A positive suggestion for improving the British Airways American Express cards
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Over the last 18 months, British Airways and American Express have done a lot of fiddling with the two British Airways American Express credit cards.
On the whole, this has been positive – in particular the ability to open up additional reward availability in Club World for British Airways redemptions when using a companion voucher. Adding Aer Lingus and Iberia to the 241 was handy for some, as is letting solo travellers fly for half Avios.
There is one change that I still feel is overdue, however.
Both my wife and I have our own Premium Plus cards, meaning we generate 2 x 241 companion vouchers each year. Because we have two children, this works well as it covers a family holiday.
Whilst the renewal dates on the two cards differ by three months, we try to time our spend so that we trigger the vouchers at roughly the same time.
This year we have got a little carried away. Whilst the membership year on my own card only started a few weeks ago, due to some spending on our home I am almost at the £10,000 cap to trigger my voucher.
Due to a trip to Scotland over New Year, amongst other things, my wife is also nearly at her £10,000 cap after three months.
But we don’t want to trigger our vouchers now ….
Here’s the snag. I have no interest in triggering our vouchers now.
We already have two unused vouchers, probably for October 2023 half term use.
We only really have two opportunities in the year for long haul holidays, which are over Easter and over October half term. With GCSEs looming next year, I don’t see us doing much next Easter so my next set of vouchers is likely to be used in October 2024. It could be even later, given that I have a lot of Lufthansa miles and Virgin Points to use too.
What this means is …. our two British Airways American Express Premium Plus cards are now going to go into a drawer. I will probably dig them out in November and put through the last few hundred pounds on each to trigger our next vouchers, which will allow us to use them as late as half term in October 2025 if necessary.
Where is the value in this for British Airways and American Express? I will now be moving our family spending to other cards, even though I would be perfectly happy to keep picking up 1.5 Avios per £1 on my Premium Plus card.
There seems to be a very simple answer to this problem
Your 2-4-1 Premium Plus companion voucher should be valid for the rest of your current Amex membership year plus two years.
At the moment it is valid for two years from the date of issue. I believe it should be for the rest of your current card year PLUS TWO YEARS. The expiry date should not be impacted by when you trigger the voucher.
If this rule was currently in place, I would happily keep spending on my Premium Plus card. Because it isn’t not, I won’t.
I don’t see who loses under this scenario. Cardholders don’t have to mess around juggling their spend to ensure they trigger their voucher to maximise its life. American Express and British Airways profit from additional card spend. Let’s get it done!
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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 Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
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
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
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
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.
Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card
1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review