Five frequent flyer perks I still get as an old-timer but you can’t!

One reason that ‘old timers’ in this hobby may have a more positive attitude to the constant changes to programmes is that they are getting a better deal than you!  It is not uncommon for schemes to change but for existing members to retain certain scrapped benefits.

What perks do I have via ‘grandfathering’ that are no longer available to the general public?  I had a think and the list got this far:

bmi credit cards

American Express Platinum holders used to get a free British Airways Premium Plus American Express.  I still get this deal, saving me £150 per year, and it is the one thing which swings the cost / benefit ratio of Platinum in Amex’s favour.

Holders of other Amex cards used to get a British Airways Premium Plus American Express card for a flat fee of £30 instead of £150.  Many people still have this deal too.

(There was also a British Airways Premium Amex at one point.  This offered a 2-4-1 voucher at £15,000 and 1.25 Avios per £1 spent.  Are they still issuing these to people or were they forcibly migrated?)

Similarly, the old bmi British Midland credit cards (see above) pay up to a crazy 2.5 Avios per £1 – and that is for a MasterCard!  I am lucky enough to have one of those.

Holders of the bmi credit cards also receive 10% off all British Airways flights if they book via the link on the website.

Tesco, at one point, had a ‘premium’ tier inside Clubcard.  These people got to convert at 800 Avios per £2.50 voucher rather than 600.  If you ever got this deal, you have retained it.

One retained perk which was recently scrapped for all was the old Tesco MasterCard, which used to pay 1 point per £2 spent rather than the current 1 point per £8.  Until a few months ago, holders of the defunct Tesco World MasterCard used to get 650 free Clubcard points each year as a loyalty bonus – that has also now gone.

The British Airways 10% shareholder discount, which ex-BA shareholders retained even after the merger of British Airways into IAG, also ended last year.

I can’t think of any more off the top of my head, although I’m sure there are others.  Are there are any airline or hotel status benefits which have been retained for older members but not new members?

Bits: BA cuts Club World baggage allowance, Hilton flash sale for North America and Asia, Luxury Travel Diary auctions
How to match your existing hotel status to Best Western Diamond
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  1. Have to admit , i love the BMI card as well , it gives so much more value than the BA Amex , which i use until £10k for the 241 then stop

    Long may it continue to be exist …..

  2. Enigma368 says:

    “Holders of the bmi credit cards also receive 10% off all British Airways flights if they book via the link on the website.”

    Fun fact. You continue to get the 10% discount after cancelling the bmi credit card.

  3. Can confirm the BA Premium AMEX is still being issued to existing holders, just renewed mine.

    • Do you mean that with the platinum Amex you can also get the BA premium Amex? That sounds great, I will ring them and ask about it. Glad I found this website, awesome tips!

  4. Unfortunately, I didn’t seriously get into Avios until recently, so the only perk I get from your list is the 800 Avios per £2.50 club card voucher, however I don’t expect that will last forever given they pared back the earnings rate from 1 cc point per £2 to 1 cc point per £8 for spend outside Tesco :-(

    • I wish I’d got into this hobby sooner! It’d be so much easier to earn Avios – I don’t even have the 800 per £2.50 CC rate.

      OT: I’m flying to CPH today, starting my first-ever ex-EU trip to NYC tomorrow. I am travelling hand baggage only, and planning to ditch the last leg to CPH on the way back. Will I be able to use the arrivals lounge at LHR, or will they know that I should be catching a flight to on to CPH?

      I’ve never used the arrivals lounge before, so not sure what they actually check on the door.

      • Kathy: the reception desk at the arrivals lounge (I’m guessing you’re talking T5) will want the boarding card for the flight you just got off (ie NYC – LHR) to prove your eligibility; your onward travel is your own business (and as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a great deal of discussion available on the risks & benefits of dropping the last leg on ex-EU trips).

