Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Amazingly, the old bmi credit cards just got better!

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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)

  • James67 says:

    I wonder if the discount will apply to money and avios redemptions. Wish I had held on to my mastercard. Would be cool if they would now offer bonus miles for threshold spends. Seems like they are trying to liquidate theif stash of miles.

  • Mark says:

    Apologies for this elementary question. I still have the original free bmi mc (before it got twinned with the Amex card), but perhaps foolishly haven’t used it in ages as put majority of my spend through various Amex cards. Question is, do I need to do anything to link/set up this old card to my BA Exec account?

  • larryflyer says:

    Just got off the phone with MBNA. I have (what is now called) the standard “Diamond Club Credit Card Account” (that’s the no-fee account, with dual Amex and Visa cards, that many of us applied for just before the deadline – thanks Raffles!). Initially I was told (by the MBNA Diamond Club dept!) that my card IS eligible for the 10% discount on BA flight bookings, but after pressing (and the MBNA assistant checked the Diamond Club website) it was confirmed my card is not – only the “Plus” cards, and the Mastercard with annual fee (as indicated).

    No surprise there. I then asked about upgrading to the “Diamond Club Plus Credit Card Account” – not possible, would need a new appplication from scratch. Okay – how do I do that? At which point I was transferred to the Applications Dept.

    Got the standard advice to “apply via the website”. I pointed out that there were no application forms for ANY of the Diamond Club branded cards on the MBNA website, nor any links to application forms from the Diamond Club website. Assistant was flummuxed at that point, and I spent 10 minutes on hold while he consulted colleagues.

    The definitive answer (eventually) was “We’re not accepting any applications”, but nuanced with “at the present time”, and reference to a transitional period following the acquisition of BMI by BA. There was a definite hint that this could change in due course, and implication that the recently announced (low key) benefit enhancements might be tied to the more substantive launch of a new product in the future.

    Disappointed not to find some back-door way of upgrading, but it was always a long-shot.

    Meanwhile, the 2 Avios/£ on Amex, and 1 Avios/£ on Visa will be enough to divert most of my spend from the BA Amex. MBNA have probably figured that out already!

  • Matt says:

    So if I buy a BA flight with the Amex, does that mean I get x2 x2, i.e. x4 miles per pound???

  • Roger says:

    Thanks to larryflyer for asking similar questions to mine.

    According to the MBNA website, my fee-free platinum MC is now the Diamond Club MasterCard Platinum Mastercard. (Their repetition.) This description does not tally with any of those on the DC webpage mentioned above so I don’t know how many miles I will be earning. It was 1.5/£ and has been 2/£ for a couple of months now. I hope it stays that way. No 10% on BA flights for me, but I get that as a former BA shareholder.

    I’d be a candidate fo upgrading my card, and larryflyer gives me a hope.

    • Rob says:

      My understanding is that discussions are taking place about allowing card upgrades, as confirmed by the telephone call described elsewhere in these comments. They will not be opened to new applicants as that would break the terms of BA’s deal with Amex.

      • Roger says:

        Thanks, Raffles. Good to know! (Especially as I missed out on the LTSB Avios bonanza because I had already had the Airmiles card.)

        I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • Godot says:

    Interestingly, if you go to the blank ‘News and Offers’ page and select ‘View Source’, you’ll see some headers such as “Great deals on British Airways flights”, “Great deals on British Airways flight & hotel packages” and “Executive Club Avios offers”. Not sure if that’s leading up to some targeted deals for cardholders or it’s just going to link the existing BA deals from here.

    • Trevor says:

      No need to view source code for me – the page loaded and was populated with the headings you mention, and they all just link to existing BA offers, so no excitement there.

  • whitenoise says:

    I only have the ‘free’ BMI Amex and Visa cards when I signed up to get the 20k bonus last year. However I’m still smiling that I can get 2 points per £1 on the Amex and 1 point per £1 on the Visa. Looks like I shall be booking any future BA flights on the Amex card at 4 points per £1 then 🙂

  • Gordon says:

    I’m not sure if this is a change but yesterday late afternoon i made some payment to my old platinum fee card. Normally it takes one or two days for these to credit the card. However, these credits showed when i logged back in a couple of hours later. Slightly better than amex which seems to take about 5 days to credit!