If you get a free grandfathered BA Premium Plus Amex, it’s over – but you saved £3,000+
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There was one final twist yesterday in the story of the changes to the British Airways American Express credit cards.
We have already covered:
- the positive change which will allow Premium Plus cardholders to redeem their companion voucher on any Club World flight where discounted cash tickets are also available (I-class, for those who know about these things)
- the negative change which means that British Airways American Express companion vouchers earned before 1st September cannot be redeemed in the same booking as a companion voucher earned after 1st September
Here’s the last bit of news – and it’s not good.
When the British Airways American Express cards were launched in 2001, American Express was keen to encourage its existing charge card holders to get one.
Offers were made depending on what charge card you had. In my case, as a holder of The Platinum Card, I received a Premium Plus card for free. Others paid a heavily reduced fee of £30.
I have never, ever, paid a penny for my Premium Plus credit card. I have saved 15 years of £150 and 5 years of £195, so £3,225. I know that many HfP readers are in the same position.
This is now over.
It was hidden away somewhat in an email sent out by American Express yesterday. I have not received it, so they are either being staggered or some people are being saved – I am assuming the former.
This clause takes effect from 1st September unless you cancel your Premium Plus card before then:
4. Introduction of an annual Cardmembership fee of £250, which will be the standard Cardmembership fee for the British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card, and the removal of the clause that allows you to hold the Card for free if you hold an Amex Companion Card. This is to ensure we can continue to offer the existing range of rewards and benefits linked to your Card. The Cardmembership fee charged to your Account from 1 September 2021 will be the new annual fee and will be charged on the statement following your Card anniversary.
I can’t really blame American Express for this. In some way, I am amazed that this perk has continued for so long.
The good news for Amex is that I doubt many people will cancel their British Airways Premium Plus card due to the change.
The bad news for Amex is that I DO think that some people will cancel The Platinum Card instead. It is effectively a £250 increase in their Platinum card fee, net of the discount attributed to getting a free British Airways Premium Plus card. It probably won’t be enough cancellations to wipe out the extra revenue on the Premium Plus card, but it will make a dent in it.
For the record, it is unlikely I will cancel mine. The maths still works. It won’t work for many other people.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.
Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card
1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review