One of the big benefits of collecting Avios is activating ‘companion vouchers’ – also known as a 2 for 1 voucher which enables you to redeem rewards flights using Avios for 2 people – but only using the Avios for 1.
The companion is activated via British Airways American Express Credit Cards – either the Premium Plus (PP) or Standard (Free) version. Read the review of each here.
How do you activate the 2-4-1 Voucher?
The voucher is activated by meeting the required spend threshold. £10,000 per year on the Premium Plus card of £20,000 on the Standard.
Can you have an additional cardholder on the credit card?
Yes! Adding a supplementary card holder means you essentially have two people spending towards the required annual limit.
Can you get more than 1 voucher per year?
No. Not individually anyway.
I’ve tried and only one voucher is allocated to one Primary card holder per annum. Note if you take a BA PP card and hit the £10,000 threshold, you can then ‘downgrade’ to a Free card (and in doing so receive a pro-rata refund for the annual fee you will have paid on the PP card).
When downgrading, it will carry over your spend from the PP card to the Free one. Meaning it will look like you have spent £10,000 of the £20,000 threshold. Note – even if you do then spend up to £20,000 per year, Amex will appear to credit you another voucher but BA (who process the vouchers) will not do this because you have hit your annual limit.
The only workaround is to refer your friend/partner who can then start spending towards their own voucher.
What should I do once I hit my spend threshold and activate a voucher?
If you find you have hit £10,000 spend on the PP card and activated the voucher, you have a few options.
- Downgrade the PP card, to receive a pro-rata refund and then spend on the Free Amex card. Note you will drop in £ : Avios ratio for any spend on your card but this is a marginal loss
- Cancel the PP card, and look to use another Amex card to work towards other reward bonus (Like an Amex Platinum, Gold or Green). You then can re-open the PP card after 6 months to be eligible for the 25,000 Avios welcome bonus. Note cancelling or downgrading the card does not affect the voucher.
- Refer your partner for a PP card, so you can both start spending on your partner’s new card and annual spend limit.
- Do nothing. Keep the PP card and wait until your 1 year anniversary has lapsed so you can then work towards another voucher. Although this doesn’t have a lot of value if you consider point 1
How long do I have to use the voucher?
2 years if gained through a PP card or 1 year via the Free version
What flights can I redeem my voucher on?
Any flight that originates and returns to the UK. Only flights that are flown directly with BA are eligible i.e. flights via OneWorld partners are excluded
Where can I check what flights are available?
Either through BA.com here or through the Avios portal. I personally prefer the ease and usability of the Avios site. Its easier to navigate around and see what flights/classes are available.
Are there any restrictions on what dates I want to redeem on?
No. However, booking as far out as possible returns more availability as you would expect. That said, flight availability is extremely volatile in my experience so you may think that a certain day/flight class is unavailable and suddenly it can appear!
Can you change your booking with a voucher?
Yes, you can easily change any flight booking you have 24 hours before departure. The cost is £35 per change, per person (plus any changes in taxes which can be both incremental costs or part refunds due to constant changes in airport taxation), so as there would be two of you travelling it would cost £70.
I have done this to upgrade my flight class which wasnt available when orignally booking but became available at a later date, and it actually cost me next to nothing as I got a refund on already paid taxes! So a few extra Avios and around £20 meant I could fly First instead of Business.
Can I fly to and from different locations?
Yes! A lot of people think you cannot do this, as there is no option online to book it. To book an ‘open jaw’ flight you will need to phone BA. Its simple enough to do and you can use the BA/Avios sites to get an idea of the individual flight availability and cost before booking.
You can contact BA directly on: 0844 493 0 747 option 2 (from the UK)
They are available: Daily 07:30 – 20:00