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