Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Five ways for existing British Airways American Express® Cardmembers to earn extra Avios

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Over the last two weeks we have looked at good reasons to apply for the no annual fee British Airways American Express® Credit Card and the British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card.

Today, in the last article in this series, I wanted to look at five ways that existing Cardmembers can increase the Avios they earn from the cards. The quicker you can earn Avios, the quicker you can redeem them for your next reward flight.

British Airways BA American Express Amex credit cards

1. Get a bonus by adding a Supplementary Card to your Account

Supplementary Cards are a great way of increasing the number of Avios you earn from the card by increasing the share of your household spending you can put on it. It will also help you trigger your next companion voucher more quickly.

If you haven’t added a Supplementary Cardmember to your Account, American Express will give you:

  • 1,000 bonus* Avios for adding your first Supplementary Card on the British Airways American Express Credit Card
  • 3,000 bonus** Avios for adding your first Supplementary Card on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card

Supplementary Cards are issued at no extra cost, subject to approval. Remember that you, as the primary Cardmember, are responsible for all charges incurred on your Supplementary Cards ***.

You need to apply for Supplementary Cards via this page of the American Express website to receive the bonus.

2. Add even more Supplementary Cards

You won’t get an Avios bonus for adding two or more Supplementary Cards – only on your first card.

However, the spending made by Supplementary Cardmembers will still earn Avios in your Account. It will also count towards your next companion voucher and help you reach your next reward flight more quickly.

3. Persuade your Supplementary Cardmembers to apply for their own cards

There is a common misapprehension that having a Supplementary British Airways American Express Card disqualifies someone from receiving a sign-up bonus if they later decide to apply for their own card.

This is not true.

As long as your Supplementary Cardmember meets the standard requirements for receiving a sign-up bonus, they will still receive one. The fact that they have a Supplementary Card already makes no difference.

If you share a British Airways Executive Club household account with your Supplementary Cardmember, the sign-up bonus and the Avios they earn from on-going spend will benefit both of you, subject to approval.

Perhaps it is time for your Supplementary Cardmember to finally have their own card? If you can spend enough on your own card to trigger your annual companion voucher, you might find that you can generate TWO companion vouchers per year if you both have your own.

4. Invite friends to join American Express – and not just British Airways

Via the popular ‘Invite a Friend’ referral programme, existing British Airways American Express Cardmembers can enjoy bonus Avios when they successfully invite friends and family for a new card.

  • The holder of the no annual fee British Airways American Express Credit Card receives at least 4,000**** bonus Avios if their friend is approved, up to 90,000 Avios per calendar year.
  • The holder of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card receives at least 9,000**** bonus Avios if their friend is approved, up to 90,000 Avios per calendar year.

You don’t need to invite people for the same card that you hold. Whilst the unique referral link your friend receives will highlight the card you hold, it is possible for them to select certain other American Express products too.

You can combine this with my previous tactic of persuading Supplementary Cardmembers to get their own cards. You can use your unique referral link if they choose to get their own card.

Let’s assume that your partner is currently a Supplementary Cardmember on your British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card.

If they decided to get their own card, you would receive at least 9,000**** bonus Avios if you invited them and they were accepted. They would receive 26,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus if they met the criteria. This would be a 35,000 Avios boost between you which is especially useful if both Cardmembers share a household account.

5. Ensure you book your British Airways flights directly with BA

This final tip is only for holders of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card.

It is often forgotten that BAPP holders receive double Avios on all transactions with British Airways and BA Holidays. This means that you receive three Avios per £1 spent.

This only applies to spending made directly with BA, either online or via the call centre, and not via third-party booking sites or travel agents.

Conclusion

There is no need to miss out on earning bonus Avios on your British Airways American Express Cards just because you are not a brand new Cardmember. The tips above will help your Avios balance move along nicely.

*The bonus Avios offer is valid for the first approved Supplementary British Airways American Express Credit Card only. Please note, in rare circumstances it may take up to 90 days for the 1,000 bonus Avios to be applied to your Account. You may apply for several Supplementary Cards but you will only receive the 1,000 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.

**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.

***Up to 99 Supplementary Cards are complimentary on your British Airways American Express 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.

****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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Interest rate information:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

Bonus: 10,000 Avios
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £12,000 in a card year
  • The companion voucher is only valid on Economy flights
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 24.5% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 10,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 10,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the free British Airways American Express card if you spend £1,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

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 a Business American Express card.

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

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £12,000 on the British Airways American Express card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for one year.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card can only be used on Economy flights.

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.

If you want more flexibility, the voucher issued with the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is valid for two years, only requires £10,000 of annual card spend and is valid in ALL cabins including Business and First.  The Premium Plus card also has a higher earning rate of 1.5 Avios per £1 on general spend and 3 Avios per £1 on spend with British Airways and BA Holidays.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

Bonus: 40,000 Avios
SPECIAL OFFER

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
  • The voucher is valid for flights in any cabin
  • Annual fee: £250

Representative 101.1% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £250 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 24.5% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 40,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 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.

This is a special offer if you apply by 2nd November 2021.  The bonus will drop to 25,000 Avios after that date.

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 and is valid in ALL cabins.  The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card is only valid for one year and can only be used for Economy flights.

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.

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 (25)

  • Matthew says:

    For those talking about the 4k spend upgrade from Green to Plat. I remember last year I wondered why the 20,000 points hadn’t posted but the 4k spend obvs only starts from the day you upgraded. Having spend £500 on the green before upgrading I then had to spend an extra 4k. Something often overlooked incase it helps…

    • Polly says:

      Best to check every day until the card becomes platinum online. Then all spend from then on, counts. Every £ counts when you are paying that big fee. Nice getting the 20k bonus tho.

  • Matthew says:

    Also, ref BA companion voucher. Is it still the case that when you cancel BAPP the voucher is still retained in your BA account and not removed as AMEX will tell you?Thanks.

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