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A positive change to the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher rules

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Without giving cardholders any notification (I think), American Express has made a positive change to the small print of the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher.

(Presumably the reason for the lack of notification is that the change is positive!)

The rules can be found on this page of

British Airways American Express voucher rule change

Finally …. one of the most common question in my inbox can be put to bed.

Let’s go to Clause 17.

It used to say:

17. The Cardmember is responsible for paying any Taxes, Fees and Charges relating to their Companion Voucher booking. Taxes, Fees and Charges apply per person. All Taxes, Fees and Charges must be paid for using the British Airways American Express Card.

and it now says

17. The Cardmember is responsible for paying any Taxes, Fees and Charges relating to their Companion Voucher booking. Taxes, Fees and Charges apply per person. All Taxes, Fees and Charges must be paid for using an American Express Card.

It is important to note that nothing, in practice, changed.

British Airways American Express voucher rule change

It was ALWAYS the case that:

  • you could use any type of American Express card to pay the taxes and charges on your 2-4-1 companion voucher redemption, as could not discriminate between different types of personal American Express cards, and
  • you could use an American Express in any name (Amex does not do name verification as part of its security checks, so this was never an issue – payments go through if you say you are the cardholder, even if you are not)

However, it was very common – when redeeming a 2-4-1 companion voucher by telephone – for the call centre to insist that you had to pay the taxes with your British Airways American Express card. This was true according to the T&C but was not true in reality and was not imposed for online bookings. Some people did come to verbal blows with the call centre about it.

Anyway …. this is no longer an issue.

It also means that there is no longer any requirement to still hold your British Airways American Express card when you redeem your voucher. This was never a stated rule in the first place (unless you interpret clause 32 to mean this) but was of course implied by the rule saying that you needed to pay with your BA Amex.

It’s not clear if this change is just American Express / British Airways being nice, or if there was some regulatory pushback (you were being forced to keep a financial product to utilise a benefit you had already earned) or if this is linked to the ending of pro-rata refunds on cancelled American Express credit cards from 2nd October.

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Comments (55)

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

  • Emma says:

    As a family of 4, am I able to use 2 companion vouchers in one booking, where my partner is a supplementary cardholder. Or do both me and my partner need to have our own separate accounts and book for one adult/child each time.

    • Rob says:

      If you have 1 voucher each it must be 2 separate bookings.

      • Emma says:

        We don’t have one voucher each as I’m the main cardholder, therefore both vouchers are under my name. My partner is just a supplementary cardholder. I did read on your previous post that If you have two vouchers to use, issued to the same person, they can be used together for the BA Amex cardholder and three other people. Is this still the case? As I would like to book for my family of 4

        • Rob says:

          Yes, not a problem in that case (as long as both vouchers were issued after 1/9/2021 as are the ‘new’ sort, as you can’t mix and match old and new). Go to the Avios booking area, select 4 people, select both vouchers and you’re away for a family of 4.

  • Team TB says:

    Can I just confirm something. I have an unused 2-4-1 and if I cancel my Amex today I will still be able to use it in the future?

  • Sam says:

    With Amex’s 24 month rule and the fact they are doing away with the pro-rata refund, is this card being geared towards really high spenders.
    Because if you solely spending the min. to trigger the voucher, that gets you 15,000 Avios and a 241 voucher.
    Even if redeeming on ET or CE, where will it actually get you?
    Even worse if like me, you are not local to London and need a BA internal connecting flight.

    • Rob says:

      I’ve always said that you need to see a path to earning at least 100k Avios per year to get value from the voucher, which is harder for those with no business travel.

      The cost of Amex card churning will also jump up in October. That said, getting Plat 1 year in 3 when a big bonus is on still makes sense as the dining credit alone covers the fee. A couple could get a 60k Plat bonus two years out of every three for effectively zero cost.

      • Sam says:

        I did apply for the Plat in April whilst the 60,000 bonus promotion was running but was rejected unfortunately (first time in the 6 years I’ve held Amex).
        Spouse not eligible as she still holds downgraded blue BA only for the purpose of paying the taxes for current 241 redemption booking.
        But at least we know now that we no longer need to do this 😀

  • Alexander says:

    I cancelled by BAPP card this morning and they still read me the “riot act” I.e. you need a BA amex to make a voucher booking and that I’d now lose my companion voucher. I still went ahead and cancelled. Pretty sure they cant remove a companion voucher

  • O says:

    Trying to book my voucher but the only method of payment that comes up is Amex on the BA site – I dont have Amex anymore!

    • Sam says:

      As far as I know you’ve always had to have an Amex for payment, but just not necessarily a BA one

  • Jonny says:

    Hi, great update as ever.

    I’ve booked a 241 flight for 2024, paid the taxes etc using my Amex platinum. Can I cancel my card and there won’t be any issues or better to downgrade to the free card? Thanks

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

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