Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last chance: Avios from Tesco gift cards, Avios from LEGO, Avios from Diamond Club credit card

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We will shortly be saying goodbye to three generous Avios collection opportunities.  If you want to take advantage, this weekend is the time to do so.

Last day for 360 Avios per £50 Tesco gift cards

On Sunday, Tesco is ending its longest running – and possibly most generous – promotion.

You currently receive 150 bonus Clubcard points, worth 360 Avios or 375 Flying Club miles, for every £50 you spend on third-party gift cards at Tesco.  Third party means that you can’t buy Tesco’s own gift cards or those for any Tesco subsidiary company.

You can stock up on M&S, Starbucks, book tokens, iTunes, Next, New Look, Costa or whatever else your local store has to offer.

Remember that Next gift cards can be used to pay off Next Directory accounts – see this article.

If you are in a Tesco this weekend, you should seriously consider dropping £50 or £100 of gift cards into your trolley whilst you still can.

Last day for 3,600 Avios when you spend £75 on LEGO Friends

There has been a generous Tesco Direct promotion on LEGO Friends running this week.  It ends on Sunday.

As you can see on this page, you will receive 1500 bonus Clubcard points when you spend £75 on LEGO Friends before Sunday  That is worth 3600 Avios or 3750 Virgin Flying Club miles.

That means you are basically getting the LEGO for half price if you value the Avios points or Virgin miles at 1p each.

Even better, code TDX-PKMH gets you £10 off a £75 Tesco Direct spend.  The snag, though, is that you need to spend £75 after the discount to get the 1500 Clubcard points.  This means that you need to buy £85 of LEGO Friends, for which you pay £75 and get 1500 points.

Oddly – and I tested this – you cannot buy £75 of LEGO Friends and £10 of something else and then apply the £10 coupon.  It wipes off your bonus points.  There needs to be £85 of LEGO Friends in your basket.

Last chance to spend on your bmi Diamond Club credit card

If you do decide to buy any of the items above, make sure you pay on your bmi Diamond Club credit card.

These cards stop accruing Avios points on 30th September.  However, the transaction must have posted to your card statement by the 30th.

As the timing of this is outside your control, I would ensure that any major purchases you intend to make with the card are completed by Sunday.  This gives them 5 days to hit your statement which should be fine.

Comments (78)

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  • Nocnoc says:

    I’ve been checking every Tesco I pass looking for these elusive M&S gift cards, anyone know which Tesco’s in London stock them?

    • Genghis says:

      I normally go to Surrey Quays as their GC selection is huge. Caledonian Road near Kings X normally pretty good too.

    • Oliver says:

      Lots of M&S cards available in Welling High St. unfortunately I’m hunting a few £50 Curry’s gift cards if anyone knows of a stash? Thx

  • harry says:

    BMI DC card, all Amex:
    council tax – gas & elec – TalkTalk (or your phone & broadband provider) – Ebay fees – water – TV licensing – giftcards esp from Tesco for M&S etc – also giftcards for Amazon from Morrisons – petrol/ diesel (apparently giftcards from Tesco/ Sainsbury/ Morrisons are accepted at their own fuel stations, check this) – other local requirements (for me, Tamar Bridge fees & son’s school lunch e-payment system were both pre-loaded)

    SkyTv – twin BMI Visa/ MC

    any others you can think of?

    • Genghis says:

      I wouldn’t be rushing to pay all my bills in advance for 2 avios / £ with DC Amex. Do you not have a cost of capital figure?

      You can get 2 Virgin miles / £ with Virgin Black as BAU spend. I only prepay when I want to hit a sign up bonus and the return is much > 2% (valuing avios/miles at 1p).

      • harry says:

        the 3 bigger ones on my list will all refund me any overpayment on demand 🙂

        • Genghis says:

          Yes. I did that with council tax earlier this year but only to tune of £1k.

          Out of interest, Harry, how much have you been overpaying CT and how often?

          • harry says:

            I avoid anything that might look like ML – so just c.£1000 a year on CT – but gas/ elec is easier because you can legitimately switch provider (say) 3 times a year and they automatically repay any credit balance – that’s what I did to maximise 3Vs.

      • Raffles says:

        Given current situation interest rates I would say cost of capital is virtually nil.

        • Genghis says:

          I’d argue it’s not just interest rates. What about the cost of tying up capital in credit balances for bills that don’t yet have to be paid?

          • Rob says:

            Remains nil!

            However you get no Section 75 protection for a purchase made from a credit balance on your credit card, as you are using your own money and not the card company.

