Reminder: direct airline spend with the Amex Gold gets you double points

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I was recently reminded of a nice little perk of the Amex Gold that I regularly forget about.

While the Amex Gold card remains one of the top “travel hack” credit cards availableit used to be more generous. A couple of years back, you would get double points on all your “travel-related” spend. This is unfortunately no longer the case.

However, you do still get double Amex Membership Rewards points (2 per £1) when you spend directly with airlines. So, for example, when I recently booked directly with Singapore Airlines, I got the points on the spend doubled (and yes, I had forgotten this would happen):

(You’ll also get double points on spend in a foreign currency, and 3 points for every £1 spent at American Express Travel Online.)

How much are these double points worth?

Given that we value Membership Rewards points at around a penny each (their flexibility very arguably makes them worth more than this), you’re getting a total 2%+ rebate on your flights booked directly in GBP.

So, the basic conclusion is, this is a nice little benefit of the Amex Gold card, and it’s therefore important that when you do book directly with airlines, you therefore give some thought to using your Amex Gold for the transaction.

So… ridiculously… Don’t use your BA Amex to book BA flights!

Somewhat ludicrously, if you own the basic BA Amex, you are actually better off from a points/miles perspective booking BA flights with your Amex Gold (2 Amex MR points per £1, convertible to 2 Avios) than you are with your BA Amex (1 Avios per £1 spent). This is not the case with the BA Premium Plus Amex, where you get 3 Avios per £1 spent with BA.

That said, the flexibility of Amex MR points adds to their value. Therefore, if you’re trying to rack up points or miles outside of Avios, even using your Amex Gold over your BA Premium Plus Amex for BA airline spend may be preferable.


  1. David S says

    You obviously get 3 points per pound with Amex travel. A few times, Amex travel prices were more than the airlines and so have booked with my gold card and got the 2 points per pound spent.

  2. Rob says

    I assume if you used a gold card to book to get tbe double points you would end up forgoing the extra insurance benefits of booking with platinum card

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