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? – March 2024 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.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios 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
40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
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
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.