          • David says:

            The only thing I would add is that remember the gain is not 2.5 Avios, it is 2.5 Avios less what ever you would earn from a payment card after the end of the month.
            2 VS, 1.5 AA, etc.

            And that delta 1%…. you can still get above 1% for cash at bank.

            So while I’m certainly forward paying lots, I’m not getting out of hand.

          • Genghis says:

            Ok. I don’t think it’s nil for me. E.g. I’d rather pay off £1k of my mortgage and save close to 4% on one tranche of my mortgage (first time buyer last year) than tie up £1k of cash in advance payment of a bill and get 2 avios (arguably 2%). Correct me if this logic is wrong

          • Mr Dee says:

            Interesting I guess this is one of the reasons why credit cards have a fit if your overpay and put your balance in credit.

          • Alan says:

            @Genghis – totally sensible to overpay at 4% mortgage instead (esp as that’s 6.67% pre-tax if you’re a higher-rate taxpayer!) – however for those of us on tracker mortgages paying next to nothing anyway it’s not quite as easy a comparison 😉 Harry’s method of getting repayments is a good way as you’re then not tying up the cash for long either!

          • harry says:

            I won’t stick any more past BMI DC Amex this month apart from a bit of milk & bread 🙂

            All done now, wipes a tear from the eye and moves on.

            I think I managed 20K Avios out of them this month just by bringing a few things forward etc

            And that was without buying any fully flex flights lol

          • Mr Dee says:

            I agree you shouldn’t be prepaying your council tax if you can save money by paying off your mortgage at an interest rate that is higher than the gain of the Avios i.e 2% for 2 miles vs 4 percent on your mortgage.

            The same applies for the signup bonuses, if you have exhausted these signup bonuses, current account savings etc then prepaying your council tax maybe the best option. This will vary depending on individual circumstances and each person needs to think about the best way to maximise their spend.

            If you have paid off all your debts and have maximised all saving account options and have 5k sitting in an savings account earning 1% then the 2% return on the council tax is worth considering.

          • harry says:

            my cost of capital is 3.79% (offset mortgage)

            doesn’t mean I can’t get it cheaper by stoozing

            but you (G) are perhaps mixing up paying now with an annual cost – I can just ask for repayment of credit balances next month once I have banked the Avios – so I have not used the money for a year but just for maybe 2 months

    • Yuff says:

      Tesco giftcards are treated as cash in a lot of their stores. You can buy anything with them. Some SA’s may get a little funny when you use a few but they should be fine.
      Tesco have had lots of problems, when using more than a couple of gc’s, to pay for items this week but it normally works in the end 😉

      • Genghis says:

        When buying some of the Visa GCs (£3.95 fee) a few months ago the SA said that I could not pay with PayQwik for ‘security’ purposes and that I could only buy 5. I managed to buy 5 with my CC. I was treated like a quasi criminal. It seems that when SAs see something that is out of the norm, it is treated very much with suspicion.

        Also when I contacted Tesco about the Xmas saver and whether payments in count towards the 30k cap. They don’t but was told that it’s “very hard to get to that amount of CC points as you’d have to spend £30k at Tesco in one quarter”. Little do they know…

        • Mr Dee says:

          The mentality of supermarket cashiers can often be very frustrating, however when it all goes to plan its worth it!

          • Yuff says:

            Welcome to Tesco, it’s a surprise when they are actually pleased that you are spending money in their store 😉
            I wonder what they will do when their sales drop massively on Monday 🙁

          • James67 says:

            In all these tesco scenarios I find it best to wait until Sunday when the teenagers are in, it’s drama-free an so far has never failed. I also make a habit of handing over cc, coupons etc first before anything else, by the the time they are finshed with groceries they have either forgitten or don’t want to be bothered by any issues, especially if there is another customer behind you. I always buy some groceries at same time, no matter what my main promotion purpose is.

          • roger says:


          • Mr Dee says:

            Yes busy is best!

          • Erico1875 says:

            Agree youngsters are best. 50 somethings are the worst. especially when using £50 of gift cards to bulk up the spend of an £8 off £80 spend etc. You would think the moneys coming out their wages.

    • Mr Dee says:

      You could also buy stamps at a discount rate from wholesalers if you send a lot of items in the post.

  • Dave says:

    Is buying £700 odd of Currys gift cards at tesco an option for buying a sim free iPhone? Or do currys limit the number of gift cards you can use per transaction?

    • Genghis says:

      Limited online to 5 but in store (ie Dixons at LHR for HR points) I don’t believe there is a limit.

      • Joe says:

        I bought £500 worth of Currys gift cards and used them to purchase and install washing machine. Was no problem in store although the guy did get a bit sick of running them all through the till!

