Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: 25% off No 1 Lounges, Amex finally supports Android Pay, new BA celebrity safety video

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

25% off No 1 Lounges with MSE

If you got the MoneySavingExpert newsletter this week, you should have seen an offer for 25% off No 1 Lounges with a special code.

This means you can get into the No 1 Lounge at Heathrow for £27, Gatwick for £22.50, Birmingham for £19.50 and Edinburgh for £18. You can also access My Lounge at Gatwick for £13.50 and the Clubrooms for £30. You need to book by midnight this Sunday via the No 1 Lounges website here using the code MSEDEAL at check out.  You need to use your lounge pass by 31st December 2017.

This is quite a good offer, but don’t forget the very good Avios offer we wrote about here.

If you pre-book access to the No 1 Lounges via this website you will pay a flat fee of £22.50 per person in Birmingham and Edinburgh and £25 in London. This saves up to £15 depending on airport. You will also receive 750 Avios points in Even if you only value the Avios at 1p each, the net cost for lounge access will be just £15 to £17.50 under this deal, beating the MSE deal.

The only ‘catch’ with the deal is that the 750 Avios points is per booking and not per person, so you need to make a separate booking for each guest and the Avios will be spread across a number of accounts.

No 1 Traveller

Amex finally supports Android Pay in the UK

Good news for Android users.

Without any big announcement Android Pay has finally added Amex to their list of eligible payment cards.  Note that only Amex-issued Amex cards can be used, not MBNA / Lloyds etc.

Now Android users can join Apple users in holding up the queue for the tube, because paying with your phone is marginally slower than touching a bank card or Oyster ……

Amex pay on android

New BA safety video with celebrities

Watching safety videos on airplanes can be boring especially as frequent flyers who gets to see them at least once a month, if not once a week.

To make the safety briefing a bit more fun and to raise awareness for the Flying Start envelopes in your seat pocket, British Airways has brought together a group of celebrities to star in a new safety video.

Flying Start is BA’s global charity partnership with Comic Relief. Since 2010 BA has raised £16.5m and the aim is to have raised £20m by 2020.

The celebrities that feature in the video are: Gordon Ramsay, Rob Brydon, Sir Ian McKellen, Rowan Atkinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jim Broadbent, Thandie Newton, Gillian Anderson, Warwick Davis, Jess Glynne and Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry).

Here is the Director’s Cut:

P.S. Some have labelled this video ‘hilarious’ but I think Gillian Anderson’s part is the only funny bit.   Might just be my sense of humour …..

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 (113)

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

  • Cate says:

    I’ve just had an email from BA saying I have till the 23rd of July to buy something through their shop for a 500 avios bonus.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I’ve found Lakeland great for offers like this. I live close to one so can click&collect for free. I can buy a packet of reasonable biscuits for a couple of quid, end up in profit and either eat or gift the biscuits.

      • Cate says:

        …I think I could manage a packet of biscuits for 500 avios :-). Thanks for the tip.

  • Fenny says:

    OT but lounge related. I’ll be flying out of LGW on a 5.30am Easyjet flight. Which lounges are likely to be open at 4am to get coffee?

    • Phil says:

      You’ll be able to find opening hours online.

    • Paul L says:

      Easiest way to find out would probably be to use the loungebuddy app to list all the lounges you can access (based on status / cc). You will then just need to click on each lounge to check the opening times.
      You can do similar on the prioritypass and loungeclub websites if that is how you are getting access.

  • Jon says:

    It will be a long time before anyone tops Virgin America’s safety video.

  • Phil says:

    OT- do I need to have a preferred rewards Gold charge card to get the gold rewards credit card from AMEX? I currently have the Gold charge card but I don’t plan to keep it beyond year 1.

    • Mzungu says:

      I think you’ll find that the Gold Credit Card is described as a Companion Card, as in companion to the PRGC. Having said that, I asked AMEX on the phone if I could keep the Gold Credit Card when I cancel the PRGC, and I was told I could… for a £36/year fee 🙁
      I’m pretty sure it would also prevent you from churning the PRGC for a bonus, if that’s your intention, as you would still be holding a MR earning card.

      • Phil says:

        Thanks for sharing your experience. To be honest I mainly just don’t see PRGC being worth the annual fee however I slice it! The 20,000 MRP welcome bonus was certainly nice though! I’m probably not a big enough spender to justify even £36 p.a. for the Gold credit card so will stay with the free BA AMEX.

      • Rob says:

        You can now apply for an Amex Rewards Credit Card as a stand-alone product – see – which will keep your MR points alive.

