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How To Overcome The Mysteries Of The British Airways Companion Voucher

The questions on Inside Flyer or Quora reveal significant confusion around the British Airways Companion Voucher. Responses are often contradictory, adding to the lack of understanding around this valuable perk of British Airways AMEX cards.

British Airways companion voucher myths

Some readers are adamant that short haul is the best way to use the ‘AMEX companion voucher’, whilst others stress that long haul is better. Here’s some research I undertook on this subject.

Disagreements arise over availability, value and quality. So if you are wondering, whether to invest in a BA AMEX card, to earn your own BOGOF deal, stay tuned over the coming weeks. We will reveal the answers to a ton of frequently asked questions.

Introducing the British Airways companion voucher

If you are a seasoned travel hacker, this voucher will need no introduction. Hell, you have probably redeemed a bunch of them yourself and figured out some of the restrictions and benefits.

Couple overlooking city
Who will you share your British Airways companion voucher with?

However, if you are a newbie to this game, the companion voucher is awarded to British Airways AMEX card holders after reaching a set amount of spend in a year. If you opt for the FREE British Airways AMEX card, then you will need to spend £20,000 on the card. But, if you decide to apply for the Premium card, you will only need to spend £10,000.

This voucher allows you to redeem AVIOS for one flight, but two of you actually get to travel. You still have to pay taxes and fees for both travellers, but for long haul flights in Club or First, this voucher can literally save you thousands.

FAQs about the BA Companion ticket

Now that you have a basic idea of what the companion ticket does, I am sure you have plenty more questions. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to create a dedicated BA companion voucher series. This series will be your ultimate guide to the companion ticket, answering all the most common questions.

These seem to fall into the following categories.

Earning a companion ticket

Typical questions are:

  • How can I quickly earn a companion voucher?
  • Can I earn more than one companion ticket in a year?

Maybe you have a different query. Just pop it in the comments below and we will make sure it gets answered over the course of the next month.

Redeeming companion vouchers

This is the topic which generates the most queries and includes a raft of things, such as:

  • What is the best way to use your BA companion voucher?
  • Do I have to pay the taxes and fees for my BA companion voucher on a AMEX card?
  • Is the BA companion ticket worthwhile?
  • Can you mix classes using the British Airways two for one ticket?
  • Is it possible to fly open jaw using the BA together ticket?
  • Can companion vouchers be used on all flights?
  • Can I use my companion voucher and cash to cover the cost of a flight?
  • Should I use my companion ticket for long haul or short haul flights?
  • Where is the best place to go with my voucher?
Map and deckchairs
Where will you go with your British Airways companion voucher?

Does this list cover everything you want to know? If not, pop your question below. I may even give you a shoutout, but don’t expect BBC to come calling any time soon.

Interplay between the credit card and the companion ticket

This mainly revolves around whether you can cancel your card before using the AMEX companion voucher. Again, do let me know if you have any other queries.

A kid figuring out the BA AMEX voucher
Source: Pixabay and Canva

Am I missing anything?

I’m not sure how many posts this will cover as that is really down to you and the number of questions you have but the plan is to deal with each topic in detail, providing top tips to help you earn or spend your vouchers.

Sign up for all companion voucher updates

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This post may contain affiliate links which pay me a small commission should you click on them and make a purchase. These help towards the cost of running the site, and the occasional glass of wine, but you are under no obligation to use them.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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  1. Having recently got my first voucher, I’ve looked at baredemptions.com a couple of times, but it’s not very easy to use on a mobile. I’ll persevere on the PC soon.

    I know I need to be very flexible, but that in itself seems to be a bit problematic.

    So… questions… is it possible to book from, say, Inverness, where taxes and duties are (considerably!) more favourable? Are there any other similar tricks to minimise costs and maximise value?

    Can the voucher be used to buy non-direct tickets, so some stop overs could be taken advantage of? Is there an impact to this?


    • Simon I will come back to you this evening with a full response. Great questions

    • Hi Simon, I read a post on HFP last week about booking from Scotland for lower taxes. I’ve never tried it and sadly I can’t find the post. If I come across it I will send you the link.

      It is possible on CV tickets to stopover and it will ask whether you want to when you go to redeem. If you have plenty of time, this can be a great way to view multiple destinations. You can also use your CV to fly into one city and fly out of another but you need to ring BA to book. What you can’t do is use your CV to fly airlines other than BA so that can be limiting but they have such a good route network you should be able to find something.

      You might want to check out some of the other CV posts to help you out. https://traveltheglobe4less.boardingarea.com/?s=Companion+voucher

      Sadly the three biggest tips I can give is to be flexible, book as far in advance as possible and book off peak. There always seems to be availability for China, India and the Middle East but it’s more difficult for the Far East. I tend to pick three to five destinations I fancy and a rough date, then do a bunch of search options,

      I was surprised by how easy I found it to get first class to Canada, maybe another reunion? Sounds like you have had a great year of travel. Have you been to SOuth Africa? Sadly I’ve never managed to find a reward seat but wow, what a country!

