Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Gatwick lounges (partly) open, Clubcard competition, use Avios with Amazon Echo

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News in brief:

New British Airways Gatwick lounges now open

The two new British Airways lounges at Gatwick had a soft opening over the weekend.  I understand that there is no table service food offering yet in the First / Gold lounge.  

It seems that Club Europe customers are not being allowed to use the Business Lounge but will be redirected to the Speedbird (ex Virgin) lounge.  Reports on Flyertalk suggest that the Business Lounge had to close entirely yesterday afternoon due to ‘toilet issues’.

Feedback is generally positive so far, which is good news.

If I can get down there this week I will do a report.  If not, I need to be in Gatwick next Saturday anyway and will do a review then.

Competition for converting Clubcard points to

Regular HFP readers won’t be surprised to learn that there is no bonus for converting Tesco Clubcard points into Avios this quarter.

There is a 10% bonus for converting points into Virgin Flying Club miles (see my article from Friday) but as this is only open to first time converters I doubt many readers will qualify.

If you are converting into Avios, it makes sense to convert via because of the competition they are running this month.  BA has not launched any sort of offer.

Remember that it doesn’t matter which route you take as you can move your points around, instantly and for free, using ‘Combine My Avios’ on either site.

This is how the competition works:

For every £2.50 of Clubcard vouchers you send to an account before 28th February, you receive one entry into a prize draw.

50 people will win 10,000 Avios points.

You convert via this page of  The competition is not mentioned there but it is on the Tesco page at

If you collect Avios via Clubcard points, remember to follow our sister site Shopper Points which has daily articles on new Clubcard (and Nectar) offers.

Avios wing 10

Avios partners with Amazon Alexa

Avios has launched a new ‘skill’ for Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service.  It is now available in the UK through Amazon’s voice-controlled speakers, Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot.

Alexa is the ‘brain’ behind Amazon Echo.  As you can see from the image above, it is basically a cross between Apple’s Siri service and a hi-fi speaker.  It allows customers to play music, get information, news, sports scores, weather and more, just by asking. Alexa also provides capabilities, or skills, that help customers to interact with services in a more intuitive way, using just their voice.

If you download the Avios ‘skill’, you will be able to ask your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot questions such as:

How many Avios are in my account?

How many Avios are needed for a particular award? 

How can I increase my Avios balance?

“Avios is passionate about embracing new technologies that enable our customers to interact with Avios in new and innovative ways” said Paul Miller, Director of Strategic Innovation at Avios, using that strange press release version of English which people never use in real life. “We believe that working with Amazon to offer the Avios skill for Alexa will increase our ability to make recommendations that will inspire customers to travel using their points.”

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (65)

  • JD says:

    Anyone actually get Alexa to link to your Avios account? Mine just keeps refusing the username and password when you try to link via the Alexa app

    • Fenny says:

      I’ll try it when I get home.
      Checking Avios account balance isn’t as much fun as checking when the ISS is next passing overhead!

    • Fenny says:

      Tried 3 times, but no joy. Off out to kick people now, so will try again later.

      • the real harry1 says:

        who are you planning to kick? 🙂

        • Fenny says:

          Depends who pisses me off most. Unfortunately, kicking was cancelled for the evening.

      • JD says:

        Glad its not just mine fella. Yeah the ISS is more interesting that checking your avios balance. Would be nice if they actually get it to work though!

  • James says:

    I’m at LGW Saturday morning, i have my lounge club access from the Amex Gold card. Which lounge is best to use there at North terminal; Aspire, My or No1 ? Have not used any of the lounges at LGW before. Thanks

    • Robbie says:

      I would probably go for Nbr 1 if I was you. I used to use them all the time but then after all the lounge changing they became very hard to get in (Full of BA customers) now they have gone it should all be ok. For the last few months I have been using Aspire and although it is not highly regarded I don’t mind it, not the best selection of food/drink but I prefer the self service to hanging around the bar in Nbr 1 waiting to order some food. But for everything else I would say Nbr 1 are probably superior.
      My lounge I have used twice when the other two have been full and i would never use them unless I had to, even the bit that should be good (the kids play area when I have my daughter with me) has never been any good as it is tiny and everytime I have been in there it has a group of adults sat in front of the tv so my daughter has spent her time loitering in the doorway – I am not sure Mylounge really knows what its target is as the offering is eclectic at best.

      • James says:

        Thanks for the reply, and advice much appreciated!

      • Sergeant Major says:

        Nice bacon rolls in No 1 if you have early flight. You order at the order and they bring them to you

    • Yuff says:

      I think a lot of people will be there Saturday morning 🙂
      We have an early flight so hopefully it won’t be too busy at 7am 😉

  • mark2 says:

    perhaps because of the generous compensation that they pay?

  • Robbie says:

    I think the term to remember is “You should see the other guy!”

    I think it is a bit like winning “Most popular MP.” or “Most trustworthy Estate Agent.”

  • Gordon says:

    I visited the new LGW BA First lounge on Saturday, a couple of hours after it opened. It offers terrific views of the runway areas. Food serving area is somewhat cramped which will be a problem at peak times.

    Nice bright area with plenty of seating. Good bar and self serve champagne island.

    However, most of the seating has no access to power, which is strange for a new build. Plenty of sockets in the business centre area and along the windows but overall the are fewer sockets adjacent to comfy seats than at LHR galleries.

    • the real harry1 says:

      that’s really odd – you’d have thought that it’s not really very expensive to put in a generous number of power/ USB sockets – yet very much desired by users

  • Cate says:

    Can anyone confirm/refute that the stairs are the only access? Not sure I’d feel safe walking down them in heals carrying hand luggage.

  • Cate says:

    *heels* even…

  • Tilly71 says:

    What’s the best time of the day or night to get through to Virgin flying club CS department? Tried three times since 6pm tonight and held for 20 mins each time.

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