Do you need travel insurance to cover your redemption ticket?
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I get the occasional email regarding travel insurance for mileage redemption tickets. To be honest, I have never fully seen the point unless you have a pre-paid hotel reservation at your destination.
With Avios, for example, British Airways allows you to cancel a redemption ticket up to 24 hours before travel. (BMI used to allow you to do it with one hour notice!) The chances of becoming ill during that 24 hour window are slim. Virgin Atlantic has a similar policy.
Even if you do want to insure your miles, an independent insurance company cannot replace them for you. It does not have the ability to put miles into your account.
Avios does offer travel insurance policies which protect your miles. You can find details here.
The policy document is fairly unclear about what happens with Avios tickets. If you cancel your trip, you can claim for costs “(including the value of payments using Avios which you cannot recover)”. What does this actually mean? Do you get your points returned? Or do you receive some nominal cash sum based on the perceived value of the points?
I would be surprised if many people had ever claimed on this given the tiny 24 hour window between free cancellation being available and the time of travel.
Virgin Atlantic used to offer travel insurance when you book a flight with them but it seems to have disappeared since the website revamp. The wording used to be:
“Please note: If payment has been made using frequent flyer points, airmiles, loyalty card points or the like, settlement of your claim will be based upon the lowest available published flight fare for the flight originally booked if they are non-transferable.”
This always seemed remarkably generous in some ways. Whilst Virgin wouldn’t sell you this policy without a Virgin flight booking, which limits their liability somewhat, imagine booking an Upper Class ticket for Flying Club points, being forced to cancel and then claiming back the cash cost based on the ‘lowest published fare’.
If you have any experience of claiming for ‘lost’ frequent flyer miles from travel insurance, or know of any other insurance policies which cover them, please comment below.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)
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 Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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
25,000 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 £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee 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
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
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
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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.