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I have talked in the past about how much I like having the BA Amex free card sat in my wallet. It is far from spectacular, with a modest Avios earning rate of 1 Avios per £1 spent and sign up bonus of 6,000 Avios, and not a great deal else. However, I find that having a free Amex card available gives me the reassurance that I’ll always have a “points-earning” option available, without wasting money on annual fees that I’m often not getting particularly good value from.
How does it compare to the paid-for BA card?
There are arguments to be made to avoid the free BA Amex and pay £195 for the Premium Plus version. If you’re genuinely pushing to get the Companion Voucher, it’s almost certainly a worse option than the paid-for Premium Plus card. The free card requires a spend of £20,000 in a year, with the paid-for card requiring half that, at £10,000. You also get 1.5 Avios per £1 spent (doubled for spends at BA), which is a sufficient addition to cover the £195 card fee.
The key point is that with the paid-for card, you’re always having to consider if you are getting your money’s worth from the fee. That’s simply not a concern with the free card, which you can just sign up to, use when you need to, but otherwise not worry about.
As this article headline suggests, there’s also now two current additional benefits to the free card…
The free BA Amex additional benefits
First of all, as we have covered before, is the enhanced sign up bonus. Until 12 May 2021, you will earn a very solid 9,000 Avios is you spend £1,000 on the card in the first 3 months. However, that should be viewed in light of the fact that the bonus on the Premium Plus card is currently 30,000 for a spend of £3,000 (not £1,000) in the first 3 months.
Secondly, Amex have just launched a nice little bonus, which appears to have been rolled out to all free BA Amex card holders.
If you sign up via your cardmember offers, you should be able to get a bonus Avios per £2 spent, taking the total Avios-earning to 1.5 Avios per £1 spent, in line with the BA Amex Premium Plus card. The offer runs until 19 July, and is capped at a bonus of 1500 Avios.
The alternative free card…
Before you get too excited about the above, do note that I have also recently been singing the praises of the (sort of) free Amex Nectar card. It’s definitely worth doing the maths on this one too, before committing to the free BA Amex.