Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Virgin East Coast 50% off sale, HfP in the Daily Mail, a good Club Europe meal

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News in brief:

Virgin East Coast four day sale

Virgin East Coast is running a short sale until Thursday night.  The discount is apparently a full 50% on all sale tickets, although the deals cannot be combined with any railcards you hold.

The sale is valid for travel between 5th September and 4th November but excluding half term week of 21st to 30th October.

My very positive review of the new food offering in First Class on East Coast is here.  A review of the refurbished First Class lounge at Kings Cross will follow later this week.

HfP in the Daily Mail

The Daily Mail ran an online story yesterday about the recent cutbacks to the British Airways food and drink offering.  My recent articles on the topic were referenced as you can read here.

Similar stories have appeared elsewhere in recent days which cannot make pleasant reading for BA bosses.


An impressive meal in Club Europe

Ironically, at the same time as the Daily Mail was using my articles as the basis for a piece criticising BA cuts, I had one of my best Club Europe meals in a long time.

The picture above is a very decent cod and mash dish I got on the way down to Spain on Saturday.  I had no complaints at all.  There even a salad alternative for anyone who didn’t want a hot meal.  BA did well here.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (66)

  • krys_k says:

    O/T (but slightly BA related)

    – BA Premier card, I’ve triggered my 241, if I downgrade to a free card, do I keep the voucher? And can I trigger another sign-up bonus in 6 months?

    – recent ex-UK flight. Flew back from NY yesterday in business. I had to get off at Heathrow rather than fly to Dublin for personal reasons which I explained to customer service. I wasn’t charged anything extra, and all I lost was the Avios for the LHR – Dublin section.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you keep the voucher.

      You need to cancel ALL BA cards and wait 6 months before you can get another bonus.

      • Ben says:

        In theory, could you sign up for the premium card in January, spend £10000 and get the voucher, then cancel.

        Sign up after 6 months and do the same again. Could you have 3 vouchers in just over 18 months?

        • Genghis says:

          In theory, you could do it in less than 18 months. e.g.
          1) Sign up in Jan, spend £10k and cancel in Feb
          2) Sign up in Aug, spend £10k and cancel in Sep
          3) Sign up in March, spend £10k and cancel in April.

          Though I struggle to spend £10k so quickly. My wife and I do one a year. To simplify it:
          1) I sign up in Jan and we spend £10k on the card. I refer wife in June for 9k avios. I cancel card.
          2) Wife (with me as supp) spends £10k from July – Dec and then cancels card.
          Come Jan, I can apply for the card again. This way we benefit from the sign up and referral bonuses.

      • krys_k says:

        Thanks. When you say all cards, what do you mean as I only got one card.

  • bsuije says:

    Very OT:

    Qatar are advertising sub-£1,000 return fares in Business between the UK (London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham) and Dubai (DXB).

    Book by 31 August 2016 for travel between 22 June 2016 to 31 May 2017.

    Includes some dates around Christmas, too, e.g.:

    EDI-DXB on 18-28 December for £975 return per person.

    A return trip should net 400 TPs, as the Doha – Dubai leg books into First.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, covered that when it launched. It is a good price if you can get the dates to work, especially if you can get into the Al Safwa lounge in Doha on the outbound (you won’t be allowed in on the inbound).

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Having just visited both Al Mourjan and Al Safwa both are brilliant lounges

        And the onboard product is excellent on the 787 and even the older 777 to MAN wasn’t too bad

        Now need to find a good deal on Qatar to the far east and dates which work

      • Nick says:

        Why aren’t you allowed on the inbound raffles?

        It wasn’t open when I flew doh – Auh in F so had to slum it in the al mourjan lounge

  • BlueHorizonUK says:

    OT – When you upgrade from the Amex Gold to Platinum, do you need to enter your supplementary card holder details again or do they automatically get upgraded to platinum too?

    • Axel Heyst says:

      It’s automatic. In my recent case the supplementary plat. card arrived before main cardholder in the post.

      Not sure what benefits the supp. gets. There is an option to enter supp.card hotel/rental etc. membership details but I left them blank except hilton (which upgraded to gold by email after a few days)

      • Genghis says:

        Supp gets a Priority Pass and can get the hotel statuses (e.g. Hilton, Melia etc).

