Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Use your Amex Membership Rewards points for champagne and food in London (1p per point)

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1p per point is my preferred target when redeeming American Express Membership Rewards points.  This is not easy, of course. 

As I wrote here, redeeming Membership Rewards points for statement credit or gift vouchers only gets you 0.5p per point.

If you value Avios or other airline miles at 1p per point, then you will get to your target there.  I also wrote recently about how Club Carlson transfers can easily get you 1p per Membership Rewards point.

A lesser-known redemption route that can be useful is redeeming for Jumeirah Sirius points.  Jumeirah is best known for its luxury hotels in Dubai, but it also runs two five-star properties in Knightsbridge, the Carlton Tower and the Lowndes.  (They are about 60 seconds walk from Harvey Nichols, walking down Sloane Street.)

The Sirius reward chart is here.  Note that the transfer rate from Membership Rewards is 15:1.

I don’t want to discuss hotel room redemptions, since the value of those varies massively depending on the day you want to redeem.  Let’s focus on the food and drink redemptions under ‘Dining’.

A 3-course lunch or dinner, excluding drinks, at The Rib Room at the Carlton Tower is 900 Sirius points, so 13,500 Membership Rewards points, for two people.  You will get 1p per point from that, because The Rib Room is ‘reassuringly expensive’.

Lunch in the Club Room is 300 Sirius points, or 4,500 Membership Rewards points, for two.  This is a very good buffet, all you can eat, served in the lounge of the spa complex.  It was £22 per person plus service last time I was there, so again you get 1p per point.  There is also a great view over Chelsea from the lounge.

You can also get a £30 voucher for the Champagne Bar at the Carlton Tower for 250 points, or 3,750 Membership Rewards points.  This is 0.8p per point.  I’m not sure how much they charge per glass though.

There are also dining options at the slightly less posh Lowndes Hotel across the road, including a 300 Sirius point (4,500 Membership Rewards points) deal for dinner for two at their Terrace restaurant.

You can also redeem for spa treatments at the Carlton Tower.  Again, you get about 0.8p per point if you take this route

These redemption options won’t be for everyone, but if you have some Membership Rewards points and want a night out in London, you could do worse than one of these options. 

If you don’t have any, remember that the current sign-up bonuses are 20,000 points on the free Amex Gold and 30,000 points on Amex Platinum.  Full details on the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ page.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 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

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

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.

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

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus 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:

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.

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

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (1)

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

  • Sir Stamford says:

    Given all the euphoria with the Tesco prepaid Visa cards, it is easy to forget that we are in a new month.

    There is a new FourSquare offer for May 2013.
    Space.NK: spend £50, get £25 back.

    Sir Stamford

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

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