With Flybe Rewards4All points being abolished (see my lead story today for the timetable), Flybe had a problem – what does it do with its branded credit card? Avios seems to have put its foot down over making it the 13th UK credit card to earn Avios points.
The clunky solution has been to create a new reward scheme just for the Flybe credit card – Spend&Fly.
The new reward scheme is very simple. Flybe will track your accumulated spend and, based on your past spending, you can apply for free flight vouchers:
£4,000 of spend = Just Fly or Get More (with a suitcase) domestic return flight
£5,500 of spend = All In domestic return flight (changeable, food included, lounge access included, fast track security included)
£6,000 of spend = Just Fly or Get More (with a suitcase) European return flight
£7,500 of spend = All In European return flight (changeable, food included, lounge access included, fast track security included)
These spending targets are identical to the old Rewards4All scheme. For example, under the old scheme you got 1 point per £250 spent and needed 30 points for an All In European flight. 30 x £250 = £7,500 which is what the same reward now costs.
The devil is in the detail so you need to go through the small print. And this is what you find:
Your accumulated spend only runs for 12 months. This means that you need to be redeeming for flights on a regular basis or you will find your ‘accumulated spend’ starting to expire. The current Flybe credit card also works like this – Rewards4All points from the credit card expire after a year, whilst Rewards4All points earned from flying do not!
Flights to Spain, Croatia and Portugal are excluded.
You cannot book one-way redemptions for half of the spend target.
This is the kicker – “All Spend & Fly Bonus Flights are subject to availability at the time of booking and are limited per flight. We reserve the right to limit, increase or decrease the number of Spend & Fly Bonus Flights available. Members are advised to be flexible with the travel dates to avoid disappointment.”. Since Rewards4All availability has historically been very poor there is little evidence that Spend & Fly will be any better.
The better news is that redemption flights can be booked online. You input your voucher code on the website and it will highlight flights which can be booked.
And this – “Discounted web fares may occasionally be available at a lower cost (including taxes & charges) than equivalent Bonus Flights. In such circumstances We will not be under any obligation to match the cost of the Bonus Flight with the full web fare on offer. We recommend customers are flexible with their travel dates when searching for Bonus Flights in order to avoid disappointment.”
In plain English, this means that the taxes on your reward flight might be HIGHER than buying a cash ticket outright! This is because Flybe artificially reduces their fuel surcharge on paid tickets at quiet times to generate a lower cash price. If you try to redeem on the same flight you are asked for the full fuel surcharge.
The better news is that All In redemptions are potentially NOT capacity controlled. Because you can make free changes to those flights, you can redeem for any random date – whether or not it is showing for redemption – and then change it for the date you want.
No refunds are allowed. If you cancel a redemption, you lose the accumulated spend.
What is good about the programme is the low level of spend required. £4,000 of spend gets you a UK flight which would cost you 9,000 Avios – assuming the taxes and charges are the same, which is not certain, and assuming availability is the same. These are fairly big assumptions at the moment especially given how restricted Rewards4All availability was and I think you would be unwise to assume that Avios availability = Spend&Fly availability.
Since it is not possible to check availability without getting the card, making some spend and redeeming a voucher, it may be a while before I get any feedback on how easy it is to redeem for Just Fly or Get More seats. HfP readers have historically been very dismissive about availability.
In two ways this new scheme is worse than the old credit card programme:
Under the old scheme, you could also use your Rewards4All points towards an annual lounge pass. Your only option now is flights with an opaque set of rules about what flights are available.
Since you can only earn Spend&Fly points from the credit card and not from flying, it will be harder to earn enough for a redemption before they start expiring under the 12 month rule.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 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:
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
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 – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
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
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
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.