Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Sorry Ian, sorry Will …. British Airways rolled out the red carpet for a copycat

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If you are a regular reader of Head for Points, you probably remember that I dedicated some space in May to Will, who had written about his fairly crazy attempt to earn British Airways Gold Guest List status by flying 40 flights in under 40 days.  Will is pictured below.

In August, I ran a similar story about Ian.  Ian had managed to rack up an amazing 1,390 tier points from just one trip, and had written about how he did it.

Neither of these guys received diddly-squat from British Airways in terms of special treatment – not that they expected it, and probably not that they wanted it.

Yesterday, the story below appeared on Business Traveller and is presumably taken from a British Airways press release. Intriguingly, the guy works in the industry, has no previous writing history and does not seem to be known to the Flyertalk community.

He doesn’t even mention Flyertalk or Head for Points on his site despite having the knowledge to book the most perfect routing possible for tier point maximisation.

Will photo

British Airways rolled out the red carpet at Heathrow this week for a customer who had travelled a staggering 18,479 miles in just five days on 12 flights, in an effort to bag himself a British Airways gold card.

Adam Rowland, a 30-year-old online marketing manager from Epping decided to take on the challenge and document his entire experience through an online site (, in which he explained that as well as trying to achieve a British Airways gold card in less than a week, he also hoped to use the trip as a way of overcoming personal challenges, including a ‘white-knuckle fear of turbulence’ and ‘seeking pleasure in the company of strangers’.

Adam said: “I’d convinced myself that I would never get to Gold the long way round and then I found a way that I could. I’d broken out of the boundary that I’d set myself and the challenge was afoot. It might not be the most conventional way of spending a long weekend, but then again I’ve never been that much of a fan of convention.”

James Hiller, British Airways’ Executive Club Manager said: “A member of our team at British Airways spotted Adam’s site and we’d been watching him as he criss-crossed the Atlantic.

“It’s an incredible achievement and we are delighted to award him the Gold card he’s achieved with his flying, and we look forward to welcoming him as a Gold customer on his next journey with us.”

Adam was officially presented with his new Gold card at Terminal 5 yesterday afternoon in the First lounge at Terminal 5, which he will now be able to make full use of.

Adam’s itinerary included:

18,479 miles
12 flights
3 airlines
9 airports
2 hotels
45 hours in the air
3 countries
7 cities

The Brit started his journey at London City Airport, then flying on from city to city.   The itinerary included the following flights:

London City to Amsterdam
Amsterdam to Heathrow
Heathrow to Boston
Boston to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Honolulu
Honolulu to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Washington Dulles
Washington Dulles to Charlotte
Charlotte to New York
New York to London City
Heathrow to Amsterdam
Amsterdam to London City

Lucky Adam.  Sorry Ian, sorry Will.  Looks like you missed out there.

On the upside, it seems that British Airways has now given its stamp of approval to earning status by going on cheap American Airlines and US Airways tier point runs across the US!

PS.  The uber-bright amongst you will have already worked out that the itinerary above only generates 1,470 tier points.  He already had 30 tier points when he started off.  Adam did not actually earn enough tier points from his trip for Gold status.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous 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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

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 a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

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