The Advertising Standards Authority has decided that British Airways and American Express have been misleading in their promotion of the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.
I can see the point. If you read Head for Points then you implicitly understand that the 2-4-1 voucher only covers the Avios required for the 2nd ‘free’ flight. Taxes and charges are due on both tickets. This is not necessarily clear to the general public.
British Airways and American Express offered to amend the small print to say “Taxes, fees and charges apply per person”. This was welcomed by the ASA but was not seen as enough to overcome the strong ‘2-4-1’ message.
I knew this judgement was coming and we amended our credit cards directory last week to remove reference to ‘2-4-1’. We will continue to use that phrase in our editorial but other references will change to ‘companion voucher’.
You can read the full judgement on the ASA website here.
PS. Whilst you’re on the ASA website, have a look at this judgement against Holiday Inn Express from 2014. It asks a deep philosophical question. Is breakfast at Holiday Inn Express actually ‘free’? Can something be ‘free’ if no-one pays for it? The ASA decided that it isn’t and wasn’t. Holiday Inn Express has not been able to advertise ‘free breakfast’ in the UK for the past six years.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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:
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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
Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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.