Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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  • jamesdc152 1 post

    Hi

    I have reached my £12,000 spend for the companion voucher 5 months early, with the renewal from June 2024. I’m wondering if anyone uses more than 1 card to accumulate points/benefits that might allow me to benefit from any other offers, such has hotel points. I’m Gold at IHG/Bonvoy and silver at other chains due to my company travels.

    On a side note. Is it worth signing up for the BA Amex Premium Plus Card alongside my normal BA amex (is it even possible?) to work towards the upgrade voucher alongside the 241..

    Apologies if I am asking silly/novice questions

    phil-lavin 75 posts

    It sounds like you have the free BA Amex? The companion voucher you have can only be used in economy. If you upgrade to the premium BA amex (£250 per year) you will get a companion voucher which can also be used in business or first. You can’t hold both yourself but your partner (if you have one) could have the other one if they earn enough.

    The upgrade voucher you talk about is a feature of the Barclays Avios card. There’s a free card which you have to spend 20k on to get the voucher or a £20 per month card on which you have to spend 10k to get the voucher.

    Personally, I’d say it’s always worth having the free Barclays Avios card so you can at least earn points in the many places that don’t accept Amex.

    Other card to consider is Amex platinum. If you’ve not held a personal (BA card doesn’t count) amex for the last 2 years then you will qualify for the 75k points offer currently on, if you spend 10k in 6 months. Note you’ll have to meet the spend and cancel the card by Feb 29th to avoid getting hit by Amex’s change to stop giving pro rata refunds on their cards.

    It’s all very personal – depends how you want to travel, how often and what you spend. It’s a bit of a minefield out there so I would recommend keeping an eye on the articles on this site to keep yourself appraised of the offers out there.

    Reney 791 posts

    How much fees are you willing to pay and what is the average spend you can put onto a card per month on amex vs not an amex?

    Guernsey Globetrotter 611 posts

    @phil-lavin has summarised the main Amex options nicely.

    The other choices to consider would include:

    1) Mastercard/VISA earning miles, useful for situations where they don’t take Amex. Staying in the Avios ecosystem, this could be the Barclays Avios card (https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/04/03/review-barclaycard-avios-mastercard-credit-card-2/) that Phil mentioned or, if you want to try other airlines and have a spend level that justifies splitting across two types of miles, there’s the Virgin cards too (https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/04/10/review-free-virgin-atlantic-reward-mastercard-credit-card/).

    2) Hotel points earning card, to supplement your travels with Avios. IHG & Hilton don’t currently have a UK points earning card (although you can switch Virgin points 1:1 for IHG and Amex MRs convert to Hilton points at 1:2). However, Marriott Bonvoy DO have a card partnership with Amex and it could work well for you (https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/04/08/review-marriott-bonvoy-american-express-credit-card-3/). As you already stay enough to earn Gold through work travel then the extra 15 elite status nights a year this card gives you could get you in striking distance of Platinum, which is where the Bonvoy benefits (free breakfast, suite night awards etc.) really make a difference imho.

    Anyway, welcome to the points game @jamesdc152 – may your travels be many and bargainous!

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