date is in May, so does anyone know if I’ll pay £195 now and then again in May, or if I’ll pay a pro-rata amount now?

    • Sam says:

      It’s pro rata – you wouldn’t have to pay £195 twice in the space of 3 months.

      • David says:

        That wasn’t my experience – when I upgraded (October) I had to pay the full £195 and expect to pay the same at the end of this week when I have my renewal. (I did however get a bonus 6k avios for the first spend on the paid card)

    • Leo says:

      Sorry I’m probably being thick – why do you have a renewal date on a free card?

  • Mark says:

    I just called Amex customer service to cancel my Premium Amex and she categorically told me my campanion voucher would be void and not longer be able to be used. I told her she was wrong that’s not the case but she was adamant, she even told me the call was being recorded and she would not lie. She said if you cancel this card you will not be able to use your companion voucher. Categorically 100%. Is she correct and if not why is she saying all that?

    • Rob says:

      There is only 1 case of this happening that I have ever read about and I could not verify that story. There are probably 100 HFP cases I can verify where it has not happened.

      You would need to check the small print of the card to see if Amex has any right to do this. As the voucher sits in your BA account it is not in Amex’s power to remove it, frankly. The FCA would also take a dim view of effectively forcing people to hold a £195 card for up to 2 additional years in order to claim a benefit.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      She either requires better training or she is lieing. Get a copy of the call and then have her manager identify which it is.

      I have it in writing from AMEX that the voucher is not null and void. Their T&C’s make no provision for their ability to cancel the voucher. Further, all their T&C’s allow for is that the voucher must be booked used American Express. They categorically do not state that it must be the same AMEX card. What if your card was cloned/stolen and you got a new one with a different number?

      The risk you run is that you cancel the AMEX and when you apply next time AMEX decline all your applications and you cannot locate another AMEX anywhere in the world with which to book. All in all a low risk, even if AMEX want you to think otherwise.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        See 6, 7, 9, and 10.

        Requirement to be an AMEX BA Card Holder at time of booking No requirement for that to be continuous since award of the voucher.

        What AMEX want to happen and what the T&C’s allow for may well be two different things. That isn’t your problem.

        • Genghis says:

          I’m not so sure. “All Taxes, Fees and Charges must be paid for using the British Airways American Express Card”. Using the definite article ‘the’ implies a specific thing – in this case the BA Amex used to earn the voucher. And if that has been cancelled then you cannot follow the T&Cs and pay the taxes on that card.

          Obviously, we know in reality you can use any Amex card.


          • Mr(s) Entitled says:

            I take specific as the BA AMEX branded card. Not THE actual BA Branded AMEX card that earned the voucher. If that is what AMEX wanted they should have been explicit in the T&Cs. As a professional company that don’t have the luxury in law of stating we said this but meant this….

            When I went through this in writing with them we got to a point whereby we agreed that provided I booked an a BA Amex I was fine but that I ran the risk that I would not be approved for said BA AMEX if I cancelled my current one.

            As you state, given that you can book on any AMEX you are fine. BUT if they close that loophole then you will need a BA AMEX. I for one still think it is a small risk of my future applications being denied. Provided my gambling debts don’t catch up with my and my bankruptcy proceedings go in my favour!

          • Sam says:

            I can’t see how the BA site would be able to tell what Amex card you are using to pay if they do decide they want to enforce it.

          • Genghis says:

            🙂 I’m happy to continue taking the risk too.

          • Genghis says:

            @Sam. I agree that a preventative control might be difficult to implement but I can see some kind of detective control perfectly feasible.

          • mark2 says:

            They could tell the type of card from the first four digits (maybe more) of the card number.

      • Grimz says:

        I have had this conversation also and still cancelled. I have flights booked on a companion voucher, I now want to change all the flights and do not have the BA cc card I received the companion voucher with – do you think I will be ok to go ahead and change my flights without any hassle?

        • rams1981 says:

          I did that recently. It was fine. Voucher was returned to my wife’s account. I then re-booked outbound online and called to add inbound as was flying home from somewhere else. The drop down box online asked for “AMEX” not “BA AMEX” and on the phone it was the same. I did that late last month.

          • Grimz says:

            Ok but what happened with the refund of the money?

          • rams1981 says:

            I never paid with the BA AMEX as knew I was cancelling it.

          • Genghis says:

            @Grimz If you ever have a credit balance on a cancelled Amex as a result of a refund, just call them up and they’ll send to your Direct Debit account.

          • Grimz says:

            ok thanks – how do you book open jaw with a companion voucher online? do you have to call BA?

          • Rob says:


  • Mark says:

    We recently upgraded my wife’s BA Blue AMEX as we were close to hitting the £10k BAPP target, and a few days after triggering the companion ticket we got a bonus 6k Avios…anyone else had this? Obviously not going to complain but wondered if this was normal?

  • mark2 says:

    Recently people, including me, were commenting that Amex customer service had slowed down.
    Not always: my wife applied for a Gold card at 13:43 on Friday; the decision was deferred but the card arrived in the post this morning.

    • Roger says:

      Applied before 7:00 AM last Thursday.
      Decision delayed, received email on 2 days ago saying approved.
      Still waiting for card.
      Normally from past exp. eve applying on Tuesday, you will have card by Saturday latest.

  • Stu N says:

    Tenuously on topic – had a BAPP for a while and just got a new Plat today.

    Two questions:
    – when I try to activate the card it’s making me set up a new username for it, is that normal?
    – applied for a supplementary card for her good self, does it come separately from my welcome pack?

    Thanks in advance

    • Grimz says:

      I was having this problem tonight and I called the number on the back of the card and they joined it to my current on-line account.

    • Rob says:

      If you have had a card previously, the Amex system seems to insist you open a new account when you get it again.

      • Wally1976 says:

        In my experience you just have to remove the old cards from the online view and then you can add the new one.

        • Stu N says:

          They are onto it, should be sorted by end of tomorrow. Apparently it’s easier if you just phone them to activate the card – they can then add it to an existing online account. Because I’d set up a new account they have to remove it from the new one, wait overnight and add it in the morning. Silly me!

      • Grimz says:

        Any idea what happens when you get a refund on BAPP which takes you back under the 10k spend but you already have the companion voucher in your account?

      • Alan says:

        No you can just login with your existing account – I’ve got loads of old cards listed in my online account! Don’t use the app though, it doesn’t cope well – just activate via the website on desktop instead.

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

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