Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: two BA-related competitions, new Innsbruck lounge, new BA / China Southern codeshare

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News in brief:

Two interesting BA competitions

The latest issue of British Airways’ ‘The Club’ magazine contains a couple of interesting competitions.  These literally take 30 seconds to enter (name, email address, BA number) so you’re nothing to lose.

First up is two VIP tickets to the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on 25th February, with full hospitality, and a one-night stay at Dorsett Shepherds Bush either before or after.  You need to enter this on the Dorsett site.  Closing date is 31st January.

Secondly, I was quite taken by this cashmere hat and scarf set from MrQuintessential, classy and suitably expensive at £190.  You can win this on this page of here.   Again, the closing date is 31st January.

Tyrol Lounge Innsbruck Airport

Innsbruck now has a lounge, available via Priority Pass

A few months I wrote this popular article listing British Airways European routes where you do not receive lounge access.

One airport on that list was Innsbruck.  This wasn’t the fault of BA – Innsbruck simply didn’t have a lounge.  Now it does.

The Tyrol Lounge is open from 5.30am to 7pm daily.  It is airside, between gates 11 and 12.  The two photos above and below show what it is like.

I don’t know if British Airways has arranged for Club Europe or status passengers to get access.  You CAN get in using a Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum or buy one here) or a Lounge Club card (two free passes when you get the free Amex Gold card).  It is also available via Lounge Key if you have a HSBC Premier World Elite card.

Tyrol lounge Innsbruck airport Austria

British Airways signs a codeshare deal with China Southern

British Airways has agreed a codeshare deal with the largest Chinese airline, China Southern, to add four new destinations to the BA network –  Shenyang, Harbin, Changchun and Dalian.  Seats are available for sale on

Connections will be available:

  • Via Shanghai to Shenyang and Harbin
  • Via Beijing to Dalian
  • Via either Shanghai or Beijing to Changchun

You will earn Avios when travelling on a China Southern flight if you have a BA flight number.  However, these can only be booked in connection with a long-haul British Airways flight.

In return, China Southern flight codes will be added to BA domestic flights from Heathrow to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Belfast.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (42)

  • Paul says:

    Is there a better link to the Dorsett competition. On a mobile I cannot find the entry page.

    • Graeme says:

      It’s the mobile site Paul is querying though not the desktop… Ive had a look around and can’t find it on the mobile site either Paul..

      • Graeme says:

        but the full link THR1 provides should take you there.. 🙂

      • Graeme says:

        I had to open the desktop site from the link at the bottom of the mobile landing page first though…

      • Lady London says:

        Can you tick the box to “Request Desktop site” . Usually found by clicking the 3 vertical dots top right of chrome screen on Android?

    • Mycity says:

      The link works ok from my mobile

  • Nick says:

    OT, Amex Offers have another £50 statement credit on transactions over £200 at American Express Travel.

    “Save to Card to get a £50 statement credit on a transaction of £200 or more online at American Express Travel by 28 February 2018. Valid once per Card for the first 30,000 Cardmembers to save. Terms, location and payment restrictions apply.”

  • Saj says:

    Flying out of T5 today BA Club lhr to Jed which would be the best galleries lounge to visit ?

  • Anna says:

    OT – I’ve always wanted to see the Pyramids and am thinking of using my Lloyds upgrade voucher to fly to Cairo. The only thing putting me off has been security concerns but the FO don’t now advise against travelling there. Although it’s only 5 hours, apparently there are flat beds in Club World on this route – have any HFP readers flown it? Also, 5 star hotels appear to be extremely good value, has anyone stayed at the Cairo Conrad?

    • Clive says:

      I go down on business a couple of times a year and if you are careful you are fine. I have stayed at the Conrad, nice hotel on the Corniche, but rooms are dated. Le Méridien Pyramids is great for location but again dated and food options not so good. I now tend the stay at Le Meridien at the airport. Modern, safe, god food and apart from the location probably the better bet.

      Be careful when booking as BA sometimes change planes on this route. We last flew a 787 with full CW.

    • Rob says:

      There are 2 Four Seasons if you want to go very top end. One of the ICs is connected to the only Western style shopping mall in Cairo.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Clive and Rob. I want to see the Pyramids and Sphinx and also the antiquities museum so ideally would like to stay at a convenient distance from both.

        • Bagoly says:

          Mena House is actually at the Pyramids. Expensive, but in my opinion worthwhile if in the old wing with Pyramids view.
          However, I see that they currently have renovations – possibly of the entire Old Wing?

