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 (March 2024)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.