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:

bmi credit cards

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 (see above) 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)

  • RedHroogar says:

    Interesting articlean and my first post (only found this excellent and informative site a couple of months ago)
    I signed up for the BA Premier plus card two years ago and as an existing Platimum card holder wasn’t offered it for free! Was it a deal that you needed to apply for perhaps?
    I will be calling Amex today to get their response

    • Rob says:

      The deal ended in 2006ish ….

      • Talay says:

        I could have had the BA Premier Plus with the first roll out of Amex Centurion back in circa 1998/9 ? but mistakenly at the time thought nothing of it and was concentrating on Virgin Upper Class upgrades through Membership Rewards.

        Did eventually have it but let Centurion go when they hiked the fees to lunatic levels. Platinum for a while then nothing when I moved abroad.

        Now the BAPP at £150 is the only one, no BMI (again, should have, didn’t, regret etc.) but don’t see the value in Platinum at £400 (making £700 with 2 x BAPP).

        Now if Platinum did 1.5 miles / rewards and a 2 for 1 ticket, we could drop the BAPP and happily sign up 🙂

    • Brian says:

      As the article clearly states, these are benefits that are NO LONGER available to people who don’t already have them. No point in calling Amex about it!!!

  • RTS says:

    Ah, the benefits of being elderly.

    I sadly do not hold any of these products! 😛

  • whiskerxx says:

    Apologies – completely OT:

    Today is the last day for converting Nectar points to Caffe Nero hot drinks voucher at the rate of 100 points (50p) per drink. Vouchers have to be redeemed by 31st May. Visit

  • Ian Morgan Smith says:

    I signed up for both American Express Platinum Card and shortly after a British Airways Premium Plus Credit Card. I am now in my third billing period. I just checked the past two months statements on both cards. I did pay the £450 for the Platinum Card, yet I see as of yet I have not been charged the £150 for the BA Premium Card. It seems so far I have the Premium Card for free giving me the net result of both cards for £300

    I don’t really want to contact AMEX to clarify this deal in case they made a mistake!

    • idrive says:

      WELL, not smart writing that comment with your full name and surname!! 🙁

      • luke says:

        raffles, do amex have someone lurking in the shadows in brighton reading hfp?

        • Amex Employee says:


          • luke says:


          • Rob says:

            As many HFP readers will confirm, Brighton generally tells callers to visit this site if you ring them with a question which they cannot answer!

            Seriously, most people in the travel and loyalty credit cards industry read this site as was evident at the credit card conference I went to a couple of months ago.

          • Ian Morgan Smith says:

            I would also like to add that I am happy to give out my full name and to talk freely and truthfully about any relevant issues to do with my card dealings on this site, whether people working in the industry read the site or not.

      • Ian Morgan Smith says:

        Whether you think I am smart or not ‘idrive’ My last comment about contacting AMEX was rather tongue in cheek.

  • Liz says:

    When did Tesco offer the 800 Avios for £2.50? I started collecting the old Airmiles back in 2009 with Tesco and when they converted to Avios in 2012 but only on a very low key scale – converting for one economy flight per year till I discovered this site last year! I switched to collecting Virgin miles for a bit during 2012 and part of 2013 – think it must have been offered then and I didn’t pick up on it – I still have a lot of Tesco emails from that period but don’t have one offering the 800 miles – kicking myself now!!! I have the old Tesco credit card and didn’t get the 650 c/c points last summer.

    • signol says:

      When you signed up for auto convert to Avios. At least that’s how I got my 3.2 rate 🙂

    • Linda says:

      When Tesco took over air miles from Sainsbury all those years ago you could get the 800 miles by maintaining a £60 per week shop on a regular basis. If you did not manage that spend then you got 400. People complained about this so Tesco said everyone would get 600 miles from thereon and those who had managed to attain the 800 mile ratio would be allowed to keep it ie., grandfather rates.

  • Tim says:

    I used to get the BA PP AMEX for £30 as a holder of other AMEX cards up until a few years back; they sent me a letter saying they were removing the perk and the cost would be £150 going forward. I actually cancelled the BA PP for a while before eventually going back and now pay the £150 each year.

  • Alex W says:

    Thanks everyone for making newbies very jealous!!

  • signol says:

    Thanks for the BMI cardholder discount reminder on BA flights. Shame I’d forgotten about it when I recently spent ~£200 on BA Comair flights in SA 😉