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Review: the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card

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This is our review of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card.

It is part of our series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards‘ area in the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

Key link: British Airways American Express Premium Plus application form

Review British Airways BA American Express Amex Premium Plus credit card

Key facts: £250 annual fee

The representative APR is 113.1% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 31.0% variable.

Reward credit cards generally have high interest rates and are not suitable for anyone who does not pay off their full balance each month. If you do not clear your balance, you should look for a non-rewards credit card with a low interest rate.

This article was updated on 1st December 2023, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

About the BA Premium Plus card

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus card is issued directly by American Express. This analysis is focused on the paid version of the card – I reviewed the free British Airways American Express credit card in a separate article.

What is the BA Premium Plus sign-up bonus?

You receive 25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 within three months.

What are the rules for qualifying for the sign-up bonus?

The BA Premium Plus sign-up bonus is only available to customers who have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus American Express card in the previous 24 months.

You will definitely receive the bonus if you are only a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s American Express card. As far as Amex is concerned, that card belongs to the primarily cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.

If you do not qualify for the bonus, you can still apply.  You still receive the other card benefits including the 2-4-1 companion voucher.

Any other benefits?

Very much so!  When you spend £10,000 in a card year, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one. This voucher is valid for two years.

The voucher can be used on:

  • British Airways
  • Iberia
  • Aer Lingus

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.

If you are a solo traveller, you can use the voucher to get a 50% discount on the Avios required for a flight for one person.

I attempted to calculate the value of the British Airways American Express companion voucher in this article.

On British Airways, vouchers get you access to a wider pool of Club World long-haul business class seats than other Avios members. This should make them substantially easier to redeem for Club World flights.

Note that taxes and charges are due at the standard rate on all tickets booked with a companion voucher. The discount only applies to the Avios element.

Review British Airways BA American Express Amex Premium Plus credit card

What is the BA Premium Plus Amex annual fee?

The BA American Express Premium Plus card has an annual fee of £250.

You will receive a pro-rata refund of your annual fee if you cancel. Amex will be removing the ability to obtain a pro-rata refund at some point after 29th February 2024 but until then (the exact date is not yet known) you can cancel for a refund of your unused months.

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You receive 1.5 Avios per £1 spent on the card.

You receive double Avios (3 per £1) when booking flights or holidays directly with British Airways.

What is an Avios point worth?

How long is a piece of string!

This article is my best attempt to calculate the value of an Avios point. You should target 1p to 1.75p per point.

Is the BA Premium Plus Amex a good card to use when travelling?

As Amex adds a 3% foreign exchange fee, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad.

Unfortunately there are no credit cards with 0% foreign exchange fees worldwide which earn airline or hotel points. (The Virgin Atlantic credit cards have 0% FX fees in the Eurozone.)  One option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than Amex charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more about Currensea by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

Review British Airways BA American Express Amex Premium Plus credit card

Other points to note about the BA Premium Plus Amex

If you have the Premium Plus card, you can downgrade to the free version at any time and get a pro-rata refund. You may want to do this if you have triggered your 2-4-1 voucher but not yet redeemed it, and do not want to continue paying the annual fee.

You can apply for the card with a minimum personal income of just £35,000. This is low for a premium credit card.

Is this card better than the £240 Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard?

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched a premium Avios Mastercard (apply here) with a generous sign-up bonus:

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

This is fundamentally the same package as the Premium Plus American Express card. The fee is virtually the same and you earn 1.5 Avios per £1. Both have a 25,000 Avios bonus. Both trigger a voucher after £10,000 of annual spend. Mastercard is accepted more widely than American Express.

The key difference is the annual voucher. The Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard gives you an annual upgrade voucher for an Avios flight on British Airways. You can upgrade a return flight for one person or one leg of a return flight for two people. Read our Barclaycard Avios Plus review for the full terms.

For most couples, the British Airways Premium Plus American Express will be more valuable than Barclaycard Avios Plus. The 2-4-1 voucher is more valuable than an upgrade voucher.

Importantly, remember that even if you do get the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card, nothing stops you also getting Barclaycard Avios Plus and then cancelling it once you have the 25,000 Avios bonus. If your credit card spending is high enough, you may want to get and keep both cards.

What is best Visa or Mastercard to use alongside the British Airways Premium Plus American Express?

American Express is widely accepted, but not everywhere takes it.

We recommend the brand new FREE Barclaycard Avios Rewards Mastercard to use where American Express is not accepted:

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

You can apply for the Barclaycard Avios Rewards Mastercard here.

How else can you earn Avios points from an Amex card?

Don’t forget the less obvious options.

The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card offers 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up and is FREE for the first year. These convert to 20,000 Avios points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The American Express Platinum credit card usually offers 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up. These convert to 30,000 Avios points. It has a £575 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review


The sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios is an excellent offer especially as the card fee is refundable pro-rata if you choose to cancel during the year.

The higher sign-up bonus – plus the 50% higher earning rate on your spending – makes the Premium Plus card better than the free BA Amex card, at least for the first year. Remember that the 2-4-1 voucher on the free card can only be used on Economy flights, however.

