Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

MBNA Diamond Club credit cards to end 30th September

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I knew it was coming, but I thought we may get more notice than this.  It seems not.

If you still have an MBNA bmi Diamond Club credit card, you will no longer be able to earn Avios after 30th September 2016.

This is, to put it mildly, a bit of a disappointment.  This is especially true if – like me – you have the Mastercard which earns 2.5 Avios per £1!  It was obviously not sustainable in the current ‘0.3% interchange fee’ environment even with a £60 annual fee.

It is not clear what happens to those of us who pay a fee for the card.  I would expect MBNA to offer a full or partial refund or some other form of compensation.

The credit card itself will continue to be accepted after 30th September but you will no longer earn any rewards.

Diamond Club will close completely on 30th November 2016.  Any Diamond Club points not transferred to British Airways Executive Club by that time will be forfeited.

The 10% discount on British Airways flights for Diamond Club credit card holders will also end on 30th November.

Full details can be found on

This will, finally, be the end of the old bmi British Midland and Diamond Club.  Those of us who have been in this game a long time will be sad to see it go, especially as Diamond Club was a fantastic way to access Star Alliance redemptions at disproportionately cheap redemption rates.

I’m going to need a new Mastercard credit card.  I will do a round-up of the best alternatives in the next day or so.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. 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

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios or other airline miles, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (114)

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

  • bob says:

    Diamond Club was so brilliant !

    And so was British Midland !

    • sandra says:

      Do any of you know how to contact BMI Diamond club besides email that keeps asking me for my membership no? I joined when it was BMI baby and had an 8 digit number I cant get to speak/email anyone unless I give an 11 digit number. when I press forgotten number it asks for my email which I never seem to get!! so frustrating for 2 years air miles have being going here and I cant transfer to Aios

  • sigma421 says:


    That’s all I have to say on the matter.

  • Alan says:

    What a shame to see it go – was a fabulous scheme, both originally under the bmi guise and also as a credit card!

  • Mark says:

    Damn, what a shame. Though I totally understand it now. Gotta miss those old BMI zone 2 – zone 8 awards. The mastercard in its current form was also great when combined with a Supercard for overseas spending. Oh well.

  • Hugh says:


    I knew I jinxed it, when discussing this morning that I thought there golden goose would be sacrificed within the year

    Very sad to put it mildly

  • JPR says:

    Ideas welcome for pre-spending on the Amex? Gift cards (inc. non bonus points supermarket ones, Amazon etc.)

    • Boris says:

      New car?
      Double glazing?

      • Zander says:

        I wouldn’t buy a new car on an AMEX even if the dealership accepts, if you have just received the card AMEX will ask for proof of funds which can sometimes be a nightmare having gone through it but with the German outfit.

        • Boris says:

          Can’t you just pay the funds into the Amex first?

          Or does that not work with them?

    • harry says:

      nobody likes my ticket tout idea but it’s legal

      what a sad old day

      I must stick a couple of extra £K through on essentials before it goes, council tax being obvious possibility

    • harry says:

      easy to buy Amazon giftcards @ Morrisons, so I guess I’ll stick some there

      can anybody think of a way to buy credit/ giftcards to be set against future petrol/ diesel?

      • Alan says:

        Do Tesco take their own gift cards at petrol stations?

        • Rob says:

          I’m going to be pre-paying my future VAT and PAYE for the next year …. no real opportunity cost keeping the money in the bank these days!

          • Alan says:

            Indeed, especially with Santander 123 dropping their rates. I’ve put more money into Zopa.

          • Nick M says:

            Have you looked at RateSetter? – I’ve had money with Zopa since 2011 but over the last year or so RateSetter have had much better rates and so I have been moving funds across as/when loans are repaid. – Happy to provide a “refer a friend” link if you like/Raffles doesn’t object!

          • Alan says:

            Thanks, Nick – will take a look although I quite like with Zopa that I don’t need to worry about setting rates, it just takes care of itself (with pretty decent returns and low default rates). If I’m going to invest I’ll get Rob to drop you an email with my details 🙂

          • Nick M says:

            No problem – you can set it to invest at “market rates” if you don’t want to choose your own rate. The market rate is generally higher than Zopa, and to give one data point – I had an order complete this morning at 5.9% for a 5 year loan.

            There are differences in the safeguarding measures and there will be differences between the two when they are underwriting loans, but I haven’t had any major issues with defaults/late payments to date on either platform

          • Alan says:

            Thanks, Nick – will take a look.

