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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

  • Gavin says:

    I can’t believe pound land would take Amex!

  • Nick M says:

    The free BA card also rounds up – spending £1.51 will get you 2 avios, whereas you’d only get 1 if using the Gold charge card

  • JP says:

    I’m curious – if you top up £0.67, in perfectly fair world you should earn 1.005 avios points – does that also “round up” to 2 points, or do you need to top up a full £1.00 to earn anything?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Avios are calculated on the amount of the purchase and then rounded up or down to the nearest full Avios.

      For example, if you make a purchase of £25.99, if Avios are earned at the rate of 1.5 Avios per £1 (£25.99 x 1.5, i.e. 38.9, rounded up to the nearest full Avios) 39 Avios will accrue.

  • Erico1875 says:

    Taking it further,(as we do, lol ) £1.34 x 1.5 = 2.1 . do you think they will round up to 3 ?

    • Genghis says:

      No

    • Genghis says:

      But I think a purchase of £0.34 would become X 1.5 = 0.51, rounded up to 1 avios.

      So if you’re desperate, doing this on Amazon would be almost 3 avios per £ on BAPP

      This is the maths – not sure if it can actually be done.

      • Genghis says:

        Or in other words an almost 100% bonus

        • Simon says:

          Genghis, would this also work with an (MBNA-issued) American Airlines Amex which offers 1.5 AA miles per £1 spent, do you think? Or would MBNA adopt a different approach in all likelihood when it comes to rounding up? Thanks!

          • Rob says:

            It will cost you £1 to find out! (Although as MBNA does not break out transactions and the points earned you may have trouble working it out, unless you don’t make any other transactions that month.)

            I get a feeling that MBNA awards points based on total spend in the month, so no benefit of doing this, but I am willing to be proved wrong.

          • Genghis says:

            My MBNA diamond club and Virgin do it on monthly spend aggregated so works in a different way and not really applicable. I presume AA is the same.

      • Nick says:

        Well there is only one way to find out…

        Love it. I’m actually going to give this a go. I wonder if Amex will have a fit when they see scores of 34p transactions going through?

  • Frankie says:

    Love this! I still remember the Saturday, maybe 4 or 5 years ago my partner and I drove around a few tescos in SE London buying heaps of Vina Sol wine as each bottle was worth 150 Tesco points. And then on another occasion there were the £25 tents for 500 points that tescos were selling ( we drank the wine but used to return the tents and they never took the points back). Halcyon days….

    • harry says:

      Must be a few ‘savvy shoppers’ out there…we got Double The Difference closed down lol

      • Frankie says:

        Don’t they still do double the difference? I’m sure I got it not that long ago (I do always have to point to the board behind them which states it)

        • harry says:

          The difference being: the old DTD was getting some of us several £hundreds of free stuff a day…mostly wine in my case http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1381641/Tesco-axes-Double-Difference-refunds-hijacked-savvy-shoppers.html

          • harry says:

            ISTR Raffles was on the thread but had more important stuff to do rather than getting a few £hundred free stuff a day lol

          • Rob says:

            We never covered DTD because it wasn’t points related.

          • harry says:

            Indeed

          • Jon says:

            Good old Auntie Bessie’s pancake mix- you ended up making the most profit of any item in store, without using a voucher.

          • xcalx says:

            “Good old Auntie Bessie’s pancake mix- you ended up making the most profit of any item in store, without using a voucher.”

            I remember that, the big plastic container with a small amount of powder in the bottom.

            Anyone remember the little Ambrosia rice tubs that caused all kind of problems for the Asda tills. I was in our local Asda 4 times a day for about 2 weeks during that little “promo”

      • xcalx says:

        I remember it well and I go back even further to the R&R days, so much free stuff plus the golden receipt. My best value R&R was a £299 sat nav wrongly priced at £319 = free, plus I got the golden receipt. LOL never used my clubcard back then and always cash.

        • xcalx says:

          “wrongly priced at £319” should read wrongly charged £319

        • harry says:

          I was abroad at the time otherwise might have a tale or 2 lol

  • Go says:

    And the 3v runs. How many different Tesco stores and how much money soent in a single day!

    • Go says:

      Spent

      • Hingeless says:

        Nothing will ever beat spend £25 in Harvey Nics and get £25 statement credit, we did this on 9 cards buying gift vouchers, and then spent them all in the oxo tower.

        • Waribai says:

          Yes, we did this across 7 cards. Wife was very happy with her designer top! I think though ACHICA topped this. I actually stopped at 5 orders. I am intrigued to know what happened with those who really pushed it to the max!

          • xcalx says:

            Their seldom used email accounts were bombarded with Achica spam as I found out a couple of weeks ago when an email required opportunity was spotted and taken advantage of.

  • vol says:

    Do you think my local Tesco will allow me to pay for my weekly shop at the checkout in £1 increments…? 😉

    • MR Bridge says:

      YES if you top up a gift card at £1 per time…BUT don’t be surprised if TESCO call the police

    • Brian says:

      Isn’t that what self-service tills are specifically for? 🙂

  • Mark says:

    Interesting technical edge case, although personally I don’t think i can be bothered to earn an extra 1 avios per transaction in this way. The benefit is definitely below minimum wage and i could earn extra avios quicker on e-rewards.

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