Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: 2400 Avios with Tesco Mobile, Qatar Airways launches flights from Cardiff

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News in brief:

2,400 Avios with a new Tesco Mobile phone

If you’re looking for a, possibly spare or second, mobile phone, Tesco Mobile has a new offer.  Buy any of these six phones and you will receive 1,000 bonus Clubcard points, worth 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club miles.

The phones start at £69.  I’m not an expert on this but there might be some eBay resale potential here too.

Qatar Airways to launch services from Cardiff Wales Airport

Qatar Airways had promised the announcement of a “ground-breaking experience for passengers” at Arabian Travel Market this week, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for something this ground-breaking.

Qatar Airways is launching services from Cardiff Wales Airport in 2018.  Cardiff joins San Francisco, Kiev and Lisbon among 12 new cities earmarked for services.  There is no word of whether the Welsh Assembly has oiled the wheels with a route support deal or what aircraft type will be used.  Qatar does occasionally use short-haul planes for connections from second-tier airports.

Qatar Airways is, of course, a oneworld partner airline which means that you can earn and redeem Avios points, and earn British Airways tier points, when flying with Qatar.

Anyone expecting exceptionally cheap deals may be disappointed though.  The Qatar / British Airways partnership deal, under which the two airlines share the revenue from services on both airlines between the UK and Doha, may well restrict the ability to discount to the levels we have seen in Europe.

If you want to know about other Avios redemption ideas from outside London, this HfP article looks at Avios flights from UK regional airports.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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.

Comments (97)

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

  • Alex W says:

    OT but Qatar. I’ve got a 7 hour layover in Doha coming up in the middle of their night. What am I entitled to? Probably no point getting a visa to go outside the airport at that time.of night.

    • TripRep says:

      They provide accom for 8 hours +, worth asking them for goodwill?

      • Polly says:

        No good well comes from them now. They have really tightened up the hotel requirement. But if Alex W has lounge access, the bendy black narrow beds in the quiet area are just fine for a few hours sleep. Alex are you on J class?

        • Andrew says:

          If your onward flight is in F you can use the private bedrooms in the lounge.

    • Yuff says:

      5-8ht stay in the airport hotel.
      Qatar won’t give you accommodation under 8 hours and they moved our flights from over 8hrs layover to 7hrs 55 mins last time I stopped over.

      • Polly says:

        Same happens to us last time. Then they blatantly blamed us for not booking a flight with a shorter connection time! It would have meant dep HKT at 07.00 instead of 19.40. So naturally we close the later departure. But it meant a few hours on the bendy black couches in quiet area, which we did get some sleep on.

    • The Original Nick says:

      Do you have lounge access?

    • Alex W says:

      Thanks guys, we are in J and my BA Gold card is in its last free month before dropping down to silver.

  • The Original Nick says:

    Also depends if there’s another flight within that layover or on that day AFAIK.

    • Prins Polo says:

      There are quiet rooms in the back of the lounge good for chilling (there is a sofa but no bed). I’d personally go to the airport spa where you can use a gym or the swimming pool for something like £30.

  • AH says:

    Cardiff to Amsterdam & the whole world opens up.
    Not sure if a direct flight is needed – as its not really a huge catchment area, unless they put a ferry terminal close to the airport & ferry people from the South West.

    • JamesB says:

      +1, that was my initial thoughts, now first choice for me exEDI. Reasonable premium fares, enough FB miles for a European flight, frequent departures from EDI so short transits at AMS which remains one of the best transit airports. Overall shorter journey times to my destinations, decent sleep on flat bed, reasonable services, no unsociable middle of night transits, and no need to support States with politics I generally feel uncomfortable with.

      • Callum says:

        Aren’t charges on Flying Blue redemptions horrifically high? I’ve not looked for several years now so maybe it’s changed?

        • Alan says:

          For longhaul I didn’t find them that much worse than BA, but for short-haul the lack of RFS certainly makes a difference. Ideally I want to use my remaining points during one of their promo periods and that’ll normally get you 25% off the miles required for business.

  • Brian says:

    OT – new Amex deal with £10 back at ASK Italian, if anybody ever goes there – they are one of the in-store retailers for BA’s new venture for awarding Avios on in-store purchases, so would combine nicely.

    • john says:

      Rats, didn’t know about that and went to ask on Sunday! Lovetheatre is on amex with 5% back and also is BA/avios partner.

  • leoC says:

    Wow Cardiff is so much easier than LHR if you are Devon/Cornwall! Is there a good lounge at Cardiff Airport?