          The Antiquities Museum is in the centre, so surrounded by appalling traffic.
          For getting in to there from a hotel at Pyramids or Airport, I recommend getting the taxi to take you to a metro station not so central (E.g. ask for the Hanging Church)
          Just remember if you have a male in the group not to travel in the women-only carriages!

        • JamesB says:

          If you want to stay Hilton then I would recommend Zamalek as best option. If flexible on chain…Kempinski. I also recommend finding a good local tour guide for your sightseeing, comfort and safety.

        • HeathrowFlyer says:

          +1 for the Kempinski.

          Also stayed at the IC Semiramis – entering your room was a bit like going back in time…but not in a good way!

    • Ant says:

      Hi there, I also always wanted to see the pyramids so went last half term – with my 2 year old and 5 year old. We stayed in an executive room at the Ramses Hilton, and it was great, lounge access and food and drinks all day – you can even see the pyramids in the distance.

      We never felt any safety concerns – but Cairo is Big and poor – much poorer than I expected.

      The flight is on a wide body plane and it was packed – plenty of people are going there. We used Uber to get around. Easy peasy. It’s probably my favourite holiday for a long time. Enjoy!

    • johnny_c-l says:

      I found the Conrad to be good but far from the standard elsewhere, but I suspect this is simply down to the local market. I booked on points but cash would have been a better use really.

      The exec lounge is fine but a bit of a feeding frenzy when evening snacks come out, however the pleasant balcony and Nile views make up for it.

      Agree with the other comment about using Uber, I hired a driver for about 3/4 hours for the pyramids and was very simple and vvv inexpensive.

    • kelly says:

      We stayed at the Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah on our last visit and found it really nice apart from the check in which was horrendous – security is high at the property, possibly more noticeable due to the location of the hotel. The have a really good restaurant at the hotel also; one of the best in Cairo. Can agree re the Intercontinental Semiramis; was once a wonderful property but times are pretty tough in Egypt due to the lack of tourism so it looks rather dated now. If you have time, the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan is a must; a stunning property! When we flew this route a few years back; flat bed on the way out to Cairo however on our return leg it was an old BMI plane. Hire a driver but not through the hotel if possible. Have a great trip.

  • jason says:

    OTT any tips on how to register for Club eurostar on amex rewards getting the same error we used to get when registering Starwoods A/C when entering account number

  • Relaxo says:

    OT- anyone aware of any issues with incorrect pricing for Reward Flight Saver flights for non UK based accounts? I’m trying to book a couple of GLA- London flights. The avios required is fine- 8K return, but the taxes portion are pricing up to the equivalent of 85 pounds. My partner who has a UK account dosent have this problem. Have they discontinued RFS for non UK members? Or is it IT glitch?

  • Rob says:

    Hi, I’ve just noticed that IHG rewards club points earned on my IHG Rewards Creation credit card have not yet transferred over to IHG for this month. Has anyone else had this problem this month or will it definitely happen before the end of the year anyway. Important for me because I hope to achieve Spire Elite for the first time.

    • Graeme says:

      Points went through on 23/10 and 22/11 on my account – no sign of this months points as yet – not sure if bank holidays/weekends impact on the date the points carry over, a few days left in December so I’m sure you’ll be ok.

    • Genghis says:

      Last year’s was 27/12

  • Nick G says:

    OT – flying to Brussels outbound in CE return in economy on an avios booking. I have a lounge club card with my gold card and on checking the lounges at Brussels I can see the diamond lounge is the only option. However the lounge club website shows two diamond lounges one Schengen flights one not. I assume I can use the non Schengen diamond lounge at Brussels? Anyone ever used it. The pics don’t look too bad from what I’ve seen. Been to the BA galleries lounge at Brussels and always found it pleasant enough. Just wondering before I waste my time. Thanks

    • Lady London says:

      I will look forward to feedback on the Diamond lounge with interest.

      I’ve visited The Loft lounge at Brussels several times and really really like it. It’s a bit like the “Home” lounges in Scandinavian airports. Only better done, more food, really nice quality and presentation. Excellent staff, “business” feel. Also sleeping curtained pods at the back if you need a short snooze. That and the tobacco prices almost make me want to divert my next trip via Brussels….. 🙂

    • moktar says:

      I was in the diamond lounge in Brussels this September. I was flying to Athens so on the Schengen side. I liked the lounge. Can’t remember the hot food option, but the cold pasta/salad and the soup was very yummy as i probably went back three times. The highlight was a fridge full of Belgian beer (including the fruity varieties), a waffle counter (they were not hot when i was there)
      I remember enquiring unsuccessfully for a international/uk adaptor as all their plug points were European.

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