Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Lufthansa Asia sale, 1000 Heathrow Rewards from Rocketmiles, Virgin sale extended

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News in brief:

Good Lufthansa sale to Asia from UK

Whilst the current Qatar Airways sale is a weak, as I will run through tomorrow, Lufthansa has launched some surprisingly decent deals to Asia.  You can also travel on SWISS on some routes.

Based on travel from the UK via Germany or Switzerland:

  • Beijing £1,420 – I found this price easily, despite a promised sale fare of £1,799
  • Hong Kong £1,899
  • Shanghai £1,699
  • Singapore £1,799 (although the cheapest I saw was £2,118)

Nanjing and Qingdao are also available.   There are also good economy and premium economy deals, with Beijing at low as £399 return down the back.

You need to book by 5th October for travel between 1st November and 30th June 2018.

Lufthansa is not a member of oneworld so you cannot earn Avios or British Airways tier points from these flights.  It is a member of Star Alliance so you can redeem the miles you will earn across their 29 member airlines.

You can top up your Lufthansa miles (assuming you choose to credit to Miles & More) by getting their UK credit card, converting Heathrow Rewards points or moving Amex Membership Rewards points to Starwood Preferred Guest (2:1) and then sending those to Miles & More (1:1 or better).

The sale website is here but, impressively, you can’t book business class seats – only economy and premium economy.  Business class should be booked via the standard booking page here.

Lufthansa Asia sale

1,000 bonus Heathrow Rewards points with Rocketmiles

As I wrote earlier in the summer, Heathrow Rewards has teamed up with hotel booking site Rocketmiles to allow you to earn HR points on your hotel bookings.  My original article is here.

There are two interesting benefits here:

Rocketmiles has good ‘first time user’ deals.  If you have booked with them before and already used up your ‘first time bonus’ for earning in Avios or Virgin Flying Club, you could open a new account and get another bonus by crediting a stay to Heathrow Rewards and then sending the points onwards to BA or Virgin (or Emirates or Etihad or Miles & More).

Rocketmiles is not a partner with Lufthansa Miles & More, so this offers a backdoor route to picking up those miles via Rocketmiles

Via this page you will earn 1,000 bonus Heathrow Rewards points if you make your first Rocketmiles hotel booking by 31st October.

Remember that any booking via Rocketmiles is a third party booking.  You will NOT earn hotel loyalty points if you stay at a chain hotel, and it is also likely – except for Marriott – that your status benefits will not be honoured.

New Virgin A330 layout

Virgin Atlantic sale extended

Virgin Atlantic is currently running a sale with decent deals in all classes.  It was meant to end on 20th September but has now been extended to the 26th.

Full details are on this special website.

Looking at the Upper Class deals, there are some interesting prices available.  The standout deal is Delhi at £1588 for travel between 3rd and 31st January 2018 as well as between 13th April and 30th June 2018.

There are also several US routes included in the sale if you can travel over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year or next Easter.

Upper Class prices out of London are:

  • Boston £1499
  • New York £1505
  • San Francisco £1889
  • Washington £1545
  • Miami £1539
  • Seattle £1709
  • Los Angeles £1655
  • Orlando £1695
  • Las Vegas £1655

These prices are for travel between 21st – 28th November 2017 – you pay a little more on other dates.  It’s worth mentioning that Boston and San Francisco are cheaper when flying from Manchester.  Boston is £1459 and San Francisco costs £1869.

There are also some decent Premium Economy deals out there, which will be especially interesting for anyone chasing Virgin Flying Club tier points.   Prices start at £664 to New York and Boston.

Economy deals are also available, starting at £399 for New York and Boston from London. Some destinations are a lot cheaper from Manchester and may justify a train trip. San Francisco for example costs £529 from London and £429 from Manchester.

Travel dates and full details of what is available can be found on the Virgin Atlantic sale website here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin 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.

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

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

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 Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (18)

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

  • Anna says:

    Is HR still offering 3000 points with a £150 spend? I’m going to Germany with relatives in November so might suggest they sign up if so.

  • Moktar says:

    What is the usual processing time for points getting posted on HR? I made a purchase of £150 in T5 whsmith a week ago, and still no sign of it.

    • bagoly says:

      I had to chase them for the 3,000 bonus, and then they added it very quickly.
      This was on a card taken out about 6 months ago, spend required by 31st Dec, and done in August

      • Anna says:

        I found they posted very quickly, within a few days anyway. That said, I first had to contact HR as when I paid for my £150 spend, the cashier applied a £10 discount without telling me, taking the purchase below £150. HR rewards initially said this made it ineligible for the bonus points, but when I emailed them a picture of the receipt showing the initial price, they relented and awarded the points. I was quite impressed with their customer service.

    • Liz says:

      We spent £180 on Wednesday last week and the points and 3000 bonus were in the account on Friday,

  • Louie says:

    A little bit OT but I didn’t realise until I read it above that Marriott give status benefits on third party bookings. I’m new to Marriott Gold, via SPG Gold via Amex Plat! How do people inform Marriott of their status? Just ring the hotel or is there some way of doing it online?

    • Genghis says:

      I email the hotel directly. The reservation then appears on your Marriott account.

    • JamesB says:

      Go to your online DOG account and you will see an option to link DOG and Marriott accounts. Go through the process and you will automatically become Marriot Gold.

      • JamesB says:

        Sorry, got the wrong end of the stick. Follow Genghis, he’s quick on the buzzer and right as usual 🙂

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Shame not to see the Virgin Atlantic points sale like there was last September. Was 30% off all routes but this was before the changes.

    • Lev441 says:

      Seems like since they moved to the peak/off peak model they’ve stopped that strategy. It’s a shame as I’ve picked up some bargains in the past (using my MBNA voucher) at peak times.

  • Arun T says:

    Rob – As Avios becomes (at least to me) less appealing to use given BA degradation, despite being the easiest to accumulate – I wonder if you’d consider featuring more info on StarAlliance/MM earning opportunities? I know you do to a certain extent – but your wisdom on Star Alliance would be appreciated!

  • N says:

    In looking to flying internally in South Africa on SAA. Using Amex MR points, what’s the best way to book these using points? Comair don’t fly where I need to go!

  • James R says:

    Qatar sale isnt as good as weve seen in the past but Its not that weak really..

    Playing around with google flights you can do ARN-BKK-LHR for approx £1400 using the multi city tool.

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

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