This is our review of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card.
It is part of our series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ area in the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.
This article was updated on 2nd November 2020, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.
If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.
Key facts: £195 annual fee
The representative APR is 74.7% variable, including the £195 fee, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. The interest rate on purchases is 22.2% variable.
About the BA Premium Plus card
The British Airways American Express Premium Plus card is issued directly by American Express. This analysis is focused on the paid version of the card – I reviewed the free BA Amex credit card in a separate article.
What is the BA Premium Plus sign-up bonus?
25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 within three months.
A larger bonus of 26,000 Avios is available if you are referred by an existing cardholder. Please e-mail me at rob [at] headforpoints.com if you would like a referral link emailing to you.
What are the rules for qualifying for the sign-up bonus?
The BA Premium Plus sign-up bonus is only available to customers who have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus American Express card in the previous 24 months.
You will definitely receive the bonus if you are only a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s American Express card. As far as Amex is concerned, that card belongs to the primarily cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.
If you do not qualify for the bonus, you can still apply. You still receive the other card benefits including the 2-4-1 voucher.
Any other benefits?
Very much so! When you spend £10,000, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one. This voucher is valid for two years.
This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.
What is the BA Premium Plus Amex annual fee?
The BA American Express Premium Plus card has an annual fee of £195.
You will receive a pro-rata refund of your annual fee if you cancel. American Express is the only UK card issuer to offer this.
What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?
You receive 1.5 Avios per £1 spent on the card.
You receive double Avios (3 per £1) when booking flights or holidays directly with British Airways.
What is an Avios point worth?
How long is a piece of string!
This article is my best attempt to calculate the value of an Avios point. You should target 1p to 1.75p per point.
Is the BA Premium Plus Amex a good card to use when travelling?
As Amex adds a 3% foreign exchange fee, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad. Unfortunately there are no travel rewards card without a foreign exchange fee. One option is to get a free Curve Card – see this HFP article – and link it to a miles-earning Visa or Mastercard.
Another option is to open an account with online bank Starling. It comes with a debit card which charges no fees on FX cash withdrawals up to £300 per day and no fees at all on overseas transactions. You can fund Starling by moving money to and from your existing bank account via their app. Our review of Starling Bank is here and you can apply here.
Other points to note about the BA Premium Plus Amex
If you have the Premium Plus card, you can downgrade to the free version at any time and get a pro-rata refund. You may want to do this if you have triggered your 2-4-1 voucher but not yet redeemed it, and do not want to continue paying the annual fee.
American Express no longer has a minimum income requirement for any of its cards.
How else can you earn Avios points from a credit card?
The Lloyds Bank-issued Avios Mastercard is closed to new applicants.
Don’t forget these less obvious options though:
The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card offers 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up and is FREE for the first year. These convert to 20,000 Avios points.
The American Express Platinum charge card offers 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up. These convert to 30,000 Avios points. It has a £575 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card offers 20,000 Bonvoy points for signing up. These convert to 6,666 Avios points. It has a £75 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.
The current special sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios (26,000 if I refer you) is a decent offer especially as the card fee is refundable pro-rata if you choose to cancel during the year.
The higher sign-up bonus – plus the 50% higher earning rate on your spending – makes the Premium Plus card better than the free card, at least for the first year.
In terms of on-going earning, 1.5 Avios points and the 2-4-1 voucher when you spend £10,000 make the most valuable package on the market for your long-term spending as long as you are confident of hitting the £10,000 target. If you won’t spend £10,000 on the card each year then the value of the Avios earned will not cover the annual fee.
The application form for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card can be found here.
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)
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. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.