February 7th, 2011

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Redeeming your miles on British Airways long-haul flights are about to get a tad more expensive. Starting this Tuesday, February 8, you’ll be dinged for up to $55 in “fuel surcharges.” This definitely hurts,  because BA redemptions have some of the highest fees on award tickets already.  I just booked clients from Toronto to Nairobi in First class and fees came to a shocking $1,250 per ticket.

I find these “fuel surcharges” to be obnoxious and misleading. Why don’t they decrease when the price of fuel goes down?

As annoying as these fees are, redeeming through BA’s Executive Club can still be a great deal. BA charges the most surcharges/fees on their own awards, so booking on Oneworld carriers like American, LAN, and Cathay Pacific can be cheaper. I recently redeemed 37,500 BA miles for a one way first class SFO – JFK and it cost me a whopping $2.50 in charges 🙂

If you have American Express Membership Rewards points, don’t forget there is a 40% transfer bonus, which is the most they’ve offered since adding BA as a transfer partner about a year ago …

Per BA:

British Airways will increase its fuel surcharge on long-haul services from Tuesday, February 8.

There will be no fuel surcharge increase to any British Airways’ short-haul services.

World Traveller and World Traveller Plus tickets will increase by £12 per sector (£24 return).

First and Club World tickets will increase by £17 per sector (£34 return)

The move reflects the continuing substantial increase in the price of oil and a 14 per cent rise in the spot price of jet fuel since our last fuel surcharge increase in December 2010.

The change will mean:

* For World Traveller flights over nine hours an increase from £76 a sector to £88. On flights of less than nine hours an increase from £63 a sector to £75.
* For World Traveller Plus flights over nine hours an increase from £94.50 a sector to £106.50. On flights of less than nine hours an increase from £73 per sector to £85.
* For First and Club World flights over nine hours an increase from £108 per sector to £125. On flights of less than nine hours an increase from £88 per sector to £105.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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