Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

It’s back – Get up to 80,000 Avios points when you open an ISA or SIPP via Nutmeg

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


This is an advertisement for Nutmeg Saving and Investment Limited (“Nutmeg”). Nutmeg has agreed to pay the publisher an award for new customers acquired via the promotion of its services on this site.  Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority

With the end of the tax year approaching, wealth management group Nutmeg has brought back its generous Avios offer for opening a SIPP, general investment account or ISA.

For every £1 invested you will receive one Avios, up to a maximum of 80,000 Avios, when you open an account with Nutmeg before 9th April 2018.

Full details are on the Nutmeg website here.

What is Nutmeg?

As I wrote back in December, when this offer last ran, Nutmeg is an innovative online wealth management service which offers intelligent investment portfolios to anybody with just £500 to invest, with additional monthly contributions of at least £100.

Your money will be invested in what the company calls a robust, diversified portfolio that spreads risk across asset classes, geographies and industries. YourMoney voted Nutmeg the best online Stocks and Shares ISA provider for 2015, 2016 and 2017.  The company now has over £1 billion of assets under management and over 50,000 investors.

How much do I need to invest?

You can open an account with the minimum contribution for an ISA of just £500 as long as you make additional monthly contributions by direct debit of at least £100. You can also make an initial lump sum contribution of £5,000 or more with no direct debit contributions required.

For those opening a pension the minimum is £5,000 with no direct debit contribution required.

What is the maximum I can invest?

SIPP:  for a pension, Nutmeg will award one Avios point per £1 on initial investments up to £80,000. You can invest more but the Avios reward is capped at 80,000 points.

ISA:  the maximum you are allowed to invest in an ISA this tax year is £20,000. You can invest more but anything you commit beyond £20,000 will be placed in a general investment account.

Please note that Avios points are not awarded for customers opening a Lifetime ISA.

The ISA limit for 2018/19 will be £20,000.  If you have already opened an ISA with someone else for 2017/18, you can still take advantage of this offer by jumping in quickly on 6th April when the new tax year starts.

This offer is valid for invested accounts opened and funded before 8th April 2018.

How many Avios will I receive?

You will receive one Avios point per £1 invested.

However, it is important to note that the offer is only open to new Nutmeg customers. A ‘new customer’ is defined as someone who has not previously invested with Nutmeg.

you receive Avios based on your INITIAL deposit only – if you deposit £20,000 in an ISA today and another £20,000 on 6th April for the new 2018/19 year, you will only receive 20,000 Avios

the offer is only open to new Nutmeg customers

When do I receive my Avios?

Your bonus can be credited to either an or British Airways Executive Club account. You will receive your Avios within 45 days of making your initial investment.

If you make a withdrawal or close your Nutmeg account within 18 months, Nutmeg reserves the right to withdraw approximately 1p per Avios awarded from the closing balance before returning funds.  The exact amounts are listed in the terms and conditions.

How do I apply?

You need to sign up and invest via this special landing page to earn Avios. Applications via the standard Nutmeg home page will not earn any points.

Remember, as with all investing, that your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio with Nutmeg can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. ISA and pension rules apply.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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

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 (52)

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

  • RK says:

    As StewartR has said there are other investments out there that generate a greater return 8-10% and preserve your capital

    With the return you can buy Avios or anything else and reinvest your capital

    I generate minimum 8% per annum

    • StewartR says:

      People need to think about what is happening here.

      You invest with Nutmeg and
      A) If you buy ETF or Investment Trusts or actual stocks and shares – Nutmeg charge you a dealing fee i.e. Nutmeg makes money.
      B) You pay an annual Fund Management Fee to NutMeg i.e. Nutmeg makes money.

      Nutmeg makes money if you put money into their service whether you make a positive, neutral or negative return. Doesn’t matter to them, they don’t care – they’ve made their money. The airmiles they give us back are small change/marketing expense.

