Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Nine good reasons to get the British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card

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Why should you get the British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card?

It isn’t often that we go ‘back to basics’ on a credit card, but today I want to take a fresh look at the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card and show you why it is a great rewards card in the UK.  It should prove useful for new readers to Head for Points, but hopefully existing Cardmembers will also benefit from a reminder of the various card benefits.

The serious legal stuff about the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card:

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

Bonus: 25,000 Avios

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £10,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: £195

Representative 74.7% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £195 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 25,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must not have held the British Airways Premium Plus or the free British Airways American Express cards in the previous 24 months.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s British Airways American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the British Airways Premium Plus card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the companion voucher and all of the other card benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £10,000 on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for two years.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.

The voucher with the Premium Plus card is far more powerful than the voucher given with the free British Airways American Express card.  You only need to spend £10,000, instead of £20,000, in a card year to receive it.  More importantly, the Premium Plus voucher is valid for two years.  The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card is only valid for one year.

You receive your voucher within a few days of reaching the spending target.  You need to fly the outbound leg of your 2-4-1 flight before the expiry date of the voucher.

All applications are subject to approval. Applicants must be 18 years or older and UK residents.

Nine good reasons to get the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card:

1.  You receive 25,000 Avios for signing up

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card comes with a very generous sign-up bonus worth 25,000 Avios.

You qualify for the bonus as long as you haven’t had either of the British Airways American Express Cards in your name (Supplementary Cards do not count, cards from Lloyds or MBNA do not count) in the previous 24 months.

You need to spend £3,000 within the first three months of Cardmembership to receive the bonus.

25,000 Avios gives you a lot of flexibility. It is difficult to give exact destination ideas because many destinations allow you to mix the level of cash and Avios you use. 25,000 Avios would, however, be enough for a one-way off-peak economy flight to Dubai, or a return economy flight to Alicante when restrictions ease. Taxes and charges apply in all cases.

Flight upgrades are another option. 24,000 Avios would let you upgrade one leg of a World Traveller Plus flight to New York to flat bed Club World, for example. Again, additional taxes and charges may apply.

Flights aren’t the only option, of course. You also have the opportunity to redeem Avios for hotels, wine, car hire and much more.

2.  You receive 1.5 Avios for every £1 you spend on the card

You will collect 1.5 Avios for virtually every £1 you spend on the card.  This is 50% more Avios than on the no annual fee British Airways American Express Credit Card. The exceptions generally relate to cash and pseudo-cash transactions such as cash withdrawals*

This is a very generous earn rate for an airline credit card.

3.  You earn 3 Avios per £1 on your spending with British Airways

If you spend a lot of money with British Airways or BA Holidays, this is a valuable extra benefit.

You must book directly, either online or via the call centre, to receive double Avios.

4.  You receive a companion voucher when you spend £10,000 within your anniversary year

Within 10-15 working days of spending £10,000 in your current card year, a companion voucher will be deposited in your British Airways Executive Club account allowing you to book an additional Avios flight fare, on the same flight and cabin, for the points of one. You must pay full taxes and charges on both tickets, however.**

Your companion voucher flights must be on British Airways, not a partner airline, and must start in the UK. If you book a one-way flight, it must be a one-way flight FROM the UK.

You must book AND FLY THE OUTBOUND LEG of your companion voucher flight within two years of receiving the voucher.  The voucher awarded with the no annual fee British Airways American Express Card only lasts for one year, which is a good reason to pay for the Premium Plus version instead.

5.  You can give Supplementary Cards at no extra cost to others, so you can receive your companion voucher more quickly

American Express will let you issue Supplementary Cards*** at no extra cost to other people, subject to approval, allowing their spending to earn Avios for you and count towards your companion voucher.

You are responsible for paying the charges on the Supplementary Card which are added to your monthly statement.

6.  You can earn 3,000 bonus Avios for adding someone to your Account

American Express will offer you 3,000 bonus Avios for issuing your first Supplementary Card, subject to approval.

You need to use this page of the American Express website to receive a bonus for adding a Supplementary Card.

Adding Supplementary Cards allows you to earn Avios, get your companion voucher quicker and ultimately reward flights more quickly, allowing more of your household or family spending to go onto the card.

Remember that the primary Cardmember remains responsible for all charges made on a Supplementary Card.

7.  American Express runs regular generous cashback and Avios offers

Once your Account is up and running, you can take advantage of generous cashback and Avios deals from American Express.  These are typically on the lines of ‘Get a £10 statement credit when you spend £50 at Tesco’.

I find it relatively easy to save over £100 per year with these offers, especially during the regular ‘Shop Small’ promotions to encourage you to visit local independent retailers. I recently earned £50 cashback from spending £200 at Hilton hotels, for example, and you will find similar offers appearing on a regular basis.

Even better, many of the offers are also available to your Supplementary Cardmembers. This means that you can benefit more than once across your household.

New offers are released most weeks and it is worth checking the App or your online American Express Account on a regular basis to see what has appeared.

8.  You can earn bonus Avios by inviting your friends

Via its long established ‘Invite a Friend’ scheme, British Airways American Express Premium Plus Cardmembers can earn at least 9,000 bonus**** Avios for each friend they introduce to American Express and is approved for a card.

Your friend benefits too, receiving a higher sign-up bonus of 26,000 Avios if they spend £3,000 within the first three months of Cardmembership. This put them well on the way to their first flight redemption too! The Welcome Bonus is subject to not holding any personal American Express Card in the past 24 months.

9.  American Express has a well-designed App

You can monitor your balance and make Account payments via debit card at any time from your smartphone.  If you have multiple American Express Cards issued in the UK, you can manage all of them in the App.

You can also use the App to sign up for new cashback offers and check which offers you have already registered for.

Conclusion

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card is an excellent product, mainly because of the companion voucher.  You only need to spend £10,000 in a year to trigger the voucher and you have two years to use it.

Throw in the excellent sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios and the earning rate of 1.5 Avios per £1 spent and you have a great package which gives an excellent return on your spending.

You can apply for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, or find out more information, on the official website here.

*Avios are not earned on Balance Transfers, Cash Withdrawals, American Express Travellers Cheques purchases, Foreign Exchange, interest, any spending in excess of your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and American Express Credit Card finance charges

**See more details here: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/collecting-avios/credit-cards/uk

***Up to 99 Supplementary Cards are complimentary on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express Credit Card, subject to approval. Supplementary Cards can be requested for anyone aged 18 or over. If approved, you will be responsible for any spending on your Account made by the Supplementary Cardmember. The bonus Avios offer is valid for the first approved Supplementary British Airways Premium Plus American Express Credit Card only. Please note, in rare circumstances it may take up to 90 days for the 3,000 bonus Avios to be applied to your Account. You may apply for several Supplementary Cards but you will only receive the 3,000 bonus Avios for the first approved Card. You will not receive this bonus if you have ever received it before. This offer is subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time.

****Terms and Eligibility Apply. Log in to your American Express Account or App to see the latest referral offer available.

American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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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.

Comments (20)

  • PJJ says:

    Number 1 reason NOT to get it is

    As a solo traveller, companion voucher no use

    If they change the rules to free upgrade or companion voucher

    THAT WOULD MAKE IT MY NUMBER 1 REASON TO GET IT

  • TG says:

    Is it possible to upgrade to the platinum version and ‘carryover’ your existing spend on the free card towards a 241 voucher?

    • Rob says:

      Yes. You don’t have a choice actually. You keep the same card and your spend to date.

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