American Express and British Airways have launched fresh offers for new and existing card members today, aimed at customers keen to give their Avios points balances a hefty boost.
New members will receive a ‘welcome bonus’ of up to double the usual amount of points, while existing card holders will receive up to 12,000 Avios points when they invite a friend who signs up for a new card.
New card holders who sign up for the British Airways American Express Credit Card will receive a bonus of 10,000 Avios points, which is double the usual sign up reward of 5,000.
New deals: New and existing Amex and BA card holders can bolster their Avios balances
If a new member is invited by an existing card holder, then the new member gets 12,000 bonus Avios points awarded, which is double the normal 6,000 Avios points awarded.
The existing card holder who invites their friend to join gets 6,000 bonus Avios points, up from 4,000 awarded previously.
Most of the promotions will be running until 28 February, but some expire on 22 February.
There is also an exclusive offer for British Airways Executive Club members, who will receive 20,000 Avios when they take out the British Airways American Express Credit Card, up from the usual 10,000 Avios points awarded. This offer is only available until 22 February.
To qualify for these bonuses, new card holders must spend £1,000 in their first three months. Spend on the card also offers 1 Avios for every £1 spent on top of the welcome bonuses.
New and existing British Airways American Express Premium Plus card holders will also see bigger rewards during the offer period.
New premium plus card holders will receive 40,000 bonus Avios during the offer period, marking a 60 per cent increase on the usual 25,000 Avios Welcome Bonus.
In addition, new premium plus customers invited by an existing card holder will get 42,000 bonus Avios, up from 26,000 Avios outside of the offer period, with the existing card holder receiving 12,000 bonus Avios, up from 9,000 Avios points.
American Express added: ‘There is an exclusive offer for British Airways Executive Club members, who will earn 45,000 bonus Avios, an extra 15,000 bonus Avios than they would normally receive. This offer is available until 22, February 2022.’
Offers: New and existing British Airways American Express Premium Plus card holders will see bigger rewards during the offer period
All bonuses on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card are dependent on the new card holder spending £3,000 in their first three months.
Spend on the card offers 1.5 Avios points for every £1 spent on top of the Welcome Bonuses.
Maggie Boyle, vice president at American Express, said: ‘As we look to the year ahead, people remain hopeful about the prospect of travelling abroad with friends and family.
‘This is why we have started the year by launching some exciting offers for new and existing British Airways American Express Cardmembers. By offering substantial increases in Avios with these limited time offers, we’re helping them get away and offering our support for their travel aspirations in 2022.’
The British Airways American Express Credit Card has a representative APR of 24.5 per cent, which is variable, and for existing British Airways American Express Premium Plus card holders the rate is 101.1 per cent, which is again variable.
The British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card has an annual fee of £250.
Before taking the plunge and applying for a new credit card, it pays to shop around and think hard about what you really need from a card.
For some, cashback may be better than Avios points, for instance. It is important to play the rules of the game – that is, pay off the balance as you go along, or you’ll be stung by hefty interest fees which will eat into any Avios rewards.
Also, applying for a load of credit cards all at once can damage your credit rating, so think carefully before jumping in.
Are these offers as good as they seem?
Rob Burgess, editor of Avios website headforpoints.com, said: ‘These are exceptionally generous offers for anyone who qualifies for the bonus, although you need to read Amex’s small print to ensure that you do qualify.
‘We value an Avios point at 1p+ when spent properly, so getting 10-12,000 from a free credit card or 40-45,000 from a £250 credit card is well worth it, even if you don’t keep the cards long term.
‘The £250 card became a lot more valuable in 2021 when British Airways started making additional Business Class reward seats available for cardholders.
‘If you earn enough Avios to redeem for business class, it is now a lot easier for Premium Plus Amex holders to find reward seats when using the companion voucher which comes with the card.
‘American Express also offers a pro-rata fee refund when you cancel the card. Get the 40-45,000 Avios bonus on the Premium Plus card, cancel after three months and you’d get a refund of 75 per cent of the £250 annual fee. You will have picked up a lot of Avios for a very modest outlay.
‘There are a number of other excellent Avios offers from financial services business available at the moment.
‘High earners can pick up 43,000 Avios in their first year if they switch to a Barclays Premier current account and activate Barclays Avios Rewards.
‘Pension and Isa firm Nutmeg is currently offering up to 300,000 Avios if you open an investment account with them.
‘There is also an exclusive offer at headforpoints.com for small business owners until 4 February, offering points worth 30,000 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa Credit Card.
‘Whilst you may not be flying much at the moment, if you put in a bit of effort now you could line up enough Avios for a trip of a lifetime later in 2022.
‘It’s also worth remembering that, since you can transfer one Avios into 0.8p of Nectar points, you can still get a good return even if you don’t end up redeeming for flights.’
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.