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? – December 2020 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my December 2020 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion 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
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
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.