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:
- 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:
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?