“Secret” 6,000 Avios Bonus When You Upgrade Your BA Amex!

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I received a pleasant, if totally unexpected, bonus into my American Express BA Premium Plus account a few days ago – a deposit of 6,000 Avios.


I was all set to phone Amex to query this, in the gentlest possible way, when I noticed the following “alert” on my account home page:


Errrrrr thanks Amex, but that really wasn’t part of the advertised deal when I upgraded. Not that I am, of course, complaining. However, you really would have thought that if American Express are dishing out bonuses worth something in the region of £60, they’d flag it to you before the upgrade to encourage you to do it!

Of course, the one slight issue with this “secret” bonus is that, being secret, I can’t give you any real details on it. That includes what the exact terms and conditions are, and whether you are guaranteed to receive it if you do upgrade. I have, however, spoken to a couple of BA Amex veterans, both of whom have received the bonus in the past, too – again entirely without warning.

Ultimately, I can’t guarantee that you’ll get this bonus, so don’t use it as your sole reason to upgrade to the BA Premium Plus card. However, if you are planning to upgrade, look out for it!

If you wanted to be really canny, you could of course upgrade to the Premium Plus card, get the 6K Avios bonus and then revert to the free card – you’ll get a pro rata refund of the annual fee (which will be all of it if you’re quick about it). We have of course also previously highlighted how you can use the old upgrade/downgrade trick to your advantage with the BA Companion (“241”) voucher.

6K Avios is more than enough for an intra-European flight, so really is a decent little haul – all the better for being completely unexpected. 


    • Tom Sumner says

      Not really. To get the full 25,000 Avios (26,000 Avios if referred) sign up bonus for the Premium Plus card, you’d need to cancel your free card, wait 6 months, then apply for the Premium Plus card. Clearly that wouldn’t be an “upgrade” from the free card (it would be a cancellation, then entirely separate application), so this 6k bonus certainly would not apply.

      However, per this article, upgrading from the free card to the paid card will instantly get you the Companion Voucher if you’ve spent £10k on the free card (you otherwise need to spend £20k on the free card to get the voucher). Not a “sign up bonus” on upgrading as such, but certainly a benefit of upgrading.

      Per the article, you can then just downgrade again. So technically you can, it seems:

      i) sign up for the free card
      ii) spend £10k on the free card
      iii) upgrade to the paid card to get the Companion Voucher and 6k bonus Avios
      iv) downgrade to the free card, getting a full refund of the paid card annual fee (£195) while keeping your Companion Voucher and 6k Avios.

  1. Thomas Pattison says

    I too have received this bonus, today! I originally took out the BA premium
    Plus but then downgraded to the free BA card. I recently decided to upgrade back to the Premium Plus and today I’ve logged in to see a pleasant 6,000 bonus avios applies to my account. I did the upgrade over the phone and was told there was no offer on my account. Thanks BA & Amex!

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