Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Want a job redeeming miles?; airberlin adds cheap US Avios routes; Curve raises $10m

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News in brief:

Want a job redeeming miles?!

John from the hotel booking site sent me an interesting job ad that came across his desk.

Seedstars World, an established start-up investor, is looking for a remote working ‘travel hacker’ to book travel for its staff using the frequent flyer miles they collected on previous work trips.

Not sure I like the sound of that as a company policy, and no idea what the job pays, although by definition they seem like they are a bit tight ……!

airberlin und oneworld auf der Baustelle des Flughafens Berlin B

airberlin adds new Avios routes to the US

If you don’t like paying the high level of taxes and charges on British Airways Avios redemptions, airberlin is your answer as this HFP article explains.

(Aer Lingus – read here – and Iberia – read here – may also be your answer, but airberlin has the biggest low-taxes network.)

How low?  When Anika did her review of airberlin business class from New York to Berlin last year, she paid £4 in taxes and charges.

airberlin has just announced the following new routes which will be served during the winter season for the first time.  These flights should be available for Avios redemption at

Orlando, from Dusseldorf – five flights per week

Boston, from Dusseldorf – four flights per week

San Francisco, from Dusseldorf – four flights per week

San Francisco, from Berlin – four flights per week

Other US destinations served from Dusseldorf are Fort Myers, Los Angeles, Miami and New York JFK.  Other winter US routes from Berlin are New York, Chicago and Miami.

airberlin also serves a number of ‘winter sun’ destinations.  Curacao from Dusseldorf is possibly the most interesting, as this Caribbean island is not well served from the UK.  Most people fly with KLM, given the close links that the island has with the Netherlands.

The airberlin website is here if you want to know more.

PS.  There is still no word, before you ask, on the negotiations to sell airberlin to Lufthansa.  The sticking point appears to be the high level of airberlin debt which apparently Lufthansa would like the German government to partially take on.  Etihad is also believed to be demanding extra access to German airports in return for ‘letting’ Lufthansa buy its airberlin shareholding.

Curve prepaid MasterCard

Curve confirms $10m in Series A funding

Tech Crunch has reported that London fintech startup Curve has raised $10m in Series A funding.

We cover the Curve Card quite a bit on HFP because it allows you to spend abroad with just a 1% transaction fee AND have the purchase recharged to any other points-earning Visa or MasterCard you own.  You can also withdraw £200 per month from an ATM and have it recharged to another credit card as a points-earning purchase.  I wrote more about how it work here – the card is free to apply.

The list of investors in impressive and, given that Santander is on the list, raises questions over whether Curve is about to partner directly with major banks.

New investers include TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus, Azimo founder Michael Kent, Ed Wray of Betfair, former members of the Google Wallet team, Santander InnoVentures, Investec, Connect Ventures, Speedinvest, Oxford Capital, Breega Capital, Henry Ritchotte (ex Deutsche Bank COO), Gael de Boissard (ex Credit Suisse board member), Alessandro Hatami (The Pacemakers; ex Lloyds, Paypal, GE Capital) and Paul Townsend (Vitesse PSP, Barclays, WorldPay).

(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 (100)

  • rams1981 says:

    OT Rob I asked about upgrading an etihad flight when slightly short of miles and you said to call up and ask. I was about to and just checked online availability before calling and found the miles required had fallen and so just upgraded it online.

    Does that happen often? Ie required miles changing?

    • JamesB says:

      Yes, moves both up and down.

    • Rob says:

      I have never understood the pricing system ….. I am guessing it is driven by some Dirham based number (internal recharge) converted to miles and moves with the FX rate?

      • JamesB says:

        I figured it was somehow down to FX as it varies daily.

        • JamesB says:

          Also affects the miles required for giftcards, have not checked other catalogue merchandise though.

  • Cate says:

    ‘Legally there has to be an electronic ID check I think, same as Amex has to do ID checks on supplementary cards.’

    Thanks Rob. Cash for a few weeks it is then.

  • Alex says:

    Speaking of a devil (Curve) – does anyone know if it’s possible to get the £35 fee refunded somehow? Using arguments like the card is now free, ceased working with Amex, being an early customer etc? Or no-starter?

    • Rob says:

      They offered you the £35 back when they lost Amex if you cancelled, and also offered you £35 if you kept it and spent £1000 on it over a 3(?) month period. I doubt they’d have much sympathy with you given that.

    • Mr Dee says:

      I doubt it your money has probably be well spent by now 🙁