Should you trigger your next British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher before 30th June?

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Back in early March, British Airways extended all British Airways American Express 2-4-1 Avios companion vouchers by six months.

This didn’t just apply to unused vouchers.  The extension was also applied to used vouchers too, so if you end up cancelling an existing redemption flight you will still have an extra six months to rebook.

The ‘six months extension’ rule also applies to all newly issued vouchers which will be valid for 2.5 years (or 1.5 years if generated on the free BA Amex card).

Here is the interesting point I wanted to flag again today:

The six month extension is only valid on 2-4-1 vouchers issued by 30th June 2020.

This creates a situation where it may be advisable to trigger your next 2-4-1 voucher early.

Should you trigger your next BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher before 30th June?

Let me explain:

A 2-4-1 voucher issued on 20th June 2020 will expire on 20th December 2022

A 2-4-1 voucher issued on 20th July 2020 will expire on 20th July 2022

Anyone who triggers their next voucher in July, August, September, October, November or early December 2020 will be worse off than someone who triggers their next voucher in late June 2020.

There could be real benefits in triggering your voucher early to get the extra six months.  If you have kids and your card year ends in August or September, for example, triggering your voucher in June 2020 would cover you for the half-term holidays in October 2022.  If you don’t trigger your voucher until August 2020 or September 2020 it won’t – it will expire in August 2022 or September 2022 respectively.

Should you trigger your next BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher before 30th June?

What does this mean for me?

If your next British Airways Premium Plus American Express card year ends between July and December, you may want to think about pushing forward spending so that you trigger the voucher later this month.

This will maximise the life of the voucher by giving you a validity period which runs until late December 2022.

(Remember that the expiry date is the date by which you must take your outbound flight and not the deadline to book.)

Of course, British Airways could change the rules again and continue to grant extensions beyond 30th June.  This seems a little unlikely at present, however, given that we are slowly returning to some sort of normality.

Your bigger problem is how you generate the spending given that your personal expenditure is probably minimal at the moment!   There is always Billhop, reviewed here, although this is not a free service so you need to weigh up the pros and cons.

More information

If you want to learn more about how to use your voucher now you have the extension, this Head for Points artice is the definitive guide on everything you need to know about the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

You can also learn more about how the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher works in this ‘Avios Redemption University’ article.

If you don’t have a British Airways American Express credit card, here are links to our reviews:

British Airways American Express – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 in six months – apply here – our BA Amex review is here – representative APR 22.2% variable

British Airways American Express Premium Plus – sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 in six months – apply here – our BA Amex Premium Plus review is here – representative APR 74.7% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limitinterest rate on purchases 22.2% variable

(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.)

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  1. I used a 241 in October 2019 for an outbound flight later this month and an inbound flight in early July. The 241 has an expiry date of November 2020.

    The outbound has just been cancelled, but the inbound is still operating. BA have given me two options – change booking or request refund (for a voucher valid until April 2022). I would like a refund, but am unsure whether to (i) request a voucher or (ii) request the 241 back and a refund of Avios/taxes for the companion flight.

    Some questions I have are:
    – Am I still entitled to a refund – voucher or otherwise – for the whole booking, if the inbound is still operating?
    – If I went for a refund of the 241/avios/taxes, what would the 241 expiry date be – would this be extended?

    Some advice/guidance would be really appreciated, particularly if you have been in the same situation as me.

    • Dave – yes you are entitled to a refund of avios plus fees if it’s all one booking. All your other questions have already been answered in today’s threads.

  2. aDifferentSimon says:

    hmm, can I overpay my EDF bill by £2.5 k!?

    • Polly says:

      And get gift cards for stores you normally shop in etc. Tricky at the mo with general low spend out there…

    • Charlieface says:

      Might get a money laundering check on such a large amount

      • £2.5 k, really? I often pay my council tax up front for the year and keep my OVO account substantially in credit so they don’t try to increase my direct debit – never been accused of money laundering!

        • Genghis says:

          That’s just paying your bills in advance. I got a telling off once from Thames Water for overpaying and requesting refunds. Never done it since.

          • Ahem, I occasionally request refunds as well. Can’t blame a pensioner for wanting to make sure she has more than enough credit built up to cover the winter months…!

          • The Savage Squirrel says:


    • aDifferentSimon says:

      annoyingly I was already £800 in credit (6 monthly bills) so topped up by £250.

