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British Airways American Express Increases Annual Fee, Companion Voucher Spend

In a shock to British Airways flyers living in the United Kingdom, the premium version of the airline’s American Express card will bump up both the annual fee and the companion voucher spend.
Flyers in the United Kingdom can now expect to pay more for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card.


As found on the FlyerTalk forums, the card is now increasing the annual fee for new applicants to £300 ($376.27 USD), as well as the spend requirement to earn the companion pass.


Companion Pass Spend Jumps Over $18,000 for New Customers

Of the two British Airways American Express cards available to consumers, the Premium Plus card offers more benefits to regular international flyers. Card members earn 1.5 Avios per £1 GBP spent on the card across all categories, and 3 Avios per £1 GBP spent with British Airways. When using the companion pass from the card, Premium Plus card members will also get additional access to Club World seats.


The price of collecting that voucher will now increase from £12,000 GBP ($15,051) to £15,000 GBP ($18,813) in spending during the card member’s year. Once earned, the vouchers can be used to either bring along a companion on a reward ticket in the same cabin class or save 50% off the Avios price of an award ticket across British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia. The vouchers are good for two years once earned.


The year begins and ends on the traveler’s card anniversary date. For example, if they opened a card on May 1, their card member year would end on April 30 the next year.


For the additional annual fee and the companion pass spending, the card also comes with increased travel insurance for those who purchase airfare with the card.


While the U.K. version of the card is seeing major changes, the card available to U.S.-based flyers through Chase is staying the same. The card will keep the $95 annual fee, while earning 3X Avios on spending with IAG carriers (British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL), and 2X Avios on hotel accommodations purchase directly with the hotel.


Share your thoughts about the changes on the FlyerTalk forums.