Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How Brad is flying around the world for 116,000 airline miles + £285 + $30

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In 2015 reader Brad shared with us how he was going to fly around the world in economy for 112,000 airline miles and just £173 of taxes. One and a half years later he has decided to do a similar trip.

Since there was a lot of interest in the article we wrote on this last trip, we thought you’d be interested in this one.  Whilst we don’t spend a lot of time on Head for Points focusing on economy redemptions, they can be good value when you don’t fly BA and don’t incur heavy taxes and charges.

This is what he is doing this time:

itinery map

Manchester – Madrid
£30 Iberia (cash)

Madrid – Lima
25,000 Avios + £90 tax

Lima – Cusco
4,500 Avios + £8 tax

Cusco – Lima
4,500 Avios + £6 tax

Lima – Buenos Aires – Santiago De Chile
12,500 Delta SkyMiles + $30 tax

Santiago De Chile – Easter Island – Papeete
25,000 Avios + £32 tax

Brad notes that this one is tricky one to get.  When you search for 2 separate one-way tickets for the route they are not available.  However when you search for SCL – PPT you can easily find availability.  The downside is that you only get 10 hours in Easter Island on a stopover.

Papeete – Auckland – Shanghai – Beijing
15,000 United MileagePlus miles + £35 tax

Beijing – Hong Kong
10,000 Avios + £12 tax

Hong Kong – London Heathrow – Manchester
19,500 Avios + £72 tax

He is covering 31,439 miles in total


This comes to a total of : 88,500 Avios + 12,500 Delta SkyMiles + 15,000 United Airlines MileagePlus = 116,000 airline miles + £285 + $30.

If you wanted to emulate this routing, the Delta miles could be obtained from an American Express Membership Rewards transfer.  It would also be bookable via other Skyteam airlines.  There is no easy way to pick up United miles (there is no bonus on their credit card and the transfer rate from Starwood is 2:1) but, again, you could use another Star Alliance airline – albeit for potentially more miles.

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 (97)

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

  • Nick says:

    It’s not equivalent to a £5000 cash fare because anyone in their right mind would buy a RTW ticket (for a lot less than this) rather than a bunch of one-way cash fares. Not saying it’s not great value, just that this is not a fair comparison.

    Not liking the ‘secretiveness, nod-nod’ in the comments for this article by the way. The whole point of this blog is to share FF tips to make the most of our points, and talking about UA miles ‘tricks’ or ‘reclaiming LAN Avios’ with constant in-crowd references to “if you know what I mean” are neither helpful nor very open to the readership, and just seem like showing off and rubbing our noses in it.

    • John says:

      +1, just like the Conrad Maldives redemption is not equivalent to £1000 per night unless you are actually paying that much

    • Rob says:

      I have no idea what he means, if that helps!

    • Bremb87 says:

      @Nick +1

    • Callum says:

      I vaguely remember a glitch where LAN Avios redemptions were still earning miles (possibly only in non-BA programmes?). That was years ago though so if it’s still happening then I’m quite surprised!

      No idea what the United one is – though the “clue” implies some kind of manufactured spending… In which case I don’t blame them for keeping that one secret given it will no doubt get immediately shut down if everyone does it. The secrecy is certainly irritating though!

      • Sally says:

        +1 think that the pros think they are above the air mile beginners. Shame, everyone started somewhere. Nonetheless well done Brad on your journey

  • Damien says:

    I assume you’re able to hop out at easter island and take a quick tour?

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

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