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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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2022)

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.

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 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 30,000 Avios.

30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

45,000 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 (58)

  • Froggee says:

    I am poised waiting to try and trigger mine no earlier than the 29th of December and ideally on the 30th. This obviously has much potential to go wrong given the lag from triggering it to the voucher hitting my account so I’ll probably end up with it hitting my account in early January.

  • Mr. AC says:

    Is there any method to get Billhop to lower it’s fees for a user or a particular transaction? I want to put around 5k spend through it (nursery and rent), but the fee bites…

    • Rob says:

      They can do deals for Visa and MC but not Amex, due to the fee Amex charges them.

  • Spurs drive me mad says:

    I’m going to trigger mine and be done with it. I’ve got a million points, 3 vouchers and not much chance of using them with all the rules on travelling changing daily.

    • Freddy says:

      I’m in a similar boat, going to see if travel rules improve next year. If the 241 expires I’ll be transferring out to nectar. Already cancelled my BA card and got a easy cashbk card

    • Dave says:

      I’m similar , I’ve hit 1.5 Million Avios, 3 x 2 for 1 Vouchers and a Barclays upgrade hitting my account in March. I’m really wanting to go back New York and was hoping Summer 2022 I might be able to use some vouchers and points to go. It felt like a very slow return to normality but all the new travel rules I’m just not risking it or getting my hopes up for 2022. I’m thinking 2023 now until I fly again, plus I’m not flying until the mask requirement is dropped as I’m not paying £600 in fee’s + Avios to sit there for 7 hours wearing one to appease bad science.

  • Zack says:

    My companion voucher expired recently, despite my attempts to book a redemption AFTER BA’s advertised date of the downtime. As they were obviously still having issues the system wouldn’t allow me to book one.
    I even got an error message saying that the travel dates need to be BEFORE the expiry date of the voucher, which is obviously not true.
    I’ve written to BA 4 days ago and still not had a reply 🙁

    • Memesweeper says:

      That’s rough @Zack. Be prepared to escalate your complaint if you don’t get a swift resolution.

  • Track says:

    The way things go with travel restrictions and tests before flying in both directions, there likely to be another extension of vouchers.

    • Rob says:

      Unlikely as it would be unfair on those whose vouchers have been expired since 1st October.

      • Alex Sm says:

        Well, you can’t be fair retrospectively. Otherwise people who are affected by new testing rules for example will start asking for compensation because they are in a worse position than those who travelled last month etc.

  • Pablo Esteban says:

    I have a problem when trying to redeem the two companion Amex BA companion vouchers I have.

    They do not show up on the main page of Executive Club program, the one you land after clicking on your name, that will start with “Welcome to your Executive Club, Mr Name surname …” in big letter, which I reach through this URL
    and at the bottom has an area called “My eVouchers: where I was expecting to see my eVouchers and proceed to make the booking from them (Redeem I think they call it on BA marketing language)…

    Nevertheless if on the left Menu I click on “Manage My account”, I see a long list of tiles on the centre of the screen. At the end is My eVouchers tile, if I click on it I get my eVouchers view, where I can see both of them, the expiration date, issuing date … type. If I click on them I see some text, but no way I can proceed to make booking using the vouchers shown m from this screen.

    I am reporting this to British airways since summer, but no way they fix it, even after having kept down the Executive Club web page area for one week lately.

    Could any other member kindly confirm that my assumptions are right, and I should be able to initiate the redemption of eVouchers from the main screen of My Executive club choosing them at the bottom of the list of MyEvouchers where in my case do not show up?

    • AJA says:

      @Pablo You should be able to redeem them from that e-voucher screen as there should be a blue button with white lettering saying redeem.

      Alternatively you should also be able to redeem by clicking on the “Book with Avios or money” panel on the EC home page. If you click on “Payment type” and select “Book with Avios” you will then see below that “Use vouchers” and click the button for “BA American Express Companion Voucher.”

      I wonder if your location is what is stopping you as the link you typed looks like you are based in the Netherlands – can you change the ending from en_nl to en_gb?

  • Chris says:

    I’ve not being paying attention on this topic before but I’ve got a companion voucher expiring this coming Wednesday.
    What’s the quickest, cheapest (in terms of points & cash) to lock in the voucher for later travel?

    • Memesweeper says:

      Manchester or Jersey to London.

    • Rob says:

      All Zone 1 is the same – cheapest return is 9,500 Avios + £35.

      • Den S says:

        Question – Do you have to book a return or just One Way. And can you get away with booking 1 adult One way (£35 only Cancel Charge) and then have extended to Sept 2023

  • Andrew says:

    I’ve still never used one of the 2for1 vouchers from my BAPP over the last 10 years or so. Maybe this will be the year as it’s going to be my last one.

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