Why now is a great time to apply for the British Airways Premium Plus American Express Card

Oct 6, 2021

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Last month, American Express introduced huge changes to its two British Airways cobranded credit cards. Most of the changes relate to the basic British Airways American Express Card, which will saw its valuable Companion Voucher hugely devalued. It is now only redeemable in economy class for Vouchers earned from 1 September 2021 onwards.

Related: Higher annual fee and devalued Companion Voucher: American Express details massive changes to BA cobranded cards

For the popular British Airways Premium Plus American Express Card the changes were overall positive. To summarise:

  • The annual fee has increased from £195 to £250;
  • Companion Vouchers earned from 1 September 2021 onwards will have access to additional Club World availability (namely, “I class” fares) that will not be available to regular Executive Club members looking to redeem their Avios otherwise; and
  • The Vouchers can be now be redeemed for journeys that do not commence in the U.K. as well as journeys that do commence in the U.K.

There are no changes to the Premium Plus Card’s earning rate, spend required to earn the Companion Voucher, the classes of service the Voucher can be redeemed for or Voucher validity.

What has changed is the card’s welcome bonus. It is now offering a massive welcome bonus of 40,000 Avios after spending £3,000 in the first three months of card membership for applicants who are approved by 2 November 2021. This is the highest welcome bonus we have ever seen for this card.

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

It’s a great time to apply for this card now for two main reasons:

  • While the annual fee has increased by £55, the welcome bonus has increased by 15,000 Avios (to 40,000 Avios) which more than offsets the fee increase. We value 15,000 Avios at £165, and its is enough for a return economy class redemption to the likes of Spain, Italy, Portugal or Germany, plus a £35 in fees, taxes and surcharges for a return ticket.
  • We have tested out the promise of “better Club World availability” with a new Companion Voucher compared with an old Voucher and are genuinely impressed at how much better the availability now is for new Vouchers to popular destinations like Dubai (DXB), Cape Town (CPT) and Los Angeles (LAX).

Bottom line

It’s an exciting time in the world of U.K. credit cards as several of our favourite points and miles cards now have their best ever welcome bonuses right now. The British Airways Premium Plus American Express card has long been a favourite for British Airways travellers thanks to its valuable Companion Voucher. While the annual fee for this card has increased slightly, the welcome bonuses is much higher for applications before 2 November 2021, and new Companion Vouchers earned from this card are now also much better.

If you have the basic card, then the Companion Voucher is less valuable than before, so now is a great time to consider upgrading to the British Airways Premium Plus American Express Card.

Featured image by Liam Spencer / The Points Guy

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