Take Off for British Airways American Express Card Update

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Welcome bonuses, travel vouchers, and a fresh new look all form the basis of a recent update to British Airways American Express cards; the card provider has announced.

American Express has revealed new improvements to its British Airways American Express cards, with changes making it quicker to earn and redeem Companion Vouchers, alongside generous welcome bonuses and a new look.

Companion Vouchers enable card members to receive a second seat for a friend or family member for no extra Avios points – which are essentially air miles –  on the same flight and in the same cabin when booking the initial reward seat.

Card members of either card will no longer be required to use their Companion Voucher for a journey starting in the United Kingdom, giving them more freedom when booking their voucher for international travel.

To mark the improvements to the British Airways American Express Credit Card and the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, both cards are sporting a fresh new look; the first update to their appearance in over 20 years.

As part of the sleek new design, both cards now feature the 15-digit card number on the back of the card.

Stacey Sterbenz, Vice President Consumer, American ExpressStacey Sterbenz, Vice President Consumer, American Express
Stacey Sterbenz, Vice President Consumer, American Express

“After a challenging 18 months, people are excited about the prospect of going abroad with their friends and family again, which is why we’ve made changes to British Airways American Express Cards to better support our card members’ travel aspirations,” comments Stacey Sterbenz, Vice President Consumer at American Express. “From making Companion Vouchers easier to earn and use, to offering substantial Avios promotions and limited time offers to grow their balances faster, we’re rewarding new and existing card members in ways that will help them get away sooner.”

Changes to the British Airways American Express Credit Card

As part of the new update, the amount of spending on the card required to earn a Companion Voucher is being reduced from £20,000 to £12,000 per year. This will make it quicker and easier for new and existing British Airways American Express card members to earn Companion Vouchers.

For Vouchers earned from 1 September 2021, card members will be able to use their Companion Voucher to book an Avios reward flight in Euro Traveller and World Traveller (short-haul and long-haul economy) cabins. Card members will continue to earn 1 Avios for every £1 spent, and the card is expected to remain fee-free.

Beyond the changes to the Companion Voucher scheme, new card members can earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Avios when they spend £1,000 in the first three months. This is the most generous welcome bonus ever offered on the card. Card members can also earn 6,000 Avios when referring a friend through the Member Get Member referral programme, with their referral receiving 12,000 Avios on approval and spending £1,000 in the first three months.

Executive Club Members who are not card members can expect to be contacted with a bespoke welcome bonus offer.

Changes to the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card

From 1 September 2021, the process of booking a Companion Voucher will benefit from improved redemption and seat availability, an exclusive benefit for British Airways American Express Premium Plus card members. This card will offer the only UK Companion Voucher that will be redeemable in British Airways’ premium cabins – offering card members the opportunity to travel in luxury for fewer Avios.

For a limited time, new card members can earn a Welcome Bonus of 40,000 Avios when they spend £3,000 in the first three months – again it is the most generous Welcome Bonus ever offered on the card. Card members can also earn 12,000 Avios when referring a friend through the Member Get Member referral programme, with their referral receiving 42,000 Avios on approval and spending £3,000 in the first three months. As with the British Airways American Express Credit Card, Executive Club Members who are not card members will also be contacted with a bespoke Welcome Bonus offer.

Card members will continue to collect 1.5 Avios per £1 spend and 3 Avios for £1 on purchases made on British Airways flights and holidays.

The annual fee to British Airways Premium Plus will increase from £195 to £250. The increase will take effect from the card member’s next anniversary date after 1 September.

Tom Stevens, Director of Brand and Customer Experience, British AirwaysTom Stevens, Director of Brand and Customer Experience, British Airways
Tom Stevens, Director of Brand and Customer Experience, British Airways

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience said, “These changes to the British Airways American Express Credit Cards are great rewards for credit card users. This is the type of benefit our customers deserve after the loyalty they’ve shown British Airways and American Express. We look forward to welcoming people on our flights over the coming months.”

Additional Changes

The British Airways American Express Credit Card representative APR for existing card members is 22.2%, and for existing British Airways American Express Premium Plus card members it is 74.7%. For new card members joining from 1 September onwards, the representative APR will be 24.5% and 101.1% across each Card, respectively.

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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