British Airways American Express Credit Card | Full Review

British Airways and American Express currently have two credit cards available. The ‘blue‘ and the ‘black‘ or more specifically, the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card and the British Airways American Express Credit Card which I will be talking to you about today.


Brief Review:

Card: British Airways American Express Credit Card

Cost: £0

Sign-up Bonus: 5,000 Avios (+1,000 bonus Avios if you apply using our link)

Favourite Perk: It’s free


The American Express British Airways Credit Card is one of AMEX’s lower end cards and sister of the Premium Plus card. The card’s main selling point is that it is completely free so even if you’re undecided if it is worth signing up, you should just do it.

Seeing as the card is free, the perks are limited in comparison to its older sister which offers a 25,000 Avios sign-on bonus and a 2-4-1 voucher. It is important to note that this card also gives users the ability to earn a 2-4-1 ‘companion voucher’ but only after £20,000 of spend… If somebody spends that much in a year, why the heck do they have this card and not the Premium Plus?

With that said, this card is definitely not a bad one. The 6,000 Avios sign on bonus comes after only spending £1,000 in the first three months of membership and you earn 1 Avios point for every £1 spent. That means after spending £1,000 you will have accumulated 7,000 Avios points which is 1,500 points short of a return to Europe and more than enough for a one-way flight.

Where will you be going with these points? China?

From this article, I think you’ll see that while this card is no way near as good as its sister card it seems that because it is free, it is definitely worth applying for to start earning those Avios points.

To sign up and gain the bonus 1,000 Avios click here.

The only thing to hold back on and consider is timing. I will go into this more in an upcoming article where I compare these cards but in my opinion, this card should be applied for after the Premium Plus card.

The £195 fee is actually refunded on a pro-rata basis which means that if you only use the card for three months, get your sign-on bonus of 26,000 points then call them up and downgrade to the basic ‘blue’ card, you will be refunded £146. You won’t be entitled to a sign up bonus for the blue card but you will have 26,000 Avios in your account which will get you a lot further than 7,000 off this card.


Other Cards to Consider:

The American Express Gold Card (NOW FREE FOR ONE YEAR)

British Airways Premium Plus American Express Credit Card | Full Review

For all of you looking at building up your Avios which can be spent with British Airways then the American Express British Airways Premium Plus card which I want to talk to you about today should definitely be considered.


Brief Review:

Card: American Express British Airways Premium Plus

Cost: £195 per year (worth it, I would argue)

Sign-up Bonus: 25,000 Avios (bonus 1,000 if you use our link)

Favourite Perk: A 2-4-1 voucher on British Airways flights


The British Airways Premium Plus card is an American Express credit card aimed at higher-end spenders who fly British Airways. The card has a hefty annual fee of £195 which its sister card (the British Airways American Express Credit Card) does not have. In this article I will review the card and say exactly why I believe this card is worth that money.

Applying for this card is just like any other American Express card – very simple. It isn’t in the same category of cards as the ‘Membership Rewards’ cards which means you can have this card and receive the large sign-on bonus as well as holding my favourite AMEX card, the American Express Gold Credit Card, and receiving the sign-on bonus for that, too. The sign on bonus for this card is set at 25,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in the first three months (see what I mean about high-end spenders). For those that fly a lot of British Airways, this target will probably be met.

That brings me on to another aspect I love which is that if you spend that money on BA.com, you’ll receive 3 Avios for every £1 spent instead of the usual 1.5 Avios (still very good). This means that you could rack up 35,000 Avios (9,000 + 26,000) just by booking one family trip! Be sure to check out the ‘LondonSpotter Tip’ below to see how you can get this and save £146 too!

The main thing that makes this card worth the £195, however, is the ability to earn a 2-4-1 ‘companion voucher’ to use on British Airways flights. The companion voucher is added to your BA account when you spend £10,000 in your first year of card membership. The voucher essentially lets you purchase one reward flight and receive a ticket in the same cabin for someone else. If you want to learn more about BA reward flights, click here for my recent guide.

As with all AMEX cards, a nice and easy way to generate points is by referring friends and family. That’s right, I taught my family all about using miles and points and they now have more credit cards than they ever have done before! In fact, my parents are going on a huge trip this September all thanks to these amazing miles credit cards.

So, what do I think? Personally I think the £195 is justified. If you generate enough Avios you could jet off in First Class and take someone with you for free. Alone, that is worth at least a couple of thousand pounds. If you can’t see yourself being that big of a spender then have a look at the free BA AMEX card (full review coming soon) and go for that one instead. Just remember that if you choose the free card then want to upgrade to the premium card, you will not be eligible for the sign-on bonus. 

Ready to sign up for this card? I suggest checking out ALL of the benefits here on American Express’s website before making your final decision. Be aware that if you sign up through links on LondonSpotter, you will earn a bonus 1,000 Avios welcome bonus.

