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Does using 2 x ‘new’ 241 BA Amex vouchers for a family of four still make sense?

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One of the benefits of the 2-4-1 companion voucher that comes with the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is that you can use two vouchers in the same booking for a family of four.

This may seen obvious, but it isn’t. Technically, the rules of the 2-4-1 voucher say that the cardholder must travel. This would block the use of two x 2-4-1 vouchers on the same booking, since the 2nd voucher would be used for two non-cardholders.

British Airways thought about this, however, and built in some flexibility.

British Airways BA Amex Premium Plus American Express

The flexibility is important because, with the Premium Plus American Express card, the voucher is valid for two years.

As you can earn one voucher per card year, it is very likely that you will have multiple vouchers in your account at some point.

Being able to use two vouchers at once for a family of four has, historically, been very handy. I have done it myself numerous times.

And yet ….

We wrote an article yesterday on how the new-style British Airways Premium Plus American Express card opens up a lot of extra Avios availability in Club World.

This is not marketing guff. The extra seats really are there.

A couple of people asked what happened if you tried to book for more than two people. We did some more experiments (thanks Mark) and the extra availability is still there. This means that, if you have a new style 2-4-1 voucher, you can book for more than two people and still get access to the extra Avios seats in Club World.

Does it now make sense to NOT use 2 x 241 BA Amex vouchers for a family of four?

This should make you question whether you should use 2 x 2-4-1 vouchers at once

On this basis, you should potentially think twice before using 2 x new-style 2-4-1 companion vouchers to book for a family of four.

If you use two vouchers in one booking, you won’t have a voucher left for your next booking – and this means no access to the extra Club World seats.

Of course, if you don’t earn enough Avios to just use 1 x 2-4-1 voucher when booking for a family of four, this isn’t an issue for you. Continue as you were, and use two vouchers per family booking.

For people who DO earn enough Avios, however, think about the following scenarios:

  • For Holiday 1, you use 2 x 241 vouchers to book for your family of four to Barbados, benefitting from the extra Avios availability
  • For Holiday 2, with no 241 vouchers left, you try to book for a family of four to San Francisco but cannot get seats due to not seeing the extra availability

Plan B seems better to me, if you have enough Avios coming in:

  • For Holiday 1, you use 1 x 241 voucher to book for your family of four to Barbados, benefitting from the extra Avios availability
  • For Holiday 2, you use 1 x 241 voucher to book for your family of four to San Francisco, benefitting from the extra Avios availability

Going forward, your 241 voucher from the Premium Plus card is a ‘joker’ which magically unlocks extra business class Avios seats. You may want to think twice about using two in the same booking.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (42)

  • Tariq says:

    One would think that BA will lock this down in time when they realise. I suspect it’s an unintentional side-effect but you can book more than just the two seats associated with a single 241 voucher…

  • s879 says:

    Does there need to be some availability for you to unlock more or can you unlock availability even if there is none?

    • Matt says:

      It isn’t a free hit, but if using the new voucher you will see the extra avios seats if there are any. I recommend you read Rob’s article from yesterday.

  • Yuff says:

    I did exactly this yesterday, to Dubai, at April half term and booking off peak flights as an added bonus.
    300k £2160 in taxes, pretty good value to me.
    Only downside was the flights aren’t club suite.

  • memesweeper says:

    Never used one voucher for four passengers, never realised you could :-). Can you use one for five or six people?

    • Thrifty Scot says:

      memesweeper: You would be using 2 vouchers for 4 people, not 1, & 4 is the maximum.

      • Yuff says:

        You would be using 1 voucher and I didn’t check if you could book more than 4 seats yesterday with 1 voucher.

    • AJA says:

      No. You can’t use it that way. What Rob is saying that going forward the new 2-4-1 voucher unlocks additional availability so what you do is buy 2 seats using the 2-4-1 and then at the same time you book an extra 2 seats. So you effectively pay for 3 seats and get 1 free. I suppose it would be possible to buy 5 seats using the above route.

  • William Benson says:

    I just did a dummy booking using a companion voucher issued before 1st September for 4 people and it worked fine. Is this a new benefit? I’ve always used 2 vouchers on past bookings

    • Rob says:

      Not a new benefit.

      The point is that you may no longer want to do it with the post-September 1st vouchers.

    • Anna says:

      Do you mean you used an old voucher and a new one together? This isn’t supposed to be possible.

      • AJA says:

        No you use just 1 voucher, effectively paying for 3 seats and getting 1 free.

        • Anna says:

          I’m aware of that, just confused by the mention of 2 vouchers in the comment!

          • AJA says:

            I think what William was saying is that until yesterday he has always used 2 2-4-1 vouchers to book for 4 people. Of course that means you use less Avios but then you have no more vouchers.

            This idea of using 1 voucher means you have more flexibility as you can use the second voucher on a different route.

            I must admit I never knew you could add more people to the 2-4-1 booking at the same time. But then again I’ve only ever booked for 2 people using 1 voucher.

  • Billy Nicholson says:

    Can I book for my wife and I using 2-4-1 as well as adding our newborn (infant)? Or will there be a charge for the infant?

  • pauldb says:

    Isn’t the practical reality more like: if you have more travel planned than vouchers, don’t waste you voucher on U inventory – save it for when you need to grab I.

    More typically if you’re school holiday constrained, you aren’t going to find I inventory for a half-term/Easter break unless you pick somewhere unusual. For Summer you might be flexible enough. Christmas somewhere in between depending where you go. Also if you’re booking U at T-355, I won’t be loaded for you to have any great certainty.

    So in your example, grab U for your spring Barbados trip at T-355 without the vouchers. Save your vouchers for SFO in the summer when you’re more likely to find I.

  • MisterE says:

    What do we know (or surmise) about how/when I class becomes available? Is it at 355 days out like normal Avios availability?? It’s beginning to look as though these post Sept changes are a lot more limited than we would have hoped

    • Rob says:

      It moves around – if BA has a sale then a lot more I may appear, for example.

      Given that BA will be selling a lot more business tickets to leisure passengers going forward you should expect to see lots more I than usual.

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