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Should you trigger your next British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher early?

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It now seems clear that British Airways will not be offering any further extensions to American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers.

The first round of voucher expiration since covid hit will take place during October. If there was any intention to extend them further then I am sure it would have been announced at the same time as the status extensions last week. The reopening of the US from November makes further extensions even less likely.

However, British Airways IS still offering a six month extension on all newly issued vouchers, which are currently valid for 2.5 years (or 1.5 years if generated on the free BA Amex card).

British Airways BA Amex Premium Plus American Express

Here is the interesting point I wanted to flag today:

The six month extension is only valid on 2-4-1 vouchers issued by 30th December 2021.

This creates a situation where it may be advisable to trigger your next 2-4-1 voucher early.

Let me explain:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher issued on 20th December 2021 will expire on 20th June 2024
  • A 2-4-1 voucher issued on 20th January 2022 will expire on 20th January 2024

Anyone who triggers their next voucher between January and June 2022 will be worse off than someone who triggers their next voucher in late December 2021.

There could be real benefits in triggering your voucher early to get the extra six months.  It would allow anyone who has a card year ending in January or February to get a voucher covering Easter 2024 for example.

British Airways BA Amex American Express cards

What does this mean for you?

If your next British Airways Premium Plus American Express card year ends between January 2022 and May 2022, you may want to think about pushing forward spending so that you trigger the voucher before 31st December 2021.

This will maximise the life of the voucher by giving you a validity period which runs until late June 2024.

(Remember that the expiry date is the date by which you must take your outbound flight and not the deadline to book.)

Of course, British Airways could change the rules again and continue to grant extensions beyond 31st December.  They have already done this twice. However, realistically, it is difficult to see this happening given that BA is now happy to let unused 2-4-1 vouchers expire again.

Your bigger problem is how you generate the spending.   There is always Billhop, reviewed here, although this is not a free service so you need to weigh up the pros and cons. Luckily we have the run up to Christmas which, whether you like it or not, is likely to see a spending boost.

More information

If you want to learn more about how to use your 2-4-1 companion voucher, this Head for Points article published yesterday is the definitive guide on everything you need to know about the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 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 with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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

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 (55)

  • Ian phillips says:

    How do you track your annual spend for your 2:1 voucher?

    • Susan says:

      Log in to your Amex a/c on line and it shows progress towards the voucher.

      • CarpalTravel says:

        Or via the Amex app, after you have selected the BA card, tap the Membership shortcut at the middle of the bottom row of the screen.

  • David says:

    Re “Your bigger problem is how you generate the spending.” – if it was me I’d take the extra extra spend I need and split it between amazon/supermarket gift cards in proportion to avg monthly spend at those two places (which I could see from statement).

    • Ian Phillips says:

      I don’t have a problem with the spend but I cant find the progress on the amex website

  • Ron says:

    My children school Easter holiday 2024 starts on 28/3 (Good Friday), I’ll make sure I don’t trigger the 241 just yet, I think im on my last £10!!

  • NFH says:

    My annual Bupa renewal arrived in the post this morning, so I phoned Bupa to negotiate a lower premium. They offered me two months free, and it’s also 0.4% cheaper to pay annually rather than monthly. So my renewal will be an annual premium charged to my Amex BA card, triggering a companion voucher and getting me closer to the £5k target by 30th November to earn 10k bonus Avios. Good result.

  • Froggee says:

    How close would it be wise to leave it before triggering? Scottish schools break out in late June so there would potentially be a massive difference for me between e.g. 25th June and 30th June expiry depending on 2024’s school year!

  • Vinz says:

    I have a voucher that expires in 8th Nov. I would love to use it at the end of November- shall I book for an earlier date, cancel it for a voucher and use it immediately to book the flight I want?

  • Angela says:

    So annoyed as I called BA twice to find out if my companion voucher would be extended and to clarify a few things about booking. I was told yes I’d get another 6 months until June 2022. On that advice I then invited friends to join us only to be told at point of payment that my voucher is not being extended. particularly annoying as I had to cancel a previously booked flight so wrong advice cost me £70 and a lost trip. More importantly I now have to disappoint my friends too.

  • David A says:

    Rob,
    I realise that you are talking about the UK AMEX cards, but does the same apply to Chase 2-4-1s in the US, i.e. trigger them by Dec 31 for the six month extension on all newly issued vouchers?

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