Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Not impressed with so far ….

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Last weekend, bmi finally died.  The last bmi flight landed at Heathrow (see photo below), the bmi credit cards were closed to new applicants and was closed down.

If you still have any bmi Destination Miles, you now need to go to to check how many.  Going forward, once any outstanding Hilton, estore etc miles have cleared, the only way you will be able to add to your DC miles is from the bmi credit cards.   And they are closed to new applicants.

The only way to spend your miles now is to transfer them to British Airways Executive Club, turning them into Avios.

The website launched last weekend.  And it is a bit of a mess.

A lot of people have found that they cannot access it, although if your membership number is not working, try using the email address associated with your old bmi account.  Some people have also found that they have a random amount of miles or are seeing other peoples transactions on their account.  To be fair, I see none of this.  My account looks correct at zero miles – although some credit card miles will be dropping in very soon.

There are two issues, though, which have cropped up during this process.

The first is Family Membership.

bmi allowed you to link up to six other accounts to your account, and transfer the miles to yours.  My Mum has had a bmi credit card for a couple of years, and every month I would transfer her miles into my account. 

The new website does not recognise family memberships.  Going forward, my Mum’s credit card miles will have to stay in her DC account and be transferred into her BA account.  At least she has an active BA account – if she didn’t, I would have been getting rid of her credit card immediately.

The 2nd issue is potentially more serious and reflects BA’s rules on refunds.

BA had previously stated that, for UK DC members, there would be no problem cancelling redemption flights going forward.  (After all, people will have redemptions booked all the way up to August 2013 using their bmi miles.)  The new website FAQ, though, says this:

I made a booking using my destinations miles for travel after 31 December 2012, will this booking be protected?

Yes. Any flight bookings made using destinations miles will be honoured but changes or refunds are not permitted.

It beggars belief that this can be true.  I’m not sure it is even legal.  Is BA seriously saying that if my Dubai trip at Easter on Austrian Airlines is cancelled (even if it is Austrian that cancels the flights) then I get NOTHING back?  Not my 180,000 DC miles, and not the £1,500+ of airport taxes I paid?

This surely cannot be true, and also goes against BA’s previous policy.  But then BA also said that you would be able to transfer INTO Diamond Club from Avios in order to redeem on Virgin Atlantic, and they went back on that.  So who knows?  We do know that the BA representative on Flyertalk has not responded to this issue, six days after she was asked about it.

If this really is the case, though, then I will need to cancel my Easter booking.  I can’t take the risk (£3,500-worth, given the value of the miles plus the taxes) that something won’t come up that will stop us travelling.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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 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 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.

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

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 (20)

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

  • Jason Thorpe says:

    Seems to be issues on many levels. I applied for the bmi MBNA cards and stated that I was not a DC-member on the form, which I (and MBNA apparrently) thought would have resulted in becoming a DC member, but still haven’t heard from DC even though I’ve had the cards for a few weeks now. I won’t use them though as I’m still unsure I’ll get any points.

  • Jamie says:

    Have you spoken to MBNA ? I got the cards about a month ago and the communication was fairly bad.

    I e-mailed MBNA through their online banking and they confirmed that I was automatically enrolled in diamond club, they were able to give me my membership number.

    I then had to call diamond club and get them to add my e-mail address to my account which meant I was able to set up an online diamond club account. As things stand no miles have posted yet but I assume that’s because I’ve not had my first statement.

    • Jason Thorpe says:

      Yes, I spoke to MBNA, but they didn’t have any record of any DC membership number, but asked me to call DC to get the number and then call MBNA back so they could register it to my account. Haven’t been able to reach DC yet.

      • Jason Thorpe says:

        Cancel my last, just spoke to DC, MBNA had indeed created an account for me – very odd that they said they didn’t have a record when I spoke to them.

  • Andrew Seftel (@andrewseftel) says:

    I still can’t log in. I can see my balance from BAEC transfer tool though so not too bothered.

  • StealthMoose says:

    I can’t see BMI in my Preferences in my HHonors account. I can see my DC number and ‘Select Travel Partner’, where BMI should be. I’m having trouble deleting it.

    • ups says:

      Choose another airline name in the dropdown then save it with their number. Then try to delete this airline’s entry.

      • SealthMoose says:

        I’ve tried that. I get an error message saying something along the lines of the number wasn’t valid for that particular airline – even when I’m using another genuine ff card, with a genuine number!

        • ups says:

          It worked for me yesterday. I had only bmi on my HH profile which appeared without the dropdown showing “Select”. I changed it to Virgin Atlantic and added that number, and saved. It worked fine.

          I’ve not tried to remove this, but effectively bmi is gone from my profile.

  • Rda says:

    I have been using this card for my everyday shop, where Amex isn’t accepted.

    I’ve transferred all my 22,000 points into baec, but which card do you recommend for the ‘everyday’ shop, (must be visa / MasterCard)



    • Raffles says:

      Keep using the BMI Visa card – it isn’t going anywhere for a while, and the earning rate is OK. Forget about the Lloyds Avios cards where the MC/Visa rate is shocking. Assuming you don’t want to start earning in another airline scheme, both the Hilton and Priority Club cards (MC/Visa) are decent payers if you redeem them wisely, c 1p per £1 spent of value.

      • Rda says:

        If you think the BMI visa is the one to stay with then I will.



        • Rda says:

          Nowhere in Grimsby seems to accept amex so I need a decent back up card!


          • Raffles says:

            The other option is just to start churning Mastercard and Visa cards with decent sign up bonuses. Get the Hilton card, spend the £750, bank the bonus, cancel the card, and move on to the next. Getting 2 or 3 bonuses a year just for the bonuses will be substantially more profitable than using the BMI Visa for your day to day spend.

            The hotel bonuses can be transferred into Avios, remember. For eg, the free Priority Club card comes with 10,000 points which you can turn into 2,000 Avios if you don’t want a free hotel room.

          • Rda says:

            Thanks for the reply, i may try the priority rewards card. I already have the hilton, which I used for getting the free room then I stopped using it.

            I have nearly 20k priority reward points, so with the 40k bonus would be a nice amount.

            I would still probably use the points as avios as the rooms we stay in are fairly cheap anyway (£50/£60 a night)

  • rda says:

    apart from the priority rewards credit card and hhonors, which other visa / mastercard credit cards are there for collecting avios?

    • Raffles says:

      Tesco is the key one, although at the base conversion rate its only 0.6 Avios per £1. If you save your vouchers for a Tesco to Avios conversion you may get closer to 1 per £1.

      Marriott converts to BA but the rate is too poor, works out at 0.2 Avios per £1. Priority Club is 0.2 Avios per £1 on the free card. Hilton is 0.2 Avios per £1. Lloyds Avios card is 0.25 per £1 on the Mastercard.

      You can see why the bmi Visa is so good compared to this lot. Once that finally closes the Tesco card is the next best alternative for Avios from a non-Amex.

  • Raffles says:

    The issue is that the BA rep on Flyertalk has been told of this issue a week ago and nothing has changed, so there is still not 100% clarity. Although I agree that I cannot seriously believe they mean what the DC site says.

  • rda says:

    i will keep using BMI visa until they get rid of it! I can still access my points (and have transferred all the points out already to my baec account). once they shut it down i’ll get the tesco one.

    just for the 40,000 points i’ve applied for the priority card too.

    thanks for all your help, it is appreciated!

    • rtid says:

      same here. i got 20k reward points last week, i took them out of diamond club. However i am still using the BMI Amex card and will continue to do so until i get told no more points

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