Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Five frequent flyer perks I still get as an old-timer but you can’t

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One reason that ‘old timers’ in this hobby may have a more positive attitude to the constant changes to programmes is that they are getting a better deal than you!  It is not uncommon for schemes to change but for existing members to retain certain scrapped benefits.

What perks do I have via ‘grandfathering’ that are no longer available to the general public?  I had a think and the list got this far:

American Express Platinum holders used to get a free British Airways Premium Plus American Express.  I still get this deal, saving me £150 per year, and it is the one thing which swings the cost / benefit ratio of Platinum in Amex’s favour.

Holders of other Amex cards used to get a British Airways Premium Plus American Express card for a flat fee of £30 instead of £150.  Many people still have this deal too.

(There was also a British Airways Premium Amex at one point.  This offered a 2-4-1 voucher at £15,000 and 1.25 Avios per £1 spent.  Are they still issuing these to people or were they forcibly migrated?)

Similarly, the old bmi British Midland credit cards pay up to a crazy 2.5 Avios per £1 – and that is for a Mastercard.  I am lucky enough to have one of those.

Holders of the bmi credit cards also receive 10% off all British Airways flights if they book via the link on the website.

Tesco, at one point, had a ‘premium’ tier inside Clubcard.  These people got to convert at 800 Avios per £2.50 voucher rather than 600.  If you ever got this deal, you have retained it.

One retained perk which was recently scrapped for all was the old Tesco Mastercard, which used to pay 1 point per £2 spent rather than the current 1 point per £8.  Until a few months ago, holders of the defunct Tesco World Mastercard used to get 650 free Clubcard points each year as a loyalty bonus – that has also now gone.

The British Airways 10% shareholder discount, which ex-BA shareholders retained even after the merger of British Airways into IAG, also ended last year.

I can’t think of any more off the top of my head, although I’m sure there are others.  Are there are any airline or hotel status benefits which have been retained for older members but not new members?

Comments (53)

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  • simon says:

    Have to admit , i love the BMI card as well , it gives so much more value than the BA Amex , which i use until £10k for the 241 then stop

    Long may it continue to be exist …..

  • Dom says:

    Can confirm the BA Premium AMEX is still being issued to existing holders, just renewed mine.

    • Adele says:

      Do you mean that with the platinum Amex you can also get the BA premium Amex? That sounds great, I will ring them and ask about it. Glad I found this website, awesome tips!

      • Rob says:

        You can’t get it for free – that perk ended a few years ago for new people.

  • Stu R says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t seriously get into Avios until recently, so the only perk I get from your list is the 800 Avios per £2.50 club card voucher, however I don’t expect that will last forever given they pared back the earnings rate from 1 cc point per £2 to 1 cc point per £8 for spend outside Tesco 🙁

    • Kathy says:

      I wish I’d got into this hobby sooner! It’d be so much easier to earn Avios – I don’t even have the 800 per £2.50 CC rate.

      OT: I’m flying to CPH today, starting my first-ever ex-EU trip to NYC tomorrow. I am travelling hand baggage only, and planning to ditch the last leg to CPH on the way back. Will I be able to use the arrivals lounge at LHR, or will they know that I should be catching a flight to on to CPH?

      I’ve never used the arrivals lounge before, so not sure what they actually check on the door.

      • Gregor says:

        Kathy: the reception desk at the arrivals lounge (I’m guessing you’re talking T5) will want the boarding card for the flight you just got off (ie NYC – LHR) to prove your eligibility; your onward travel is your own business (and as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a great deal of discussion available on the risks & benefits of dropping the last leg on ex-EU trips).

        Because there can be a long wait (almost an hour last time I tried) for morning showers in Galleries North, when transferring through T5 I actually prefer to go through Immigration and use the arrivals lounge, then head back through departures.

        PS When flying into CPH, I recommend a window seat on the right hand side from where you get a fabulous view of the Oresund Bridge as the approach runs parallel… although it depends on the wind direction of course!

        • Kathy says:

          Thanks! I’m in the window seat so hopefully I’ll get the nice view. Not sure if I’ll end up seeing much nice – I only have a few hours this evening to look around and the weather forecast is so grim that I’m not sure how long I’ll stick it out for before I seek shelter.

      • Martin says:

        If you have a long haul arriving at LHR you can use the arrivals lounge regardless if you have a connecting flight back out. No different to people flying north to the regional airports after a long haul.

  • Fredo Frog says:

    My thought is: great perks but why draw attention to them? It is of no benefit to HfP readers who not have them as they cannot do anything to get them. And in these days of economic austerity and cutbacks keeping such benefits low profile may be in our best interests or else someone may come along and remove them!

    • Worzel says:

      It’s OK Fredo- this is Rob’s way of letting us know he’s having a good time down there. He’ll of course be back to the wind, rain, and grey clouds soon.

      At least you appear to have some of the above benefits-unlike me!

      Now, “Worzel” – why(!) did you “chop-in” that BMI card?? 🙂 .

    • Rupert says:

      Would agree – why shout about a good thing which is no longer available….

  • Susan says:

    BMI amex/mc- the BA discount only applies to the paid for cards not the basic. Got caught badly (own fault) using the BMI MC on transferwise and got hit with a £70 charge for a cash advance. Won’t do that again in a hurry.

  • Mouse says:

    Great now this has reminded BA of the BMI 10% discount I am sure they will remove it very soon

    • ADS says:

      Although it doesn’t work with HBO fares – at least it didn’t with a one way HBO from Paris that I tried to book recently 🙁

      • Mouse says:

        Correct you can’t use it with HBO. Also in some cases the discount is virtually nothing compared to the standard fare (it’s not always a 10% discount)

  • Koshka says:

    Is it worth challenging Tesco about the removal of the 650 points coupon. As far as I was concerned this was given in return for giving up my Visa version of the card. The original leaflet says nothing about it being a temporary benefit. We had this discussion over on Flyertalk last year when some people didn’t receive the coupon. Here’s the photo that I posted at the time.[email protected]/18109201394/

    • Genghis says:

      If I’m promised something that is then not delivered, I always challenge it. What have you got to lose?

  • Alan says:

    Yes, BA Premium still exists – my folks have it. Probably going to close it though as they’ve been finding it difficult to get good value using the voucher. Decent ex-EU deals combined with poor availability (esp when adding on a domestic connection) have reduced the clause of the voucher.

    I’ve still got the bmi Mastercard, unfortunately I had an Amex too with a higher earning but left it inactive too long and they closed the account 🙁

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