Credit & Charge Card Reviews (6): British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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This is my review of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card.

It is part of my series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles will be linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page. My other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.

Key links: British Airways American Express Premium Plus application form

Key facts: £195 annual fee

The representative APR is 76.0% variable, including the £195 fee, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% 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.

British Airways Premium Plus credit card review

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.co.uk 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 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.

I attempted to calculate the value of the British Airways American Express companion voucher in this article.

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. 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.

If you want a dedicated credit card to use abroad, take a look at the Virgin Money Travel Credit Card (click here).  This card is free and charges NO foreign exchange fees.  It also offers 0% interest on purchases for 12 months and 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months.  Representative APR 21.9% variable.

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 10,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up and is FREE for the first year. These convert to 10,000 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 Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card offers 30,000 Bonvoy points for signing up. These convert to 10,000 Avios points. It has a £75 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.

Our review of Amex Gold is here.  Our review of Amex Platinum is here.  Our review of the SPG Amex is here.

Conclusion

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.

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Comments

  1. Booked my outbound EDI – KUL in Business using the 241 voucher and will add the return later this month.

    Can someone confirm my numbers for the taxes/fees?

    It looks to me like taxes/fees for 2 pax on a business return are £1389.62.

    Booking it as two one-ways, it looks like £873.70 outbound and then £569.72 inbound, so a total of £1443.42.

    Based on those numbers, I’m best getting on the phone at midnight GMT T-355 rather than booking the return online and then calling up to get them to link it to the 241 booking?

    • That seems like a lot, while I’m unsure if it’s the same, I just booked out to Singapore and back from KUL and the taxes and fees came to £613 each with the voucher?

  2. AaronMan says:

    Quick question – wondering if anyone in the ‘know’ can help out!

    I cancelled my American Express Platinum card about 2 years ago. But I have always kept my BA Amex Premium plus card. Does this mean I am now eligible to get the platinum again (after 2 years) and receive the bonus avios upon getting the card and the particular spend? Or does the fact that I have kept the BA Amex rule me out of that?

    Thanks in advance!

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