          • harry says:

            how will you proceed when somebody does actually default?

          • Alan says:

            I’ve had a couple so far but as they split the loans between lenders the liability is small. Anything recovered through debt collection is paid back and losses can now be offset against income on your tax return.

          • Bob says:

            Is it the case with these things that you absorb defaults and are supposed to make many microloans to dilute the damage? I’m staggered that the rate would be as low as 5.9% for five years (barely higher than the dividend rate on some liquid investment trusts) if that’s the case.

          • Richmond says:

            I’m going to pay VAT too. Was going to put it through Hilton. Ideas for pre-paid vouchers are welcomed.

          • Bob says:

            Can you pay HMRC for spouse with credit card or does card have to be in own name?

          • James67 says:

            Do it in small chunks then, a few days ago MBNA declined my AFKLM purchase of just over £3k despite no previous difficulties with large transactions. At the time I just thought it was fraud prevention but given this news today I now wonder if there was something more to it! So bad news, reopens the wounds of BMI passing, really miss my 37.5k TG flights to KTM.

          • Rob says:

            Don’t think so. I did an £8k payment over the phone with them recently – if you get declined (as this was), they can authorise it on the phone in real time (eg you sit at your PC, make the payment whilst talking to the agent, agent approves it as it pops up).

          • the_real_a says:

            MBNA have a £3k limit per transaction (in my case) – otherwise it requires a post decline phone call to authorise.

          • James67 says:

            @Rob, thanks for this, I just put it through on my Lloyds avios card to hit spend target as a fallback. Useful tip for the future though.

        • Dan Davies says:

          Tesco do take Tesco gift cards at PFS not Esso/Express

          Morrisons Fuel save scheme ended in July. So no extra incentive.

          Sainsbury’s do not take gift cards/vouchers on fuel

      • Brian says:

        Sainsbury’s allow you to use their gift cards in their petrol stations – can’t see why the other supermarkets should be any different.

        • harry says:

          small problem no Sainsbury PFS but thanks

        • Dan Davies says:

          Sainsburys vouchers and cards have “Not valid at Petrol Stations” across the back of them.

      • Andrew says:

        That’s a good idea. Amazon Gift Codes are valid for a decade…

        Might as well buy £1000

    • harry says:

      we need another decent points deal on Tesco Wines – a couple of £100 would help plus stock up on essentials

      I’ll have a look tonight

    • harry says:

      obvious ones being

      council tax (paypoint)
      internet/ telephone rental
      supermarket requirements (fill the freezer!)
      tv licence
      other monthly bills

      you can pay all these in advance

      • Roger says:

        my council tax can be paid at post office or at payzone (note no paypoint).
        looking at payzone shops does not seem any of them (small independent ones) will accept amex.

        Trying to work out how to pay off CT for the remainder using Amex but so far no luck, as my local post office flatly refused saying cannot take credit card for council tax (not even Visa or MC). so i am back to square one. My local authority is wokingham if anyone is curious.

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      How about booking an expensive, refundable hotel on and then cancelling once the points are safe?

      • harry says:

        that’s been mentioned before (and variants)

        risk is: you’ll get black-listed

        but should work in the short term

        nobody likes my ticket idea but it’s 100% legal lol & works fine

        plus it delivers a healthy profit if you try & ‘get’ which artistes are going to be selling out, not that this is the point of course

        • Nick says:

          blacklisted by whom?

          I did this (albeit unwittingly) with a different credit card not too long ago.

      • Rob says:

        or a refundable flight ……?

        • Marco says:

          Hi Rob – do you know any airlines who actually refund refundable flights promptly? Maybe I’ve had bad luck in the past (with BA, VS and QR) but my refundable ticket refunds have always taken several weeks, if not months, to be processed – and that only after several complaints to Customer Relations!

        • Kingdozzy says:

          Buy an Amazon giftcard for your whole balance 🙂 Amazon seem to give fast refunds on request. I’m doing that 🙂 BUT if Amazon goes bust in the meantime lol…

      • Mick says:

        The funds would be refunded to a closed account. Not sure how you would get your money back

        • Genghis says:

          If Amex issued Amex they put the credit on your closed account, send you a statemrnt then you call up to transfer the cash to your bank account. Not too sure about MBNA processes.

  • Boris says:

    OT: What are the pros and cons of using a Curve Card directly on the underground as a wireless card?

    Is there a good reason why not?

  • biscuiteer says:


    I’ve had the Diamond Club card for nearly 7 years.

    What a pisser.

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