Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Amazingly, the old bmi credit cards just got better!

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

If you hold one of the old BMI credit cards, you probably had a text message recently telling you that MBNA was writing to you with details of enhanced benefits on the cards.

You probably thought that this would relate to the improved mileage earnings on the bmi cards, which I wrote about here.

But you would be wrong!

Whilst the letters have not yet arrived, the details have been posted on the Diamond Club website here.

First, the cards have a funky new look:

Diamond Club cards

Secondly, the site confirms the increased mileage earning I wrote about before.  Amazingly, the MasterCard with the £60 annual fee now earns 2.5 Avios per £1, a frankly astounding rate for a non-Amex card.  The fee-paying Amex cards will also carry this rate.

Thirdly, it is confirmed that you will earn double Avios – so 5 Avios points per £1 on some cards! – when you buy BA flights using the card.

Fourth, though, is the real surprise:

You will receive a 10% discount on all British Airways flights paid for with some of the MBNA credit cards!

Now, this discount is only off the base fair, excluding taxes, so the net discount will be a long way short of 10%.  It is still serious money when booking long-haul premium tickets, though.

You can use the discount as many times as you like.    The only rules are that all flights must start in the UK and the cardholder must be one of the passengers.

So, oddly, if you have one of the old BMI credit cards it is now far superior to the British Airways Amex.

There is little sense continuing to use your BA Amex once you are past the £10,000 threshold for the 2-4-1 voucher, and if you have the 2.5 Avios per £1 MasterCard then you will be laughing very heartily this morning.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (61)

  • You mention the “2.5 avios points per £1 Mastercard” but what other types are there, and how does one know which one you have?

    I have an old BMI card pair from just before the scheme was pulled that was used to get the sign-up bonus but never used to buy BA flights so I’ve no idea on the conversion amount.

  • Markdg says:

    So, the big question is…. will the letters give any upgrade path to the better cards? (I know the answer will be know, but I can but hope….)

    • Volker says:

      If there’s no way of upgrading, MBNA/DC’s message is “Look what you are missing out on!” Not very nice, is it?

  • Markdg says:

    That’ll be “no”, not “know” (too early in the morning)

  • Nick gat says:

    I have an old MBNA BMI Amex card ( which I took out about 3 years when they were offering the 20knponrs sign up bonus. It is blue and white and is a no fee card.

    Does the mileage change on this card as well?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, the mileage on all the cards has increased. The minimum Amex earning is 2 per £1, which is probably what you get as your card is free.

  • Phillip says:

    I wonder what this means for the cards in the long term – is this genuine investment in the product or a way to exhaust it faster. Either way, great news for now.

    • Volker says:

      Well, why would they revamp the card design if they wanted to let them die soon? I’m full of hope now.

    • Rob says:

      The Amex contract with BA is up for renewal very soon. That is all you need to know!

      • Hingeless says:

        If the ba Amex ends will that be the end of 2-4-1s, they ate far more valuable than an increase in points per £

      • Phillip says:

        And what do we think the chances are that it will be renewed with Amex as opposed with MBNA? Surprisingly, following their big fallout in the early 90s over charges, they still came back “united” to launch the current product.

        • Rob says:

          MBNA can offer a double pack of Amex and Visa, which may increase overall spend and thus generate more money for BA.

          The Virgin MBNA Amex with the fee also gives 2 miles per £. If they did that with BA, it is a 33 per cent boost in the number of Avios BA can sell.

          I think MBNA can make a good case.

  • Martyn says:

    why why why did I get rid of this card last year! Kicking myself.

    • DANIEL says:

      because it means you can apply for the 35000 miles AA card!

      • Scott Nelson says:

        @Martyn: I know! I’m kicking myself.

        @DANIEL: thanks for making me feel a little better

  • Alison says:

    I happened upon this new perk last night and gave it a go. Two interesting results:
    1) the flight search results I got using the MBNA link did not show the baggage-free (cheaper) fares from Gatwick, only the regular fares.
    2) the other fares were the same price as those I found using the regular BA website – maybe the discount is not yet ‘live’?

    • James67 says:

      Perhaps we pay the same price and discount is applied as credit to the card. This seems unlikely though as discount applies to base fare only.

  • Volker says:

    I wonder if you get double Avios on Avios+Cash redemptions (as you would still pay some money for your fare). Very much doubt it though.

    • Rob says:

      You should do, because it will still show as British Airways on your card statement and that is what they look for to calculate double Avios.