How exciting to be heading off to SFO; it’s one of my favourite destinations.
I am not clear which route you are planning to fly to get there?
On BA the Book and Upgrade option is commonly referred to as Miles for Upgrade (MFU for short). With the BA Exec Club, “points” are Tier Points, which relate to your status within the scheme (Gold, Silver cardholder etc.) and BA Miles (“miles”) are the currency which can be redeemed for free trips.
Other airlines, like bmi, offer “cash + miles” options.
Sorry to be a nomenclature bore, but it helps to clarify such things so we are all “on the same page” and therefore can give you the most apposite advice.
MFU’s from Club World to First are not great value IMHO as you are charged double the miles that would be needed for an MFU from WT+ to http://www.newclubworld.com
As BA is currently running a sale for Premium Economy seats until 22 January (Friday!) is it a good time to be buying WT+ tickets which can be upgraded to Club World for 25k BA Miles round trip from Europe/UK to USA.
Prices start around £540 incl. tax return, and you earn 125% of miles flown so get about half the miles you spent back on the flight itself.
If you can help me out with your routing, I can maybe work out why this seems to be happening, and possibly find you a better deal.
Also, it helps to know what your country of residence is (UK or not) as using your BA Amex 2for1 voucher might be a more cost-effective approach to redeeming for your trip.