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British Airways American Express bonuses increased to 5,000 & 25,000 Avios

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American Express has – yet again – increased the sign-up bonuses on the two British Airways American Express cards.

The Premium Plus version, with the £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 5,000 Avios instead of 3,000 Avios. You must spend £1,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

British Airways Premium Plus American Express

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.

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

Our full review of the free card is here.  Amex’s home page is here.  Both reviews reflect these new bonuses.

Last time the sign-up bonus on the free card was 9,000 Avios during the promotion period.  This time the deal is not as good, but still an improvement of 2,000 Avios compared to the usual 3,000.  American Express may be hoping to persuade more people to pay the fee for the Premium Plus card by widening the gap to 20,000 Avios.

The offer will be running for a couple of months until further notice – we don’t have an end date at the moment.

Amex increasing the sign-up bonus is probably a response to Virgin Atlantic boosting the sign-up bonus on its credit cards  earlier this year. You can read more about the Virgin Atlantic offer here.


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 (129)

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

  • Phill says:

    Slightly ot. What are the thoughts on whether Amex are likely to do a gold to platinum upgrade offer again over the next few months.

    • Johnny_c-l says:

      Had an offer come through for this via email the other day.

    • Tariq says:

      Send an online message – I got a personal offer of 10K MR, no minimum spend.

    • Ro says:

      Yeah send a message. I got an offer of 5k and replied asking if it could be increased at all… and it became 20k

      • Chris Palmer says:

        Many thanks for your suggestion. I am going to try this morning.

      • wetboy1uk says:

        Can you confirm where to direct the message? Thanks

        • Graham Walsh says:

          I selected Other Reward Programmes as the topic with the online email system.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Messaged them yesterday and just come back now saying they’ll offer 15k points for £1k spend. I have to ring up and do it so might see if I can push to 20k.

      If I upgrade today is the travel insurance activated straight away? Flying tomorrow to the US.

    • Rob Walker says:

      Does anyone know when the plat annual fee becomes due if you upgrade like this? Was just about to cancel my gold and start the 6 month wait, but maybe this is more appealing…

      • Rob says:

        Immediately (in theory, sometimes they mess up) – but still cancellable pro-rata at any point so it doesn’t really matter when they bill you.

      • h1tvd says:

        I applied in June for gold card, upgraded to platinum in august, additional 20k MR points for upgrade, cancelled platinum in dec and did not pay any fees whatsoever, so platinum benefits for 5 months for free 🙂

  • Mycity says:

    I’ve just earned my 241, if I cancel the card and downgrade it to the free card I know I keep the 241. Can I in six months upgrade it back to the premium card and get any current bonus? Guess I’m looking for the best strategy. Thanks.

    • Trev says:

      No, you need to have not held a card in the same family for 6 months to be eligible for a new signup bonus. For the BA cards, that means not holiding either the free or premium card. See this article for clarification – https://headforpoints.com/2017/03/14/what-credit-cards-can-i-get-if-i-already-have-certain-other-credit-cards/

      • the real harry1 says:

        it’s not ‘held a card in the same family’ but the 6 months judged by each individual/ principal. So bloke A with wifey B can have (say) Gold + Supp, then A can refer B to get Gold at the same time (& can get Supp).

        • Jono says:

          I think Trev means the same ‘family’ of cards. So you can have one of the BA cards AND one of the Membership Rewards earning cards at the same time and get the bonus.

          But if you want another bonus you can’t have held either BA card for 6 months.

    • Mozo says:

      I am In exactly the same position, probably with the same question!

      I have just this week got the preferred rewards gold card and I think my strategy is to hit the spend target on this, then refer my wife for the ba card before cancelling it, and have her refer me for the gold card.

      Ps: I got the gold card via a referral and on my home pages it is only showing 20k Bonus not £22k. Does anyone know does this suggest I somehow messed up and will not get the referral bonus?

      • Trev says:

        The Amex card account page always shows the spend fracker against the normal bonus but you will get the extra (22k vs 20k) points when you hit the spend threshold

        • Trev says:

          *tracker

          • Mozo says:

            Thanks!

            I had been reading about the card online then got my daughter to send me the link so was worried that I had somehow mistakenly gone back to the original page to apply but you have put my mind at rest!

      • Anna says:

        Mine said 20,000 until I hit the £2k spend, then 22,000 appeared.

      • mark2 says:

        You cannot refer Gold from BA and vice versa

    • Grimz says:

      If you have the 241 in your BA account then cancel the card and apply again in 6months.

      • mycity says:

        If i cancel the card i thought you lose the 241 am i wrong?

        • Russell Evans says:

          AMEX will tell you when you call to cancel that you will lose the 241. In my experience, it remains in your BA account and never leaves there until redeemed. AMEX can’t claw it back if you cancel your card. You just need to ensure you have an AMEX card (best option is BA as you will earn a bonus for spending at BA.com) but any AMEX will do, to pay the taxes when you redeem your 241 voucher

        • Vish says:

          I have cancelled my BAPP but the 2-4-1 still remains. I do have a Amex Gold still

          • Radiata says:

            Likewise in that have also cancelled BAPP and 241 voucher remains in BAEC account without my holding any AMEX issued card.

