Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: earn Avios taking taxis in Italy, Nectar / Virgin trains, Avios wine offers extended

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News in brief:

New – earn Avios taking taxis in Italy!

If you are in Rome or Milan in the near future, you can now earn Avios with two local taxi groups.  Pronto Taxi operates in Rome and Auto Radio Taxi operates in Milan.

You earn:

2 Avios per €1 on trips to airports (Fiumicino and Ciampino in Rome, Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo in Milan)

1 Avios per €1 on other trips

It is a slightly odd earning system.  You tell the driver when you get into the taxi that you want to collect Avios points.  He will take down your membership number and, in theory, you receive the points within 48 hours.

The following membership numbers are accepted:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Iberia Plus
  • Meridiana (the Italian airline which uses Avios)

It is obviously impossible for the taxi driver to verify the name of the passenger, so this could be a way of crediting some Avios to a family member whose account may be at risk of expiry due to three years of inactivity.

PS.  My understanding is that Avios earning will soon be enabled for new users of Mytaxi in London, which recently bought Hailo.  Hailo was an existing Avios partner but at present only ex-Hailo customers who migrated their accounts can earn.


Earn Nectar points with Virgin East Coast via ticket machines

It seems that Virgin East Coast has added the ability to earn Nectar points when you buy tickets directly from their own ticket machines.  This will get you a small extra rebate to make up for the pain of not getting an Advanced Purchase discount …..

Virgin West Coast has had this feature for some time.

Note that, if you book tickets online, you have the option of taking Virgin Flying Club miles instead of Nectar points at the same rate (2 per £1).  The Flying Club miles are worth far more than the Nectar points, although if you are not already a Flying Club collector it makes far more sense to go with Nectar.


Avios wine offers extended

Both of the current Avios and British Airways Executive Club wine offers have been extended to 31st September, with some tweaks to the offering.  As a reminder, there are two distinct offers available:

The deals are slightly different depending on what freebies you want!

The new deal is here.   You receive:

A 12-bottle wine case, chosen from seven options all priced at £54.99

3 free bottles of Sauvignon Blanc worth £47 (this is a better deal that the previous offering of two free tumblers!)

1,000 Avios points (250 Avios points if you are an existing Laithwaite’s customer)

Free delivery

The unchanged British Airways Executive Club deal is here.  You receive:

A 12-bottle wine case, chosen from seven options priced between £52 and £58

3 free bottles of rioja worth £36

1,000 Avios points (250 Avios points if you are an existing Laithwaite’s customer)

Free delivery

The only major difference is whether you take the free rioja or the free sauvignon blanc.  Remember that you’ll need to give a BAEC number if you take the rioja and an account number if you take the sauvignon.

Either way, there is one snag you need to deal with.

By ordering, you are signing yourself up to Laithwaite’s Wine Plan.  Every 8-12 weeks they will automatically send you another 12-bottle wine case.  It is very easy to stop this happening – simply amend your account online or give Laithwaite’s a call to cancel your Wine Plan membership, there is no penalty – but you must trust yourself to remember.

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

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

Comments (15)

  • SydneySwan says:

    30 days hath April, June, September ……………….

    • Botham says:

      Simply means offer never expires.

    • Alex says:

      It seems they want to insist that such thing as 31st of September DOES exist – my comment about it has been censored!

  • ee says:

    I took advantage of the BA wine offer earlier this week, and oddly had an email soon after they were delivered saying that my Wine Plan had been cancelled (without me doing anything!)

    The only reason I can think this happened is because I said “do not remember my card details” when placing the order.

  • Genghis says:

    Has anyone tried to transfer Amex MR -> Eurostar Frequent Traveller recently? I’ve got a new Amex MR account and an existing Eurostar Frequent Traveller account but struggling to link the two online. Do I have to call up?

    • Sergeant Major says:

      Yes, call up Amex or create another Eurostar if you don’t have any points in the old one. You’ll get two priority entry passes (great to use on a busy Friday evening)

      • Genghis says:

        Cheers. Will have to call them up then. I just want to do a small top up so that I can make a redemption for one person. Combined with a £50 Eurostar delay repay voucher, a IHG black reward night (for Le Grand) and Hilton cc night (Hilton Opera), almost a free weekend in Paris.

        • Roberto says:

          Also on my Amex..
          Spend £60 or more, get £20 back
          Save to Card to get a £20 statement credit when you spend £60+ in-store and online at Eurostar by 07/08/2017. Valid once per Card for the first 25,000 Cardmembers to save. Terms & payment restrictions apply.

    • Rob says:

      My Amex accounts shown an 11 digit EFT number, so you don’t need the full number on the card. If it is simply playing up then ringing can often get results the site can’t.

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks Rob. It worked. The EFT number is 17 digits long. I entered the last 11 without any spaces (contrary to advice on Amex website) and it was accepted. Top man.

  • Ant says:

    OTT: does an Iberia Express flight with a BA number booked on BA website qualify as one of the four flight to obtain silver? Thanks

    • Leo says:

      I flew on IB express last year booked through the Iberia site on a IB code and that counted so I don’t see why not.

  • Nectar points through the East Coast ticket machines is a painful process. No option to swipe the card, just manual entry. They introduced new ticket machines with new software that have made the things that people mostly want to do at a station (buy tickets for now) harder to do in return for adding the ability to buy the tickets in advance (that most people will buy online).

    The new software on the ticket machines is slow and frustrating enough never mind to have the queue slowed down in busy periods with people faffing about to get a few almost worthless Nectar points.

    Rather than addressing the usability issues, they introduced another one by the poor implementation of Nectar integration.

    • Rob says:

      You can now book an Advance ticket on the machine in the station? Great idea …..

      • The idea is to replace ticket offices with ‘customer zones’ which is effectively replacing the ticket windows with more machines (TfL style). I’m not sure whether they’ll keep a window or two for more complex transactions or will the floor staff have to issue season ticket photo cards, etc? Therefore one step towards this was to increase the amount of things you can do for yourself on the machines and advance purchase tickets is one of these features.

        The main drawback of selling advance tickets from the machines is they’ll slow down the queue, that’s one reason why big stations have separate queues for tickets in advance so the people wanting a ticket for today aren’t left waiting while someone ponders whether it’s worth saving 50p by taking a train 2 hours later than originally intended.