The bottom line
This card is all about the Avios. If you are a new cardmember, then you can earn 5,000 Avios if you spend £1,000 in the first three months. Everyday spending will see you earn 1 Avios for every £1 spent, and there is also a friend referral scheme which offers 4,000 bonus Avios for each friend who is approved (up to 90,000 a year). All of these can then be redeemed as full or part payment against flights, or for flight upgrades. You can also get a Companion Voucher when you spend £20,000 on the card each year. And did I mention there is no annual fee?
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like
The British Airways American Express Credit Card offers a comprehensive Avios reward scheme as well as all those extra features that American Express is known for.
- Welcome offer – Sometimes it pays to be a new cardmember, and that is definitely the case with the British Airways American Express Credit Card. You can earn 5,000 bonus Avios if you spend £1,000 in the first three months of membership. A great bump-start to your Avios balance.
- Reward points – With any reward card, the key benefit is the ongoing ability to earn more points. With this card you can earn yourself 1 Avios for every full £1 spent, which means that everyday spending will help towards earning you points.
- Referral scheme – If you are looking to increase your Avios balance further, then this card does include a friend referral scheme. If your friend is approved, you will receive 4,000 points. You can earn up to 90,000 Avios a year in this way. And with a return flight from London to Berlin set at 9,000 Avios, just a few referrals could see you one step closer to taking to the air.
- No fee – Often you will see cards offering some sort of reward programme, but the catch is that you are required to pay an annual membership fee. This is not the case with the British Airways American Express Card, as there is no annual fee attached.
- Travel benefits – This card includes travel accident insurance up to £75,000 on public transport when you enrol in the programme and buy your ticket using your card. You will also benefit from American Express’s Global Assist 24/7 support feature. Another bonus of this card is that if you spend £20,000 each year on it, you can earn yourself a companion voucher.
- Protection – Being part of the American Express family definitely has its perks. Refund and purchase protection is one of them. With the card, items up to the value of £200 will be replaced or refunded if the retailer refuses to do so. Additionally, if something you have bought with your card is stolen or damaged within 90 days, American Express will replace, repair or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item, giving you peace of mind when spending your money and using your card. Note that you need to enrol in these programmes to get these benefits.
- Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome bonus if you have held a personal American Express card in the past 24 months (or still hold one).
What could be improved?
Although this card very much ticks the box for Avios points, there are some areas where it could do better.
- Welcome offer eligibility – This is the same across most American Express cards, but you will not be eligible for the welcome award if you hold a personal American Express card or have held one in the past 24 months. It is typical to have some sort of restriction for existing customers and welcome rewards, but two years is at the higher end.
- Overseas usage – Something to always look at with a card if you plan to use it abroad is whether it has a foreign transaction fee. This card carries a 2.99% fee for any purchases made overseas.
How does it stack up?
You won’t find many other cards out there that offer the same Avios reward potential without an annual fee attached. While its sister card, the British Airways American Express Premium Plus, has a more impressive welcome bonus and slightly higher points yield, you would be looking at a significant annual fee. The same can be said for the other cards on the market offering the chance to earn Avios.
The British Airways American Express Credit Card offers a welcome bonus, ongoing Avios reward points, friend referrals and companion vouchers, all without a fee attached. It may not have the potential to earn you the highest possible number of Avios, but with any reward card what you get out of it is what you put in. And this card does offer you the ability to build your Avios balance without any upfront cost.
American Express requires applicants to have no history of bad debt, be aged 18 or over and be UK residents.
To have a good chance of being accepted for this card, you’ll need a good credit score. If you know your credit score is top notch, then you can feel comfortable applying directly. If you’re not so sure, it may be worth using the eligibility checker that American Express provides on its website.
How do you apply?
You can apply through the American Express website. The application will reportedly take less than 10 minutes, and you will receive a response in 60 seconds.
You will need to provide personal information, including your income and employment details. Your UK bank or building society account number and sort code may sometimes be necessary, so it’s a good idea to have this information to hand.
Is the British Airways American Express Rewards Card right for you?
If you are after a card with which you can earn yourself Avios, then the British Airways American Express Credit Card offers you the chance to do so without an annual fee attached. It has the added bonus of a welcome Avios award, provided you are a new cardmember and meet the spending requirements, and the ongoing ability to earn yourself Avios on everyday spending.
What this card doesn’t offer is anything in the way of interest-free deals on purchases or balance transfers, but the likelihood is that if you are interested in this card, interest-free offers are not what you are after. What it will give you is a decent enough points yield on Avios, a welcome bonus, a friend referral scheme and all the added extras that come with being part of the American Express family. All with no annual fee.
The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.