        • Jason K says:

          Is the 20k upgrade from Gold to Platinum still running? Also, has anyone seen the 3k or 5k bonus offer for adding a supplementary card to the gold or platinum respectively? I know some people got it via email, anyone have a link?

          • Genghis says:

            Liz reported a few months ago that it is live until Jan 17 but others have reported that they are not getting the points. YMMV it seems…


          • Andrew* says:

            Latest report: hit £1k spend for Plat upgrade last week and 20k MR points did not post immediately (as they usually do), AMEX confirmed bonus would be paid but would/could take up to 60 days… not into double-digit-days’ wait yet…

          • roberto says:

            I asked answer was told the 3000 MR for sups had finished off the 31st of July.. I pushed a bit further and was told to apply and they would add the 3000 points which they duly did.

            And as for the gold to plat I did read here in the comments that the will be running upto the end of December.. of course that might change.

            I plan to UG my OH to plat just before Xmas, spend the money & cancel as the points post Genghis Style.

            “Eh, sexy lady
            Op, op, op, op
            Oppa Genghis Style”

            You know it makes sense rodders…

          • Liz says:

            I am waiting for the 5k pts to post on my hubby’s platinum card for adding me – I emailed Amex and have told me 60 days – on or around 8th oct – but I applied on 27/7 which is more than 60 days! Bummer as I want to cancel on 7/9!

          • roberto says:

            Liz, my points arrived before the card.. I emailed CS via the secure message service to “remind them” in advance.

          • Liz says:

            Roberto – I think you are the exception as you phoned them when you applied. I am hoping they post before the date they said so we can cancel as soon as we come back from holiday!

          • Matt says:

            I upgraded during the last week of June, not sure when I hit the £1000 mark but my 20,000 bonus landed 2 weeks ago. Note: my account page didn’t advertise the bonus as it has done in the past.

      • BlueHorizonUK says:

        Thank You

    • Andrew* says:

      If you enter the details again (not knowing what was stated above) your (lucky) supp will get two cards (and 2 Priority Passes) – and you’ll get charged an extra £195 (?) fee – which you can then get back 😉

  • Charlie says:

    O/T can anyone confirm how soon you receive the companion voucher after hitting the £10k on the BAPP please? Amex agent seemed a little unsure.

  • harry says:

    O/T bits I reckon you could usefully send a few people to Shopper Points today Raffles/ Anika

    Today Tesco is launching 2 eCoupons that will help you save money when shopping at Tesco Direct. EVERYTHING is included.
    All you need to do is enter the right code at check out.
    •to save £10 when spending £75 or more, use the code TDX-TNMP
    •to save £20 when spending £150 or more, use the code TDX-WYMJ

    As the eCoupons are valid site-wide, you can use the codes everywhere on Tesco Direct.


    Not too difficult to turn these discounts into Avios

    • Rob says:

      Thanks for the plug 🙂

      They went on the HFP FB and Twitter feed but it is the sort of thing I am trying to keep out of HFP, at least full articles.

  • Ben says:

    Off topic but I’m trying to cancel a domestic American Airline Avios award. I was of the understanding that the cancellation fee would be the lower of taxes paid (£3.90) and £35. Has this changed? I cant seem to cancel online and BA are trying to charge me £35 each ticket on the phone.


    • harry says:

      I think it’s £35 pure & simple

      however, I did manage to get them to lower this last year by turning on the charm, I got away with £17 for some reason, possibly because that was the actual taxes, though they were just being nice

    • Rob says:

      If you can cancel online that is the deal. Not sure how BA acts on the phone., on the phone, insists on charging you the £35.

      Are you logged in to the account of the person who made the booking when trying to cancel? That can be an issue.

  • Liz says:

    OT is anyone else having trouble getting access to the ordering food part in manage my booking. We are flying in 2 days and I thought I would have a look and see what was on offer but I keep getting a message saying there is an problem with their systems.

  • Clive says:

    Just took a Qatar flight from OSL to BKK in business. Set me back under £600 in the big sale. To say I was impressed is a statement which would be severely underestimated. Fantastic service and food. Great plane and entertainment and then the lounge experience in Doha.

    Wake up BA

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