Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The best Avios collection tip I’ve had from a reader this week ….

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I get to hear some great Avios collecting stories from readers.  I rarely repeat them because the idea is often not scaleable or would collapse if given wider exposure.  I am happy to share this one though.

With Amazon Prime Day coming on Tuesday, this tip is even relevant.

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus card earns 1.5 Avios per £1 spent.  However, as the American Express reporting system cannot handle fractions, it always rounds up your points.

Our reader initially discovered this quirk after he popped into his local branch of Poundland and bought just one item …..

Last year Amazon introduced a very quick way of topping up your Amazon account with credit for future use.  You simply go to this page, type in the amount you want to top up and submit.  The sum is automatically charged to your linked credit card and added to your account.

Imagine that our reader wants to buy an item for £15.

Instead of buying it directly and charging £15 to his BA Premium Plus credit card – earning 23 Avios in the process – he buys 15 x £1 top-ups.

This goes through his statement as 15 separate transactions of £1.  Each transaction earns 2 Avios because Amex rounds up the 1.5 Avios due.  This means that you earn an additional 33% Avios on each Amazon purchase.

This only works with the British Airways Premium Plus card, not the free BA card which gives 1 Avios per £1 and therefore does not benefit from any rounding.  It may work with other credit cards which offer an odd number of points per £1.

If you have any similar Avios collection tips which would not be killed off if they were shared with a wider audience, please let me know.  I can’t guarantee to use them but at the very least it will make me smile to read them.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2023)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

Comments (93)

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

  • Mr Dee says:

    Whilst the fuel saver is on at Morrisons (Until the 11th) you would get a voucher worth 10p off fuel with a maximum saving of £10, if you filled up with 100 litres then the cost of Avios by topping up would be 20p per point.

    From the 11th July, a better solution is to buy the Amazon gift vouchers from Morrisons for a £100 spend you would get £2.50 in points back vs the extra 50 points by topping up your amazon account direct, effectively meaning your paying 5p per point.

    Topping up your amazon account direct is ok if your in a hurry but better to buy the vouchers from Morrisons.

    • David says:

      Is that really the best way?

      • Mr Dee says:

        Even with their new points scheme your getting £2.50 back for every £100 and if you can buy/value the Avios points at 1p then thats an equivalent of 250 Avios as opposed to 50 Avios in the topping up your account 100 times with £1.

    • harry says:

      No max on fuel saver, you can get 100p off a litre if you feel like it

      • Mr Dee says:

        Sorry I meant on a £100 spend you would get a 10p off voucher and if you filled up with 100 litres that would be a £10 saving, there is no limit as often use £1 off and on 100 litres this is £100 off. So thats a £100 saving on a £1000 spend effectively 10% off, that is until they stop on the 11th of July.

    • Mr Dee says:

      10p voucher based on a £100 spend example

      • harry says:

        OK Mr Dee let’s ignore fuel

        So I can top up my Amazon balance @ Morrisons, I use my Amex card

        You say I get £2.50 back on a £100 voucher (Morrisons points)

        Plus I get 100/200 Avios points through my Amex

        Total for me (2 points card) would be £4.50 discount on £100 Amex spend

        • Mr Dee says:

          Yes, definitely worth buying at morrisons using your Amex over Amazon direct even with the new devalued points scheme on gift voucher purchases.

  • Duncan says:

    I’ve always been intrigued by the use of PAYG topups to pay for things. I’ve noticed I can load cash onto a PAYG 3 SIM using my BAPP card, then use that to top up a PokerStars account, which then allows me to withdraw to my bank account. I’ve topped up my account a couple of times and emptied it back out, but wonder if that’s an opportunity to manufacture some more meaningful amount of points.

    • harry says:

      Try £500 & report back?


    • Mr Dee says:

      Interesting but some of these gambling sites will just block your account if your not using the balance ie wagering your whole deposit at least once. Then during the wagering process you could easily lose your value of points that you would be making. Worth a try though and see if it works for you!

    • Andy says:

      I imagine that your PokerStars account would get shut down fairly quickly if you did this repeatedly or in large amounts. It earns the bookie nothing (which they don’t like), and it’s probably a technique used by people trying to launder money which will get your account flagged.

      If you wanted to take it a step further you could matched bet (back something at Pokerstars and then lay the opposite at a betting exchange like Betfair) so that the money is “lost” at Pokerstars which would keep them happy, but I think it would be more trouble than it’s worth for the points.

    • Genghis says:

      Give it a go. Just don’t tell anyone. Oh wait…

      Also don’t muck about (too much) with PAYG Oyster.

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