British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 12th November, 2019.

If you are looking for card that will help pay for your next flight abroad, then the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card could be one to consider. With the ever-popular Avios reward scheme incorporated into the card plus added extras for being part of the American Express family, there is a lot here to interest the frequent traveller. However, nothing comes for free, and in the case of this card you are looking at a £195 annual fee.

Great for: Travellers looking for high rewards rates
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This card incorporates the popular Avios reward scheme, which enables cardmembers to earn points that they can use towards flights, flight upgrades or hotel rooms. With a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when you spend £3,000 in the first three months (subject to eligibility), you are looking at an attractive offer. You just need to get comfortable with the £195 annual fee attached to the card.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1.5 Avios per £1 spent
  • 3 Avios per £1 spent with British Airways or BA Holidays
  • 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in first three months (subject to eligibility)
  • 2-for-1 travel Companion Voucher after spening £10,000 (available each membership year)
  • Travel accident and travel inconvenience insurance (subject to enrolment)
  • Refund and purchase protection (subject to enrolment)

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 76.0% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • 1.5 Avios per £1 spent
  • 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in first three months (subject to eligibility)
  • 2-for-1 travel Companion Voucher after spening £10,000
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £195
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    76.0%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    25,000 bonus Avios points with spend of £3,000 in your first three months (subject to eligibility).

KEY SCORES:

  • 5/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • 1/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1.5 Avios per £1 spent
  • 3 Avios per £1 spent with British Airways or BA Holidays
  • 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in first three months (subject to eligibility)
  • 2-for-1 travel Companion Voucher after spening £10,000 (available each membership year)
  • Travel accident and travel inconvenience insurance (subject to enrolment)
  • Refund and purchase protection (subject to enrolment)

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 76.0% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

Bottom line

This card incorporates the popular Avios reward scheme, which enables cardmembers to earn points that they can use towards flights, flight upgrades or hotel rooms. With a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when you spend £3,000 in the first three months (subject to eligibility), you are looking at an attractive offer. You just need to get comfortable with the £195 annual fee attached to the card.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card is all about rewarding you for spending.

  • Rewards programme – The key element of this card is its Avios rewards programme. Under the scheme, cardholders earn 1.5 Avios for every £1 spent and 3 Avios for every £1 spent with British Airways or BA Holidays. Since 20,000 Avios equate to one return flight from London to Athens, you need to be a fairly big spender to feel the rewards of this scheme. There is also the opportunity to earn a companion voucher when you spend £10,000 each membership year. With a companion voucher, you’ll have to pay for taxes and fees, but otherwise this is a completely free flight in the same cabin as you for someone travelling with you (it doesn’t have to be a family member).
  • Welcome bonus – Looking to entice new cardmembers, the card carries a welcome bonus of 25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 in the first three months of having the card. This is a generous offer but be careful not to spend above your means in order to achieve it.
  • Referral points – If you are looking to accrue as many Avios as you can, then you could take advantage of the card’s referral scheme. Cardholders earn 9,000 bonus Avios points if they refer a friend who is then approved; they can earn up to 90,000 bonus points a year.
  • Travel perks – With the card being under the American Express umbrella, cardholders receive some travel perks in the form of travel inconvenience insurance and travel accident insurance (subject to enrolment). The provider also has a Global Assist service which provides 24/7 support when you are traveling outside the UK.
  • Other benefits – Also, as the card is part of the American Express family, you can expect certain advantages, such as one complementary supplementary card, purchase and refund protection (both subject to enrolment), and advance tickets to events.
  • Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome bonus if you hold or have held a personal British Airways American Express Card in the past 24 months.

Why trust me


Kate Anderson
I worked on the front line of personal-finance best buys for over eight years at one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen. I reported daily on the developments of the 2008 financial crisis and beyond, keeping up with the changing financial landscape and providing insights to all the major banks in the UK. I know the key players in the market and the tactics behind how they behave. All of which I will apply to highlight the best deals and give honest reviews to help you in your search.

What could be improved?

This card has an expensive price tag attached to it in the form of its annual fee.

  • Annual fee – There is no avoiding it, the card does have a high annual fee at £195. If you are planning to spend lots using this card and therefore make the most of the Avios scheme and potential companion voucher, then the fee can be seen as just a cost to be able to achieve this. However, it is best to work out whether you can afford the fee on an annual basis before you apply for the card.
  • Overseas usage – Although the card may encourage you to earn enough points to leave these shores, you may want to avoid using your card when you are abroad. It carries a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.99%.
  • Introductory periods – The card offers no interest-free periods for purchases or balance transfers (beyond the standard 56 days on purchases if you pay your statement balance in full).

How does it stack up?

This card is definitely in the premium category, with a £195 annual fee putting it out of reach for a large proportion of borrowers. However, for that fee you do get access to the popular and rewarding Avios scheme, and with the welcome bonus, companion voucher and friend referral scheme you could potentially unlock access to flights, flight upgrades or hotel stays. If you are put off by the comparatively high annual fee, then you could consider the British Airways American Express card, which has no fee and also offers Avios points, although at a lower annual rate and with higher spending requirements for the companion voucher.

Credit score

In order to be eligible to apply for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, you need to have no history of bad debt and a good/excellent credit score. Each applicant is also required to be aged 18 or over, a UK resident and to have a UK bank or building society account.

How do you apply?

Applications can be made through the American Express website. You will need to provide personal information, including your income and employment details. Sometimes your bank or building society account number and sort code will be necessary, so it’s a good idea to have this on hand. The application will take around 5–10 minutes.

Is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card right for you?

If you are after a card that has a high earn rate for Avios points and opportunities to earn bonus points, then the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card could be a good option. However, there is no disputing the fact that this is a premium credit card. With an annual fee of £195, it is likely you are only going to consider this card if you are already a big spender. As with any credit card that carries an annual fee, it is best to work out whether you can afford the fee and whether the benefits outweigh the cost of taking out the card. If your answer is yes, then this card gives ample opportunity to accrue Avios points and get you onto your next flight out of the country.

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