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  • AmitR 4 posts

    I have a BAPP and have already earned my 241 voucher.
    I am not able to earn another voucher until Jan 24.
    If I downgrade now to the free card and then want to upgrade in Jan in time to earn a new 241 on the BAPP would there be any challenges or is this something many of you do?

    Cranzle 240 posts

    Do you have or will you be able to accumulate sufficient Avios to use the 241 without the ongoing use of BAPP?

    Personally, I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of downgrading / upgrading and things do seem to be tightening up with Amex.

    Are you self employed?

    NorthernLass 6,704 posts

    There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to do either – plus it’s reported on another thread that the income criteria are being tightened up so I personally wouldn’t risk not being accepted for another card in future.

    kristofremedios 13 posts

    Just out of interest what would you suggest if self-employed?

    BJ 639 posts

    I was eventually persuaded by @JDB morals or school of thought. I value my relationship with amex more than the extra benefits of playing certain games now. My partner and I both figures which cards we wanted, we’ve got them, we’re keeping them and we’re quite happy. Hotel savings alone are offsetting fees.

    AmitR 4 posts

    Do you have or will you be able to accumulate sufficient Avios to use the 241 without the ongoing use of BAPP?

    Personally, I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of downgrading / upgrading and things do seem to be tightening up with Amex.

    Are you self employed?

    No, I am employed and hopefully won’t have an issue with whatever AMEX decides the income requirement is.
    Points wise plenty in the bank to cover what I need to with the 241 vouchers

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,161 posts

    In theory you can do this. Feedback is that if you try it more than once Amex starts to push back.

    They realised they were losing money to all those people who had a BAPP for one month per year.

    Joe G 75 posts

    I personally think that the value of the companion voucher the odd statement credit and higher rate of earning avios (especially on BA) more than offsets the £250 fee. I don’t understand the reticence for some to pay it in full. That said I also don’t understand why AMEX offer a pro rata refund in the first place surely they could avoid abuse by removing that option, that or they could only issue the voucher after a full year of membership (which would benefit many who don’t like to trigger the voucher too early)

    JDB 4,167 posts

    Pleased to hear Amex tightening up.

    My views on this are well known as I particularly dislike the unfairness of Amex repeatedly supplying the ‘better’ voucher to some people for much less than the fee most of us are expected to pay. People have reported various pitfalls when BA claws back the Avios because ‘the’ card had been cancelled. A friend referred someone to me recently – all was fine until their return flight was delayed, thus missing a domestic connection. They sought the £520 compensation plus a refund for the domestic flight. After some to and fro, someone at BA spotted they hadn’t used ‘the’ card so they got their compensation but also had 180,000 Avios removed for the ‘companion’! They wanted help to get this back…

    FatherOfFour 259 posts

    I sit between two camps here. I agree with JDB from a “fairness” point of view and certainly think the voucher is worth the £250 – so even if we earn the voucher in <12 months, we retain the card for the full 12.

    However, we can’t make use of a premium voucher every year. In fact, at this stage of our lives, it’ll be once every few years. So, I don’t plan to keep the premium card much beyond the initial year. Previously, I downgraded after about 13 months and booked my flights using the “free” card, but with the voucher earned with the premium. I don’t feel this should be an issue and the T’s and C’s are a little grey in this area.

    If Amex prevent up and downgrades in totality, they are potentially using the wrong device to stop the behaviour. There are other ways of ensuring everyone pays the same for the voucher. Not everyone is up and downgrading for the same reasons.

    NorthernLass 6,704 posts

    @JDB – asking you for help because gaming the system has gone wrong should be a new verse in Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic”.
    I don’t understand why people try this when they’re clearly in breach of Ts and Cs! It’s always made very clear here that one does these things at one’s peril. It’s like the people who have asked Rob for help in the past but don’t give him the whole story or concoct a fictitious one.
    Did they get the voucher back when the extra avios were deducted, or was that forfeited due to them breaching the Ts and Cs (or expired)?

    JDB 4,167 posts

    @JDB – asking you for help because gaming the system has gone wrong should be a new verse in Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic”.
    I don’t understand why people try this when they’re clearly in breach of Ts and Cs! It’s always made very clear here that one does these things at one’s peril. It’s like the people who have asked Rob for help in the past but don’t give him the whole story or concoct a fictitious one.
    Did they get the voucher back when the extra avios were deducted, or was that forfeited due to them breaching the Ts and Cs (or expired)?


    @NorthernLass
    yes, it was a bit unfortunate and I was appropriately unsympathetic! It’s the first time I have seen this. BA apparently kept the voucher (without saying they had done so) which wasn’t quite expired but, had they returned it, the people had been more or less cleaned out of Avios.

