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Avios drops Tristar as a partner – how else can you earn travelling to Heathrow?

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Avios dropped chauffeur group Tristar as an earning partner yesterday.  Existing bookings will still be honoured but you will no longer earn points on new Tristar bookings.

Coincidentally, Emirates gave me a Tristar chauffeur when I arrived at Heathrow on Friday afternoon and it was the smartest car I’ve been driven in for ages.  I’m not sure if this was because I was in First Class rather than Business Class but it was substantially better than the (non Tristar) car Etihad sent me on Tuesday morning.

The email sent out by Tristar makes it clear that this decision was taken by Avios and not by Tristar.  The partnership has only been in operation for a little over 18 months.

Tristar logo

It is presumably part of the ‘tidying up’ of the various Avios programmes before they are migrated to the platform later this year.  That said, Tristar operates in 80 countries – so it’s not as if it lacked coverage in other places where Avios operates – and British Airways Executive Club does not have any other chauffeur partner.

One possibility is that BA could be moving to Blacklane, although this is only a guess.  Blacklane has just launched a partnership with Lufthansa Miles & More and is expanding aggressively.

Virgin Flying Club remains a Tristar partner

If you will still be using Tristar, remember that it remains a partner with Virgin Atlantic.

Full details are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

You earn 2 Flying Club miles for every £1 you spend.  You can also redeem 17,500 Virgin Flying Club miles for a one-way Tristar transfer if you have booked an Upper Class redemption.

How else can I earn Avios getting to the airport?

There are still two other ways of earning Avios points when travelling to Heathrow.

If you book Heathrow Express tickets via this special link, which does not offer the cheaper advanced purchase options, you will earn 10 Avios points per £1 spent.

If you choose to take a taxi, you can still collect Avios whenever you take a trip using cab app Hailo (now being rebranded as mytaxi).   Full details of that partnership are on here.  You earn 1 Avios point per £1 spent.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

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 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 card

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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (9)

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

  • Alan says:

    You can also earn by flying (from the regions) to LHR 😛 (couldn’t resist answering the question, sorry!)

    For HEX I’ve been sticking with earning HR points to keep that balance alive, even though not an amazing earning rate, they seem to credit reliably.

  • Adam says:

    SPG with Uber then convert to Avios is also an option.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      or use them for SPG/Marriot hotels which would be my preference

  • Talay says:

    Certainly Etihad’s cars have been sent downmarket over the last couple of years.

    My impression is that the cars they used to offer, such as new / near new 5/6/7 series BMW (and not bottom specced models) have been replaced with largely 5 series and in the 3-7 year old bracket.

    I also (perhaps incorrectly) get the feeling that whereas previously the chauffeurs couldn’t really have owner their own cars (largely due to cost) that the current drivers do actually own their ageing BMW 5 series.

    As I say, I could be wrong but it appears that way and as a company, I’d never lease or own ageing vehicles doing stellar mileage.

  • JBM says:

    my guess is that BA moving to partner with Blacklane would be a strange move. aligning your premium brand with an aggregator which has no control over the quality/age/appearance of vehicle or driver could do significantly more damage than good. This is why Tristar has prospered in the complimentary transfer space because it owns its vehicles and its chauffeurs are immaculately turned out

  • Steve says:

    Re. Blacklane, they also expanded in Asia and partnered with AsiaMiles (for worldwide miles earning) at the beginning of 2017.

  • Stuart says:

    Is the hailo deal just for London? I use this service almost daily in Ireland but can’t find any way to link accounts. Think I’m missing out!

    • Rob says:

      There is an Iberia deal if you are based in Madrid, so an Irish deal may well appear at some point via AerClub.

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

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