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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.

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 (March 2023)

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.

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 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 card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 £12,000 Read our full review

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

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

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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

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

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.

  • Polly says:

    Yes, busy prepaying some bills BT, Affinity, EE x2, Octopus, the latter a bit risky! on the BA Amex to get ours issued before Dec 31st. S sadly not our council tax! Plus some shop small, restaurants, stamps etc once we get back Tuesday, we hope! Will upgrade next week or so. Useful to have the extra 6 months validity.
    Have a lot of Morrison’s GCs to use up too…all this spending has me in a tizzy, that, tests, and flight changes. 1st world problems we know….

  • Ian says:

    We have 6 between us and most of them will just expire.

    Vary rarely do I find an opportunity to use them.

    I might trigger another, but with very few seats appearing for my routes I prefer to pay cash.

    Not even sure that seatspy shows the new availability based on the new vouchers, so perhaps more reward seats actually exist? No idea.

  • Andrew says:

    Best not to bother and just spend your Avios via nectar.

    • BSI1978 says:


      If that ever becomes an option again!

      (I’m largely being facetious here but BA conveniently switching this off just before the festive period grates somewhat…..)

      • Andrew says:

        Haha indeed! Very convenient that it’s not available in the month of the year when people do the most retail shopping and the fewest travel bookings!

        • Freddy says:

          I’m gonna keep mine in BA till September when the 241 expire. Maybe travel rules improve and availability turns up for somewhere nice to go but if not I’ll be a regular shopper at Sainsbury’s for a while

  • Mark says:

    If you are a regular user of Amazon, one option is to pre-load your account with Amazon credit to trigger the 241 bonus and then spend the credit through next year

  • A says:

    So BA have now resolved the issue for new 2-4-1’s, they definitely get the +6m on new vouchers?

    • Cheryl D says:

      I triggered my voucher yesterday.,This morning I received a confirmation email from BA that clearly states it’s valid for 24 months. No mention of an extension. An extract from the email below !
      ‘You’ve got 24 months to go
      Your voucher is valid for the next 24 months, so make sure you book and travel before then. Before you know it, it’ll be time for both of you to start packing’

      Voucher is not showing in App yet for me to double check expiry date but can’t see why they wouldn’t have included details of extension in notification email.

    • Rob says:

      All those showing as 24 months after the IT upgrade are now extended, yes.

      • gordon says:

        Correct all sorted now.Our voucher was almost earned anyway without the rush to to spend and we triggered it in November so this timing worked out perfectly for us.

  • John D says:

    BA are holding £1200 of tax etc plus a companion voucher for two cancelled tickets to Singapore. After a battle they returned 120,000 Avios to my account but
    It retained the money as a forward flight voucher and the companion voucher. My problem is I do not know the date of expiry of this which I think is March next year. I tried to ring the silver line to book a flight as it cannot be done on line. After 1 hour hanging on, I assume at 7p a minute, I had a recorded voice saying hang up and was cut off. To book the flight I wanted I had to use another companion ticket and pay the tax etc. with cash. How do I get access to the companion voucher and my £1200? II have made a complaint in writing but get no reply. Does TLFP or other members have any unlisted access telephone numbers or e mail contacts

    • JDB says:

      You can see the expiry date of all your companion vouchers (including those being used in a booking) in your BA Exec account – log in on desktop or iPad, click on your name at the top and scroll down to ‘My e-vouchers’ and ‘more voucher information’.

    • Alex says:

      They have phone numbers that should be included in your usual allowances, starting with 03 normally, so won’t cost 7p a minute.

    • Rob says:

      All vouchers are extended to 9/23.

      Vouchers not visible online. Call BA to rebook and they can see it on your account.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Trigger the voucher by Dec 2021, save annual fee, cancel and start 2 year wait early vs trigger the voucher in Sep 2022 for the longest expiry date. Decision time.

  • Mark says:

    “Upgraded” blue to black last week, as I have done many times before. Except this time I’ve ended up with both cards (which shouldn’t be possible) and Amex seem in a bit of a tail spin about how to sort it out.

    To make matters worse, despite me asking them to put a block on the blue card to make sure I didn’t trigger a 241 from it, and they assured me they had, a Netflix subscription went through yesterday and triggered the damn thing.

    Amex’s legendary customer service seem to have slipped up, but they assure me they will sort this all out in the background…I’m not so sure this time…

    (Yes I know, should have updated Netflix to my new card details…but still…none of this should have happened on the Amex end of it)

    Anyone else experienced this? (Getting 2 Ba cards simultaneously?)

    • Cheryl D says:

      The blue card continues to work simultaneously. I had pre authorised online shopping orders a month in advance when I upgraded blue to black and
      ( lazily) just continued to use the blue pin until they’d all been delivered. Payments still showing on black card statements and at 1.5 Avios.

    • Alastair Actually says:

      I too applied last week for a black card and have ended up with both a blue and a black card – not had the time to ring up yet. At least I only have c9,200 spend this year, but was hoping to get to 10k this month.

      Saw yesterday someone recommending to ring during UK office hours to get a UK based agent so I might do that tomorrow.

      • Alastair Actually says:

        Called on Monday morning and got it sorted out – unwanted black card cancelled and blue card upgraded to black.

        The telephone agent said that in order to upgrade a blue card to a black one you should speak to an agent on the phone or via web chat – and not try to do it online as I had done.

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