Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Virgin Atlantic / Tesco offer, Qatar Airways increases IAG stake, last long-haul BA 767

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News in brief:

Tesco / Virgin Flying Club 20% bonus promotion is live

Over the weekend I wrote about what appeared to be a secret Virgin / Tesco 20% conversion bonus.

Emails went out yesterday confirming that the promotion is on.  You will receive a 20% bonus on all conversions of Clubcard points to Virgin Atlantic before 16th September.

Full details can be found on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

You will also receive 1,000 Virgin Flying Club miles if you activate auto-conversion on your Tesco account so that all future points are sent automatically to Virgin.  I do not recommend this as it is better to retain flexibility in how you use your Clubcard points.  However, nothing stops you cancelling the auto-conversion once the 1,000 miles have arrived.

My views on whether converting Tesco points is a good idea or not can be found in the article from Sunday.

Qatar Airways increases its shareholding in IAG to 20%

On 28th July, Qatar Airways increased its shareholding in IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, to 20.01%.  Under EU law it is allowed to increase this as high as 49.9% if it wishes.

The airline stated:

While Qatar Airways’ interest in IAG is purely financial, the increased shareholding reflects the strength of commercial and strategic ties between the companies and evidences the continued support for the ongoing strategy of IAG.

“The recent market valuation of one of the world’s leading airline groups has provided what we believe is an attractive opportunity to increase our shareholding in IAG. We continue to be highly supportive of IAG’s strategy and management team and we do not intend to increase our percentage shareholding further unless there are material changes to the current situation,” said Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways.”

British Airways Boeing 767

Final British Airways Boeing 767 long-haul flight completed

On Sunday, flight BA229 to Baltimore became the final long-haul British Airways flight to be operated by a Boeing 767.

The remaining Boeing 767 aircraft (photo above), which have a short-haul seating configuration, will be phased out during 2017.  The cost of refurbishing the long-haul aircraft was deemed prohibitive and the running costs are high.  The long-haul aircraft are not being sold immediately, however, and may still pop up on routes such as Istanbul, Athens or Larnaca as cover from time to time.

Air Canada, United, American and Delta, among others, are still flying the 767 to and from the UK so it will be a long while before they disappear for good.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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

30,000 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 (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 (70)

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

  • Sarah says:

    For the 1,000 bonus miles on Tesco auto convert, how long after doing this on clubcard account do the miles get posted to your flying club account please?

  • signol says:

    OT. My Tesco Clubcard points were set to autoconvert to avios.com at the grandfathered rate of 3.2. All the clubcard points disappeared a few weeks ago, but nothing arrived in my avios.com account yet. Has anyone else noticed the delay? Or has anyone else’s autoconvert happened yet? I’m expecting about 18k avios to appear! Thanks

    • Del T says:

      My Auto Convert Avios appeared on the 1st August, if that helps

      • signol says:

        Thanks. Still no sign but I’l give it a few more days before querying.

  • Genghis says:

    OT. My wife and I each have 2,000 Melia points from signing up to Melia Rewards when Melia came onboard as part of offering Amex Plat holders status. What can we do with these points? Any ideas? We don’t have plans to earn any more in future.

    • harry says:

      Stop snivelling lol

    • David2910 says:

      I Iberia mine when they approach expiry. I find you can put through the full amount regardless of minimum amount or denomination despite what’s mentioned on the site

    • Will says:

      Use them at a melia hotel, you’ll actually get a good discount with 2000 melia points.

      Having said that if your gold, then using the gold 20% discount means they then only take about £5 off a booking.

  • David2910 says:

    Off peak season? August looks like 500+

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

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