        Because there can be a long wait (almost an hour last time I tried) for morning showers in Galleries North, when transferring through T5 I actually prefer to go through Immigration and use the arrivals lounge, then head back through departures.

        PS When flying into CPH, I recommend a window seat on the right hand side from where you get a fabulous view of the Oresund Bridge as the approach runs parallel… although it depends on the wind direction of course!

        • Thanks! I’m in the window seat so hopefully I’ll get the nice view. Not sure if I’ll end up seeing much nice – I only have a few hours this evening to look around and the weather forecast is so grim that I’m not sure how long I’ll stick it out for before I seek shelter.

      • If you have a long haul arriving at LHR you can use the arrivals lounge regardless if you have a connecting flight back out. No different to people flying north to the regional airports after a long haul.

  5. Fredo Frog says:

    My thought is: great perks but why draw attention to them? It is of no benefit to HfP readers who not have them as they cannot do anything to get them. And in these days of economic austerity and cutbacks keeping such benefits low profile may be in our best interests or else someone may come along and remove them!

    • It’s OK Fredo- this is Rob’s way of letting us know he’s having a good time down there. He’ll of course be back to the wind, rain, and grey clouds soon.

      At least you appear to have some of the above benefits-unlike me!

      Now, “Worzel” – why(!) did you “chop-in” that BMI card?? :) .

    • Would agree – why shout about a good thing which is no longer available….

  6. BMI amex/mc- the BA discount only applies to the paid for cards not the basic. Got caught badly (own fault) using the BMI MC on transferwise and got hit with a £70 charge for a cash advance. Won’t do that again in a hurry.

  7. Great now this has reminded BA of the BMI 10% discount I am sure they will remove it very soon

    • Although it doesn’t work with HBO fares – at least it didn’t with a one way HBO from Paris that I tried to book recently :(

      • Correct you can’t use it with HBO. Also in some cases the discount is virtually nothing compared to the standard fare (it’s not always a 10% discount)

  8. Is it worth challenging Tesco about the removal of the 650 points coupon. As far as I was concerned this was given in return for giving up my Visa version of the card. The original leaflet says nothing about it being a temporary benefit. We had this discussion over on Flyertalk last year when some people didn’t receive the coupon. Here’s the photo that I posted at the time.

  9. Yes, BA Premium still exists – my folks have it. Probably going to close it though as they’ve been finding it difficult to get good value using the voucher. Decent ex-EU deals combined with poor availability (esp when adding on a domestic connection) have reduced the clause of the voucher.

    I’ve still got the bmi Mastercard, unfortunately I had an Amex too with a higher earning but left it inactive too long and they closed the account :(

  10. RedHroogar says:

    Interesting articlean and my first post (only found this excellent and informative site a couple of months ago)
    I signed up for the BA Premier plus card two years ago and as an existing Platimum card holder wasn’t offered it for free! Was it a deal that you needed to apply for perhaps?
    I will be calling Amex today to get their response

    • The deal ended in 2006ish ….

      • I could have had the BA Premier Plus with the first roll out of Amex Centurion back in circa 1998/9 ? but mistakenly at the time thought nothing of it and was concentrating on Virgin Upper Class upgrades through Membership Rewards.

        Did eventually have it but let Centurion go when they hiked the fees to lunatic levels. Platinum for a while then nothing when I moved abroad.

        Now the BAPP at £150 is the only one, no BMI (again, should have, didn’t, regret etc.) but don’t see the value in Platinum at £400 (making £700 with 2 x BAPP).

        Now if Platinum did 1.5 miles / rewards and a 2 for 1 ticket, we could drop the BAPP and happily sign up :)

    • As the article clearly states, these are benefits that are NO LONGER available to people who don’t already have them. No point in calling Amex about it!!!

