Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Two reader tips for earning more miles via American Express

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I’m always happy to receive tip-offs of new promotions and interesting miles and points earning ideas from readers.  You can contact me at rob at

I have had two good ideas from readers this week which are worth sharing.

If you are a regular London black cab user, you may have heard of Hailo, the new app which allows you to order a taxi via your smartphone.  Reader Mario says that Hailo lets you use an American Express card to pay for your taxi trips, which are charged to a card stored in your Hailo profile. 

The key here is that – unlike paying a normal taxi fare with a credit card – there is no surcharge for using a credit card when using Hailo.  Your Amex card is charged with the exact amount shown on the meter.

New downloaders of the Hailo app can use code HLOQW to get a free £5 credit.

The second tip is linked to my repeated plugging of the great deal which is Tesco’s ‘150 Clubcard points for buying £50 of gift cards‘ (see this article for details).  

American Express Gold cardholders get, for their first year, double Membership Rewards points for all spending at supermarkets.  This means, of course, that the gift cards you buy at Tesco also generate 2 MR points per £1!  This makes the gift card promotion even more attractive, and may even make it worthwhile doing your normal shopping via Tesco gift cards even when the 150 bonus points deal has finished.

best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 2nd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (12)

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  • Trevor says:

    While not a black cab user, a good tip to maximize Amex benefits for those who are.

    On the the hand, I have already bought Tesco gift cards in the past week thanks to your previous tip-off and will be doing so again tomorrow!

    Keep up ’em coming 🙂

  • ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

    Hi Raffles, I’m not sure if I get your last comment about doing your normal shopping via tesco gift cards. Do you mean buy a supply of tesco gift cards before your first year runs out and start using them when you no longer get double MR points? or am I missing something else?

    • David says:

      I think the point was that because the Amex Gold card (for your first year) gives you bonus points in Supermarkets, you could buy gift cards in supermarkets (Tesco) and spend them in shops that do NOT get bonus Amex points.

      E.g. You want to spend 100 GBP in shop X, which will only earn you 1 MR per pound on the Amex Gold.

      You buy a 100 pound gift card for shop X in the supermarket, Which will earn you 2 MR per pound on the Amex Gold.
      And use that gift card to then shop in X insteadof your Amex.

      And as the first year draws to an end, it might make sense to stock up – if you know you will spend. However you are putting the money on deposit until the gift card is spent, and only getting 1% (or whatever you value a MR at).

      • ups says:

        To add to that, if there are any shops that do not accept Amex at all but are in the list of gift cards, it’s a way to indirectly use Amex with them (whilst getting double MR points and CC points on top).

        It may require some planning to make sure you have spent all the value of the gift cards!

        • Raffles says:

          B&Q is the main outlier, I think, of all the big retailers in the UK who don’t take Amex but do issue gift cards. Cineworld too, a reader said recently, unless you pre-book.

          • ups says:

            Cineworld don’t do Amex at all – assuming by pre-book you meant buying the tickets online, as I recently bought a few tickets.

          • Raffles says:

            They brought in a new system a fortnight ago … Amex now accepted for online bookings.

          • ups says:

            Made a transaction 11 days ago and another one 7 days ago, and definitely didn’t see Amex in the list. Good to know if they are getting it in place nonetheless. I do see some visual changes on their website as well.

          • Raffles says:

            I did a dummy booking before I posted and its there! Perhaps not for all cinemas yet? I tried Chesterfield!

          • ups says:

            I see it too now. Certainly wasn’t there when I made the booking, might’ve been a phased roll out.

    • David says:

      Additionally: Do watch for the expiry terms on gift cards before stocking up.

      Also, for high value purchases, do note that using a gift card you may not enjoy the same consumer protection as you may get from paying with a a credit card.

  • Mario says:

    Just a comment regarding David’s message above: make sure that you pay at least £1 with your credit card an pay the rest with a gift card. The creidt card company will then have full liability for the purchase if you need (not just for the £1)

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