Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last chance to transfer Amex points to Virgin / BA / Carlson for a bonus – and what I did

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A quick heads up that tomorrow is the last day to initiate a transfer of American Express Membership Rewards points from American Express to British Airways, Virgin Flying Club or Club Carlson to benefit from the (targeted) 20% – 30% transfer bonuses.

My original article is here.

A discussion on whether it is worth opening a Virgin Flying Club account is here.

Personally, I have transferred 53,334 points to Club Carlson.  With the 25% bonus, that will get me 200,000 points which is 4 x 5-star hotel nights in London.  These will be handy for friends and family over the coming year.  Note that these points took five days to arrive.

I also sent 19,000 points over to Virgin Flying Club.  That takes my balance to 50,000 and gives me the flexibility to book a one-way in Upper Class to most places, if I get a chance to get away without the family.  It would also be a good partner for my 50,000 American Airlines miles.

I didn’t send anything to BA as my Avios balance is high enough for the time being.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – April 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.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points 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 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (36)

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

  • Sonia says:

    As I didn’t get the email I just called to check if I would get the bonus but was told no! She said once I’d had my card for a year I’d start getting them. Boooo.

  • GlennM says:

    For info, I didn’t receive an email, but did transfer points earlier in the month, they posted straight away, the bonus points posted at the end of last week. Circa. 50000 from MR to BA Avios. So this doesn’t seem to have been targeted, I have Gold Amex and received 20%.

  • Sonia says:

    I just tried again via secure messaging and got an immediate YES! Just gotta get the right person in customer services I guess.

    • M says:

      Talking about great CS. They’ve replied within an hour via secure message on a Sunday morning.
      “As you are a valued Cardmember, I have discussed this concern with my Manager and managed to get approval to manually enrol your account into this offer.”
      Now have to decide if to transfer MR to CC as I don’t have any plans of using them.

  • Michelle says:


    I’m fairly new to all of this and have found myself unable to make a decision as to what to do with my MR points as the 20% bonus deadline looms!

    I have 52,000 MR points, 26,000 BAEC points and about 7, 000 Avios and virgin miles each. I have an AMEX gold card which I plan to cancel as soon as my bonus points clear as my year is nearly up and have been using my diamond club AMEX again since hearing I get double points from it! Common sense tells me I ought to transfer it all to BAEC, however with recent posts discussing better availability and lower taxes with virgin, I can’t quite decide which to plump for!

    I have no travel plans and can’t travel until October 2014 but we were considering a trip for two big kids to Orlando one way and then an internal flight somewhere else in the US before flying home from there.

    We’ve moved house today and our brains are fried so any help would be especially appreciated! Thank you

    • CV says:

      I have a similar dilemma, splitting points between different schemes dilutes the ability to spend on rewards so it does really depend on what your travel plans are and whether thats going to be in economy or Biz (or BA First).

      With the recent, and perhaps regular, Virgin redemption sales in economy along with tesco clubcard conversion bonus i have a small stack of Virgin points now – enough to redeem during a future redemption sale (assuming it happens again). But also look at the other airlines which you can redeem virgin miles with, the list is on flying club website. In the case of Malaysian airlines i can redeem for the same seat with Virgin as i could with avios and one world but use less miles and pay less taxes, which is bizarre, but i am cautious about this changing in the near future.

      Orlando is a big Virgin destination, Virgin even fly to Orlando from regional airlines too (Glasgow and Manchester) as they can fill them. In terms of an internal flight you will soon be able to use miles with Delta.

      So the question is can you get enough redemption seats in the class you want on the airline of your choice (Virgin or BA), i’d try a few dummy bookings for your family to see what reward availability is like and on what flights (recent dummy bookings on Virgin have been on the daytime return flights from US rather than the evening overnight flight which is preferred).

      After saying all that, wait and see what BA come up with – Raffles advises that the Avios scheme is due a bit of a reshuffle, probably in the next month or two and i am hoping there will be an improvement in the scheme in response to Virgin’s improvements.

    • Sideysid says:

      I would weigh up current bonuses/Virgin again vs Avios booking Aer Lingus through BA to the USA, as taxes are much lower and make economy a valid option.

  • naf says:

    I didn’t receive the email offer on my Plat card,i emailed them yesterday asking to be added on, just got a reply that they r sorry to have left me out so they added 5000 MR points to my account. being 25% on my already 40k MR.

  • Mark says:

    I emailed them on Monday to be put on the eligible list but they only managed to reply to me yesterday when the deal had expired. The kind lady just asked me to make my transfer to my BAEC account and she will just manually add 20% to my MR account. All done and dusted in 5 mins, the 20% bonus is already in my account. If anyone feels is yet to do the transfer but feels too late then it may not be, worth a go.

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