In terms of on-going earning, 1.5 Avios points and the 2-4-1 voucher when you spend £10,000 make the most valuable package on the market for your long-term spending as long as you are confident of hitting the £10,000 target. If you won’t spend £10,000 on the card each year then the value of the Avios earned will not cover the annual fee.

Solo travellers can also now benefit from the 2-4-1 now that British Airways has started allowing vouchers to be used for a 50% discount on one ticket. If you are a solo traveller, you should also consider the upgrade voucher that comes with the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard.

The application form for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card can be found here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (39)

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

  • Jonathan says:

    The card also offers Travel Inconvenience Insurance for tickets purchased with the card that involves a connection that you might miss (through no fault of your own)

  • Pete says:

    One very important point and valuable Avios related benefit is that if you already hold an Amex BA card and you refer a friend through AMEX you both get Avios bonus once the card is issued and minimum spend reached.. Cummatively a larger bonus than if you just go direct to an Amex online application for a new card. As a couple ( friends ) you can also alternatively every two years have a card application in process, earning each time the sign up bonus with the card holder referring via their friends referral scheme which you can access through your existing card account … I think the cumulative bonus when we did it last time was 36000 avios. Go to for the rules there. Even though you have only one card at a time, the other party, if you chose can still benefit with the ongoing monthly Avios point collection but having a second authorised user card on the one account meaning you accumulate avios from both cards but with just one account and fee WIN WIN WIN I say 😀

  • Jimbo says:

    I signed up for this Amex Premium BA card recently and got 70,000 Avios for spending £3K in first 90 days! That was after ditching in February 2022 my Amex platinum charge card that I’d held for 25 years and they’ve reinstated my “member since” status which looks like I’d never left!!! Win. Win. Win.

    • Chas says:

      Why does the “member since” matter? 🤷‍♂️

    • S says:

      You were always eligible for this whether you still had the platinum or not

  • AndyGWP says:

    Don’t forget you can add a supplementary holder on (after you’ve been accepted) to get an extra 3000 avios

    • JDB says:

      If you’re a little patient, they will generally offer you 5,000 not longer after receiving the card.

  • Beverly says:

    Your article says that “On British Airways, vouchers get you access to a wider pool of Club World long-haul business class seats than other Avios members.”  How does seatspy differentiate between a 241 voucher and avios points?

    • lumma says:

      It doesn’t. It only shows standard seats. The additional availability are seats that are available in a certain booking class that are the cheapest cash tickets. This is why you might see more flights if you book say MAN-LHR-Whereever than direct from London as flights with a connection are usually cheaper.

      • DaveJ says:

        So seatspy is a waste of time if you have a 241?

        • lumma says:

          No, SeatSpy shows the non 241 availability. It’s no help if you’re looking for the additional seats

          • Rob says:

            It’s impossible for SeatSpy to show the extra seats because they change based on starting point, eg MAN-LHR-TYO brings up tons more than LHR-TYO.

  • Wally1976 says:

    My wife is recovering l reaching her 2 year hiatus in the next few days so will be asking her to sign up for this card. Any guesses on when they might increase the sign up bonus? The 70k recently offered would’ve been very nice (neither of us were eligible at that time).

    • Wally1976 says:

      Should read “My wife is reaching her 2 year hiatus…”. Apologies.

  • steve says:

    so my wife is almost at £10k spend to trigger 2 for 1 voucher. If she cancels and DOESNT downgrade to the free BA avios card, surely as her companion voucher is on her BA Executive account, it isn’t lost – can you clarify pls Rob?

    • Peter K says:

      If she triggers it and it will go in her BA account and cancelling the card will not lose the voucher. It is in the terms that you need to use the card you earned the voucher on to pay for the 2-4-1 ticket. Historically this has not been required, any Amex would do, but there have been some reports of BA at least attempting to tighten up on this it seems.

    • Rob says:

      It’s fine once showing at BA. Ignore any nonsense from Amex to the contrary.

      • JDB says:

        @Rob that’s rather at odds with your detailed comment under the BAPP 241 article on 23 Feb. Has something changed? My understanding is that it is still (as at 3 April) a somewhat thorny issue with divergent internal views on this game.

        It has always struck me as quite strange that Amex management gives x script to CS agents to read to cancelling/downgrading cardholders but that ‘friends of Amex’ can give such definitive contrary advice. If/when anything changes, I hope they give you adequate notice.

        • Rob says:

          Amex has never removed a voucher from anyone. The call centre has been telling people the opposite for a decade. It is an obvious thing to tighten up but it’s not happening.

          • JDB says:

            @Rob – that’s a politician’s answer and we have, for instance, had reports of people being required to pay the full Avios for not using the BAPP discovered when the booking was changed. Having two FCA regulated business giving diametrically opposite advice about the same product to the same people doesn’t seem a sustainable position.

  • s879 says:

    Is there a link up upgrade the BA Amex to this Premium one? I have some big payments coming up and will be hitting 10k so regretting opening the free BA Amex. If I then want to downgrade in say 2-3 months, will that be an issue?

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

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