Saturday, 15 April 2017

Best American Express Credit Card for collecting Air Miles (Avios)

I have had quite a few people ask me what they can and can't do with their American Express cards and how to maximise the benefits from them so I decided to answer all your questions here.

This post is mainly focusing on Avios, these are air-miles that can be collected and spent on all "one world" airlines.

British Airways American Express

Standard (Blue)

If your just getting into air mile collecting or just want some casual collecting over years than I would go for this card.
  1. No yearly fee
  2. 1 Avios per £ spent (double on British Airways bookings)
  3. 5000 avios bonus when you spend £1000 in the first 3 months (500 more if I refer you)
  4. Companion voucher once you spend £20,000 in the card year  (voucher only valid for 12m)

Premium (black)

If you want to get some serious airmile collecting then I would go for this, the bonus alone is a great starting point and taking 1 Avios = 1p would be worth £250 alone.
  1. £190 yearly fee (added to first statement)
  2. 1.5 Avios per £ spent (double of British Airways bookings)
  3. 25000 avios bonus when you spend £3000 in the first 3 months (2500 extra if I refer you)
  4. Companion voucher once you spend £10,000 in the card year (voucher valid for 24m)

American Express (Gold & Platinum)

I would not recommend taking out the platinum card at the moment since the sign up bonus is so low that is unless the benefits are something you would use. Instead take out the Gold card for a year to receive 20,000 Avios bonus (2000 extra if I refer you) as the first year card fee is £0. 

Some Important Rules 

  • You can only hold one British Airways branded Amex at once
  • If you cancel a British Airways Amex card you must wait 6 months before re-applying or you will not receive the bonus again
  • If you cancel your British Airways Amex card you will loose your companion voucher, instead downgrade your card to the free (blue) card until you spend the voucher (the expiry date will not change if you downgrade)
  • Companion vouchers will expire but the rule is that you must fly out before the expire date, you may return at any time after this. 
  • You can hold and receive the bonus for a Amex Gold or Platinum card whilst still having a British Airways Amex.
  • You must wait 6 months prior to cancelling a Gold or Platinum card before applying for a new Gold or Platinum card to receive the welcome bonus.
  • Gold and Platinum card points can be transferred into almost all airline miles. 
  • You can not hold a Gold and Platinum card at the same time

Remember you can give me an email at to receive the higher bonus when signing u to these cards, its a win win! 



  1. I definitely recommend the black for the companion voucher which is valid two years rather than one and which you achieve after spending £10k. Also once you've bagged the CV, you can always downgrade to blue and get a refund of the pro-rata fee for the year

    1. Yea the black card is definitely the best of the bunch, the CV is worth its weight in gold since you can take your pal along for the ride for no extra Avios. I was a bit disappointed when they put the fee up from £150 to £190 :(

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