    • Fenny says:

      I paid with 5 x £20 Currys gift cards last week in store. The woman told me that the system doesn’t cope with that many at a time, so she had to transfer 4 of them onto another card to aggregate the balance. My local Tesco doesn’t sell Currys cards in denominations higher than £20, so I couldn’t have bought any larger ones. But if you can get £50 or larger, buy those. However, the assistant should be able to aggregate them – even if you have to tell them this and they don’t think of it (or don’t want to).

      • Boi says:

        I was told by a store manager that “you can buy gift card with a gift card”.
        In my case I wanted to shop online (to get cash back as I was buying £3k tv). He instructed one of the employees to combine 6 GC to give me one £300. That’s all I had at the time as I was trialling it. So off I went to Tesco to repeat… result!

        Then he gave me a good deal that I won’t mention here….that purchase got me over 10k Avios.

    • Mr Dee says:

      There is a limit of 5 online but you can get them combined instore, there is no limit instore but its a slow process so more than 20 is a pain. There are £50 ones in Tesco so be on the look out its a pain paying a £1000 bill with £20 gift cards!

  • Matt says:

    With the loss of the free Visa cards, and no Amazon cards in my Tescos I have been struggling to buy cards I’m guaranteed to use, one which might also be useful for other readers is £15 Nextflix giftcards, which you can load your account up with. I’m on £14.99/month subscription which covers 3 people at once and is used by me and two siblings (who live on the continent).

  • Roger says:

    So do you get any bonus or at least base nectar points for buying GCs from Sainsburys?

    • Fenny says:

      Not sure about base points, but there is no bonus. And you can’t use the £X of £Y spend type vouchers, as you can in Tesco. I tried this a few years ago with an Amazon card and it wasn’t included in the eligible spend total.

    • The Urbanite says:

      I got base Nectar points when buying prepaid gift cards at Sainsburys around 10 months ago.

      • Erico1875 says:

        So I’m thinking – buy sansburys gift card and use it to pay for fuel/shopping. Double Nectar points?

  • Lady London says:

    OT I’m getting a bit nervous. It must be at least three weeks since BA last announced a cut or a degradation in service.

    Surely it must be about time for BA to announce another one?

  • Andy says:

    I forgot: is there a limit on the cards you can buy from a tesco shop in one go? E.g. 4 cards or £200 max?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Don’t think so I’ve done £450 at once so it goes to at least that much

    • harry says:

      No limit but don’t buy more than 4 cards in 1 transaction if you want to stay sane – the till can’t cope

      • Genghis says:

        I always split into £100 chunks and put through a number of transactions. I think max spent in one go is about £500.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Can’t be the case as I’ve done more than 4 numerous times and did 10 in that £450 transaction, unless of course all the Tesco near me have newer tills

        • Yuff says:

          I’ve done up to 20 in the past, although when it goes wrong its a pain. I stick to 10 at a time, these days, but from tomorrow it won’t matter anyway 😉

  • Matt says:

    Diamond Club 10% discount on CC – The closing card material said it was valid till Nov, has anyone been able to use this successfully?
    I get the discount BA/MBNA diamond club page to load if I go from diamond club, but then it stalls, does not seem to successfully connect to BA?
    Has anyone got a better link, got this to work in the last 2 weeks?

    • Alan says:

      I tried to access this discount last night but a message up to say as my account was dormant it has been closed. I had not used the credit card for a couple of years(and had already sent my avios over to BAEC) and only recently tried to access my account to get the 10% discount on several flights. However if your CC account has been used and not dormant it does state that you can still use the 10% discount until 30th November.
      Also and I am not sure why, but when booking LGW – Jersey flights, which I have done several times in the last few weeks, the discounted fares came up and when I clicked through to pay the final flight cost, it had halved! I was also getting 2 hold bags on these bookings without additional charge. I had made 4 bookings for Jersey on this basis which must have been a bug on the system, but advise anyone with access to give it a go – I tried to see if it worked on any other routes, but only seemed to work on Jersey flights. Good luck.

      • Matt says:

        Can log into Diamond club, and still see the banner – select this and it takes me to a booking page – but when I put in a destination, it fails to connect to BA website…

        Perhaps BA’s way of making sure we no longer get the diamond club discount!
        Pity – I have 4 flights I want to book today – may have to book with someone else…

      • Michael says:

        I’ve had this on BHD flights. Discounted fares shown on flight selection screen but then a seemingly random, much lower price was shown on the total page. About £80 return if I remember correctly. I don’t think I’ve seen a fare so low on this route since the bmi days.

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