      It ONLY makes sense to put your capital at risk if the following conditions are met:
      1. You beat the rate of inflation.
      2. You grow your capital greater than the cost of the miles you BOUGHT (you aren’t getting them for free) assuming 0.7p/mile
      3. You don’t take on excessive risk to achieve #1 and #2.

      That is only to break even on the cost of the airmiles!!!!

      A market down turn going to come (not if but when). History tells us it will be minus 20-30% when it does appear. I wouldn’t put my money with anyone unless I was getting at least 5-10%.

      8-10% is what you should be getting and certainly should have been achievable in 2017. S&P 500 returned ~18.5% last year.

      Return is everything in investing. 10% is not twice as good as 5% its many many many times better.

      If those returns above are normal/expected … then this is a bad investment. The airmiles certainly do not cover the lost capital.

      #rantover 🙂

      • Genghis says:

        Nice post 🙂

      • Nick says:

        Great, thanks, totally agree. But do you have any hints/pointers for where to start/look for those of us who aren’t (yet) as privileged as you?

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      You are half right

      + StewartR has brought a welcome perspective to the comment section in his post above and below.

      – You cannot get 8-10% and preserve capital. It is always at risk. The debate is the amount of risk based on your assumptions and the probablity thereof but not the existence of risk.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        This was meant to be in reply to RK’s comment.

        • RK says:

          Capital can be preserved in different types of investments, granted stock and shares cannot be guaranteed

          But as a wider portfolio of investments. There are investments out there which preseve capital and generate a 8-12% return

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          Stocks and shares are the same thing.

          You understand that even cash at the bank is at risk right? Even the bit insured by the Gov is at risk, albeit small.

      • StewartR says:

        Very fair comment … i should not have used the term “preserve capital” – bad choice of words on my part. I appreciate preserve capital means something quite different in context of investing.

        What I was trying to make clear to people is that the miles are not free. i.e. you are not parking your $$$ with Nutmeg for a period of time and getting a free hand out of miles. You are in fact buying the airmiles from Nutmeg and taking on a risk (a large risk IMO giving the apparent returns and current stage of the market cycle) that you might not make enough money back to cover the cost of the miles + the erosion of capital caused by inflation. It is very possible at the end you’ll be up a few airmiles and down in Net Worth.

        Investing only makes sense if you’re getting sufficient reward for the risk you are taking. Miles in this case (IMO) doesn’t look like sufficient reward when the rates of return described above.

        For sake of argument … 🙂

        Full ISA allowance = £20k. You would get 20,000 miles for that back. @ 0.7p/mile they would be worth £140. Let’s assume inflation = 3% = £600 out of the original £20k. Roughly speaking that means you need make a return with NutMeg of at least £740 or 3.7% just to break even. And that prices in zero risk. You are taking a risk here … and you do need to be paid for putting your capital at risk. I would want 5% MINIMUM for putting my capital at risk given the current age of the bear market (volatility is up … projections are suggesting 2018 are going to be mid to high single digit returns for the market). 5% + 3.7% = 8.7%. If i wasn’t getting that … I wouldn’t put my 20k with NutMeg.

        Need to make people aware that this isn’t your typical mile chasing post. There is more going on here.

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          In short: Anyone thinking about making an investment decision based upon the availability of Avios should think again.

          While collecting points can be a fun pastime, dont bring your SIPP into it. It’s far too an important a decision.

        • AndyW says:

          Agreed, the old Virgin ISA deal was in comparison a much better punt. £100 a month, so averaging in, you were far more unlikely to take a large hit to capital.

          If you were going to invest with Nutmeg anyway, great, but investing 80k for £800 of airmiles doesn’t seem sensible to me, especially since Nutmeg portfolios tend to be quite UK focused, and given Brexit uncertainty UK markets have been having a fairly torrid time (in comparison to most of the developed world).

