Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

News: Opodo and ebookers discounts, Virgin MAN and LGW routes using airberlin planes

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News in brief:

Opodo and ebookers launch new discount codes

Opodo and ebookers have new discount codes for anyone booking a flight or a ‘flight and hotel’ package in the next few days.

Via this link (click here), Opodo is offering £35 off a £500 flight or £100 of an £1100 ‘flight and hotel’ package.  You need to book by 11th January.  You can travel at any time but must depart from a UK airport.

Via this special link (click here), ebookers is offering £60 off a £500 spend.  You must book a flight and hotel package to qualify.  Book before 8th January for travel by 31st October.

Virgin Atlantic releases list of airberlin aircraft switches

We have covered the saga of Virgin Atlantic’s ‘out of service’ Boeing 787 fleet in recent weeks.

To get around the medium term loss of a number of aircraft which require new engines, Virgin Atlantic has leased a number of ex-airberlin A330 aircraft.  These are currently having a light refurbishment to give them the Virgin Atlantic look and feel, albeit with the existing airberlin seating.

Our last review of airberlin Business Class is hereIt is a decent seat and actually more suitable for families and couples than Virgin’s Upper Class product in my view.

The Virgin Atlantic website – click here – has now published a list of services from Manchester and Gatwick which will be flown with ex-airberlin aircraft:

Virgin Atlantic A330-200 plane swaps airberlin

If you have been booked to fly Premium Economy on these services you should already have been contacted, as no Premium Economy seating will be available. 

If you are booked in Economy you may want to look at your seat reservation as the seating is now 2-4-2.  In Upper Class, you may also want to rethink where you sit as you are effectively getting a staggered 1-2-1 configuration.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2023)

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):

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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 & four 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Virgin Points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (47)

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

  • AS1 says:

    Sorry OT: Any ideas what to do with 60K miles and more points about to expire?

    • Daftboy says:

      If you really don’t have a flight need for them, I’d suggest the Lufthansa Worldshop – you can apply the miles balance to purchases there in full or part, they often have sales

    • Rob says:

      Move to Heathrow Rewards or use them towards a hotel booking.

    • AS1 says:

      Many thanks!

  • Dev says:

    Here’s also hoping for a UK credit card option for Hyatt (or at least a points transferring option e.g. Amex MR).

  • chris says:

    My Amex gained Platinum Accor Status dropped to gold today (i had 14k status points last year) so i guess they were just slow getting into the new year – a bit like IHG who i had to kick to get Spire benefits to show for 2018

    • David says:

      My status is still platinum with an expiry of 12/17. Can’t help thinking they’re simply working their way through the alphabet (I’m a ‘W’)…

    • Fenny says:

      I’m still showing as Plat with a Dec 17 expiry date, but my points and nights from 2017 have dropped to zero since yesterday. Surname is B.

  • Ant says:

    Completely OTT sorry: we land in Doha from Sydney at 5am and depart at 1500 to Stockholm. I am thinking of booking the +Qatar promotion for the night that we land, that way on arrival we can check in at hotel, get a few hours of sleep and maybe see a bit of Doha.

    Can this be done?

    and any recommendations for hotel? Would be great i guess if we could walk from hotel to the main attractions.


    • Alex W says:

      There’s not much to see in Doha. You’re not missing out. If you’re flying Qatar business you can use the (Al Mourjan?) business lounge during the layover. There is a dark/quiet section with sofas you can sleep on. Get in early as there may be a waiting list.

      If you do venture outside, this time of year the heat should not be too oppressive.

  • John says:

    I don’t know about sleeping, you will have had 10 hours to sleep on the plane and it will be afternoon SYD time (albeit 2am UK time).

    If you want to walk around Doha you had better do it before 9am, you certainly don’t want to be walking around noon. If the hotel is free then I would stay around the Souq Waqif but the timing is a bit wrong, so perhaps staying around the city centre may make more sense.

  • JamesB says:

    OT: I don’t know if anybody had their 10k bonus from nectar yet for the October credit card application. Just been told it will be credited within 28 days of the third statement date, which should be sometine this month for almost all of us. Sounded like it had the ring of truth this time, either that the agent was just a better poker player.

    • EwanG says:

      For me the 20k points posted with my second statement and the 10k bonus points a further 5 days later.

