Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions, 3000 Virgin miles for joining Flying Club, Avios / LOVEtheatre deal

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News in brief:

Luxury Travel Diary auctions

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its auctions closing this week.

Here is two nights in Paris which ends this week, as is this one for two nights in Leeds Castle (which is in Kent).  This offer for four nights in the Maldives is probably the plushest deal at present.  Not everything will work for you, either in terms of location, length or dates, but you’ll probably find something of interest if you poke around!

Virgin Atlantic

3,000 free miles for joining Virgin Flying Club

Whilst I cover Virgin Flying Club on Head for Points, you may not be a member because you never thought it was relevant to you.

This offer may change your mind.  Via the Virgin Red app, you will receive 3,000 miles for joining Flying Club.

You don’t need to do anything.  The miles will be automatically dropped in your account within 7 days.

3,000 miles won’t get you far.  However, once you have your account open, you are better placed to pick some miles via the generous credit card sign-up bonus, opening an ISA, buying wine, Heathrow Rewards, Tesco Clubcard conversions or American Express Membership Rewards.

The offer expires on 17th September.

Avios / LOVEtheatre bonus extended

Finally,, the new Avios theatre ticketing partner, has extended its offer of double Avios points on all tickets booked until 30th September.  It doesn’t matter when the event takes place.

Double Avios means 6 Avios per £1 spent.  As well as working with all West End theatres, it also sells tickets for selected off-West End venues including Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre, Barbican Centre, Menier Chocolate Factory and Royal Court, as well as key regional theatres.   LOVEtheatre is also an agent for attractions including the Tower of London, National Gallery, London Eye, Madame Tussauds, The View from the Shard and Buckingham Palace.

Details of the promotion can be found here although the article has not been altered to reflect the new closing date.  The home page is here.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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 (99)

  • James67 says:

    You mention Heathrow Rewards in this post; any news on a new sign-up bonus coming anytime soon? It seems to have been very quiet of late.

    • Rob says:

      The 2,500 points for £150 deal is still running, link on the Quick Avios page.

      • Genghis says:

        Remember – valid on currency orders too

      • James67 says:

        Great, thanks 🙂

      • James67 says:

        Hi Rob, just been through the post. You stated that HR only allows one account per address. Presumably that means per person and it is ok for my partner to hold an account at same address as me? Thanks.

        • Genghis says:

          I think it is one per household. Mine is at our address, my wife at her parents and my secondary at my parents.

          • Alan says:

            No it’s possible to have two people at one address but you have to contact customer services to get them to create the account – this happened when we wanted to create an account for my Mum (to transfer out soon-to-expire Emirates miles!) and my Dad already had an account. HR customer services were very helpful (as they always are!) and sorted everything, even gave her a sign-up bonus 🙂

          • James67 says:

            Yes, just called before reading your comment and this is exactly what the agent advised.

          • Genghis says:

            Thanks – may drop them a line and change my wife’s address.

        • Rob says:

          No, per postal address. 2nd account would need to be at 49a High Street if you are 49 High Street, or use work address.

          • Alan says:

            They can do it manually at the same address if you phone/email them, Rob 🙂

          • James67 says:

            You are both correct, when I called, the agent suggested first trying it online but changing address in some way but if it still didn’t work just to call back and they would do sign up over the phone. I explicitly asked if there is a problem with two people in the same household holding an account and the guy was clear that there is not.

  • SImon says:

    I can’t see any mention of the offer on the Virgin Red app. Just downloaded for my wife in order to sign her up to Virgin flying club.

    • TimS says:

      I can still see the offer in the app this morning. You need to scroll through the offers at the bottom to find it

  • Rachel Blundell says:

    Hi – is it 3000 Avios for joining the Virgin Flying Club? Or Virgin’s own points. I convert my Abios to BA points. Just wondering how this would work? Thanks

    • Rachel Blundell says:

      Avios even!

    • TimS says:

      3000 vigrin atlantic points. I’m not sure why you would expect Virgin to offer Avios (a competitor currency) for joining Virgin Atlantic via the Virgin app?

      • harry says:

        if only we could convert Virgin —> Avios 1:1

        I’d be about 100K better off in useful currency 🙂

        so just waiting another 8 years or so until I can use them properly, only been about 17 years of keeping them alive so far

        now, like Genghis & MDS, I am just starting to actively accumulate VA in anticipation

    • Genghis says:

      I only got into Virgin miles in the last few months but they’re easy to pick up – this joining bonus, the recent ISA offer, the occasional credit card bonus. It adds another dimension and more opportunity to points collecting.

      • mark2 says:

        Agreed. I convert them to HHonors at 3:2.

      • Modern Day Sinbad says:


        I’ve never paid for a Virgin flight but have redeemed miles several times on VS, as well as Air NZ business class, ANA, VA First Class, etc. all from credit cards, ISA, Virgin Wine, and various special offers, etc.

  • Andrew H says:

    O/T Received my first issue of the Sunday Times travel magazine this morning, which I subscribed to on August 7th. But still no sign of the 4,500 avios. Supposed to have it within 21 days so it’s time to contact customer service. Anyone else in the same boat?

    • Alan says:

      My direct debit has now been taken (couple of days ago) but no sign of Avios yet either. For those that have received them, how long was the delay between payment being taken and Avios being received?

      • Scallder says:

        On credit card – paid 8th August, posted 24th.

