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.

  • Brian says:

    How about the Lloyds card, which earns 1.25 Avios per pound? Does this also round up?

    • The Urbanite says:

      Lloyds points are calculated after aggregate monthly spend rather than per transaction.

  • Stu R says:

    Rob states “it always rounds up your points” …. this is untrue – the system rounds the Avios to the nearest whole unit, hence a spend of 99p x 1.5 = 1.485 Avios which rounds to only 1 Avios.

    As Genghis states above, the 34p transaction represents the best value.

    Regardless, I cant imagine you’d need to do many of these before Amex temporarily blocked your card for security reasons?

    • John says:

      Once I topped up my Oyster with 50p thirty times and Amex did nothing. (free card – for BAPP I think 35p would be best?)

      This was while waiting for a delayed train and nobody else was queueing for the machines.

  • Liz says:

    OT: recently upgraded husband only from Gold to Platinum – we didn’t add me as a supp as we were only going to keep it for a couple of weeks then refer me for a new one and cancel – fee has not been charged so we are keeping it a bit longer – just been targeted by Amex to add up to 5 supps (green or gold) for free and get 5k MR pts each – does the supp get a hit on their credit score – I could add my daughter but don’t want to start messing up her credit score

    • John says:

      No. Min age is 18 (to have a credit score)

    • Claude says:

      I also got an email about a 5k bonus for adding 5 cards. However my email does say

      “2. This offer is valid until 11:59pm 31 July 2016. You may apply for multiple Supplementary Cardmembers to your Account but you will only receive the bonus once. Please note, in rare circumstances it may take up to 60 days for the 5,000 Membership Rewards to be applied to your Account.”

      I take that to mean I can add more than 1 but I will only get the 5k once? Is your email different?

      • Liz says:

        Yes it’s the same – I didn’t read note 2 below – so I will just add me then for 5k!

        • Boi says:

          Thanks for posting this. I somehow deleted it without reading the juicy bit. Needless to say I have now dug it out of my trash and applied!

      • Simmo says:

        I was sent a 3k offer on the gold card.
        However only the first card would be free, all additional over the first one would be £45

    • Matthew says:

      I remember this last year when it was a juicy 10,000MR points per supp card. They run name/address checks not credit checks and the cards come to you!

  • Aliks says:

    I’ve always put a lower limit of £10 on my avios earning activities. If the tip earns less than that – is it really worth the time and effort.

    This rules out the ones that pay you 150 avios for filling in a questionnaire, but rules in using Tescos clubcard even for small shopping trips.

    Having said that, there is a perverse pleasure in following some of these nifty little tricks.

    Keep ’em coming!!

    • John says:

      It depends if you would be using the time and effort for something else.

      I still pick up 1p coins if I’m walking leisuirely, but not If I’m in a rush to meet a client.

  • Linda says:

    Great way to earn Avios but is anyone else experiencing difficulties spending them since BA removed the Explorer Map? (they have been ‘working on it’ for over 2 months now) Flight Finder is a time consuming & poor substitute if you don’t have a specific route in mind…..but maybe that’s BA’s intention? 😉 Anyone know if ‘Explorer Map’ will ever re-appear?

    • Steve says:

      Use Avios.com

    • Scallder says:

      I emailed Rob about this last night but download the BA app. There’s a function on there to book reward flights and within that an option to search all Avios availability. The end result is that you can search each route across the entire 355 day booking window for a specific booking class within seconds!

      • Rob says:

        Sorry, not cleared my emails yet! That has been there for a while, it does have some uses, for eg if you are happy to fly anywhere on the US East Coast or want a Caribbean option but flexible as to where.

        • Scallder says:

          No worries Rob, certainly wasn’t expecting a quick response – know how busy you must be 🙂

          Hadn’t appreciated it had been there a while. Thought at the very least was helpful for searching for dates to then go ahead and do a booking online rather than trying to search day by day

      • Alan says:

        Nice find Scallder – very nice option! Interesting when you run it for Oz – only 17 dates available over the next year!

  • Steve says:

    OT, but does anyone know this?

    I have a BAPP sitting at 99% to trigger the 241 voucher which I am not yet ready to do until around October. So I can’t spend on my BA card and enjoy the 1.5 avios per £ and I am using the Lloyds avios rewards instead.

    Is there such a feature to set the account to still earn avios, but not trigger the voucher until required? It seems that Amex would love me to use the card, but the fact I am not ready to trigger the voucher sends all my spend elsewhere.

    • Frankie says:

      No such feature. Spend and it will trigger.

    • Liz says:

      I’m the same – holding off my spend till Sept – using Platinum the moment and just applied for SPG and got approved.

  • James says:

    What with this and the Virgin train thing, I’m starting to think some of you are losing the plot.
    Whilst I do accept that more significant offers are becoming hard to find these days HFP is becoming rather like PTS or HUKD

    • Danny says:

      Then why are you still on here?

      • harry says:

        They’re not all going to be gold nuggets, James – get real

    • Rob says:

      It’s a Summer Saturday, James. Readership will be down. No potential advertisers etc are reading! I have always pushed sillier stuff towards the weekends.

      • Rob says:

        Tomorrow is already done and relatively normal service resumes, including a review of the Concorde Room at JFK.

        • Bob says:

          Bring on the Virgin Dreamliner trip report Rob! 🙂

        • Leo says:

          I’m waiting for the IC Barclay review!

          • Rob says:

            Let’s say Tuesday for that (although it may slip as I need to go to The Hague on Monday), Thursday for the Virgin lounge and Saturday for the Upper Class review (don’t hold me to that either as I need to be in Hamburg on Friday)?

          • Cormac says:

            +1 Staying there in a couple of weeks.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        It’s not summer in Manchester!

    • Genghis says:

      There’s limited stuff to get truly excited about these days in the world of points collecting.

      • Rob says:

        I’ve got something cool for tomorrow morning which just came up …..

        Medium term AerClub will create loopholes and opportunities, we may even get Combine My Avios with Meridiana and Royal Air Maroc soon. A bit of recession will create loads of options too.

  • AndyR says:

    Sorry OT question – cancelled my BAPP a few weeks ago and I had a few thousand Avios in the account at the time but I still haven’t received them in my BA Exec Club account. Just wanted to see if others have actually received any remaining Avios after cancelling? Thanks.

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

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