Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Three things which I’d like British Airways Executive Club to copy

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

It is sometimes the little things in a loyalty scheme which make the difference.  Here are three things I have come across in recent weeks which I thought other schemes could benefit from copying.

Etihad launched an exclusive Twitter account for Gold members

This is quite clever.  Everyone offers premium phone lines for their elite members but very few offer a dedicated Twitter team.  If you are Gold in Etihad Guest, you can now apply for access to @etihadpremium on Twitter.

They promise:

  • Five minute response times
  • Dedicated service
  • Retro mileage claims
  • Exclusive deals

Applying is cumbersome – for some reason, they insist on seeing a photocopy of your Etihad Guest membership card.  Once you have sent that in, they will follow you, you can follow them back and that opens up the direct messaging channel.

British Airways please note.

Etihad Premium

Redeeming your miles for duty free merchandise

When I flew SAS down to Toulouse recently (photo through my window below!), I flicked through the duty free catalogue.  What impressed me was that every product was available for miles as well as cash.  10,300 EuroBonus miles got you 200 Marlboro Gold.

The exchange rate, it has to be said, was poor – around 0.3 Eurocents per mile.  For some reason the rate is far worse than the 0.5 Eurocents per mile they use if you redeem miles to buy food and drink onboard.

It is still a good idea though.  Imagine how pleased your partner would be if he / she was idly looking through the catalogue, pointed out something they liked and then you said ‘no problem, let’s get it with my miles’.

I’m not sure how you can check the current balance of a mileage account inflight but clearly SAS has found a way.

Rolling over your tier points with Jumeirah Hotels – could BA do this?

I was looking into the small print of my Jumeirah Hotels Sirius account, as I am keen to ensure I spend enough this year to retain Silver status and therefore free breakfast on our family holidays.

Jumeirah tier points do not expire.  They roll over annually.  Even modest spenders would still find, after a few years, they would qualify for a year of Silver status.

This is a clever move, I think.  Two things would happen – either the guest would visit Jumeirah more in the year they had status to enjoy the benefits (a win) or they continue to only stay infrequently, in which case giving out the status has cost very little.

There is another twist with Jumeirah Sirius.  When you renew status, your tier points do not reset to zero.  They simply deduct what is required for the new tier.

Some of the other hotel schemes which are based around qualifying nights also let you roll over additional nights about your requalification threshold.

Imagine, if you earned 800 tier points with British Airways, only losing 600 when your Silver card was renewed.  You would have a head start of requalification next year and may even be tempted to push on for Gold.

This system has pros and cons.  The upside is that customers do not feel that tier points are ‘wasted’.  At present, a BA flyer who hits 600 for Silver but can never hit 1,500 for Gold sees his additional spend going nowhere in terms of tier points.  A rollover scheme stops that and may encourage more custom.

On the downside, someone who values Silver but not Gold may actually stop spending early!  If you were on 1,400 tier points, you may be tempted to stop flying BA until you are into your next membership year.  This would maximise your time as a Gold as you get all of your current year plus all of the next one – a maximum of 23 months.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (23)

  • Tom C says:

    Your last point rings true with me. I will never hit Gold and will always be a Silver member. Right now I’m on just over 900 Tier points and have until September to hit the target, which simply will not happen. If it was extended by a few months, it wouldn’t be a problem, yet now I’ve got the choice of whether to fly BA F or Virgin UC to Miami in November, and it does make me take the tier points into consideration. It would be nice if due to booking the flight now, I could get the tier points for this year if I choose to.

  • Phillip says:

    The only thing I would say about Etihad Guest’s premium account is, does it deliver? If the five minute response is a “holding message” that asks you to then email stuff through that will never be actioned, then nothing achieved! The ME3 have non existent behind the scenes customer service!

    • Elena-MuslimTravelGirl says:

      Phillip you are pretty much right, I am Gold (status match) and I started following the account. I haven’t used it personally but what i saw on the feed is that they just pretty much re-check for the customer and email the departments. They don’t seem to deposit miles and other more complex account queries. I was personally disappointed but Im interested to see what happens if I need them. The waiting time is very short though I agree, emails are replied very fast.

      • James says:

        Just head over to the Etihad Guest page on flyertalk – you will see their social media responses are pretty much useless… some even wonder if they have a bot doing auto replies going by the quality of the responses.

        • Miles Down Under says:

          Would suggest you really, really don’t want BA copying Etihad in this regard…

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            Well, at least you get a response…….

            “Your call to BA is so important to us that we can’t be bothered employing sufficient staff to answer it…..” message gets a bit boring by the second or third HOUR!

            Oops. Sorry. Forgot, this is about Gold people.

  • RIccati says:

    I find it is problem with BAEC that everyone has an arbitrary year (eg, Aug-Aug, Sep-Sep), depending on when they opened account.

    What’s more, I was advised that random year start cannot be changed!

  • James Ward says:

    Rollover elite qualifying miles is a great perk, in my opinion. It’s the reason I stay loyal to Delta, despite their recent devaluation to an already much-derided program. My annual travel pattern usually leaves me just short of Gold. Without rollover miles I would be forever Silver.

    With Delta, rollover miles is an elite-only benefit, so they’re encouraging you always to aim for at least their lowest level.

  • Volker says:

    Sadly BA obviously see more cons than pros (for themselves, from their business point of view), otherwise they would follow your suggestions without hesitation, Rob.

  • Danksy says:

    Off topic but I’ve had my automated claim for missing TPs and Avios from Qatar rejected from BA…does anyone have a BA customer services email address please?

    • msm2000uk says:

      Don’t use the automated online response for QR. Phone BA and ask for the claim to be re-added to the spreadsheet.

      I had a similar problem, was rejected twice by QR, but then accepted on the third time of asking once I’d given BA every piece of minute information needed!

      It took 5 weeks for the Avios and Tier Points to credit, from the original flight date.

  • ECR says:

    Here are three features offered by other schemes that I’d love to see in BA Exec Club:-

    1. Air Berlin have a credit card where you can earn points towards status.
    2. Finnair allow coversion of their avios equivalent to tier points.
    3. Hilton allow redemption stays to count towards status in the same way as cash stays.

    Sadly though none of them are ever likely to happen in BA Exec Club.

  • Pete says:

    Re:SAS they don’t check your balance in air, instead they take a payment card as well as your Eurobonus in case you’re short of points

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.