      • JamesB says:

        Thanks Ewan, Iam getting tired of there excuses so I will call again.

    • Scallder says:

      The T&Cs stated that the extra 10k points were to be added a number of days after the 20k were awarded by Amex. Afraid the screenshot is at home, but sure it was within 28 days. My 20k points hit my Amex account on 2nd December – were swept to my Nectar account on the 24th (this was my second statement) and then the bonus 10k hit on the 26th.

      Sorry to hear you’re having issue again, although personally at least this went a lot smoother than the bonus offer I had signed up to last year!

    • JamesB says:

      Cheers Scallder, I called again after reading Ewans comments. Difficult to get angry with them at Nectar, they all so polite. Further assurances the problem was understood would be sorted, and they claimed this time that points should be within 6 weeks of the amex 20k which I got early November.

    • Lewis King says:

      James I sent them a private message on Twitter and a few days latter my points arrived 🙂

  • rufusrea says:

    I hope someone here can help i have booked a number of flights on American Airlines and am wondering should i use my AA account or my BA executive account to gain air miles and tier points.
    the flights are
    BHD – Heathrow, Heathrow – Dallas, Dallas – Los Angeles, and then Tampa – Miami, Miami – Heathrow , and Heathrow – Belfast . These are all on one ticket booked using two $500 vouchers i received for a delayed flight last year,
    thanks for reading

    • Rob says:

      I’m assuming these are Economy flights? You won’t be earning a huge number of miles if so, and on that basis – if you live in the UK – it makes sense to credit them to BA. A small amount of AA miles is very hard to use whilst a small amount of Avios will get you a BA European flight (eg 4500 Avios for one-way to Germany).

      • rufusrea says:

        Thanks for the quick reply.Yes we live in the UK and yes they are economy flights. I have about 50,000 AA miles and my wife has 26,000 gained through MBNA dual credit card ie Amex and we have used American Airline redemptions before but have only the bottom status with any airline.. We also have BA miles, avios and Iberia points along with amex points. ALL gained through the help of this site and one of your readers in particular. Keep up the good work.

        • JP says:

          I would got for AA. If you can get to 60,000 and 30,000 on each account that is enough for 3 anytime singles to / from the UK to US, including west coast.
          Fees from the US to UK are $6. Return is $143 on economy.

          For August:
          AA to LA 60000 AA miles Return + $143.
          BA return peak to LA is 50,000 Avios + £400.
          AA also allow free connections on the US so you have a two stop for the same price.

          Cash price in August for LA for BA and AA is coming in at just over £700 for most dates. Basically getting 1p per AA point and only 0.6p per avios.

          Off Peak AA is 22.5K miles each way. So if you can get you account to 67500 miles, you can have two return off peak to US for just $286 in tax plus 90K AA miles.

    • Lyn says:

      It also depends on what you are hoping to use your current American miles for and whether you need to keep them active to stop them expiring. American only gives you 18 months.

      As you already know, there are differences in carrier surcharges redeeming with AA and BA for non-BA transatlantic flights, and it is worth looking at differences in their award charts as well. It depends where you want to fly and how realistic it is to earn more AA miles.

      It might be worth comparing how many miles/avios you would actually earn on AA versus BA. As Rob says, if it is economy it won’t be a lot. I don’t know if you are familiar with AA’s system, but in case you aren’t, and assuming it works the same way in the UK and US – if the ticket was bought through AA, with AA flight numbers, and without AA status, they give you 5 miles per $US spent on the total value of the ticket less government/airport taxes (this figure should show if you look at your booking). You could compare earnings on BA using their calculator for the individual sectors.

  • J says:

    OT: Does anyone have experience of a child turning 2 after the outbound but before the return leg on Virgin? On BA it seems that you can still book at the infant rate, but they ill reserve you a seat for the return. Is this different with Virgin?

    • Rob says:

      Those are CAA rules so I think has to follow them. I assume they ask for the date of birth of the baby during booking and will reject the quote if they are not willing to do this. The kids is not allowed to fly if it is over 2 and does not have a seat.

      • J says:

        Thanks Rob, I’m hoping to use my Virgin Black upgrade vouchers, so paying 10% PE cash fare return should still be quite a bit better than using miles for a third PE seat. Will see what they say on the phone.

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

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