Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Egypt follows India with new visa rules, new BA Gatwick to Vienna route

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

Egypt launches tough new visa regime

My article yesterday about the disproportionately tough new visa regime brought in with very little warning by India caused a lot of comment.

I hope no-one decided to swap their holiday plans from India to Egypt.  The military Government in Egypt announced yesterday that individual travellers would no longer be allowed to buy a visa on arrival.  Tour groups are exempt.

The change takes place on May 15th.  From that date, you will have to obtain a visa before you fly from the Egyptian Embassy.

Ironically, as Reuters mentioned in the same report:

Egypt hopes to generate $20 billion in revenue from tourism by 2020 by attracting 20 million visitors, new Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy told Reuters on Sunday at an international investment conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.”

Not behaving like this he won’t.

Cairo has also, in recent years, been one of the cheapest places in the world to buy a British Airways long-haul flight.  Buying a ticket out of Cairo was not only cheap but earned additional tier points, because the Cairo to London leg is treated as long haul.  This game may now be up, unless passengers in transit are still allowed to travel without a visa – and even then, doing a back-to-back flight to Cairo is not for the feint hearted.


New British Airways route to Vienna

British Airways announced yesterday that it will launch a new year-round route from Gatwick to Vienna.

Flights will start on September 17th.  There will be four flights per week during the Winter season (Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday) and six per week (not Saturday) during the Summer.

Redemption and cash flights can already be booked at  A redemption is 15,000 Avios points return in World Traveller and 30,000 in Club Europe.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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

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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (10)

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

  • barnaby100 says:

    But if you go to Sharm you don’t need a visa if you stay in the resort.

    British nationals travelling to Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba resorts for up to 15 days receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival. If you intend to travel out of these areas or stay longer than 15 days, you must get a visa

    So do you now need a visa for all visits? Not that I am planning on going as since the flights were cut back it is no longer a cheap option for a quick break as flights are generally pretty expensive to Sharm.

  • Andrew says:

    Disproportionately tough, even after so many comments pointed out the UK does the same thing, or worse, to its visitors?

    • froggitt says:

      Can’t see many Brits overstaying, claiming asylum, or trying to sign on down the local Cairo job centre though…..

  • Phillip says:

    There are obviously enough people in the mileage hobby fooking flights ex-Cairo to make Egypt think charging them for a visa will bring all that projected income!

  • Will says:

    Does this apply to Sharm etc. previously you didn’t need a visa to stay in Sharm on a two week holiday.

  • Trevor says:

    South African passport holders get a free visa in advance from the Egyptian embassy anyway, and for a family of 4, this adds up enough to make it worth the little effort, so no problem… oh, except the new queues rather than an empty space.

  • Brian says:

    Can’t seem to find any availability for the LGW – VIE route – surely it can’t all be taken…

    • Rob says:

      There was definitely economy availability last night – didn’t see any business class on the day I checked.

      • Brian says:

        Thanks – it was obviously a blip. Found availability for the dates I wanted after all. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Andy says:

    The days of cheap fares ex CAI ebded about the same time as the replacement of decent Longhaul aircraft with 767 and a321. It can be I possible to fnd I inventory which is the key to cheap fares.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.