In October 2021, British Airways started expiring American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers again, after a number of pandemic extensions.
Luckily for Head for Points readers, we found a way to stop them expiring. You could book a random short haul flight using your voucher and immediately cancel it for a Future Travel Voucher.
This had the effect of ‘freezing’ your 2-4-1 voucher, allowing you to rebook for your choice of route at any point to 30th September 2023.
You can no longer get a Future Travel Voucher for an Avios booking
British Airways has, with no notice, made two changes to Future Travel Vouchers.
The key one is that you can no longer get a Future Travel Voucher on an Avios booking. Your booking will be automatically refunded instead.
This is what you now see on ba.com if you request a Future Travel Voucher:
If you have a 2-4-1 coming up to expiry, use it or lose it
This change of policy means that there is now no way of protecting a companion voucher which is approaching expiry.
You need to start looking for somewhere to fly to, or accept that it is going to be lost.
On the upside, online Avios cancellations are now possible
There is some upside here, of course.
For the first time in almost two years, you can now cancel an Avios booking online without having to speak to the BA call centre.
This only applies to travel up to 30th September 2023, however.
‘Book With Confidence’ is extended to 30th September 2023
There is some other good news.
British Airways has extended its ‘Book With Confidence’ deadline to 30th September 2022.
The previous deadline was 31st August 2022. If you book any British Airways travel for completion by 30th September 2022, you can cancel it at any point for a Future Travel Voucher.
The voucher will act as credit against a new booking which must be made for travel by 30th September 2023. Your Future Travel Voucher will be sent as an eVoucher, as there won’t be any Avios element, meaning that you can use it online at ba.com without having to call.
To summarise these changes:
- If you have a 2-4-1 companion voucher coming up for expiry, it now appears to be too late to artificially extend it by turning it into a Future Travel Voucher. This game is over.
- There is good news for everyone else – you can now cancel Avios redemption bookings online again, at least for travel before 30th September 2023, and the ‘Book With Confidence’ guarantee has been pushed out to 30th September, allowing you to book cash tickets for travel in September with no worries.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)
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. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
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 10,000 Avios.
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.
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.
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.)