Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Reports of the death of BMI Diamond Club are greatly exaggerated

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31st August was the last day to redeem BMI Diamond Club miles for flights on Virgin Atlantic. Not surprisingly, once BA had bought BMI, it was keen to extract itself from this partnership with a core competitor as quickly as possible.

Since July, it has been possible to move your BMI Diamond Club miles into British Airways Executive Club (a one-way move only).

If you have done this, you may be forgiven for thinking that Diamond Club is now useless. However, it continues to contain some real gems:

1. You can still earn BMI miles on flights operated by BMI Regional – even though BA has now sold the airline. (This partnership will end on 30th September 2012.)

2. You can still earn and redeem BMI miles on three partner airlines:

  • Qatar
  • Transaero (a Russian carrier)
  • Jet Airways (an Indian carrier)

BMI has conveniently removed the reward table for flights on these partners from its website (the earning chart for partners is here). Only return flight redemptions are allowed on partners, not one ways.

Qatar in particular has an excellent reputation – here is their business class seat on their new 787’s:

Qatar Airways 787

3. The BMI credit card remains the biggest ‘no brainer’ in the UK loyalty sector! 20,000 Diamond Club for spending a paltry £250, no income requirement (my minimum-income pensioner Mum got one) and no annual fee. The earning rate of 1.5 miles per £1 on the Amex is also very good. Full details are on the ‘September Credit Cards Update‘ page. If you’ve already got one, get one for your Mum, your partner etc. You can transfer their miles to yourself by starting a BMI Family Account.

4. You can contain to earn via BMI’s hotel partners. Most important is the super-generous earnings rate at Hilton Group properties. Credit your stay to British Airways Executive Club and a Hilton stay gets you 500 Avios per stay. Credit to Diamond Club and you get 1,000 miles per night (max 3 nights).

5. Transferring your BAA Worldpoints into Diamond Club miles is more valuable than converting directly to Avios. 500 points get you 750 DC miles but only 600 Avios (unless there is an Avios transfer bonus on).

Is there anything I’ve missed?

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (10)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Teece says:

    It’s worth pointing out that if you have a Hilton stay that will have a net spend in excess of $3,000 USD (or equivalent), then you’re better off crediting to BAEC rather than DC, and switching to variable miles (1 point per USD).

  • Roger says:

    It is true that the Diamond Club airline partners award table has been removed – when you are logged in.

    However, log out and try again when not logged in and you may be surprised

    Beats me why – just another bmi IT quirk, I guess.

  • IE says:

    Is there a referral bonus if a current BMI card holder refers a family member?
    In order to create a Family BMI account (if I refer my Mum and take her points) do we both have to have the same address. I moved out of her house a while ago! 😉

  • IE says:

    Great, thanks for the info!

  • DV says:

    Have I got this right? If I set my Hilton earning preferences to points and fixed miles, and the airline partner to BD, I will get 1000 DC miles per night, although the Hilton website shows 500 per stay?

    • Raffles says:

      Yes. Only downside is that the miles can take a while to post, as they only do a sweep once a month.

  • Teece says:

    DV – yes, see here

  • James_G says:

    Thanks for the reminder on the BMI credit card Raffles, been meaning to apply since the reading the September card review. Took me just less than 5 minutes from start to getting approved!

    Very much enjoying the blog too.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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