value of BA Amex card – companion voucher

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  • ASK1945

    Polly wrote: “…………… why not refer your OH for a free gold Amex and convert those to avios also?”

    My “OH” is my wife and she has the same black card as me (for free) and we do all our spending with Amex where Amex is accepted. The online transactions are marked as her expenditure as it occurs, and the statement shows her expenditure separately from mine. This is not just because of the Avios, but also the ease of challenge of charges that we don’t accept, or have a problem with (eg Avis, on a regular basis). However, it should be noted that Amex is a charge card, not a credit card, so different refund rules apply.


    @ASK1945 Both of the BA AMEX cards are credit cards, not charge cards.

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    @ASK1945 Both of the BA AMEX cards are credit cards, not charge cards.

    mkcol74 – you are absolutely correct and my choice of words was clumsy, and an attempt to describe the difference from ordinry credit cards briefly.

    To explain the difference from ordinary credit cards I have now cut and pasted the following (abbreviated) explanation from Martin’s Moneysaving site:

    American Express cards are different from normal credit cards in the way that they operate.

    Most of our normal monetary exchanges happen through our banks, however the banks don’t control each part of the process. There are a number of companies that link your banks to payments that you make on your debit or credit cards. These companies are normally payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard, who don’t give you a card themselves but instead just help to manage the transaction between the shops and the banks. American Express on the other hand distribute their own cards, fund the transactions that you make and manage the transfer of the money. This service incurs charges from American Express that come in the form of interest or one off fees. They also receive a fee from shops to process their payments”.

    So, American Express charge companies for the payments that they process. This is because they have their own payment network and don’t rely on Visa and Mastercard.

    To continue, American Express cards don’t have to be paid off every month. Most allow you to carry a balance from month to month, requiring only a monthly minimum payment. On the other hand, you do have to pay Amex charge cards (including the Platinum) in full every month.

    Finally, Amex cards are not covered under section 75 of the (UK’s) Consumer Credit Act. However, my experience is that Amex chooses to voluntarily match Section 75 protection, although it is not legally obliged to.

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    Value of BA Amex – companion voucher.

    I have generally been able to generate 1 and sometimes 2 of these vouchers per year and and often churned my wife’s card to benefit from bonus sign up offers. 10 years ago getting 4 F seats was generally not a problem to the US with a bit of flexibility, but over that period it has become harder and harder. My last 2 vouchers have been used for short haul flight to Frankfurt and Vienna which is frankly a waste.

    The issue for me is that I changed my own travel policy (am premium leisure) to seek best fare rather than chase status. This opened up more options and frankly so much better travel experiences.

    I retain my BAPP card because I hold a platinum card and the BAPP is free on grandfathered rights from 2006. I couldn’t justify paying for both and if that changed and I would retain the platinum card before anything else as the insurance cover is simply outstanding.

    Avios flight availability has improved but in 2019, levels of availability were simply awful and the costs of BA fees mean I was and remain better off booking J ex the EU with QR or CX or star alliance.

    Last year 4 of us flew to Bali on TK. The fare originated in Egypt and allowed unlimited stopovers in IST. An Easter break in Jordan meant that rather than flying dircetly home I flew via Cairo and started the summer vacation flight. I had a couple of days in IST and then flew home. In the August I then went back to IST and picked up the IST DPS flight which for 4 adults cost less £4,000. TK offer family pooling of miles and status matched me to BA gold. The upshot was a massive financial saving, great trips, a superb J product and enough miles for 2 one way JFK-LHR flights in J at $48 each in fees.

    This is a real world experience but I am fortunate and circuitous routes in comfort don’t phase me or my family. I fly when I want, to where I want and don’t need book 355 days out at 1am to secure the seats.

    So for me the value has almost entirely evaporated

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    Former BA

    We also have got best use out of our 241, get 1-2 every year, but mainly only use 1 n F to Asia annually. Plus we usually do an ex eu QR J to Asia from Scandinavia somewhere, and love those little mini winter breaks in either Oslo, Stockholm, or `Helsinki on our way out and back.
    Atm, we hold a QR J to KUL, ex eu, that needs to be a FTV possibly, or if Phuket opens up end of OCT, worth trying to get there.
    Then F to hkg on a 241 in Feb, 1 leg already cancelled by BA. Plus a J/F to SYD via SIN using another 241, all to be cancelled anyway. So, if all those trips had gone ahead, def good value both spending on a 241,x 2, good avios earning, and retaining BA Silver for 2 more years.
    But, it certainly takes some planning and plotting.

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