To sign up and take full advantage of my bonus 1,000 Avios offer, click here

LondonSpotter’s Tip:

Something to consider is that the £195 is actually refunded on a pro-rata basis if you cancel before the year is up. This means that you can sign up for three months, get your huge sign on bonus, call up AMEX and downgrade to the blue card. They’ll refund you £146 and you’ll have 27,000 Avios to play with. This is definitely what you should do if you think you won’t spend enough to get the companion voucher.


Other Cards to Consider:

The American Express Gold Card (NOW FREE FOR ONE YEAR)

The British Airways American Express Credit Card (FREE)

British Airways Reward Flights: A Beginner’s Guide

Today’s blog post in the LondonSpotter Miles and Points series has been requested a huge amount of times by my UK readers who still find lots of complicated posts online about cashing in miles for reward flights on British Airways but no simple guide which lays out the basics – look no further as here is your A-Z guide with everything you need to know.

Still not 100% sure what miles and points really are and how to generate them? No problem, I have you covered. Go to Miles and Points and click on the lessons for dummies then come back here for your exclusive lesson in British Airways award flights.

The British Airways executive club is a great place to cash in all those hard earned points you’ve generated through flying or on your British Airways credit cards in return for cheap travel.

To start your search for award bookings and flights, go to BA.com and log into your executive club account. Once you’re logged in, go to ‘Spending Avios’ and select ‘Reward Flights’ to pull up the search page.

The search page will give you two options. You can either book a revenue flight (a full fare ticket) and upgrade using your miles (this option is more expensive as you still have to shell out for the flight but makes sense if you still want to generate airmiles on the flight as you will earn miles based on the cabin you purchased) or you can simply search for award flights under ‘Book with Avios’. Let’s go ahead and look at booking a flight with avios.

How many Avios do I need?

The amount of Avios you will need to pay for a British Airways Reward ticket is based on two things: The region you’re flying to (based on miles) and the cabin you’re flying in. Here is the British Airways chart which should be your go-to table when booking award flights.

Examples: So if you’re flying from London to Amsterdam you are obviously still in zone 1 so you’ll pay 4,500 avios (4,000 in off-peak times) and 9,000 in business class (7,750 in off-peak times). Next week, I will be flying to Athens in Greece in business class which falls into zone 3. I, therefore, paid 20,000 miles as it is peak season. Simple.

Booking process:

While booking revenue tickets with airlines, I’m sure you will have noticed that buying a return ticket drastically brings prices down. This is not the case with reward flights. Reward flights are one way tickets and buying a return is simply double the price of a one-way. This is great as it gives you much more flexibility when booking trips.

As an example booking, I’m going to search for London – Moscow on a one-way ticket on March 8th in economy class.

Straight away you can see that it says ‘off-peak’ so we know that we will be paying the reduced number of avios on the above chart. Seeing as Moscow falls into zone 3, that number is 8,500 avios. In the below picture, you will see that their is also an amount to be paid in cash – these fees are taxes, airline charges and government charges which are thrown into every ticket and HAVE to be paid. While flying within Europe, these fees are not huge. As you can see, we only have to pay £17.50 for this flight to Moscow but as soon as we start to book other tickets to further destinations, prices begin to ROCKET.

For example, if you book a business class flight to New York, you’ll be set back £372 in fees. I’ll come on to how to avoid these charges later on in the article.

Once you have selected your flight, you will then be given the option to reduce the amount of Avios you use in favour of using more money. Once you select the ratio you want to use, continue like you would with any other ticket, confirm your details, pay the necessary charges (I suggest paying using the British Airways Premium Plus Card as it gives you 3x bonus for transactions on BA.com) and submit.

So there is your brief overview on HOW to book British Airways flights on BA.com but what makes the system with executive club worthwhile is the fact that you can book flights with other airlines too and what is even better is that the charges on those flights are rarely as high.

Booking tickets on other airlines through BA:

If you’re a keen reader, you’ll know that I booked to fly on Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 for £27 and 9,000 Avios. Unfortunately the aircraft was swapped to a Cathay Dragon A330-300 but nonetheless, I was very happy with the deal.

I have booked several tickets on American Airlines using BA.com, too. Zone 1 fares have no been scrapped within the USA but you can still get some amazing deals. My favourite redemption has to be West Coast to Hawaii for 12,500 Avios and a killing $5.60.

Zone 1 fares may not be available within American anymore, but they are within Japan with Japan Airlines.

Avios can be used to book flights on any of BA’s oneworld partners as well as their non-alliance partners such as Alaska and Aer Lingus.

Avoiding hefty fees on British Airways flights:

As I mentioned above, booking flights with British Airways may not seem worth it because of the hefty charges they lay on. There are a couple of ways to reduce these costs such as: avoid flying British Airways and use your executive club to book flights on other carriers or don’t fly out of London. By routing your flight out of Dublin you can reduce the fees of that £372 New York flight to £163. Now obviously you have to start your trip from Dublin but it is easy enough to position there on a Ryanair flight eh?

I will make a much more in depth article on avoiding hefty BA fees soon but for now, play around with avoiding London and see just how big of a discount you can get yourself!


Which credit card will you be getting?

