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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Comments

  1. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Have a flight booked with a 241 on July 1st which I think will be cancelled.

    The 241 was originally going to expire earlier this year but was extended six months.

    Am I right that if my July 1st flight is cancelled, if I take a future travel voucher then my 242 will be extended again?

    But if I ask fir a refund then it will remain due to expire in the Autumn?

    • 2 4 1s were being extended for 6 months after cancellations in March and April, I don’t know whether this is still happening.
      You would hope that the 2 4 1 is included in the future travel voucher end date (April 2022), but as someone mentioned yesterday, this hasn’t actually been confirmed by BA. I’ve got one tied up in a voucher so I’ll be really annoyed if they don’t honour it!

  2. I’m about £2k short of my £10k target. I I could book a flight for Christmas holidays and hit the spend that way. What happens if that gets refunded though if it gets cancelled? My card hear runs till Mid February, would I end up with a deficit in my account or would they claim back the voucher?

    I have around £4K of flights already hooked to fly in the next three months, there’s a fair chance they might be cancelled so just checking the best approach…

    • memesweeper says:

      If it gets refunded *after* the voucher has been earned and showing in BAEC, then there’s no impact on your voucher. You will see a corresponding number of Avios clawed back from your Amex account, which might even go negative.

      • Genghis says:

        and it would mean that for next year you’d have to spend more than £10k. However, cancel the card and then reapply to get back to a clean slate.

        • Steve says:

          Is this a good approach? I’m on negative 20k avios within my Amex account at the moment, mainly due to flight refunds but obviously the triple points earned means a triple point claw back. No flights and no real spending will mean that I’ll be earning hardly any avios in the near future!

          • Many people have done this and I don’t know of any who had issues with Amex afterwards.

          • Polly says:

            Def cancel, then get referred for a new Amex in a bit…you do not want to waste 20k worth of avios…

        • Does that mean that a negative Avios sum has to be returned to zero before the 10k spend kicks in.
          I’m currently -11k avios but my account shows I only need to spend 7k to get the voucher in the current year. I don’t understand why you would need to spend more than 10k in the following year to trigger another voucher

          • You need to spend £10k NET to earn the voucher. If you refund something in your current card year, it counts against the £10k NET you need to spend in the current card year.

          • That’s what I thought – it’s the total NETT spend. So the “more than 10K spend” is misleading. If I spend 5K then I need another 5K for the voucher.
            If I get 3K of the 5k refunded then I have only actually spent 2K so quite rightly would expect to spend another 8K for the voucher – not 11K in order to make up for the 3K refunded which the “more than 10K spend ” implies – or at least it does to me

          • Lady London says:

            @roro your bank account would work exactly the same way if you had a negative balance. anything incoming would be used to offset a negative balance first.

          • Genghis says:

            Yep, apologies. What I meant and what I said were very different.

  3. David says:

    We upgraded from basic BA Amex card to Premium having spent £10k to trigger the companion voucher. The voucher appeared a few days later with an 18 month expiry date.
    Is this correct as we were expecting 30 month validity ie 2 years plus 6 months extension as the voucher could only have been credited via the premium card spend?

    • correct – need to upgrade before you hit 10k to get 2yr + 6 months.

      • Genghis says:

        It’s IT error, not T&C error. Contact Amex and they will tell BA to reissue the BAPP (not BA Blue) companion voucher.

        • Nelson says:

          Genghis is right. I was exactly in the same situation and got voucher valid for 30 months.

  4. Cheshire Pete says:

    “……. your card year ends in August or September, for example, triggering your voucher in June 2020”

    Seriously! My year ends in July, and Uncontrollably usually gets triggered around November! Who can possibly take this as useable advise!

    Prove me wrong someone!

    • Genghis says:

      Some people don’t spend as much as you do!

    • Doug M says:

      It’s perfectly good advice, just put excess spend through other cards. Everyone has different spending habits and spends very different amounts. Many people would struggle to get £10K through an Amex every year.

  5. Nick W says:

    Does anybody know if this also applies to the Lloyds upgrade voucher as I have one used For a trip I may cancel and one not used yet which expires in October. Thanks

    • Some people have had luck getting it extended when asking directly, but I don’t think it’s done automatically.

    • Also I think if YOU cancel a flight booked with the Lloyds voucher, you lose the voucher, so check this before making any decisions.

      • Doug M says:

        This is my understanding. Don’t cancel, wait and hope BA cancel for you. Then call Avios and ask for the voucher to be extended.

  6. Chris1922 says:

    To generate spend, could you not book a very expensive fully refundable ticket for some far flung date then cancel for full refund once voucher has been triggered ? Or cancel just before the flight would be. Obviously you’d have to make up the difference over the next few months.

    • I think historically this has been done by a few readers, however at the moment I personally wouldn’t want to be in the position of having a big chunk of money tied up with an airline! BA would probably try and make you take a voucher lol.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      It would be very expensive in more ways than one if the airline went bust or just refused to do a cash refund.