  11. Ah, the benefits of being elderly.

    I sadly do not hold any of these products! 😛

  12. whiskerxx says:

    Apologies – completely OT:

    Today is the last day for converting Nectar points to Caffe Nero hot drinks voucher at the rate of 100 points (50p) per drink. Vouchers have to be redeemed by 31st May. Visit

  13. Ian Morgan Smith says:

    I signed up for both American Express Platinum Card and shortly after a British Airways Premium Plus Credit Card. I am now in my third billing period. I just checked the past two months statements on both cards. I did pay the £450 for the Platinum Card, yet I see as of yet I have not been charged the £150 for the BA Premium Card. It seems so far I have the Premium Card for free giving me the net result of both cards for £300

    I don’t really want to contact AMEX to clarify this deal in case they made a mistake!

    • WELL, not smart writing that comment with your full name and surname!! :-(

      • raffles, do amex have someone lurking in the shadows in brighton reading hfp?

        • Amex Employee says:


          • touché

            • As many HFP readers will confirm, Brighton generally tells callers to visit this site if you ring them with a question which they cannot answer!

              Seriously, most people in the travel and loyalty credit cards industry read this site as was evident at the credit card conference I went to a couple of months ago.

            • Ian Morgan Smith says:

              I would also like to add that I am happy to give out my full name and to talk freely and truthfully about any relevant issues to do with my card dealings on this site, whether people working in the industry read the site or not.

      • Ian Morgan Smith says:

        Whether you think I am smart or not ‘idrive’ My last comment about contacting AMEX was rather tongue in cheek.

  14. When did Tesco offer the 800 Avios for £2.50? I started collecting the old Airmiles back in 2009 with Tesco and when they converted to Avios in 2012 but only on a very low key scale – converting for one economy flight per year till I discovered this site last year! I switched to collecting Virgin miles for a bit during 2012 and part of 2013 – think it must have been offered then and I didn’t pick up on it – I still have a lot of Tesco emails from that period but don’t have one offering the 800 miles – kicking myself now!!! I have the old Tesco credit card and didn’t get the 650 c/c points last summer.

    • When you signed up for auto convert to Avios. At least that’s how I got my 3.2 rate :)

    • When Tesco took over air miles from Sainsbury all those years ago you could get the 800 miles by maintaining a £60 per week shop on a regular basis. If you did not manage that spend then you got 400. People complained about this so Tesco said everyone would get 600 miles from thereon and those who had managed to attain the 800 mile ratio would be allowed to keep it ie., grandfather rates.

    • correction – for original shareholders – they get it for two pounds (not sure if single or return, but it doesn’t really matter) !

  15. I used to get the BA PP AMEX for £30 as a holder of other AMEX cards up until a few years back; they sent me a letter saying they were removing the perk and the cost would be £150 going forward. I actually cancelled the BA PP for a while before eventually going back and now pay the £150 each year.

  16. Thanks everyone for making newbies very jealous!!

  17. Thanks for the BMI cardholder discount reminder on BA flights. Shame I’d forgotten about it when I recently spent ~£200 on BA Comair flights in SA 😉

  18. What is with the recent spate of boast posts?

    • Just indirectly making a point about posting anything too identifiable on here if you would prefer to be unidentifiable …..

  19. More often than not the 10% BMI Discount is way more than 10%.
    2 return flights on BA were c£900, whereas via BMI there were <£400.

    • Enigma368 says:

      umm. that sounds too good to be true?

    • Just depends, I guess. I’ve never managed to get flights 10% cheaper using the BMI portal. Or even simply cheaper. Doesn’t seem to work on European flights booked a long way in advance.

      Happy enough with 2 MR points per £, though (and 1 MR point per £ on BMI Visa).

  20. ShallowHal says:

    Maybe we should all stop gloating. I noticed today on the Amex Plat site, all references to status with all the hotel programs you used to get, isn’t there any more!

    • They removed that months ago. Heaven knows why, they seem to want to put you off applying. Cathay Gold was never mentioned either for the time when that was a benefit.

    • Yes, I saw that too. I have just received my new Amex platinum yesterday and all the hotel benefits are still there!