BA sale

Changes to the Avios earning rate on the 7 (!) bmi credit card options

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For those people lucky enough to still have the old bmi British Midland credit cards issued by MBNA, some unwelcome news dropped through the letterbox yesterday.

Not for everyone, just for some.

There are, unbelievably, SEVEN different bmi credit card packages out there.  Whilst everyone is losing the benefit of double miles for spending with British Airways, not everyone is having their miles cut.  The 10% discount on British Airways flights will also remain.

bmi credit cards

As far as I can tell, this is what is happening.  If you have a letter which contradicts anything below, please let me know and I will correct it:

Diamond Club American Express card (no annual fee)

Old rate:  2 miles per £1

New rate:  Unchanged (guess)

Diamond Club Plus American Express card (with annual fee)

Old rate:  2.5 miles per £1

New rate:  Unchanged (guess)

Diamond Club credit card (Amex & Visa combination, no annual fee)

Old rate:  2 miles per £1 on the Amex, 1 mile per £1 on the Visa

New rate:  Unchanged (fact)

Diamond Club Plus credit card (Amex & Visa combination, with annual fee)

Old rate:  2.5 miles per £1 on the Amex, 1.5 miles per £1 on the Visa

New rate:  Unchanged (guess)

Diamond Club MasterCard (with annual fee)

Old rate:  2.5 miles per £1

New rate:  Unchanged (fact)

Diamond Club MasterCard (no annual fee)

Old rate:  1.25 miles per £1

New rate:  Unchanged (guess)

Diamond Club Classic MasterCard (no annual fee)

Old rate:  2 miles per £1

New rate:  1.25 miles per £1

Should you switch?

Probably not, to be honest.

Only the Classic MasterCard is seeing a big cut in the earning rate.  The loss of double miles on BA transactions on the other cards is a very minor adjustment.

The best MasterCard or Visa option for earning Avios is currently the HSBC Premier MasterCard.  This is tricky to get, however.  It earns 1 mile per £1.  The second best option is the Tesco MasterCard which only earns 0.6 Avios per £1.  If you have the Classic MasterCard, 1.25 Avios per £1 is still a great deal.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. I have the fee free combination that was available just before the merger. Earning rate remains the same.

    • Trevor says:

      Confirmed. That’s the “Diamond Club credit card account” listed third above.

  2. How do you get the 10pc ba discount?
    I have the amex/ visacard which is unchanged

    • Think Square says:

      Log into the Diamond Club website, then use the link at the top of the page

    • Trevor says:

      I don’t think this is available to fee-free cards.

      • It is available, I have the fee-free cards.
        The only thing that’s not avilable, are the hbo (hand baggage only) fares when getting the 10% discount.

  3. darrenf says:

    My letter, with the fee-paying MasterCard, says that the 10% discount on BA flights remains only until May 2016.

  4. Tariq says:

    Diamond Club MasterCard (no annual fee)
    Old rate: 1.25 miles per £1
    New rate: Unchanged (guess)

    I can confirm the above is correct.

  5. Volker says:

    “The loss of double miles on BA transactions on the other cards is a very minor adjustment.”

    To be honest, I was a bit surprised to read this, Raffles, as you usually point out each of Tesco’s “100 CC points for buying an Olly Murs CD” promotions. While it certainly won’t make me look for a different credit card, this is still another noticeable cut which adds to the current devaluation misery. Buy a few BA flights (including reward flights) and you’ll now be thousands of Avios worse off. Sad times indeed.

    • The_Real_A says:

      I think a lot here rely on the AMEX plat travel insurance which requires payment to be made by that card – so never been able to take advantage of this benefit.

    • Truth is that I don’t spend much cash on BA tix and use my BA Amex when I do because of the Plat travel insurance.

  6. Think Square says:

    Do we know whether transactions made in March but billed in April will get the old or new rate?

    • Trevor says:

      The letter states “…will apply… from 31 March 2015.”

      • I phoned MBNA today and was told that any transaction made until 31st March would be awarded at the 2 times rate, any from April 1st at the 1.25 times. I did not, however, get the feeling that the person I was speaking to was entirely sure. Has anyone else been told this?

  7. Trevor says:

    I know I have an old MasterCard and I know there is no annual fee. What’s confusing is that listed above are the last 2 options called “Diamond Club MasterCard” earning 1.25 Avios/£1, and “Diamond Club Classic MasterCard” earning 2 Avios/£1. Well my letter states that mine is the former yet had the earning rate of the latter (which I already knew). That bad news is that its rate will be dropping to 1.25 Avios/£1 – boohoo! I always loved this grandfathered earning rate. Whatever the name though, it appears that all free Mastercards will be earning the same lower rate now of 1.25 Avios/£1.

  8. Perhaps worth a mention that the letter is from Andrea Burchett, Commercial Director, Avios Group (AGL) Limited

    • Lady London says:

      Is that “Avios Group (AGL) Limited” as in “ripe for sale” ?

  9. louie-m says:

    “Diamond Club American Express card (no annual fee)

    Old rate: 2 miles per £1

    New rate: Unchanged (guess)”

    I can confirm this.

    I’m also a little surprised that my letter regarding the old fee-free standalone Mastercard (but not the Amex one) refers to the 10% BA discount continuing. I had understood from the table on the Diamond Club website some time ago that this applied only to the fee-paid card. I’m glad I don’t book many non-award BA flights as I would have been miffed to discover I had been missing out on a discount!

  10. Victoria says:

    I’ve had the Amex / Visa combo for years now and wasn’t aware of the 10% discount. Gutted to know that I’ve missed out on hundreds of pounds worth of discount!

    Does this discount apply to flights booked using Avios or part cash / part Avios too?

    • No, only full cash bookings. Not sure if it works with ‘part pay with Avios’ or not (as opposed to ‘part cash part Avios’ which does not work).

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