        • Stevie G says:

          Some great posts StewartR. Thankyou

  • Nigel Williams says:

    So unless you have a chunk of capital to throw in to make the reward worthwhile, it is better going for the Virgin ISA as a newcomer (Even more so if Nutmeg does not allow transfers in).

    • LuckyJim says:

      The Avios return is negligible relative to the risk and lost opportunity of investing in a better fund. It really should not be a factor in your decision.

      The Virgin offer is a much better deal – 8000 miles for a £900 investment only tied up for 12 months. You are very unlikely to lose money on that.

      • StewartR says:

        Agree 110%.

        • Sussex bantam says:

          I always feel very uncomfortable when HfP promotes this offer. This isn’t buying printer ink or Lego – an investment strategy is vital for us all and I’m not sure avios should feature in that strategy. I wish HfP would point that out more strongly

          StewartR makes strong well rounded points in his post. I would add that using your ISA in this way also has the opportunity cost of using up your ISA allowance for the year. For many people the ability to invest 20k tax free is the cornerstone of their investment strategy and shouldn’t be given away for a few avios

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        It’s a sad indictment upon the level of financial understanding in this country that Rob can link to a hotel aggregator that offers Avios and people are up in arms because they may or may not be the cheapest way to access hotels.

        Link to Nutmeg and it doesnt attract the same scrutiny.

        If you are devoting more time to researching hotels and investments your priorities are skewed and your hotel savings are being eaten alive by your investment fees and/or performance (or lack thereof).

  • Sundar says:

    There is no right or wrong approach.
    Personally, in the past I have benefited from Virgin ISAs in the past converting those to Spire Elite bonus points 🙂 Some folks over here are well aware of the route.
    Past couple of years, I havent gone down the route of miles for ISA, instead focussing on valuing growth of portfolio.
    Fees( Loads of proof/research supporting this) are always a deterrent to Portfolio growth (and thereby returns), but factor it in your investment decisions and you can ( Note : Can not Will) come ahead.
    Any bonus (miles, magazines etc) should be considered as the cherry on the cake and not taken into the equation ( as then your valuations get skewed as that becomes a variable influencing your decision-making).

  • CV3V says:

    Just to add, read closely what StewartR has posted, take the time to research your investment. All you need to do is Google ‘best performing funds over 10 years’, compare that with the returns offered by Nutmeg.

    I am 4 months into investing in a stocks and shares ISA, my portfolio is up 8%, the best performing fund is up 16% on average (monthly contributions lower the overall average growth, the first investment is up 20%) while the poor performers are up about 2%, 4 months in and one stock market ‘crash’ which is now long forgotten. But the aim of this isn’t short term gain, its long term compounded growth and saving towards a retirement pot.

    • Peter says:

      Great post – and thanks to everyone for considering this so carefully and for such great advice/opinions

    • Rob says:

      Past performance is no guide to future performance. In fact, I expect negative correlation because bond funds will have seen huge gains over 10 years but as soon as interest rates rise bond prices will automatically fall so that the yields keep in track.

    • CV3V says:

      My point, similar to other comments, is that people should do a like for like comparison between self-investing (on a platform such as Cavendish) and using Nutmeg. Measuring the return versus a high interest savings account may not be a good measure given your cash is at risk and other ISA funds are doing much better in the current bear market. My own experience is based on funds in various sectors and not bonds. Everyone is expecting a fall in the markets, and how will a Nutmeg ISA perform in such an event where previously in a bull market it was returning just 2 – 4%. Also, as others have said, a lot us of spend more time researching hotel rooms and not investments where our cash is at risk.

  • luckyjim says:

    I thought there was a problem with my browser when I saw this article pinned to top of the page. It seems this is being actively promoted regardless of the fact it is an awful deal and readers could end up losing thousands for the sake of a few Avios.

    It should at least be made clear that this is, in effect, an advertisment and not a regular HfP article.

    Very dissapointing.

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.