Clever ways to collect extra Avios with the British Airways American Express®

You can bag rewards flights by using the right BA Amex Card for your everyday spending, and these 5 expert hacks to speed you along.

You know that annoying couple who book their holiday flights every year just using Avios? Here’s how to use the latest BA Amex offers to be them.

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This guide is paid content brought to you by American Express. Limited time offer: the British Airways American Express® Credit Card – collect 10,000 Bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership (representative 24.5% APR, variable). Offer ends 28 February 2022. 18+, subject to approval. Terms apply. Learn more.

The British Airways American Express Credit Card, which has no annual fee, allows you to collect Avios that you can use for flights, hotel stays, car hire and generally having a good time. BA Amex has launched several offers recently that boost the deal, so it’s a good time to consider it.

If you’re not after a flight rewards card, then use our comparison guide to see the full range of card types.

Using all these hacks could total at least 15,000 Avios, which you could put towards a return flight to Barcelona, for example. And you can get a voucher for a second ticket if you hit the minimum spend, as we explain below, with only taxes, fees and carrier charges to pay for both tickets.

1. Double your intro bonus

Allowing yourself a good run-up to your holiday booking is crucial if you want to travel on Avios, but you can get a turbo-boost with a generous welcome bonus.

Until 28 February, 2022, BA and Amex are doubling the usual bonus for new Cardmembers who get the British Airways American Express Credit Card. If you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll get 10,000 Bonus Avios instead of the usual 5,000.

But this offer ends on 28 February, 2022, meaning you have to apply by then.

There’s an exclusive offer for members of the British Airways Executive Club – they’ll get 20,000 Bonus Avios if they take out the British Airways American Express Credit Card, which is a much bigger offer than usual. This offer runs out on 22 February, 2022.

Need to know: you won’t be eligible for a welcome bonus if you’ve had a personal American Express account in your own name in the previous 24 months. There are other eligibility criteria, which you’ll see listed on the Amex site.

Travel with your Amex deal

2. Collect more, in more places

You probably know you can collect Avios by buying flights from British Airways (as well as its sisters Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling), or booking hotels and holidays. With flights, the amount you get depends on which airline, the type of ticket and how far you’re going.

But you can also collect Avios at more than 1,200 brands that have partnered with the Avios scheme, covering spending both in stores and online. Brands include John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Apple, Furniture Village and HelloFresh.

The usual earn rate on eligible spending is 1 Avios per £1 spent, but there are lots of special offers that give you more bang for your buck. For example, when we looked in January, you could collect 10 Avios for every £1 spent at the clothes chain H&M, which was double the previous offer. So a £100 wardrobe makeover would bag you 1,000 Avios.

Certain utility, TV and phone providers such as BT, EE and Disney Plus let you get Avios if you switch via the BA portal. We saw some chunky deals – John Lewis Broadband was offering up to 7,500 Avios when we checked. The offers we saw were for new customers only but it’s worth checking with your provider to see if you can also get Avios as an existing customer if you don’t want to switch. There are even deals for banking and insurance services.

If you encounter a store or a service that doesn’t accept Amex but does accept PayPal, you can still collect Avios if you pay via PayPal, which allows you to pay with Amex. And a recent ruling means that if you use the guest checkout and your card, you’ll still be able to have the extra protection you get when you use a credit card to directly buy goods or services that cost more than £100.

Need to know: you have to log in to your account with the BA Executive Club and then go to the retailer’s site before you shop with Avios partners, to take advantage of online deals. For shopping in-store, you need to register your Amex details with the BA Executive Club first.

3. Double your collecting power

Get your partner (and any eligible over-18s in the household whom you trust not to go wild with a credit card) collecting Avios. They can do this by using complimentary supplementary cards that contribute to the same Account. You’ll be the main Cardmember, but supplementary Cards allow the rest of the household to contribute to the Avios pot through their own spending.

Another hack here is, when you go out for a meal with a group of friends, offer to put the bill on your Amex and let everyone pay you their share, so you can collect Avios on the whole lot.

Need to know: with these extra cards, you as the main account holder are liable for all the bills.

4. Invite a friend…or two

When you use a unique referral link to invite a friend, and they get approved, you’ll collect at least 4,000 extra Avios, up to a maximum of 90,000 Avios per year.

5. Bring a friend

OK, this isn’t about collecting Avios, but it will help you become that happy holiday couple. If you spend more than £12,000 on your Amex in a Cardmembership year, you qualify for a “Companion Voucher” for a second ticket.

The qualifying spend to get this voucher used to be £20,000 but was cut to £12,000 last year. However, the voucher is now only valid for economy-class flights on British Airways. Still, this is a significant benefit.

Need to know: Companion Voucher bookings can be used when you make a “Reward Flight” booking for a friend on the same flight as you, and are subject to availability. You’ll need to pay taxes, fees and charges per person.

How do I pick the right Amex for collecting Avios?

The British Airways American Express Credit Card is a good choice if you want an Amex with no annual fee, but if you’re a big spender and clear your balance in full each month, it’s worth considering this card’s big sister, the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card, which comes with a fee as well as a higher earn rate and a huge intro bonus offer (representative 101.1% APR, variable).

Bottom line

Even if you think you won’t be flying this year, if you’re in the market for a rewards card, it’s a good time to consider all the offers that are out there. However, it pays to read the small print, and remember that the gain from any rewards is likely to be wiped out if you don’t pay your bill on time and end up paying interest.

A rewards credit card isn’t the right option for everyone – there are cards for transferring your balance, getting cashback, or building up your credit score.

To compare all credit cards, narrow down which type could suit you best, and check which ones you’re eligible for, use our full comparison guide.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

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