  3. Chrish says:

    I pushed spending to trigger 241 voucher last month bought for £900 off my daughter different surname “Paypal” linked to my Amax went through no problem (but used business option was a £30 charge so she only received £870. (i only do this 1/2 times a year only if needed as well)
    I also did a normal Tesco shop £200
    Which leaves me to spend just £3 now to trigger 241 Will do that tomorrow
    PS It as been reported on here that it’s a risky strategy, probably is
    I’ve just been lucky always got away with it
    normally only do no more than 2 around £900 each time although once did £1300

    • Scallder says:

      Remember about Clubcard Plus if doing large Tesco shops! I renewed my membership at the till and then cancelled when I got home so no chance of rolling over. The second big shop discount still stays on the app for that month even after cancelling!

  4. James says:

    Do you keep the 241 voucher after cancelling the BAPP card?

    • Yes. Ignore anyone at Amex who tries to convince you otherwise.

      • Rob

        I am just over £500 off my 241 voucher for this year so will probably trigger it naturally this month. My card year runs until early Feb next year. I have never downgraded to a standard BA card and requested refund but I am considering it this year. Is there any rule of thumb level of spend that makes it easier to decide whether it is worth it. I assume you keep the 2.5 year expiry date on the 241 after downgrading.

        • Once you’ve triggered the 241 the only value is the extra 0.5 Avios per £1, for which you’re paying £16 per month. Unless you’re spending £3500+ per month that is unlikely to make sense.

  5. Lady London, if Canada does open up first you may have to stay in Canada for 14 days before entering the US. I think the US rules apply to anyone who has been in the UK etc. in the 14 day period prior to entry. US border controls seem pretty strict at the land border closest to Vancouver.

    Anna’s point about social distancing is actually very different on the west coast at the moment. The west coast states are coordinating gradual re-opening, and social distancing is being taken seriously in many places, and masks are commonly worn.

    • Lady London says:

      thanks Lyn.
      Would it work for a land crossing from Can to the US and back again if not in the UK in previous 14 days

      Or even straight into US if not from Uk

      i think I could route to make that timing work ok in Sept-Oct

      • Lady London, I can’t easily find a US source, but this is from the UK government travel advice web-site, so it would depend on where you flew to Canada from.

        “Since 16 March, it is not possible for many British nationals to enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran or China within the previous 14 days.”

        I believe the Canadian/US border restrictions were requested by Canada, and they seem to be extending them a month or so at a time. Given how badly the US is handling the Covid-19 situation on a Federal level, I wouldn’t be surprised if Canada keeps extending this indefinitely anyway.

  6. Danyal says:

    Question about referring a friend. Referred a number over the years and never had an issue. Tried to recently and told that I am no longer eligible to do so with my Gold Charge Card. Contacted them to be told my account ‘doesn’t meet the criteria’. Meet spending targets yearly to trigger bonus, pay off on time every month, never made a late payment or missed payment. Anyone know what’s happened and why AMEX’s service is really going downhill as the years go by?

  7. Jonathan says:

    How long do we think the BAPP card will be around for, weeks\months\years?

    • No idea, but we are keeping OH’s BAPP so we can benefit as long as possible in the event that they close it to new applicants but allow current holders to keep the same benefits, as with the HH visa (long may it last!).

  8. I was in the same position as my outbound flight was cancelled yesterday but not the inbound. Having spoken to them, they’ve cancelled the inbound leg and refunded me all money paid (taxes) to my credit card without the £35 pp cancellation fee charged if I had cancelled the flight. My 241 voucher has the same expiry date but the lady said that if I didn’t use it before it expired (mid next year), to call up and they’d extend it for me. Without being rude, it was remarkably easy compared to my usual BA experience.

  9. Darren says:

    Hi, I was hoping to get some advice. My wife and I have booked a trip for 2 weeks in Aug 2020 with 241 voucher. However, due to the current situation, we don’t want to be traveling so soon (as I’m immune suppressed). What options are available to me? If I cancelled the booking myself will I get the 241 voucher back and the Avios/taxes? or does that only happen if BA cancel the flight.

    Thank you in advance

    • It’s an Avios booking so it is cancellable irrespective for £35 per person fee.

      If you wait until your flight is cancelled, you save the £35.

      You need to call BA irrespective.

      Up to you whether you take the voucher (messy but keeps your 241 valid until April 2022) or get the individual elements refunded.

  10. Matthew T says:

    Hi – thank you for the article. I have a companion voucher that was due to expire in October 2020 but has been extended to April 2021. However we really want to travel to the USA but are not sure if it will be safe to even by april 21. Do you think the companion vouchers could be extended further? Alternatively if we book flights now with the voucher but then cancel, would BA give us till April 2022 like they are on other bookings? Thank you

  11. Jim Nicholson says:

    I got an email today to say that I had triggered my Companion Voucher and that it was valid for 24 months. They obviously haven’t updated their email template, because when I log in to my account I can see it is valid until December 2022

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