            If redeemed in the near future will use Lloyds AVIOS or MBNA Virgin AMEX cards to pay charges and taxes.

  • Anon says:

    Slightly O/T, VS Black Amex card

    Just a data point… my additional 13.5k bonus points finally turned up after chasing them, that’s 4 months since applying for the card at LGW VS CH with the 32k offer.

    • Jonathan says:

      I’ve had 40,500 points taken away this week from VS flying club because of what I think was an over allocation of points during there system change back in November. Have asked VS to clarify because you’d think after 4 months they just write them off.

      • M says:

        Only last week I have realised that I am missing points from the VA credit card, ever since there was that switch that made the website so much of a pain to use.

    • Peter K says:

      I’m still awaiting mine from October last year! They should have gone in yesterday after chasing and eventually going to MBNA about it. Virgin have been DREADFUL about the situation (bar one agent who gave 4k miles as apology) but MBNA have been helpful and any miles from them have posted fine.
      I had been considering going for Virgin miles to diversify my collecting but after this (plus missing miles from Virgin trains I had to chase) it seems more effort than it is worth!

    • Lawro says:

      Anon/Peter K – is there a specific email address/contact you have been using at MBNA/Virgin, mine are also going to need chasing I fear…

      • Rob says:

        I think my wife is still missing part of her VS sign up bonus too ….. need to chase.

        • Anon says:

          AwardWallet let me know mine had finally appeared this morning, v handy.

      • Ben says:

        I just got mine through this morning its been 2 days over the 3 month max they said. I contacted them through the online communication portal when logged into the card.

      • Peter K says:

        I tried the contact us form on the Virgin website several times. I might as well have written on a dustbin lid at home. It says it’s sent but nothing comes back. I tried the email address which did eventually come back with a reply but even though I included a screenshot of the T&Cs showing that it was Virgin’s responsibility to credit the points they denied it and said it was MBNA.
        I then rang the MBNA helpline and this is where I started to get somewhere. The person I rang put the case through to their people who deal with Virgin Atlantic. I never got to speak to anyone myself but quite quickly got a letter (less than 2 weeks) through the post saying that there was a technical hitch at Virgins end (for 4 months ??!!) and that I would get the points within 2 weeks. That was yesterday so I’ll leave until Monday and chase again then.

      • Anon says:

        I did the interactive online chat feature

      • Genghis says:

        I was missing mine from a virgin white sign up bonus and after some to-ing and fro-ing with MBNA and Virgin asked to make a formal complaint with MbNA and got the miles soon thereafter.

  • 2002ad says:

    Has anyone applied for another BA card within 6 months and still got the bonus? Or are they precise to the day about applying that rule?

    • Talay says:

      Why risk it ?

      Downside risk = having to cancel and restart the 6 month waiting period

      Upside benefit = bonus Avios arrive a little early.

      Not much of a potential trade off unless you know for sure it won’t matter.

      • 2002ad says:

        The upside is you get 7,000 more avios!

      • The Urbanite says:

        There have been some reports of the points posting, but it’s best not to be too greedy with these things. I certainly won’t be risking it.

  • Phil says:

    I applied (and was approved) for the BAPP on Wednesday. It hasn’t arrived yet – is it likely that I’ll get the increased bonus?

    • Jonny says:

      probably not automatically, though there is a good chance they will honour the higher bonus if you send customer services a message

      • Rob says:

        True. Amex is good like this – ask politely and you should get.

        • Phil says:

          A fail on the first call, despite my politest attempt! Apparently cancelling the application and starting over doesn’t work either, as it’s the application, not the card issuance, which defines you as a new customer.

          He sounded like he’d been recently prepped for this request!

          I’ll try someone else later…

          • Rob says:

            That may be true but they could give you an ex-gratia Avios bonus. Alternatively, get him to agree to give you the extra 7k once you’ve triggered the 18k – and make a note in your file to that effect.

  • Jon says:

    What about the referral bonuses? Is that an additional 1k for the free card?

  • sam says:

    was goingto refer my wife for a BA card but not sure she will get it as she has supplementary card on my a/c and does not has signifigant income. will that work?

    • Peter K says:

      Supplementary card makes no difference…the ACCOUNT is in your name, she can just spend on it. As for income, unless you apply it is hard to say but AMEX do seem to strongly go with household income more than personal. As they consider you a safe bet for a card she is likely to be ok unless there are other probs with her credit file.

    • ankomonkey says:

      My wife doesn’t work and got the card with zero personal income and only my salary as household income. So it can be done. She had a supplementary card on my account too – as Peter K says, that shouldn’t make any difference.

    • Relaxo says:

      Since we are on the topic then …does this mean I can apply for a supplementary gold card for my partner who already holds her own gold card, and still get the 3K bonus being advertised?

      • Peter K says:

        I recently received a 1000 Avios bonus (via email link) for adding my wife as a supplementary to my BA amex when she also held the BA amex herself. If this is the same scenario that you are on about but with the Gold amex you should be fine.

  • Sprout7 says:

    I’ve been away for a few days so apologies if this has already been mentioned…
    Just signed into my BAPP account and it is offering 3k avios if I sign someone up for a complimentary supplementary BAPP card (firstsign up only) by 31st March.

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