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Simple Flying
British Airways raises spending requirements for Companion Voucher

Oneworld carrier British Airways has announced it will increase the minimum spending requirement to earn the Companion Voucher for the first time since the program launched twenty years ago. The changes follow improvements made to the program in 2022 and coincide with an increase in the annual fee for the BA Amex Premium Plus Card.


What is changing?

One of the headline perks of the cobranded American Express cards is the ability to earn a Companion Voucher after reaching an annual spending target. The vouchers allow British Airways Executive Club Members to book a second seat for a companion traveling on the same Reward Flight booking as them for no additional Avios or receive a 50% discount when traveling alone.

Beginning November 1st, the required spend to qualify for a Companion Voucher within a membership year will increase as follows to bring both Amex card offerings to the same amount:

  • From £12,000 ($15,230) to £15,000 ($19,040) for BA Amex Credit Cardmembers
  • From £10,000 ($13,960) to £15,000 for BA Amex Premium Plus Cardmembers

The airline has made several significant enhancements to the Companion Voucher program over the last two years. In June 2022, British Airways introduced the ability to redeem the voucher for a Reward Flight booking in any cabin and receive a 50% discount on the Avios price for the flight when traveling solo. That same month, it rolled out a feature to allow passengers to use the Avios and Money options to further reduce the cash price of award tickets.

In December, British Airways introduced the ability to redeem the Companion Voucher on routes with fellow IAG carriers Iberia and Aer Lingus, as well as ones operated by British Airways.

Purchases made in the current membership year will count towards the new spending target. Existing cardmembers can obtain their Companion Voucher by reaching the current spending targets outlined above by Halloween. From November 1st, 2024, cardmembers will need to reach the new £15,000 target before the end of their membership year to earn their Companion Voucher.


Annual fees and elite opportunities

The annual fee for the BA Amex Premium Plus Card fee will increase from £250 ($317) to £300 ($380). The updated fees will apply to new card applications beginning on April 10th, 2024. Existing members will start paying the new fee on renewals beginning August 1st. The blue BA Amex Credit Card will remain the only British Airways-branded credit card with no annual fee.

Passengers looking to enjoy the benefits of elite status without a credit card are in luck. The airline just announced it will allow frequent flyers of competing airlines to match their tier status with the British Airways Executive Club for free. The status match lasts six months from approval and can be extended by completing one round-trip in a premium cabin.

Elsewhere, the carrier announced it is extending a promotion that allows members to earn double tier points (the ones used to reach the next status level) when booking a package of flights plus hotel or flights plus car hire.

Apr 14, 2024

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