ADVERTISEMENT • November 2020
Did you know that the credit card purchases you make this year could be responsible for you seeing more of the world in the future? Those with a British Airways American Express® Credit Card (1 Avios per £1 spent*) and British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card (1.5 Avios per £1 spent*) do, which is why this month we ask three Cardmembers to share their hacks for making the most out of our favourite Avios-collecting Card
Lewis Turek, VP sales at Clippings
Tier: Gold Guest List
Why Amex: I’ve had the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card (Representative 74.7% APR variable; £195 annual fee) since October 2004, so 16 years. The higher earning rate* and Companion Voucher** lasting two years (rather than just one) made it – and still do – a really valuable tool when it comes to my travel planning.
Voucher talk: I think I’ve earned a Companion Voucher [a voucher that allows you to bring someone on your Reward Flight with you for just the cost of the taxes, fees and carrier charges per person] every year of having the Card. When you consider the commuting costs, holiday costs, work expenses and general living, that £10,000 spend in a year (the Companion Voucher threshold) starts to add up. I’ve used the vouchers to travel the world, including, most recently, taking the family to Orlando in Club World for a Christmas at Disney.
Top tips: I’ve referred a number of friends and colleagues to American Express over the years, which gives both parties a nice Avios bonus.*** Plus, I always remember to include my British Airways Executive Club number when booking oneworld partner flights on my Card, in order to collect the Avios from those, too. And, of course, I make sure to pay the Card off in full every month, that way I don’t pay interest.
Take someone along on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York with your Companion Voucher
Tom Cox, teacher
Why Amex: I’ve had the British Airways American Express Credit Card (Representative 22.2% APR variable) since 2017, which means I get to enjoy the benefits of collecting Avios (1 Avios per £1 spent*) on my purchases and all with no annual fee.
Voucher talk: In the last three-and-a-half years I’ve earned two Companion Vouchers** (for my Card, the threshold is a £20,000 spend in one calendar year, valid for one year only), primarily by putting the majority of my day-to-day spending on my Card – that’s everything from coffee to Ubers, and bigger purchases such as hotel stays, home furniture, and the like. The first trip that I used the voucher on was a return flight to New York (pictured above), and my second a trip to St Lucia. Both times I was able to treat me and my girlfriend to Club World on the way back, which – considering they were night flights – made such a difference to our holiday.
Top tips: I’m pretty good at looking out for additional Avios opportunities, such as a recent shopping trip to Hackett, where purchasing on my British Airways American Express Credit Card got me extra Avios. I also referred five of my friends and received bonus Avios*** for doing so.
Short-haul escapes such as Malta are a great way to build up (and spend) Avios
Ally Wybrew, Content Editor
Why Amex: I’ve been using the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card for two years. The Companion Voucher** qualifying spend is half that of the no-fee Card, which means the annual fee I’m paying for feels well worth it, since it makes the Companion Voucher, and whichever amazing destination you choose to fly to, that bit closer to reach. Plus, collecting the extra Avios (1.5 per £1 spent*) has helped me visit my mum in Malta (where she lives) more regularly and has even allowed me to book long-distance flights with Avios to Tokyo and the Dominican Republic.
Voucher talk: I recently qualified for a Companion Voucher thanks to spends on my Card and I think it’s primarily due to the purchases I made when I moved house (furniture, kitchen equipment, etc). I do, however, ensure that as much of my spending is made on the Card as possible. I haven’t used the voucher yet due to the pandemic, but I’m planning to use it on a Club World flight to Vancouver next year for a Canadian escapade with my husband.
Top tips: I almost always shop through the British Airways Avios eStore with my Card. In fact, I now deliberately seek out retailers that are on the eStore to shop through. I recently received 560 Avios from buying a dress in the sale from Karen Millen, and I get regular ‘drip-feed’ top ups from the likes of takeaway sites such as Just Eat. Plus, I have collected a lot of points in the past by booking hotels through Booking.com and Hotels.com.
Sign up to British Airways American Express Credit Card or Premium Plus Card now and start collecting Avios per every £1 spent* to fund your future travel. Both Cards will give you an Avios welcome bonus when you spend over a certain threshold in the first three months.
*For the British Airways American Express Credit Card, 5,000 Welcome Offer Avios will be awarded onto your Account once you have been approved and you have spent and charged a minimum of £1,000 on goods and services to the Account within three months of Account opening. For the Credit Card, you will be awarded 1 Avios for every £1 spent and charged per transaction. Avios are not earned on Balance Transfers, Cash Withdrawals, American Express Travellers Cheques purchases, Foreign Exchange, interest, any spending in excess of your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and American Express Credit Card finance charges. Written details available on request. Introductory offers are not available if you currently hold or have held any personal American Express Card product in the past 24 months.
For the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, 25,000 Welcome Offer Avios will be awarded onto your Account once you have been approved and you have spent and charged a minimum of £3,000 on goods and services to the Account within three months of Account opening. For the Premium Plus Card, you will be awarded 1,5 Avios for every £1 spent and charged per transaction, and 3 Avios for every £1 you spend direct on British Airways flights and holidays. Avios are not earned on Balance Transfers, Cash Withdrawals, American Express Travellers Cheques purchases, Foreign Exchange, interest, any spending in excess of your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and American Express Credit Card finance charges. Written details available on request. Introductory offers are not available if you currently hold or have held any personal British Airways American Express Card product in the past 24 months.
Your interest rates will change in line with the Bank of England base rate. See amex.com.uk for details.
**Terms and Conditions apply to Avios redemptions. Reward flights and companion voucher bookings are subject to availability. Detailed information on companion vouchers can be found here or by calling 0844 493 0750. Please note, calls cost a maximum of 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. All applicable Terms and Conditions will be provided within your Welcome Pack if you are approved.
***If you are eligible to participate in the Referral Programme, you may refer as many friends or family members as you wish but there are annual limits on the rewards you can earn through referrals. Please visit americanexpress.com/en-gb/referral to find out more. Please only refer friends and family who are happy to receive information from American Express. You can earn up to a maximum of 90,000 bonus points per calendar year. Your friend must apply via the link you share with them to ensure you both receive your bonus. All introductory offers are subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time. Your friend will receive rewards depending on the Card they choose and their spend on this Card.
Log in to your Online Account or use the American Express® App to see the latest referral bonus offer available. Please note that this offer may change or become unavailable at a later date when you return to your Account.
The British Airways American Express Cards are offered by American Express Services Europe Limited. Registered Office: Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. Registered in England and Wales with Company Number: 1833139. American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority.