Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

REMINDER: Get 3,000 Avios or other airline miles with a Heathrow Rewards sign-up bonus

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Just in case you are flying out of Heathrow tonight for the Bank Holiday, I thought it was worth a reminder that Heathrow Rewards – the loyalty scheme for Heathrow’s duty free shops – has a sign-up bonus at the moment worth 3,000 points.

3,000 points is a very generous sign-up bonus for Heathrow Rewards.  It is especially generous given the recent 50% and 100% transfer bonuses offered to airline partners or into shopping vouchers.

The minimum spend to trigger the bonus is £150 in a single day before 31st December 2018.

Heathrow Rewards gives you 1 point for every £1 spent in Heathrow (1 per £10 on foreign exchange) or on Heathrow Express tickets (online bookings only). Once you’ve earned 250 points you can exchange them for miles or shopping vouchers.

What is my bonus worth?

You can redeem your 3,000 points for 3,000 Avios or miles in Virgin Flying Club, Aegean Miles+Bonus, Miles & More, Emirates Skywards, Royalskies (Royal Brunei) or Krisflyer (Singapore Airlines).

Alternatively, you could take £30 of Heathrow shopping vouchers or Heathrow Express vouchers, or £60 of vouchers towards the official Heathrow car parks.

As Heathrow Rewards has been offering transfer bonuses recently (in January they offered a 50% bonus on all airline miles transfers) the sign up bonus could be worth 4,500 Avios or other miles if you sit on the points until a transfer bonus turns up.

Full details of the Heathrow Rewards scheme are here.  To get the bonus you need to make sure you add the promotion code BAECAO18 at the bottom of ‘contact information’.  Whilst the code is from the BA website, it doesn’t stop you moving the points to a different airline if you wish.

Check the small print before you make your purchases at Heathrow as some items, such as tobacco or foreign currency transactions do not count.  Gift card purchases do not count if they are for the store where you buy the card – eg M&S gift cards bought in M&S do not count (and a friend recently tried this as a test) but third party gift cards bought in WH Smith seem to be OK (but don’t blame me if it fails).

You may well already have a Heathrow Rewards account.  If so, consider persuading someone who shares a BA or Avios household account with you to open one too.

Note that Heathrow Rewards only seems to allow one account per street address.

If you are flying this weekend, don’t worry about not receiving your plastic card in time.   You can use the Heathrow Airport app to add your Heathrow Rewards card to your smartphone wallet.  Alternatively, save your receipts and scan or post them to Heathrow Rewards and they will add the points manually.

British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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

60,000 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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (20)

  • Din says:

    Dont forget they also send a £5 voucher in the post with your new card if you spend over £75 at world duty free

    • Alex W says:

      Would using the voucher mean you need to spend £155 to trigger the signup bonus?

      • Rob says:

        Historically no – HR works off the total before discounts. Not sure if this has changed as World Duty Free has got a lot less generous in giving out discount vouchers over the last year or so.

  • Memesweeper says:

    My last purchase of a non-WHSmith gift card in WHSmith T5 did NOT trigger a spend (or generate any Heathrow points at all). It was a generic gift card (pre-paid Visa based) and this was approx. 12 months ago.

    • Rob says:


    • TGLoyalty says:

      That’s odd becuase I bought some M&S gift cards last November and they did. This time round I purchased stuff I actually needed with a decent discount.

  • Londoner says:

    I tried to trigger it yesterday, although points have not tracked yet. Spent 75 on a gift card in WHS and 79 in World Duty Free (who runs a double points campaign on purchases over 30 GBP). I specifically asked in WHsmith whether it would give Heathrow reward points and was told yes.

    When can I expect the points to track (and the bonus)? I’ll come back with an answer then.

    • Jeff says:

      you will need to send a scanned copy of your receipt and send it to Heathrow Rewards, let us know if they accept it

      • Londoner says:

        Is it not automatic with the points? I kept both receipts just to be sure, and they both say that my Heathrow Rewards number was entered.

        • Genghis says:

          I had to send in receipts all times (but that was a few years ago buying currency) despite HR no on purchase. Their CS is fab though

  • Simon says:

    In the last two weeks:

    • 1 x M&S £150.00 GC (and £1 bar of choc) bought from M&S: 1 HR point

    • 1 x £3 Boots grocery spend (a Tuesday): nothing tracked even though HR card was scanned.

    • 1 x £3 Boots grocery spend (a Wednesday) l: nothing tracked even though HR card was scanned.

    • 1 x £150.00 M&S GC bought from WH Smith on Wednesday this week: nothing tracked even though HR card was manually entered.

    • Simon says:

      All in T-5 Arrivals landside, just to add.

    • Din says:

      Send receipts to customer services, happened to me last month and I spent £300

  • Anna says:

    Last summer I spent £154 in World Duty Free; the sales assistant applied a £10 discount voucher without me realising and the 3000 points didn’t post. HR at first argued that I hadn’t spent the required £150 (which to be I hadn’t!) but relented when I emailed them the receipt showing the original spend value and awarded the points.

  • Terence says:

    Argh, I spent £150 only 2 days ago!!

    Has anyone tried manually retroclaiming AFTER opening an account?

  • Antonio says:

    Would accruing points through RocketMiles spend qualify here?

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