    From what we read here, lots of people still play this game and pooh-pooh the risks, but we’ll see how it works out. Why Amex openly tolerates this and other blatant ‘gaming’ will remain a mystery for me.

    rams 229 posts

    Thanks for sharing that example @JDB. So if they had paid with the BA Amex there would have been no issue?

    Player 2 and I used to churn the BA card. But then player 2 unexpectedly had her application reviewed last October. So I decided to keep just her card permanently and cancel mine (I earn more so hopeful I won’t need such a review). Having had our first baby 10 months ago I am doubtful we will do more than 1 long trip a year anyway so one BA Amex is enough for us with a gold card each. Am thinking about cancelling one of the golds (player 2’s) but need to find a good home for the 100k odd points first. The 2.5k bonus for £5k spend has been useful and part of the reason I am ok to keep them along with the Deliveroo benefit.

    Richard Peters 171 posts

    Pleased to hear Amex tightening up.

    Most definitely: reward those who play by the rules, not those who game AE to the detriment of others. Don’t have champagne tastes on a beer budget. If you can’t afford the annual fee or can’t use a card to your advantage don’t apply! #simples

    NorthernLass 6,704 posts

    There shouldn’t have been an issue had they paid with the correct card. There was also a poster here a few months ago in similar circumstances – they had booked an outbound leg by phone with a 241 and somehow managed to pay with a Mastercard (which must have been an error by the agent as this simply isn’t possible to do online), then when they called to add the inbound the agent spotted the earlier error and took the extra avios to complete the booking as a standard redemption (IIRC the poster didn’t want to lose the seats so ended up acquiescing to this rather than just cancelling and starting over).

    I’ll happily admit to a bit of churning within the 2-year rule but we’ve had one of our BAPPs for 12 years now and no plans to cancel it. There have been people here of late who are blatantly only applying for cards with a view to getting huge SUBs then cancelling asap – and sometimes even generating large refunds after they have closed the cards and bagged the points. This was never going to end well and seems to have precipitated the changes we are currently seeing!

    JDB 4,167 posts

    @rams – yes, the problem was paying with a non-BA Amex card. At present, this usually only gets picked up on occasion by an eagle-eyed BA agent, usually when a booking is re-ticketed or in this case when applying for a refund and compensation.

    Popular lore here is that any Amex will do, but that wasn’t very sound advice and will likely become even less so.

    meandthekids 67 posts

    I have had my BAPP for 10 months and we actually don’t know that we need it. Does anybody know when the £10k spend resets. I think we have spent over £17k on the card and spent a lot more on the Barclays avios but we didn’t strategise how our spend should go on all of our cards. P2 has only just cancelled Amex after about 8 years so that at least one of us resets the clock as we have no SUBs. I have had my Amex for over 6 years so will keep it with MR points but not sure that we really need the BAPP long term. Our last 2 241s expired before we could use them. But we do have a lot of spend coming up and I wondered whether we should at least obtain the next voucher before closing the card. Would the 7k over the 10k be excluded from spend or included at the point the year resets?
    Hope that makes sense!

    JDB 4,167 posts

    The clock resets for the voucher at each anniversary and spend is zero from that date; i.e. you need to spend a full £10k after the anniversary to trigger a new voucher.

    NorthernLass 6,704 posts

    The spend resets at the start of your new card year – there’s usually something in your account to indicate when this is. Spending over the first £10k doesn’t count towards another voucher, which is why it’s a popular strategy to move spending to another card after triggering the 241.
    Unless there’s another SUB or voucher you are eligible for, it would make sense to wait until your new card year has started then spend the £10k as soon as possible for another 241 – and make sure you use it!


    @JDB
    , it’s only ever been acknowledged that you can pay the surcharges on a 241 booking with any Amex, and it’s always been clear that this is technically contrary to the Ts and Cs. If people can’t work out what that could mean they’re probably not cut out for this lark, and they’ll be asking for your help when it all goes wrong!

    meandthekids 67 posts

    Thanks both. It resets 24 August I have just been told. Don’t think we are eligible for any SUBs so maybe wait and put through 10k quickly following renewal.
    I asked if I’m eligible for any retention offer but they have said no. how and at what point do people get the 35k offers as that would surely sweeten the deal for me!

    NorthernLass 6,704 posts

    I doubt many people have been offered 35k avios for keeping their BAPP – it’s more common to be offered 10k for spending £3k in 3 months, for example. If you do this close to your renewal date, that £3k (or whatever) could go towards triggering your next voucher.

    Platinum tends to get the big retention offers but these seem to have slowed down a bit recently.

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