        • Alex W says:

          Do any of these credit cards allow you to get the bonus for referring others for Gold/Plat charge card?

  • Stephen Lee says:

    Doesn’t work with Amex card issued by MBNA (Virgin). Maybe only Amex cards issued by Amex.


    • AVM says:


    • Alan says:

      Indeed – might be worth Rob amending to make clear only Amex-issued Amex.

      Also only takes longer than contactless card with iOS, Android works nice and quickly 😛

  • john says:

    OT: curve card doing through as a debit card again at Guildford counciltax. Originally it worked as debit, then went to credit only, now its working as debit again and refused as credit card!

    • Roger says:

      If one hopes that curve goes through as debit card, does one need to select card type as Maestro or Mastercard when doing online?

  • Ben says:

    Just wanted to note that Apple Pay or Android Pay is not slower than other cards.

    There’s a way on iPhone to ensure you get through the gate faster by double tapping the home button when the phone is locked:

    • Lumma says:

      I don’t understand why anyone uses Apple/android pay for London transport. The system treats the phone and physical card as being seperste, so if there’s any point that you pay for transport with the card (due to having flat battery or something), it won’t count towards the daily/weekly cap

      • anikaanika99 says:

        I’ve used Apple Pay for London Transport for a while but had way too many embarrassing moments at the oyster gate. Even when launching Apple Pay prior to getting to the gate it would only work 3 times out of 4 …

        • Leo says:

          It’s annoying for those behind phone users at the gates, knocks everyone’s timing off – there I said it!

          • flyforfun says:

            Just like George Clooney in Up in the Air avoids queues with families in, I try to avoid queues with people trying to use their phones at TFL barriers. It is noticeably slower and more people seem to have an issue with it than a credit card or oyster. After having to use my CC for a bit, I’m sticking to the oyster card for speed – despite what TFL keep shouting on their speakers!!

      • F says:

        I was told by the help desk that it should all count towards the same cap but obviously didn’t work this way. But if you were mixing and matching occasionally you can call to fix your pricing

    • Alan says:

      Don’t even need to unlock with Android –

      Agree risk re flat battery with phone vs using card though…

  • JamesB says:

    Hi Rob, in the bits post the other day you provided the link to the main curve android article. Is your referral code still working and is the blue card still free? If so, I’ll use it. Is the £200/month ATM allowance for earning points or miles on a monthly calendar basis or card anniversary basis? Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, the code still works, thanks. And, yes, Blue is still free.

      The £200 is per calendar month, I just checked the FAQ. Note that the rules say “you MAY be charged a 2% fee on subsequent withdrawals” …. they don’t seem to be doing it so far, at least for £ withdrawals.

      • JamesB says:

        Cheers, will apply in the morning. In unlikely event it comes in before the end of this month I should manage £600 of the target spend on virgin white visa via ATM which is a good result in itself.

      • JamesB says:

        Rob, just a heads up for you. I just signed up for curve but it may be that the application process has changed slightly since app updates people have commented on recently. I worked through it very slowly and there was no place to add a referral code that I could see nor was there any page resembling the screenshot in your article showing where to enter it. The card did show as free though. On completing sign up I sent them a support message explaining this, gave them your code and asked if they could apply it manually, I will let you know their response.

        • JamesB says:

          Good news Rob, already got a response from curve and they have applied your code to my account Thanks again.

        • Alan says:

          Interesting, they said they were going to change the app to make the use of a referral code more obvious to new users signing up – perhaps this was only in the last day or so?

    • the_real_a says:

      The T&Cs say its £200 per calendar month. The app now shows your limits and usage against them.

      (My referral code if Rob does not get back to you JGOKM)

      • JamesB says:

        Sorry tra, Rob got in first but there may be an issue anyway as you will see from my comment above.

        • JamesB says:

          I think I’m losing my marbles 🙁 I see it in your screenshog but I would swear it wasn’t there early this morning.

          • Alan says:

            When did you last update the app? IIRC they recently added functionality to make adding a referral code more obvious…

        • JamesB says:

          @Alan, before 7 this morning. The page is the same as TEA shows but I just don’t recall the referral text despite it now being blatantly obvious. However, all’s well that ends well, Code was applied manually by CS.

          • Alan says:

            Glad to hear all sorted 🙂 They seem to be continually developing the app, Back In Time pretty nice (and loving their choice of Flux Capacitor as the icon for it!)

    • Alan says:

      The Curve app now tells you how much of your daily/monthly/annual limits you have used, with links to the Fair Use Policy. Just go menu > Curve Card Limits

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.