        • Alan says:

          OK thanks, that’s good to know there was a few weeks in between 🙂

          • harry says:

            they took my DDs today – embarrassed to say the number but just think ‘Snow White/ dwarves’ – too scared to see if I got the points just yet & have a screenshot fight on my hands – thanks Scallder you just gave me a great excuse not to check 🙂

          • Genghis says:

            Class action if we don’t get them all?

          • harry says:

            not that I have the screenshot yet, dudes lol

          • harry says:

            too depressed to log into my BA stuff to check

            the old hols are coming to an end

            school – for the kids – on Monday next – scuse me Raffles, we’re in state schools lol – saving us something like £75000 a year? you tell me (3 kids)

            going to sink a drink to cheer me up

          • Rob says:

            £20k each per year now …..

          • harry says:

            what I never understood about independent schools was the logic

            OK, I get the networking at top schools

            not that many of those so let’s ignore networking

            I think at 90% of independent schools, you are paying to get your kids an excellent education, ie top results, even if your kids are middling

            but why would you pay all that money instead of getting your kids into the best state schools?

            we got our other 2 kids into 2 of the best state schools in the UK, time well spent in coaching them, they will get better A-level results than most students at eg Eton or Harrow

    • Genghis says:

      +1. Avios for me should post by Sunday 4th Sep (within 28 days) so I’m not panicking. All 4 DD payments were taken today.

    • Leo says:

      By C/C Avios posted mid last week. No magazine as yet.

    • Gavin says:

      DD taken today, and magazine also received today. No sign of the avios yet.

      • Brian W says:


        First copy of travel mag arrived yesterday morning (no bank hol in Scotland so posty on normal Monday morning duties). Direct Debit take today. No Avios as yet.

        As per Genghis, another few days until Avios are theoretically due so will wait till Monday!

  • Charlie says:

    I put a 2for1 through last Monday online, paid the taxes with the Amex gold and it showed up straight away. It’s been pending ever since and today it’s dropped off completely (leaving my account in credit as I’ve already paid Anex back).

    There’s no trace of the transaction now. The flight is still in my BAEC account. Anyone had any experience of this? Do I need to make equiries anywhere?

    • Alan says:

      Have you looked on CheckMyTrip to see if you have an eTicket number OK on the booking?

    • Sam says:

      Happens to me sometimes. It will disappear but reappear in a few days as two separate transactions for each ticket. No need to panic.

      • Charlie says:

        Ah I think that’s what will happen then. Thank you.

        • mark2 says:

          I booked flights in Jun 16 to fly next year but no sign of Amex charges for tax etc. many weeks later. Liz has had same problem; probably others. They did say that it might take a time as booked 355 days in advance but this is ridiculous as I foolishly used BAPP card which I now want to cancel before another annual fee charged. I have chased but to no avail.
          I have looked on checkmytrip and found the details but cannot see an eTicket number; is this the six character alphanumeric code please?

          • Alan says:

            No that’s your booking reference. The eTicket number is a long number starting with 125 (if BA-issued) – it should be listed under the passenger details IIRC.

          • mark2 says:

            Thanks, no sign of such numbers; I will keep chasing.

          • mark2 says:

            I have just checked a booking flying next week and the eTicket number is shown; does it show for a flight 11 months in the future?

          • Alan says:

            Yes it should do once ticketed – can take 24h from booking for this to show up though. Helpful you were able to see it on another booking for comparison though so you know what to look for!

          • Liz says:

            Hey Mark2 – still no sign of my payment going though – I will phone again when we get back from our USA travels next week – I want to cancel this card which is my husbands and get him to refer me for a new one. Presume if you cancel the card when they come to charge it they will have to contact you for another card.

          • mark2 says:

            Hi Li,
            I received an email this very morn from BA to say that the tickets were now confirmed. When I looked, they now had an eTicket number and. more importantly, they had been charged to my Amex card (after 7-8 weeks). BA did say when I had rung them that they would contact me if the card had been closed, but I was reluctant to take the chance for the sake of 195/12 but now no problem..

          • Liz says:

            HI Mark, that’s great yours is now resolved – checked again just now and still no payment or email – think it is now 12 wks since I booked – will be phoning them next week when I get back if nothing before then!

    • FlyingChris says:

      @Charlie – FYI exactly the same thing has happened to me. Last Saturday booked outbound flights online at T-355 with an 241 voucher. Taxes/Fees paid on Amex Gold. Immediately tracked as a pending purchase. Now completely dropped off my account. CheckMyTrip shows an e-ticket number so I’m not too worried – just would like to know when they’ll take the cash. Due to call up to book the inbound leg next week so maybe will trigger something then?

      • Charlie says:

        This is EXACTLY what I’m about to do too. Awaiting the T-355 to hit. The wishful part of me hopes they never claim it :D.

        I was informed by the call centre (different query), after being put through by Amex, that there is no telephone booking fee to pay as the flights were not available to be booked when the out outbound was booked. Hope they honour that.

  • harry says:

    O/T bits – EXPEDIA

    10% discount code – AFFGQV

    seems to work very widely

  • Peter K says:

    Any sign of an increase in the Virgin Credit Card sign-up bonus yet Rob? I want to go for one but can’t justify the £140 fee for only 18.5k miles.

  • Allan says:

    OT – has anybody had the 500 bonus miles for a Virgin East coast booking applied?

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