  • Nicky says:

    Sorry but completely O/T but hoping someone can answer: I am about to book flights using avios and Lloyds upgrade vouchers. I know I can only use BA as the carrier and that I won’t earn air miles but but will I still earn tier points?

  • Rob says:

    O/T – but need help please. I already have an Amex Gold card in my personal name, but I need a business credit card too. I’d like to get an Amex business card (Gold). Has anyone had any positive experience of getting the sign up bonus for the business card while also having a gold card in your personal name. I know that the site says that you do not get the bonus in this case, but i wondered how strict they are in applying this. Alternatively, does anyone have any advice or personal experience regarding which business credit card are best or highly recommended?

    • RussellH says:

      Might I ask why you (anyone) need(s) a business credit card?

      The following may well not be tru for Amex, but was certainly true for Visa/MC al least until the end of 2013:

      1. Business cards charged an annual fee whereas personal cards did not
      2. Business cards never offered any points / rewards / avios etc.
      3. The charge for accepting business cards was significantly more than that for accepting personal cards – IIRC WorldPay wanted an extra 0.5%.
      4. Today there is no interchange fee cap on business crads, so that margin may well be significantly more!

      I never had any problems with using personal credit cards for my business, and I seem to recall that Raffles has mentioned that HfP is all run from an Amex Platinum card.

      Business credit cards always seemed to be the ultimate bank rip-off IMHO.

      • Kevin says:

        I think an article on business credit cards might be good since the Amex cards have slightly different benefits to the personal ones.

        I currently use the MBNA black Virgin cards (personal) for my business but I’d like a Avios one as well.

        • Mzungu says:

          Yes, I think that would be useful – although as RussellH says, business cards are probably a bit of a minority interest on here.

          I have an Amex Corporate Gold, which I only keep as I use Amex foreign exchange services in my business. Forex earns MR points provided you link it to a Corporate Gold or Plat card. These days I’m not sure of the other benefits, so I use my BAPP for day-to-day spending.

      • Rob says:

        I have a new limited company through which i contract my services and my accountant is telling me that i should keep my personal and business affairs clearly separate. So when i pay for business flights etc, this should ideally be on a business account credit or debit card. The risk apparently is that when your client pays the expense reimbursement into your business bank account, and you transfer it to your personal bank account, that this can be seen as a taxable disbursement from the company and you will therefore pay higher levels of NIC. At least thats the way I think it was explained to me. I prefer to pay for everything using my Gold Amex and BAPP cards for the rewards benefits. What does the taxman think about this, if anything is my accountant being too conservative??

        • Rob says:

          Ask your accountant why, when you go online to pay your PAYE or Corporation Tax bill by credit card, the HMRC website specifically recommends that you pay with a personal credit card because the fee will be substantially lower.

          The idea that anyone from HMRC is going to come in and spend a few days going through your accounts just to hit you with a £50 NIC bill because your expenses were paid into one account and then transferred to another is beyond ludicrous.

          • Kevin says:

            When I’ve paid HMRC bills with a personal credit card, I’ve treated it as a director’s loan. Please note I’m not offering professional advice though.

            I do have a separate set of credit cards (but in my name, not the company’s) that I use for day to day business expenses, which helps to separate out expenses from personal expenditure. I pay this credit card bill straight from the company bank account.

          • Genghis says:

            Exactly. If pay business expenses personally, treat it as directors loan, Dr expense, Cr directors loan acct. We then clear that down regularly and definitely at year end, Dr directors loan acct, Cr cash. It’s not treated as a dividend.

          • Genghis says:

            I’m not offering professional advice either. But that’s what I do and I’m an ACA

        • Mzungu says:

          I have personal cards that I use in my Ltd company. I keep separate cards for business use, and pay those cards off directly from the business bank account. No need for the funds to touch the Directors’ loan account. (I do use the Directors’ loan account for other things, as detailed above by those who know far more than me!).

          This has worked fine for me for the past 10 years, and with the blessing of my accountant.

          • Genghis says:

            In theory, intra month they should be booked to the directors loan acct and then cleared down once you pay your credit card bill, but why bother. I’d do it exactly the same

          • Alan says:

            Plus remember that Amex are happy to issue an additional card in your own name if you want to make it easier to track business vs personal spend – it just has “A.C.” added to the end of your name. Sometimes can be handy for ShopSmall, etc. too as it has a different card number 🙂

  • Cate says:

    The ever lovely Mr Cate suggests that anyone outside of the UK looking to book a flight into Cardiff airport is going to be mightily disappointed if they think the picture used on Cardiff airport site is Cardiff :

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

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