There is currently a special offer running on this card. You will receive 5,000 Avios for taking out this card which has no annual fee.

This card allows you to earn Avios points from all of your day-to-day spending. By way of introduction, I will take a brief look here at what Avios points are. I have written a far more comprehensive piece explaining the scheme that can be found here. However for the time being here is a brief synopsis.

BACKGROUND

Avios points are the currency for British Airways and their frequent flyer loyalty program; British Airways Executive Club. However, there are actually 4 loyalty programs that use Avios as their airline mileage currency of choice. These are:

  • British Airways Executive Club (BAEC)
  • Avios.com
  • Iberia Plus
  • Aer Lingus

This introduction has information that is largely relevant to BAEC, as details of the Avios.com, Aer Lingus and Iberia Plus schemes are beyond the scope of this article.

Although essentially a frequent flyer program, there are many ways to earn Avios points through BAEC besides for flying, key methods include:

  • Transferring American Express Membership Reward Points
  • Converting Tesco Clubcard points
  • Converting Heathrow Rewards points
  • The Gate365 shopping portal
  • Car rentals
  • Holding one of the British Airways American Express cards

Through some of the above methods, members will seek to accrue significant quantities of Avios points that can be redeemed in numerous ways. Most pertinently perhaps, Avios can be redeemed through BAEC for flights on BA or indeed any of the 15 members of the Oneworld alliance such as Cathay Pacific or American Airlines as well as other partners.

Although taxes are still payable on these redemptions, for many, collecting Avios allows them to experience travel in Business or First Class that they would never have otherwise been able to afford. As discussed last week there is also often excellent value to be had by utilising Reward Flight Saver for short-haul Avios redemptions.


For the time being, I am going to focus on earning Avios via the British Airways American Express Credit Card.

 

WHAT IS IT

CURRENT SIGN-UP BONUS 5,000 Avios points

ANNUAL FEE  FREE

There are two British Airways credit cards issued by American Express. In this article, I will look at the free card. I have reviewed the paid version, the Premium Plus card, in a further article today.

Generally speaking, American Express will allow you to hold 2 credit cards and 2 charge cards at any one time. This means that you are OK to apply for this card if you already have either the Nectar, Costco or Starwood credit cards from American Express.


SIGN-UP BONUS

The bonus on this card is currently 5,000 Avios when you spend £1000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. A one-way trip to Paris, Amsterdam or Zürich starts at just 4,000 Avios. Considering this card costs nothing to hold, that is a pretty good return.


OTHER PERKS

A 2-4-1 Companion Voucher after spending £20,000 – This voucher is valid for a year and allows you to book 2 Avios redemptions, for yourself and a companion, while only requiring enough miles for one.
In other words, you could fly with your partner to Cape Town in Premium Economy with a 2-4-1 voucher, and that would cost just 65,000 Avios return rather than the usual 130,000 Avios that would be required.

However, as I explain in my article on the Premium Plus card, if your focus is the 2-4-1 companion voucher then you are likely to be far better off with that card than this free version. This is because the voucher on the Premium Plus card is earned after spending ‘only’ £10,000. It also carries a 2-year validity, allowing you the flexibility to really try and maximise its value.

That said, if the fee on that card discourages you, you can always take out the free card now and upgrade to the Premium Plus card at a later stage. All spend that you have put on the free card during your card membership year to date will be carried over and counts towards the £10,000 required to trigger the voucher on the Premium Plus card.


DAY TO DAY EARNINGS RATE

This card earns a fixed 1 Avios per £1 spent. There are no bonus Avios awarded for spend on ba.com as there is on the Premium Plus card.


AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE BONUS

You WILL be eligible for the bonus unless you have held this card or the free BA Amex in the last 6 months.

You WILL still receive this bonus even if you hold/have held the Platinum, Gold, Green charge cards issued by Amex or the SPG or Nectar credit cards or any other MBNA, Lloyds, TSB or Barclays issued Amex cards.

There is currently NO minimum income requirements for any cards issued directly by American Express.


VERDICT

This card is an especially good card to apply for if you are just starting to collect Avios or are keen to make a start. It allows you to rack up Avios points from your daily spending at a decent rate without any annual fee. The 5,000 Avios sign up offer is 2,000 Avios higher than the regular 3,000 bonus and while not life changing is certainly a nice bonus to pocket from a free card.

The application page for the card can be found here

Representative example: Representative 22.9% APR variable. Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200. Interest rate for purchases: 22.9% p.a. variable


Disclaimer: The above information is intended solely as a helpful guide to the relevant card products on the market and their various features. You should, of course, always conduct your own research as the recommendations provided within may not be suitable for your personal financial requirements.

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