Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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.

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Interest rate information:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £20,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 22.2% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 5,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5,000 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 £20,000 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.)

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.

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 and only requires 10,000 of annual card spend.  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.

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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.

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)

  • Chris Heyes says:

    The only downside to hitting your Target spend is “Timing”
    You must always be aware that as soon as you reach the required spend you “WILL” receive your voucher and the 2 year deadline to use starts from then
    So if you have more than one amex card you could swap your spend over until its favorable to get the voucher (as long as you keep a eye on renewable date)
    Another thing to remember your start date for getting another voucher only starts on card anniversary (not after you hit the voucher)
    My reckoning personally is September/October is a good time to have a BA Amex Premium Card “the 241 covers two Summer periods (we have a Gold expiring June and a BA Premium expiring October)
    Works perfectly for us, you might have different views

    • BuildTheWall says:

      Date of triggering the voucher is more important than card expiry. I got my voucher within 6 months helped by paying council tax thru PayPal.
      Agree, timing it to Sep or Oct would be good for families with kids who travel during summer.
      Right now, with plenty of avios and vouchers but no travel, we are going thru our gold cards (wife and I). Will start the BAPP cycle next year. Also helps to reset 2 year period for BAPP sign up bonus.

  • Chris says:

    I do most of my spending in euros, so I have a Amex ICC. I’m guessing there is no euro version of the BA card really want a 2-4-1 voucher.

  • Kazim says:

    5? Aren’t 1 and 2 the same? What about utilising BA Gate 365 on all online purchases?

    Oh wait this article is an Advert for Amex…

  • Billy says:

    Bonus tip
    If you have an existing BA free card with a supp and are looking to upgrade to the paid card or vice versa. Make sure you cancel the supp before you do the upgrade. If you don’t cancel the supp card, the upgraded/downgraded card will automatically arrive with a supp card depriving you of the 3000/1000.

    Wait for your new card to arrive and then apply for supp to trigger the points.

    • Jonathan says:

      FYI – On the MR cards (I.e Gold) even if you cancel the supplementary card and upgrade to Platinum they still send you the supplementary cards as if you hadn’t cancelled it prior. Not sure, but the same might be true of the BA cards.

      • Genghis says:

        Indeed.

        But you can just add another BA supp or another Gold card on Plat way to get the supp points (no extra charge for either)

    • Charlieface says:

      Wot @Genghis said, as he’s Gospel.

      Also, you DO NOT have to apply for the supp via that page, I have successfully done it from the regular page.

    • Polly says:

      That sometimes doesn’t work either. Once l cancelled down my supp. At least a month before upgrade, and then he appeared on the upgrade again. So it can be hit and miss.

  • Andrew says:

    Worth remembering that Platinum insurance still covers you if you book your travel on another Amex card, in this case the BAPP to get the double Avios on BA flights.

  • WZ says:

    FYI – I have had a situation yesterday where AMEX have refused to give a refer and friend bonus because my friend chose the Platinum Business Card and I referred from my Personal Gold Card.

    I wasn’t aware this was a rule but I was told categorically that AMEX never have nor will they ever pay a refer bonus on a personal card to business card. Bit annoying as it’s not written in the terms, but they told me it doesn’t have to be?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Could your friend chose it from your link? If so that’s their issue not yours.

      • WZ says:

        Yes, it even says “referral offer” on the business card located right next to other personal cards which is why I debated it with Amex but the duty manager said absolutely no. It’s their policy

  • AJA says:

    I’ve never received a referral bonus other than for the same BAPP card as I hold. Haven’t referred anyone in the last couple of years though.

  • mark2 says:

    Has anyone received the 20,000 MR points for upgrading from Green to Platinum recently please? and did they come with the qualifying purchase?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’m missing mine. The counter disappeared after about 2.5k spend and didn’t post with the £4K transaction.

      Having phoned they said wait 30 days which is no issue for me as I’ll be keeping the card

    • Anne says:

      Yes, got mine this week when the qualifying purchase posted.

      My counter also disappeared fairly early on and never reappeared which did make me wonder if I was going to have an issue but fortunately not.

    • Harry T says:

      Did it in August, counter showed progress, points posted soon after I hit 4k (day or two).

    • mark2 says:

      Thanks all; we shall see what happens in my case!