    • Charlieface says:

      Apparently people have been banned by Amex for doing that, or was it with the sign-up bonus? Might be just scare-mongering

  7. David S says:

    We just need some decent redemptions (locations) to use them. Anyone have a view as to what sort of timetable they are being applied against ? For so many nice long haul destinations there seems to be minimal availability despite (in theory) people not wanting to fly

    • Lady London says:

      I have noticed cash prices across the board for flights on most airlines still seem to be stubbornly high. Looking at this time of year, it is how they behave seasonally. I’m hoping they won’t fly so few planes that prices would stay high nearer to seasons that are normally quieter so better priced.

  8. I also have a flight booked for early October with an Avios Lloyds voucher. I do not think it will be going as it is to Vegas and they are only slowly opening it up, our hotel is no where near opening status, and no pools or buffets do not appeal to us.(plus we have found out 1st grandchild due during this period as well)

    I know they are extending cancelations till 31st July, if I call to re book next year will I still be able to use the voucher associated with the October flight as it ran out in January this year and what about the paid for seat selection as we would lose £750.

    • Lady London says:

      apparently Vegas is opening up as a town although casinos not yet. Depending on the US tourist ban duration I think theres some chance you might find your flight is running. Personally I’d take a voucher while I can if it was Vegas itself I was visiting.

      • Lady London says:

        PS the seat selection cost would be retained within the voucher.

      • I would be writing the US off as a destination for the rest of 2020. There is the election in the autumn which will undoubtedly stir up feelings even if the country has returned to some semblance of normal by then. Also, it remains to be seen how their COVID infection rates fare now they’ve effectively abandoned social distancing.

        • Lady London says:

          I hope not, @Anna. I really really need to go to the West Coast US briefly between now and the end of this year. Sooner better but avoiding July and August. I was hoping for September.

          Does anyone know if a land crossing might work from Canada in both directions if they open sooner?

          • I doubt the US will let a British citizen enter via Canada if they are not letting British citizens in via airports…..

          • Lady London, I tried to reply to you re Canada and my comment somehow ended up in the newer comments, if you don’t mind looking for it.

          • Doug M says:

            Data count of two, but in my experience the checks coming from Canada to the US by land (train in my cases) are much more vigorous than arriving directly. To be clear, if you go to Canada for a short trip from the US and then return it’s easy. If you initially ‘Enter’ the US from Canada by land not quite the same. Say this as UK passport holder.
            Effectively when you arrive by land there’s no ESTA system, you do the previous method of border person asking questions and filling paper forms, you pay I think $7.

      • ChrisC says:

        Most of the casinos aren’t actually in Las Vegas City but in a different jurisdiction so will open when they and not alas Vegas say.

  9. I’ve just triggered mine and received the email stating it’s only valid for 1year

  10. D McK says:

    Re: “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.”

    When I called up last week to ideally rebook a mid June 2-4-1 redemption booked to depart mid June UK to Seattle to the same dates next year, redemption dates obv. not yet open for same dates next year (and nothing BA adviser could do to assist) but BA advisor was adamant that I would loose the 241 voucher already used if I didn’t cancel booking ahead of departure AND the *only* option for me if 2 people were to travel on the points was to take a BA voucher in lieu of Avois/taxes refund and use BA voucher to rebook flights when redemptions open.

    Advisor very firmly of view that no return of / extension to 241 voucher and no options in that scenario other than BA voucher in lieu of refund.

    He did say BA voucher would have the full value of existing booking and so no different to Avios (I took this to mean any future booking still cancellable in future with full refund of Avios for the usual £35 fee. Obv I. don’t have the Avois back sitting in my account for a few weeks)

    • That’s nonsense, and you can prove it by logging into your BAEC account. Look at the ‘used vouchers’ section – you’ll see that even ‘used’ ones have been extended by six months, so if you cancel the booking it returns with that extended date.

      • D McK says:

        Hi Rob, thanks for reply.

        I’ve checked the ‘used vouchers’ section of my BAEC as you note. No extension to expiry date recorded there. Expiry date is still 2 years from issue date. (Any unused vouchers have been extended by 6 months, but not the currently active used one.)

        (Don’t know if it matters. But these were flights I had already rescheduled from Sep/ Oct last year to this June, as the then return leg fell on the date of one of the BA strikes)

        Anyway.. hopefully BA voucher (in lieu of refund) works as promised when flight dates open for rebooking

    • Charlieface says:

      If the flight itself is cancelled they can and should do anything to assist, including booking you on another airline at a date of your choice

  11. Louise K says:

    I accidentally triggered mine last week (a company charged me twice in error), got the email from BA this morning stating 2 year validity, but when I log in to Exec Club the expiry is 3 Dec 2022.

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