Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Two gift card things ….

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I wanted to quickly flag two things – only vaguely connected – about retail gift cards.

Firstly, before Christmas American Express ran a promotion which offered a 20% discount on HMV gift cards.  Reader Tim got in touch to say that he had bought some of these and had not yet redeemed them.  He called Amex, and Amex has agreed to refund the money under their voluntary chargeback scheme. 

(It is ‘voluntary’ because Amex Platinum and Amex Gold cards are NOT credit cards and so Amex is not legally bound under ‘Section 75’ law to give you your money when a company goes bust.)

Note that you need to file a claim with Amex within 120 days of the retailer going into administration.

The second is just a reminder that Tesco is STILL giving 150 bonus Tesco Clubcard points when you spend £50 of gift cards instore (Tesco gift cards excluded).  Full details are in this post.  Saturday 26th January is, I think, the last day to collect Clubcard points if you want to receive the points in the February mailing.

If you collect Virgin Flying Club miles and want to take advantage of the 50% bonus on transfers of Clubcard points to Virgin, this is especially interesting.  150 Clubcard points = 375 Virgin miles, so 562 Virgin Flying Club miles with the bonus.  The Clubcard points go onto your account immediately, so you would definitely get them in February.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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.

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – 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 long list of travel benefits 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 (14)

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

  • FanOfPoints says:

    Ooh that’s good news – I too have some unused HMV e-codes bought during the Amex promotion from the external provider SMV. The night when the news came out, I desperately tried putting in some final orders on HMV.com which since have appeared to be ‘cancelled’.- hopefully I can get claimback something from Amex!

    • trickster says:

      It’s largely irrelevant now, but how did you get them as e-codes? When I was looking at this offer, with an eye to using them for an iPad there only seemed to postal vouchers/cards, which understandably put me off!

  • Andy says:

    I’ve called Amex twice as I’m in the same boat (although I bought them ob my BA Amex so should be covered under section 75). They say their lawyers are talking to HMV’s lawyers and they will be in touch at some point in the future to let me know what is happening.

    Inconsistent responses from Amex.

    • Enigma367 says:

      Me too. I bought £480 in vouchers from amex.

      I spoke to Amex this morning and they say they are looking into it and cannot promise anything, they say it is at best 50:50 if I will get my money back. They also say section 75 does not apply to vouchers!

      We need to get together on this to make sure we get our money back.

      • Raffles says:

        I would argue that Amex has a moral right to refund you, given that this was a special Amex promotion they emailed to you

        • Enigma367 says:

          Yeah, I’d be surprised if Amex didn’t refund these. Customer service is one of their strengths and I doubt they would want to lose loyal customers over this. If it was another credit card company, say CapitalOne or MBNA, I would be more worried than I am with Amex.

  • Scott Nelson says:

    is the 150 point bonus limited to one time only?

    • Raffles says:

      No, available as often as you want. I think I’ve done 5 lots so far. And if buy £100 in one transaction, you get 2 bonuses.

      (One condition – if you buy £100, £150 etc in one transaction, it must be possible to divide up the cards you have bought into £50 multiples. For example, if you bought 5 x £20 cards together, you would only get ONE bonus – because you cannot make 2 lots of £50 out of those quantities. However, if you bought 4 x £20 and 2 x £10 in one transaction, you would get TWO bonuses.)

      • ups says:

        Are you sure of this? I’ve made use of this many times now and never thought in this way. But I certainly got the bonus each time, and it’s hard to think they coincidentally added up this way.

        • Raffles says:

          I base this comment on one instance on Flyertalk where someone bought 5 x £20 and they only got one bonus. It does make some sort of logical sense, though.

  • Ben E says:

    My OH bought enough vouchers for an iPad and redeemed them online. The delivery was due to take 4 weeks and halfway through, boom hits the administration statement. HMV still say they’re waiting for stock, but we’ve got a finger on the trigger to Amex if nothing moves in this next 2 weeks

  • Enigma367 says:

    Tim, what exactly did you do to make your claim? Did you get any kind of inclination as to whether you would be successful in your claim or not?

  • Georgie says:

    That’s good news as I need £300 of Next Gift cards and I was thinking I would need to do six separate £50 purchases to get the 900 points, which would have been a pain.

  • Eastwood says:

    I have bought £1200 worth of giftcards over the last 3 months and it has not mattered on the combination as long as it met the £50 purchase requirment to get the 150 point bonus. I bought £800 of comet vouchers and luckily bought my laptop before they went into administration and all the clubcard points were added at the till in one go.

    However, I will point out that sometimes the giftcards all scan through and when it is time to pay the cashier notices that a few didn’t work, which is a pain as you have to sort through them to find the ones that didn’t work and either rescan or find some new cards on the shelf.

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