Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

A credit card offering 4.5 Avios per £1 … but not in the UK

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It is generally accepted that residents of the USA have by far the best range of credit card sign-up bonuses to choose from.  It is difficult to disagree with that, especially when you compare US to UK packages for the same card.  However, I have generally thought that the UK is the second-best country to live in for loyalty credit cards.

I may need to change my view, though.  Reader Luke, who lives in Dubai, sent me details of the Citi PremierMiles Elite credit card.  And it is a stonking package!

Citi UAE card

Whilst the card has an annual fee of £300 (£150 in Year 1) and has no sign-up bonus, you can’t help but be impressed by the benefits:

3 airline miles per US$1 spent internationally (so 4.5 miles per £1, roughly) and 2 per $1 (3 per £1) in the UAE.  You can take miles in seven airline schemes, including British Airways, plus three hotel schemes.  Transfer to Hilton and you get 1:2, so 9 Hilton points per £1 for non-UAE spend!

Free Priority Pass for airport lounge access

‘Buy 1 Get 1 free’ deals for 100 restaurants and attractions

Elite status with Fairmont, Swissotel, Raffles and Best Western hotel chains

Sixt and Budget car rental deals

1-year use of the fast e-Gate at Dubai International Airport for free

Black level membership of Harrods Rewards (an odd one, but something I could really use!)

I have seen other big-number sign-up deals for UAE credit cards being advertised in Dubai, so I imagine it is a competitive environment for the expat credit card sector.  What is interesting about this card is the lack of sign-up bonus offset by the very high earning, which presumably eliminates ‘churn’.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

(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 (12)

  • Jeff says:

    Hmmm it’s a toss-up between the UK and Canada though… 😛

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Although note the 2.99% international spend fee that presumably subsidises the extra miles. Agree the domestic rate is great though.

  • bev says:

    i wonder what austrailia is like for credit cards? i may be moving next year and i want to keep up with my BA avois

  • Dev says:

    Theres a similar product in India – Citbank PremierMiles Visa. 5000RS annual fee but you get 5000 points reward or you can have 5000 points deducted instead of paying the fee. If you use their own version of the travel portal (similar to Amex Trave) to book flights / hotels, you get 10PM per 100Rs spent. Approximately 10 PM for every £1.10 spent!!! Normal earnings for everyday spend are 4PM per 100Rs. Points can used similarly like Amex MR or can be transferred to partners. Points transfer to various Asian airlines (CX, TG, SQ, AI + BA & Delta at a rate of 1:1. Its Issued on the Visa platform. I have started to move towards flexible points options (SPG/Amex MR) but everything seems to be issued as an Amex. I would dearly love a similar Visa/Mastercard (citibank PM or Chase Ultimate Rewards) to be launched in the UK.

    • onlysuites says:

      They are changing this, from now on-wards you can earn unlimited miles at 10per rs100 @ premiermiles website. I find the website to be basically like most OTA sites and the prices are comparable to booking through the airline direct. Last month I saved £20 by booking through premiermiles rather then BA. Maybe a exchange rate fluctuation?

      Great earning though and don’t forget if you utilize the BA transfer bonus (30% once a year) then you are essentially earning 5.2 miles per £1.10 spent. Beats my UK BA cards hands down.

      • onlysuites says:

        Citibank running a promotion this and next month which will give me a 50% bonus on miles. So instead of getting 5.2 miles to the £ I will be getting 7.8 miles to the £ spent. Add on a yearly 30% bonus to Avios transfer and that brings it to 10.14 Avios to the £.

        For Travel spends I will be earning just under 25 Avios to the £.

        Beat that 🙂

  • Gordon says:

    On the subject of cards i notice that he SPG amex is still advertising the 20k sign up bonus. This was supposed to have ended at the end of july

    • Rob says:

      Yes, its been extended by a few days – no idea how many. Will do a post on Tuesday if its still there!

      • Gordon says:

        I guess i wouldnt qualify if i cancelled my previous spg card on 28th march this yesr?

        • Rob says:

          No, needs to be 6 months. But this promo will be back, I am certain – this is the 3rd / 4th time it has turned up since the card was launched.

  • Mark says:

    Canada is infinitely better for quantity and quality of cards on offer. Pretty much everything comes with a standard 15,000 minimum sign up, banks often offer MC and V so have much more range and also often offer airline cards and an in-house product with a conversion programme. There are at least ten Amex cards worth having at any one time. Also points accumulate at 1 or more per CAD which is considerably more generous than per GBP. Transfer bonuses especially to Avios are also common and generous (min 50%). I have cards in both countries and have a waiting list of “wants” in Canada, whereas UK you have exhausted everything after six months.

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