Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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.

British Airways started to expire 2-4-1 vouchers in October. If you are still hoping for an extension, it is unlikely to happen. The good news is that you can artificially extend your voucher to September 2023 by using the route outlined in this article.

The good news is that 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 voucher extension

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.

Why would you want to trigger your next BA Amex 2-4-1 early?

Let me explain with an example:

  • A 2-4-1 companion voucher issued on 20th December 2021 will expire on 20th June 2024
  • A 2-4-1 companion 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 and May 2022, you may want to push forward spending in the next couple of weeks 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 companion 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. Other options could include topping up your Amazon account or buying gift vouchers for your usual supermarket or petrol station.

More information

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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (58)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sam says:

    Why have you kept the card for so long?

    • Sam says:

      That was to Andrew

      • Andrew says:

        I was on a legacy fee-free card with Platinum, and the 1.5 Avios (and 3 at BA) were better than the 1 MR on Platinum, but not worth paying the annual fee for now.

  • Chris says:

    By the way, do you guy think that Amex Business Platinum will see further fee increase in the UK along with a better welcome bonus, as it is now in the US?

    • Rob says:

      Hopefully not! Just cashed my £75 Dell credit today as Rhys wanted a spare power pack for his laptop.

  • Mo Izi says:

    I’ve just triggered my companion voucher on my BA Amex PP card and am happy to report that it doesn’t expire till June 2024. One thing I have noticed however is that it has a different description to my other previously issued voucher. This therefore seems like I cannot select both to make a reward booking for 4. Any thoughts?

  • SilverLining says:

    Hoping someone can guide me here. I currently have a blue standard AMEX card after down grading from the Platinum card about 18 months ago. The app tells me I need to spend approx 4500 by April of next year to reach 12k and get my companion voucher.

    My question here is just before I reach 10k spending can I switch to a premium black card and then trigger the voucher with a lower spend of 10k with a longer expiry?

    Thank you for any advice.

  • Paul Griffiths says:

    So what should be the latest date in December I should spend on to activate the trigger?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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