AMEX BA vs American Express Gold: How do the cards compare now?

If you are want to earn tons of air miles game in the UK then you need to consider AMEX BA vs American Express Gold. However hot off the press, American Express have announced another blow to air miles collectors in the UK. Cardholders who reach their AMEX Gold card anniversary after 29th February 2024 will see the card membership fee increase from £160 to £195. So, what does this mean for your choice of American Express airmiles cards in the UK?

Jason and I on a zodiac cruise
Jason and I on a zodiac cruise in Antarctica courtesy of airmiles

Initial fee

The American Express Gold card carries an annual fee of £195 from February (for card renewals before 29th February 2024, the annual membership fee will be £160), whilst the British Airways Premium card charges £250 annually. However, Amex Gold waives their fee for the first year, so if you follow my churn and burn strategies, you will never pay a penny for this card.

Sadly, there is no way to avoid the British Airways Premium card fee. If you want the perks you have to pay.

Winner: Amex gold

Sign up bonus

Amex Gold rewards members with 25,000 Membership Rewards (26,000 if you use this referral link) when you spend £3,000 in your first three months of membership. You must sign up before the 9 January 2024 to qualify for this reward.

The BA Premium card also rewards new applicants with 25,000 AVIOS (26,000 if you use this referral link) if you sign up and spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of membership.

Winner: tied currently

Spending rewards

With AMEX Gold you earn 1 Membership Reward for every £1 you spend. For every £5,000 you spend, you will also get 2,500 bonus points, up to a maximum of 12,500 points per year. This means that if you spend £25,000 on the card  you will earn 1.5 points for every £1 you spend. If you spend less than £5,000 you will only earn 1 point per £1.

The BA Premium card rewards you with 1.5 AVIOS for every £1 spent. Unless you will spend over £25,000 or less than £5,000 the earnings potential is the same.

The BA Premium card rewards cardholders with 3 x AVIOS for every £1 spent on British Airways holidays and flights. AMEX Gold rewards members with 3 x membership rewards on AMEX travel spend or 2 x for flight bookings.

Winner: Tie

making snow angels in Japan
Making snow angels in Japan courtesy of our airmiles

Other perks

The BA premium card rewards holders with a companion ticket once they spend £10,000 in a year. Amex Gold has no such offer, and this perk is a gem! This voucher is what allows Jason and I to fly business for less than economy. Using only enough AVIOS for one flight, you can book seats for two people to travel. You still have to pay the extortionate fees and taxes, but this is the way to bag flights in Business and First for less than what you would pay for two flights in economy.

AMEX Gold does not offer a companion voucher but does offer 4 free Priority Pass airport lounge visits every year. Take your pick from over 1,300 airports globally. I estimate the value of this to be at best £200, yet I have saved thousands using the companion voucher so this perk wins the day here. Plus, if you use it to fly in style, as I do, you won’t need Lounge Club access anyway. You will be sipping champagne in style!

Winner: BA Premium card

Sun Peaks Resort
Exploring Sun Peaks Resort courtesy of our airmiles and companion voucher


The downside to the BA Premium card, is that it can only be used to collect AVIOS, which can be redeemed in the OneWorld alliance. Furthermore, the companion ticket can only be used for redemptions with British Airways.

On the other hand, the AMEX Gold membership rewards can be transferred to 12 airline partners. This provides much greater flexibility when you decide to redeem but without the companion ticket you will need a lot more points to book for two.

Winner: Amex Gold

Seoul for less tips
Exploring Seoul Hanok courtesy of our airmiles and companion voucher

What do you savvy bunch think?

As you can see it is difficult to pick and out and out winner. It might come down to where you want to go and who you want to fly with. If you plan to fly British Airways, BA Premium card is your best bet. If you want to fly with another airline then AMEX Gold rules the roost. But, what do you think?


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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 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


  1. Don’t you get 2 amex points per pound with the gold card when spending directly with airlines?

    Also if you do pay interest on the BA card (which you should avoid) it’s not 76% interest, it’s 22% but government regulations make them include the cost of the annual fee in the stated Apr.

    Finally, the gold amex is no longer a charge card in the UK, it’s now a credit card

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes you do get double points on airline purchases which makes it quite attractive as there are a number of airlines you can transfer to.

  2. I guess this must be quite useful for getting the perks like the lounge access and the upgrades. Unfortunately, I do feel that it is a tad bit more expensive than the other cards and also, is not as widely accepted in the smaller towns that I tend to visit. I guess, I might just pass over the perks. However, I do appreciate your honesty about laying down both the sides of the coin

  3. Blair villanueva

    I use Amex card for my international travel and yeah I got many good rebates and rewards. It is very interesting to study these many credita cards!

  4. This post would be very useful for any traveler from UK. I’m not from the UK, but your post still gives me quite a few ideas to explore further. Thank you.

  5. Choosing the right card is really very difficult these days as u have so many options to choose from. I do have serveral cards but not sure which to run with as a primary

  6. I admit that I’m new to the world of credit card bonuses and such. However, I liked how clear and informative this post was. It seems like the BA has a touch better benefits. I like the idea of the companion ticket option!

  7. This is such a detailed post, thanks for thoroughly assessing this card and taking the time to share your insight. I’m not from the UK but I’m still trying to find the best card for me and quite a few of the points you made have given me food for thought!

  8. This is a great review, choosing the right card can be really difficult! Those BA Premium’s annual rewards and sign up bonus make it a winner!

  9. As an American, the AMEX card is definitely the best. I do not fly BA much these days, and while I have several airline cards, they are not my primary card.

  10. Unfortunately I don’t spend that much a month to qualify for the benefits of either card. However, I agree that that the BA seems to win it just for the chance to save money using the companion ticket option. A useful and helpful post.

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