TPG reader question: Can I combine a Barclays Avios Rewards Upgrade Voucher with a Companion Voucher?

Jul 4, 2021

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Editor’s note: This article is part of a new weekly column to answer your credit card, points and miles and general travel questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguyuk, message us on Facebook or email us at tips@thepointsguy.co.uk.


There have been some truly exciting announcements and innovations for British Airways Avios collectors already this year.

First of all, there’s a brand new way to earn lots of Avios and a unique upgrade Voucher each year just for having a current account. Called Barclays Avios Rewards, enroll and you’ll receive the following perks:

  • 25,000 bonus Avios if you are new to Barclays, open a Barclays Premier current account and perform a current account switch from your existing bank to Barclays Premier within 90 days — worth £275 based on our most recent valuations;
  • 2,500 bonus Avios if you have already held a Barclays Premier current account, or a Barclays Personal Wealth current account for at least four months — worth £28 based on our most recent valuations;
  • 1,500 Avios each and every month you are enrolled in the Barclays Avios Rewards programme (18,000 Avios per year, worth £198 based on our valuations); and
  • A British Airways cabin upgrade Voucher at the end of every 12 months you are enrolled in Barclays Avios Rewards.

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There’s also good (and some bad) news for our favourite U.K. credit card perk: the British Airways Companion Voucher. From 1 September 2021, there are some negative changes to the Companion Voucher earned from the British Airways American Express Credit Card, however the Companion Voucher from the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card gets even better.

For Premium Plus Card holders, there will be extra Club World (long-haul business class) availability for Companion Voucher redemptions and relaxed routing rules that should make your Companion Voucher earned from this card even easier to use.

Related: Can you still get value from the no-fee British Airways American Express Card after the upcoming changes?

This means savvy travellers could have two very valuable Vouchers to use next year, one from Barclays and one from American Express, which brings us to this week’s excellent reader question.

Just wondering if you know if the Barclays Upgrade Voucher could be used with a Companion Voucher?
I am looking to fly to Cape Town, South Africa next year.

Matthew, TPG Reader

Unfortunately, I’ve checked with British Airways and the short answer is no, these two Vouchers cannot be combined on the same redemption booking.

Like Matthew, I was also hoping they could be combined because you could get some amazing redemptions. Let’s say you’re looking for two Club World seats to Cape Town. Off-peak, this would cost you 125,000 Avios per person, plus fees, taxes and surcharges, so 250,000 Avios for two people. That’s a lot of Avios.

Related: What are the differences between the Barclays Avios Rewards Upgrade Voucher and the American Express Companion Voucher?

If you applied a Companion Voucher from the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card, then the Avios required would drop down to 125,000 total, as the second person would only pay the fees, taxes and surcharges, but not the Avios.

If you could then apply a Barclays Avios Rewards Upgrade Voucher to the same booking, you would only need to pay 65,000 Avios in total as your Upgrade Voucher means you only have to pay the Avios required for World Traveller Plus premium economy while travelling in Club World or Club Suite business class.

Related: TPG reader question: How do I know if my upcoming British Airways business-class flight will have Club Suite?

This would mean a saving of 185,000 Avios (worth £2,003.50 by our current valuation of Avios). Now that would truly be maximising your travel!

I remain hopeful we could see this rule change in the future, but the current position from BA is that they need to be redeemed for separate bookings.

If you have more than one Amex Companion Voucher in your Executive Club account, it is no problem to combine these on the same booking and book a family of four on the same flight with two Companion Vouchers.

Related: How to use a British Airways Companion Voucher with a Household Account

Featured image by Christopher Loh/Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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