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Responses to the Avios devaluation: Virgin increases cabin bonus, Qatar cuts BA earning

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The Avios earning and burning changes, which kick in from April 28th and are covered in a series of articles starting here, are beginning to impact other carriers.

Virgin Atlantic emailed Flying Club members this week with changes to their cabin bonus structure.

As a reminder, this is what is happening with Avios:

Avios earning chart 2

Focussing on Club World / Business, British Airways is moving the Avios earned from a flexible ticket from 150% of miles flown to 250% of miles flown.

Virgin Atlantic currently beats British Airways by offering a 200% cabin bonus for flexible Upper Class tickets.  To ensure that they continue to beat BA, the cabin bonus has increased to 300% with immediate effect.

Between now and April 28th – ignoring the impact of any status bonus – you will earn twice as many miles on a flexible business class ticket with Virgin Atlantic compared to British Airways.  After April 28th, you will earn 20% more.

The 300% bonus is flagged as a special promotion until the end of 2015 but may well remain permanent.

It is worth noting that Virgin Atlantic continues to give 100% of miles flown on ALL economy tickets.  This is a SUBSTANTIAL difference to what you will earn on a cheap economy ticket on BA after April 28th – a modest 400% difference!  If this continues, it will be a very good reason to fly Virgin.

You can see the new Virgin earning table on their website here.

Qatar changes its rates when you credit BA flights to Qatar Privilege Club

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways has taken the axe to the miles you earn when you credit some BA flights to their Privilege Club.

This is an important moveIf other oneworld airlines continue to credit British Airways flights at the current rates, it will make more sense for some people to start crediting BA flights to another airline.  This will be especially true of travellers who always travel in discounted economy.

Here is the new Qatar Privilege Club earning table

Qatar earning rate

The original is on the Qatar website here.

None of the rates are more generous than British Airways Executive Club except economy class G which earns 50% in Qatar but only 25% on BA.  Given that there are nine economy ticket buckets this is not a major difference.

We can expect similar changes from other oneworld partners in the next few weeks, I expect.  It is hard to believe that American Airlines will continue to give you 100% of miles flown in BA discount economy when BA only gives 25% ….


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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 (42)

  • Mark says:

    I’m seriously thinking of flying virgin for my next long haul. Just a shame they don’t do a 2-4-1 as they would get a lot of spend from me.

  • uk1 says:

    Has anyone else noticed what appears to be a “holding back” of availability on normally difficult redemption routes but now seemingly completely dry eg SIN, SYD …. ?

    These are always very tough but not impossible – but I’m wondering whether even more are being held back than normal until after the new rules in order to give the illusion of more availability in compliance with the announcement promises made.

    • James67 says:

      You can add BKK to that list too. A real nuisance since they switched to a 772. If you are avios rich and not using 241 then CX is best option to Asia these days with more seats and less tax/fees.

  • czechoslovakia says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me, but, in contrast, was able to book PRG-LHR-MAN x3 for tomorrow on Saturday after our plans had to be changed due to illness. There was loads of availability. Only in Economy mind, but certainly wouldn’t throw away the avios on a BA “business” ticket anyhow. It was always difficult to get this routing due to the lack of regional connection spaces. Not now it seems.

  • Liz says:

    Just got my very first Lloyds upgrade voucher added to my Avios A/c! Whoop!

    • Brian says:

      I got mine and used it for two single Business class redemptions from Washington to LHR, saving a total of 20,000 Avios. However, if you have to change/cancel, you don’t get the voucher back…

  • mikeact says:

    I find it very annoying for somebody to bring up an Avios OT comment , ie UK1, nothing whatsoever to do with this Virgin topic.

    • c130j says:

      Well mikeact, if that pisses you off, how about this? On the BBC news tonight at 10, David Cameron is heard to be referring to chicken thighs but when the camera pans to the butcher, it’s clearly sausages going into the bag. Now that’s OT.

  • Mikeact says:

    Yup, I saw that too !

    • uk1 says:

      And what was even worst was that they were Cumberland Sausages. Not even local. Now that really is completely unacceptable.

  • JamesW says:

    I hope Tier Points for BAEC for flying on QATAR haven’t been changed ?

  • Aeronaut says:

    The Qatar earnings table has been amended from that shown in the post to remove the economy class G discrepancy – it now shows as earning 25% (rather than 50%), matching BAEC.