  2. You always have the best tips for flights! I’ve never heard of this, but I don’t every fly BA, so it looks like I should definitely look into it. Learning more about travel hacks needs to be one of my 2018 travel resolutions.

  3. Well this is the first I have heard of the British Airways Companion Pass but it sounds like a good deal to me! I suppose I would really need to be British to take advantage of this type of deal? In my last job I had an Alaskan Airlines credit card and it offered a companion fare for $99 – it was a great deal! Especially because they flew between most west coast cities and Hawaii. Perfect for a quick beach break with your significant other!

  4. We use miles for flying a ton but we rarely fly through BA so we haven’t really had a chance to explore this option yet. It sounds really fantastic though! BOGO’s are always nice, especially when they are in regard to flights! Looking forward to learning more throughout your series!

  5. I never knew about the voucher! Anything that allows me to fly for free I am interested to know more about. Fantastic and thorough post. I really enjoyed learning more 🙂

  6. I have never heard of this before! It did sound confusing at first, but I’m glad that you’ve spelled it out a bit more clearly for people wanting to take advantage of this! I flew British Airways for the first time last year and had a great experience!

  7. Seems like Companion ticket is a great idea. We hardly ever need to fly BA where I live and non of the local airlines seems to have something equivalent. I hope some airlines are hearing in India!
    All the same I would like to know the answers to the questions you have listed 🙂

  8. First time I’m hearing of the companion voucher, but it sounds like a great scheme – an even better one if there was less confusion and a clear set of guidelines for people on how they could use it! I think you’ve covered a great list of questions here, and look forward to reading your continued series on the companion vouchers. From having participated in credit card rewards schemes before, my guess would be that you would forfeit your voucher if you cancel the card, but I’ll wait to find out once you post.

  9. I’ve heard so many arguments about this as well. I’m not a British Airways card holder, but I’m intrigued by how it works. Great research on your part! Glad to say that I know a little more about the companion pass, might consider getting a card to use a companion pass with my fiance someday.

  10. Abhinav Singh

    That’s a very informative post. I have never used British Airways but I know a London based friend of mine who frequently does. I will alert her about this deal as she often flies with her Austrian husband. I feel that long haul has more advantage. I am looking forward to your next blogs where you will spill the beans on the FAQs. I wanted to know if in case my BA companion voucher expires, is it possible to extend it? And for how many months is the voucher valid?

    • Thanks Abhinav. Sadly it does expire. The free card voucher lasts for 12 months whilst the premium plus card vouchers lasts 24 months. I imagine tons of people will lose their voucher if they opt for the free one simply because availability can be limited. For this reason I absolutely advocate the premium card. Thanks so much for your question though and I will be sure to address this

  11. We LOVE diving deep into the tips and tricks of the trade and this is exactly the kind of thing we love, figuring out which flight really gives us the best value. We just booked a huge round the world trip on points and, the more we researched the ins and outs of the rules, the more excited we got.

  12. Never even heard of this from my home nation’s national airline. But I have to admit, they are an airline I try and avoid as I dont think they are the best. 😛 But would consider looking into this a bit more.

    • I think it depends who you are comparing to. If it is budget airlines then they are pretty good. If it is emirates or Singapore Airlines, then that is a different story. However using the companion voucher to fly Club beats most other options for me as frankly I’m not going to pay to fly business in emirates (not until I win the lottery anyway)

  13. We dont fly British Airways too often but southwest airlines here in the states offers a companion pass and it is a great benefit for Darcee & I to fly around the US. This is a great guide to help anyone understand British Airways Companion Voucher though. Seems that many travelers dont even know it exists so great job getting the info out there to help them save $$ on travel

    • Oh I get so jealous when I hear about the southwest pass. That is one hell of a sweet deal. So much so, it makes me want to move to the States. If only our budget airlines in Europe would do something similar

  14. I never heard of this companion voucher before. It’s quite a rewarding feature of American Express cards and a great benefit for people frequently travelling by British Airways. It’s important to be aware of the additional benefits of our credit cards that we generally ignore. Looking forward to your next post in the series.

  15. We enjoy flying BA, so a companion pass would just sweeten the deal. We might even be able to afford the upgrades with that. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  16. Haven’t traveled with British Airways yet, but this post is really informative. I love that cardholders have the ability to earn points and flight vouchers for their friends/SO.

  17. Oh gosh this just reminds me of how more often I should use all these advantages when flying! I have membership cards of I don’t know how many air companies but I rarely use them. Take an exemples of my Airasia card. If I have used the advantages of the card I could have earn so many points since 2011!! That is why your post of how to use correctly the British airways companion voucher is great for those who fly frequently with British airways!

  18. Oh! I haven’t heard of this! But then I haven’t traveled by BA at all!
    You’re right. This would serve right only in long haul flights, if we still have to pay the taxes etc!

  19. This voucher is completely new to me. However, one of my goals this year is to be more savvy when it comes to these credit cards and vouchers. Flying for cheaper, and even free, would be a real achievement! Look forward to reading more on this.

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