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AMEX Preferred Gold Credit Card | Full Review

Over the last few months I have found that once you start using American Express credit cards it becomes pretty hard to stop. Last month I explained how you could book Cathay Pacific’s A350 Business Class for £30.10 with an American Express card that cost £195 – today I am going to explain how you can do it with a card which is free.

While explaining the benefits of my new American Express Preferred Gold Credit Card to a friend a few days ago it actually dawned on me that there is quite simply no good reason to say no to this card.

I bet you’ve never pulled a gold credit card out before!

I’m going to make this article very brief and start explaining why you cannot say no to having this card in your wallet.

1.  As I mentioned above – THIS CARD IS FREE – now although this is only true for the first year of membership, American Express allows you to cancel your card at any time which means if you are clever, you won’t pay a single penny. Every year after this will cost you £140.

2. The second reason you have to get this card is flexibility, the miles you earn on this card are available to transfer to a whopping 17 airline partners and three hotel partners. This means that you can keep your points in your AMEX account and when you have decided who you want to fly with, you can transfer your miles to the necessary partner airline.

3. The third reason is the solid sign-up bonus. You will receive 20,000 miles FOR FREE if you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months of having the card.

4. Having this card will allow you FREE LOUNGE ACCESS at any Lounge Club partner lounges around the world 2 times a year and after you have used these two passes you’ll be able to enter these lounges for only £15.

5. If you’re staying in one of AMEX’s 500 hotel partner chains then you will receive $75 room credit to spend on food, drink and more as well as FREE UPGRADES where available at check in.

6. Finally having this card will enable you to earn 1 American Express Membership point for every £1 you spend as well as 2 points for every £1 spent with airlines or in foreign currencies. Furthermore, you can earn yourself 3 points for every £1 spent on AMEX’s official travel agency site.

7. If you’re a big spender who will spend £15,000 in a year then it is worth holding on to your card as you’ll receive an extra 10,000 points as a bonus.

On top of all of these benefits you are also subject to lots of travel protection, be eligible for American Express Invites events and more.

Photo: AMEX

So, after I’ve listed all of those perks of having the American Express Gold Card – what reason could you possibly have to say no? Feel free to drop me a message and explain your reasoning to me as I am yet to hear a good answer! 

If you’re still hesitant then let me give you one more perk: If you sign up using the link below then you will receive a bonus 2,000 membership points on sign up meaning your bonus is 22,000 instead of the ordinary 20,000!

To sign up for the American Express Gold Preferred Credit Card then click here!

Happy Spending and Happy Flying!

featured image found on Luxury Travel Diary – source unknown.

I Am Flying Cathay Pacific’s A350 Business Class for £30.10 – Here is How I Did It.

I’m always looking for the best flight deals around and while I usually book revenue fares, I also try and look for some good deals that can be redeemed with air miles.

While looking at airlines that I wanted to review this summer, it struck me that while I have flown many times on a Boeing 787, I have hardly ever flown on an Airbus A350 so I decided to have a hunt for Cathay Pacific A350 flights to review.

Photo by Zach Honig from thepointsguy.com

Now many of you will know that my newest credit card is the American Express British Airways Premium Plus card which I want to talk to you about today and show you how you can use it to get some incredible deals like the one I just booked.

What is great about this card is the sign-up bonus it will give you. Now although the sign-up bonus is lower than lots of cards you will see advertised for the US market, its the best you’re going to get for British Airways cards in the UK.

Anyway, now onto the perks:

1.  If you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months, you will be awarded a generous 25,000 Avios points.

2. Every time you make a purchase you will receive 1.5 Avios points for every £1 you spend.

3. Every time you buy a flight on BA.com, you will get 3 Avios points per £1 you spend.

4. If you spend £10,000 in your first year, you will receive a companion voucher which enables you to buy one flight and receive a second ticket on the same flight in the same cabin for free!

5. If you refer a friend you will receive an extra 9,000 Avios points and they will receive a welcome 1,000.

So, with that said, here is how I made use of my new card. As I said above, I knew that I wanted a new business class product on an A350 to review for you guys so while browsing on Kayak I found that Cathay Pacific operates the Hong Kong – Taipei leg on one of their new Airbus A350-900 series so I looked to buy a revenue ticket but prices were pretty expensive.

Now, Cathay Pacific are part of the OneWorld alliance which means I can use Avios (which I got as part of my American Express deal) to book flights with them through partner airline British Airways and to my surprise it was incredibly cheap.

And just like that I am paying £30.10 to sit in the business class of one of the best airlines in the world and only making a dent of 9,000 Avios into my 25,000 start-up bonus. On this occasion I actually went a bit further and purchased a Cathay Dragon A321 business class flight and then a return flight on the Cathay Pacific A350-900 in Premium Economy which meant that I paid a total of 24,000 Avios and £57 – a huge saving from the £1,000+ I would have paid as a normal revenue passenger.

So, if you haven’t already then sign up for the American Express Card here (plus if you use my link you’ll get a bonus 1,000 after signing up), spend £3,000 in the first three months (far easier than you’d originally think if you get a supplementary card for family members) and spend those Avios on awesome flights like me!

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featured image by Zach Honig from thepointsguy.com