Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: last day for 50% ‘buy Avios’ bonus, £99 / €99 Norwegian sale to the USA

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News in brief:

Last day to buy Avios with a 50% bonus

Today is your last chance to buy Avios points with a 50% bonus.

You need to visit via this page in order to buy.

Here are a few price points, although you get the bonus even on the smallest 1,000 Avios purchase:

5,000 Avios – was £95 (1.9p), now 7,500 Avios for £95 (1.26p)

10,000 Avios – was £175 (1.8p), now 15,000 Avios for £175 (1.16p)

20,000 Avios – was £335 (1.7p), now 30,000 Avios for £335 (1.12p)

50,000 Avios – was £815 (1.6p), now 75,000 Avios for £815 (1.09p)

100,000 Avios – was £1,615 (1.6p), now 150,000 Avios for £1,615 (1.07p)

The cheapest price is therefore 1.07p per Avios point.  Is this a good deal?  Well, it is fair to say that you won’t lose money at this level.  I have a spreadsheet showing the last few million Avios I redeemed and my average value is 1.15p per point.

That said, I am not a buyer at this level myself.  The gap between what I need to pay and what I will get for them is too narrow to justify swapping a liquid asset (cash) for an illiquid, inflationary one (Avios).

If you need to top off an account or you are certain that you can good value when you spend them, 1.07p may make sense.  This is also a very easy way to pick them up – simply pick up your credit card and buy.  There are no hoops to jump through, no criteria to meet.  The page is here.

Norwegian 787

Norwegian launches £99 / €99 one-way sale to the US

We finally have a date in the diary next month for our review of Norwegian Premium.  We’re looking forward to seeing how it compares to BA’s World Traveller Plus and Club World, given the low cost.

If you are happy flying Norwegian transatlantic in Economy, they launched some very strong deals yesterday to promote their new routes to Provincetown (Rhode Island) and New York / Stewart (a $20 – but long – bus ride to Manhattan).

13,000 seats have been released from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Shannon at £99 / €99 each-way.

The following routes are included:

Belfast to Stewart International (New York state), Providence (Rhode Island)

Edinburgh to Providence (Rhode Island), Bradley International (Hartford) and Stewart International (New York state)

Cork to Providence (Rhode Island)

Shannon to Stewart International (New York state), Providence (Rhode Island)

Dublin to Stewart International (New York state), Providence (Rhode Island)

Departure dates are 15th June to March 2018 (Edinburgh), 1st July to March 2018 (Belfast, Cork, Shannon, Dublin).

You must book by 3rd.  Edinburgh fares only show if you use promo code FLYUSA99 – no code is available for departures from other airports.  The Norwegian website is here.

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 – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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

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

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 (20)

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

  • Cora Harrison says:

    Just booked Cork to Boston. Never flown Norwegian, looking forward to it – I think :/

  • JOHN MUNN says:

    I ended up booking Belfast to Stewart International for approx £250 return including bag, meal, seat selection. The coach trip into Manhattan isn’t ideal but, living in Northern Ireland, I’d have to take a coach trip to Dublin airport anyway and that takes about 90 minutes.

    My trip is booked for October so hopefully between July and then there may be a few reports on how
    the new SWF to Manhattan coach works out. (Hopefully it will be quite well integrated)

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

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