Great news for solo travellers from American Express companion vouchers and pay with less Avios

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Great news for solo travellers from American Express companion vouchers and pay with less Avios

Solo travel with a 50% discount

If you travel solo or even in an uneven numbered group, there is a new benefit from the British Airways and American Express Companion Vouchers.

From today, Cardmembers who have earned a Companion Voucher since September 2021 on either the British Airways American Express® Credit Card or the British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card can choose to redeem it when booking a solo trip, receiving a 50% discount on the Avios cost of the booking. This makes the card a lot more competitive against the new Barclaycard Avios card which offers upgrade vouchers and a similar earning rate. 

A 50% discount is going to be worth more than an upgrade voucher in terms of the number of Avios and at only £10 more a year than the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard, now makes the BA Amex Premium Plus a better choice again for solo travellers. You can use companion vouchers earned from September 2021 onwards for flights starting outside the UK meaning as well as from the UK meaning that you can save a lot of money on the taxes and charges. You can’t do that with the Barclaycard. 

You can still choose to use the Companion Voucher to travel with someone else as previously – receiving a second seat for a companion travelling on the same Reward Flight booking for no additional Avios.

Companion Vouchers are awarded to travellers who hold either British Airways American Express Card and reach the required spend amount within their Cardmembership year. They can be redeemed on available British Airways Reward Flights, which don’t need to start in the UK, allowing Cardmembers to book either one journey for 50% of the Avios required, or take a second traveller on their journey – on the same flights and in the same cabins – for no additional Avios, plus paying taxes, fees and charges per person.


Flexible Avios rates for companion vouchers

In addition to this change, from today those booking British Airways Reward Flights using a Companion Voucher (either as a solo traveller or with a companion) will now have more control over their Avios spend. They will be able to choose from a variety of options regarding how many Avios to spend versus cash on each booking. This was previously fixed to just one Avios and cash option based on the route and cabin.

This again is only available for vouchers earned from September 2021. It may seem helpful if you don’t have enough Avios but the value is poor on the non-standard options. When you look at the prices of the cash element, most of the time it is not worth it as you could get a cash ticket for about the same which would earn you Avios or miles if you chose a different airline. You could also buy the Avios cheaper from BA!

For example, flying to the US West Coast the standard cost is 100,000 Avios + £1,688. Instead, you could pay 75,000 Avios and £2,708. At £1354 per person you can usually pick up a cash ticket in a sale for around that price. The one advantage is of course that the tickets are a lot more flexible than cash with BA’s book with confidence ending. The short-haul options are better value but still not a great offer. 

British Airways American Express Credit Card Companion Vouchers can be redeemed in economy cabins, while British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card Companion Vouchers can be redeemed across all cabins. Extra availability in Club World (long-haul business class), exclusive to those using the Companion Voucher, was added last year to make redemptions easier. This extra availability is for those using a Companion Voucher earned since September 2021 either as a solo traveller or travelling with a friend.

Full terms and conditions apply. For more information, please visit

The British Airways American Express Credit Card has a representative 25.3% APR variable. The British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card has a representative 102.5% APR variable.

4 Comments on "Great news for solo travellers from American Express companion vouchers and pay with less Avios"

  1. I have used a BA Amex for years and together with other miles earnings have had many good redemption flights. However, I think the cash element of redemptions has increased greatly and I find it more and more difficult to get good value. I am generally able to be flexible with any bookings (up to a point) so sale tickets are useful and are now becoming no more expensive than the overall redemption cost.

    An example is a trip to Malaysia and Indonesia I am taking in the autumn. I have a J redemption using Avios on Qatar but the cash plus 0.8p per Avios is almost the same as the Turkish Airlines cash price. That’s from London, so with a bit more inconvenience I could probably find a fare from a European airport cheaper again.

    I also find redemption availability poor at the moment although that may be fairly temporary while people use their accumulated miles from the covid travel restrictions two years.

    Cash fares also earn miles which also needs to be factored in.

  2. Clive Fletcher-Wood | 14 June 2022 at 10:14 am | Reply

    Will this apply to existing bookings Michelle?

  3. AspirationalFlyer | 14 June 2022 at 9:33 pm | Reply

    Thanks very much for this Michelle.
    I jumped straight on it and used my companion voucher today for solo travel in August. I’m off to Vancouver and returning from the US. Cash price was nearly £4K for Club so a genuine and large saving.

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