Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: beat AwardWallet’s price hike, £1500 UK to Sydney or Melbourne flights still bookable

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News in brief:

Last chance to beat AwardWallet’s sharp price hike

There is only one miles and points tool that I use every day – and have done for a number of years – and that is AwardWallet.

AwardWallet allows you to store the log-in and password details for pretty much all of the loyalty programmes you are in. It isn’t just travel, either – Nectar, Boots Advantage, Tesco Clubcard, Harrods Rewards …. they cover over 680 programmes from across the world.

Across their entire membership, they are tracking over 93 BILLION miles and points.

You can store programmes for various different people inside one AwardWallet account. When I log in, I see over over 60 different accounts across my family.

You can sit and back and do nothing with AwardWallet if that is how you want to play it. Once a week, AwardWallet will automatically log in to each of your programmes and update your balance. It will then send you a weekly email with all of your balance changes.

For the more obsessive, like myself, you can log in to AwardWallet and simply click ‘Update’. AwardWallet goes off and updates all of your ‘active’ balances immediately (it takes 3-4 minutes to check my active ones). On a PC you can leave it running in another window.  Even faster is the impressive app.

If you are not already a member of AwardWallet, you can sign up for free here.

From 1st February, AwardWallet will be increasing the charge for its premium service from $10 per year to $30 per year.  Premium members get the expiry date of their points tracked and email warnings sent out if miles are heading towards expiry.  The app also runs faster as it searches for multiple results in parallel rather than one scheme at a time.

If you upgrade to AwardWallet Plus before 1st February you will be grandfathered onto the ‘$10 per year’ plan for life.

If you have a free AwardWallet subscription I would recommend paying $10 to upgrade to Plus NOW.  You may or may not find the added benefits useful but you have a year to decide before your next $10 is due and you will have secured yourself grandfather rights to the $10 fee.

For clarity, if you are currently on Plus due to redeeming a free code then you will NOT be grandfathered onto the $10 plan.  You need to pay $10 before 1st February to push out the expiry of your current Plus membership by 12 months.  You don’t lose anything as they simply add 12 months to whenever your trial period was due to end.

awardwallet

Malaysia Airlines £1500 Sydney / Melbourne deal still available

The Qatar Airways sale may finally be over, but the other exceptional UK travel deal at the moment is still bookable until 31st January.

Via Expedia, you can book London to Sydney or Melbourne in Malaysia Airlines business class for just £1,500 return.

To get this price you MUST book a ‘flight and hotel’ package.  If you select the cheapest hostel option for just one night (select ‘I only want a hotel for part of my trip’) it will cost exactly £1,507 for one person to Sydney.  You do not need to stay in the hostel and your return flight will not be cancelled if you don’t turn up.

Remember that Malaysia Airlines is a oneworld alliance member so your flights earn Avios and British Airways tier points.  Australia would be 600 tier points return (140 + 160 + 160 + 140) which is a BA Silver card, albeit you’d still need to have flown 4 BA flights in your current card year before you were upgraded.

Between London and Kuala Lumpur you will get an A380, with an A330 onwards on most routes.  The A330 business class seat is the latest version and has some very attractive solo window seats as the seating plan on this page of the Malaysia website shows.

Bangkok, Phuket and Bali are also available for around £1,100 return.  You may want to try other Asian destinations too.

Pop over to Expedia and have a play around.  It is VERY easy to find dates later in the year.  You must travel by 26th November 2017.


best credit card to use when buying flights

How to maximise your miles when paying for flights (July 2024)

Some UK credit cards offer special bonuses when used for buying flights. If you spend a lot on airline tickets, using one of these cards could sharply increase the credit card points you earn.

Booking flights on any airline?

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold earns double points (2 Membership Rewards points per £1) when used to buy flights directly from an airline website.

The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points. These would convert to 20,000 Avios or various other airline or hotel programmes. The standard earning rate is 1 point per £1.

You can apply here.

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

Buying flights on British Airways?

The British Airways Premium Plus American Express card earns double Avios (3 Avios per £1) when used at ba.com.

The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 Avios. The standard earning rate is 1.5 Avios per £1.

You do not earn bonus Avios if you pay for BA flights on the free British Airways American Express card or either of the Barclaycard Avios Mastercards.

You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

Buying flights on Virgin Atlantic?

Both the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard and the annual fee Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard earn double Virgin Points when used at fly.virgin.com.

This means 1.5 Virgin Points per £1 on the free card and 3 Virgin Points per £1 on the paid card.

There is a sign-up bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points on the free card and 18,000 Virgin Points on the paid card.

You can apply for either of the cards here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Comments (81)

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

  • Crafty says:

    Good to hear. 2 of my 3 still pending. The other paid during the last 2 weeks.

  • Firemin says:

    Anyone know if this MH deal works for HKG? Need to fly out for work probably just after Easter, coming back late May/early June. Work will only pay economy but I need the tier points to regain silver…

  • Alan says:

    Haha come across your message now – trust you to get ahead of the game by using the Singaporean version of the offer 😉

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

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