Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

We check out the latest BA partner, Bicester Village

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British Airways Executive Club’s latest partner is Bicester Village, the designer shopping outlet mecca in the Chilterns.

The link to the BA promotion is here (click on Chic Outlet Shopping).

The long-term BAEC offer will be 5 Avios points for every £4 you spend.  You need to take your receipts to the Visitor Centre at the end of the day and have them credit your account. 

You also earn Avios at the other outlet sights around Europe owned by the same group, see the BAEC link for details.

Until 30th September, there is a special BA promotion available.  Show your BAEC card in the Visitor Centre and you receive a 10% discount card and a £5 voucher valid (with no minimum spend) in any of the cafes or restaurants, so fundamentally free money. 

The 10% discount applies in every retailer except Prada, but only on ‘full-price discounted’ merchandise, if you know what I mean!  Anything discounted further than its original Bicester price does not qualify.

Bicester Village is an easy train ride from London Marylebone albeit at a spookily high £32 for a standard class return.  This includes the shuttle bus from Bicester North station to the village. 

The xx:07 departures from Marylebone are classed as ‘Mainline’ trains and have free wi-fi, which worked fine for me, and a (paid for) trolley service.  These are also the fastest trains, taking under 50 minutes.  There is no price difference between a Mainline and a regular service.

I had no problem collecting my £5 voucher and 10% discount card from the Visitor Centre.  Sadly, the latter didn’t get used!  The only thing I bought was a Polo Ralph Lauren jumper for my little boy, reduced from £89 to £19.99.  There was no further 10% reduction because it was already double-discounted.

I nearly bought a cashmere trench coat in Prada (60% off) but sadly (or not, for my bank balance) it was cut with a nipped-in waist, in just the area where my waist starts to nip-out.

The range of shops is unmatched anywhere in Britain.  The ‘poshest’ is probably Loro Piana, with Prada, Gucci, Armani (mainly cheaper Armani lines), Ferragamo, Missoni, Burberry (a h-u-g-e store) following on, all the way down to Superdry , Ugg and Ted Baker.  Stock is massively variable, though, especially at the high end brands, so you can’t be too focussed on what you go for.

The Polo Ralph Lauren outlet seems to primarily sell ‘made for outlet’ lines which are not actually available in ‘normal’ stores.  I’m not sure what other Bicester brands do this as well, presumably the US-owned ones are most likely to do so as the US is the real global heart of the outlet store.

So … if you fancy a shopping trip to Bicester, pull out your British Airways Executive Club card and get down there before the end of September.  If you value your sanity, try to avoid weekends.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

Comments (5)

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

  • gagravarr says:

    An Off Peak Day Return from London to Bicester Town is only £22.50, or £14.85 with a network railcard. Takes about an hour to oxford, 20 minutes onto Bicester (but not very frequently), then a short walk to the shopping center.

    • Raffles says:

      That sounds better. £32 to Bicester Village includes a £5 supplement for the bus, so it would be £27 to Bicester North. That was for a ‘1 month’ return, though. Perhaps Chiltern or the ticket machine was fleecing me by not showing or not selling a day return to Bicester North!

      • ups says:

        Correction to what I said regarding collection of tickets bought via for any future readers – you can collect from non-Southern stations. For some reason a station I was looking to collect from wasn’t available in the list which made me think otherwise. I’ll check next time if this is excluded only from the Southern list of from all websites.

  • trickster says:

    Typical ‘London Airways’ 😉

    What’s wrong with Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port?!

    • trickster's child says:

      Interestingly, both Ellesmere Port and Bicester are approximately the same distance from the UK centre of population.

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

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