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Forums Payment cards American Express Advice on card strategy since BAPP changes

  • tootsci 75 posts

    I’d like some advice on my route forward with the cards ‘game’ and what order to apply for a couple of cards since the change in BAPP spend for the voucher

    I’m intending on ending up with the free (Blue) Amex and either the free or Plus Barclaycard but don’t know the best way to get there.

    I’ve held the BAPP since February. I started with that and not the Gold Amex as there was a 50k BAPP SUB at the time and I wanted max SUB to get me over the line Avios-wise for an imminent RFS booking. I will just about manage the 10k spend to get the 241 voucher by end of October but I definitely won’t manage the new 15k spend going forward so will sadly cancel it. I would aim to downgrade to the free BA card to be on the safe side regarding the voucher despite anecdata I read here saying it’s ok to cancel (need a BA Avios card not an MR one?) and then cancel the free BA card once the voucher is used, probably some time in late 2025/early 2026.

    I’d still like an Amex for the offers at the very least, and perhaps for spend (see below) so I’d like to get the Blue. I could try and get the Platinum as I’m not eligible for the Gold SUB holding the BAPP (also the Gold perks don’t interest me) get the SUB, make use of the credits etc. etc. and then downgrade to Blue or apply straight for a Blue.

    I’d also like to sign up for the Barclaycard Plus for a SUB, and then keep a Barclaycard as my non-Amex card. I was originally intending to get the Plus for SUB, and downgrade to the free to keep alongside my BAPP for where can’t use Amex. But now my plan is to start on the Plus, and see if I can get the 10k spend through in the first year for that voucher. If yes then I will use it for my main spending, but have a Blue Amex (possibly via a Plat as above) for offers. If no, then I will aim to downgrade it to the free card and then use Amex Blue for main spending (collecting MR giving me more flexibility) and the Barclaycard free for when I can’t use Amex.

    Extra info is that I have a personal income to meet the requirements for all cards, and that I currently hold a plain HSBC credit card which I used for a year to build up a pattern of good credit usage prior to my BAPP application, and haven’t held any other cards apart from this and the BAPP for the previous 15 years. I intend to cancel the vanilla HSBC prior to further applications so I don’t look like I have too much credit but don’t know if I should do that now or nearer the time of applications. My year end for my BAPP is end Jan 25. OH is a supp holder on my BAPP but doesn’t use the card much just puts the petrol and some groceries on it, has a vanilla credit card that is barely used, and has no interest in playing the points/cards game whatsoever (sadly!) so won’t be anything more than a supp on my cards.

    Given what seems to be a general tightening on criteria for applications I’d welcome thoughts on in what order and when to apply for the Barclaycard Plus and the Amex Plat/Blue given the above to maximise this plan working and of course maximise SUBs. I won’t apply for anything before September this year as I believe leaving a gap of at least 6 months between applications is prudent, but would like to plan ahead now as I have a couple of chunky outgoings later this year that I need to think about what card to run them through.

    All advice/thoughts gratefully received

    aq.1988 482 posts

    If you can’t hit the £15k spend requirement going forward, there’s no point keeping the free BA Amex any longer than after you’ve used the companion voucher.

    Whilst the companion voucher terms say you only need to pay the fees with an Amex, I understand being cautious to only downgrade, rather than cancel, until you’ve used the voucher. I have done the same.

    If you cancel the free BA card after you’ve used the voucher, you will reset your 24 month BA Amex clock, and will be eligible for a BAPP bonus eventually.

    You’re eligible for the Platinum bonus if you’ve not had an MR card in the last 2 years, so if you’re willing to pay the fee, that is an option. Not sure if you can downgrade down to the free ARCC directly, rather than Gold only, but the ARCC is free for life, so you can keep your MR alive (and transfer to avios), and it won’t stop you getting a BAPP bonus again.

    I’d say definitely worth getting a Barclaycard Avios Plus, and earning the SUB at least. Might be worth keeping until you’ve hit the £10k for the upgrade voucher, after that, hard to justify the £20pm fee, so might be worth downgrading to the free card.

    tootsci 75 posts

    Thanks, glad my strategy sounds sensible, though I didn’t know that a downgrade from Plat straight to Blue might not be an option. I’ll look into that further as I may just go straight to Blue as I have no interest in the Gold ‘perks’.

    It’s just a matter of determining what order to do it in to maximise chances of acceptance for the new cards:

    1. Do I apply for the Barclaycard Plus or the Plat/Blue first?
    2. How long do I leave between each application?
    3. Should I apply before or after I downgrade the BAPP to the free? Should I also ask for a decrease in credit limit on whichever BA card I hold at the time so that I don’t have too much open credit?

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