Bits: Finnair BA tier point run, Virgin / Tesco bonus?, new Mastercard / Be The First promo

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News in brief:

An interesting Finnair tier point run

Airline Route reports that Finnair is switching its Helsinki to Malaga service to a long-haul A330-300 aircraft between 14th December and 29th March – but only on Friday and Sunday.  On other days it will remain a short-haul route.

(Looking at, the A330 is not yet showing on every Friday / Sunday flight but it is there in March.)

Why is this even vaguely interesting?  Because Helsinki to Malaga is 2,086 miles according to Great Circle Mapper (  By breaking 2,000 miles, it qualifies for long-haul tier points if you credit the flight to British Airways Executive Club.  You would earn 280 tier points for the return flight in Business Class.  With an A330, it would be a comfortable 4+ hour flat bed flight.

You should expect to pay around €600 return for this flight in Business, which is £2 per tier point.  This is decent.  You can pay less on other days but you will be on a short-haul aircraft.

Remember that London / Manchester to Helsinki is an 80 tier point route, or 160 tier points return, in Business Class.

This means that if you flew London / Manchester – Helsinki – Malaga – Helsinki – London / Manchester, you would earn 440 tier points in Business Class.  The total cost of the two tickets would be around £950.  This isn’t a bargain but it is a lot easier than, say, flying to Asia with Qatar Airways in Business Class in order to earn 560 tier points.

Thanks to Simon for this.

Finnair tier point run

Tesco Clubcard to Virgin Flying Club conversion bonus?

There may, or may not, be a conversion bonus running from Tesco Clubcard to Virgin Flying Club this quarter.

I received an email offering me a 10% bonus on conversions between 25th October and 14th December.  This would get me 275 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1 of Clubcard vouchers instead of the usual 250.  The BA Avios conversion rate is 240 Avios per £1.

I was also offered 1,000 bonus miles for turning on auto-conversion of Clubcard points to Flying Club.  I generally don’t recommend this as it can mean missing out on future bonuses or good deals from other partners.  It is best to keep your Tesco vouchers intact until you need the miles.

If you look at the Tesco page on the Virgin Atlantic website, however, these is no mention of any bonus.  Weirdly, there are the T&C’s for a competition to win 100,000 miles if you do a conversion to Tesco between 25th October and 30th November – but the competition itself is not mentioned anywhere.  All very odd.

For now I would hold tight and see what emerges.  Remember, too, that Uber is a 1:3 partner with Tesco Clubcard and, unless you value Flying Club miles at more than 1.1p, you are better off taking £3 Uber credit – which is also valid on Uber Eats – than 240 Avios or 250 / 275 Virgin miles.  Note that the Uber credit can only be spent in the UK.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Convert Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles

Save on new luxury hotels in Asia with Mastercard and Be The First

Be The First, if you haven’t heard of it before, is a website specialised in offering discounted rooms at new luxury and boutique hotels.

We covered it a couple a years ago when it launched but, to be honest, I thought it had faded away.  I was wrong, and to prove it the company has recently partnered  with Mastercard, offering cardholders even better prices at new upscale hotels in Asia.

Offers vary depending on the property and could be for example 30% off or stay 3 pay 3 nights.  All hotels included can be found on this special partner website here. More hotels will be added as the partnership advances.

Play Marriott’s ‘daily win’ game

Finally, don’t forget to click here to play the Marriott Rewards ’29 Ways To Stay’ daily win game today.  You should win at least 50, but hopefully more, Marriott Rewards points.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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.)

Why The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach in Ras Al Khaimah is an exceptional Marriott Rewards redemption (Part 2)
Credit & Charge Card Reviews (5): British Airways American Express Premium Plus
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  1. Swiss SKI says:

    OT: I got a 25GBP off code for Swiss at the London Ski Festival: swissukski25

    UK to GVA/ZRH
    Book by 31/1/19
    Travel by 31/3/19

    Tested and working, random LHR-GVA return with luggage in Feb was GBP74 with voucher

  2. Voltron says:

    Targeted offer, but might be worth checking your emails to see if you got a radisson offer of 15,000 bonus points for one stay before 28 December.
    I only signed up to the scheme as you get gold status from amex plat, but with amex mr conversion 1:3, and with some rooms in good locations like Mauritius/ Malta only costing 50/44000 points might be a good offer if you have it

    “Register to earn a one time bonus of 15,000 points when you book and stay by December 28, 2018. Whether you’re on vacation exploring a new and exciting destination or traveling for business this exclusive one time bonus offer is available just for you!**”

  3. Benylin says:

    OT: I am trying to explore ways to use a family member’s MR points (~30k) for myself (I built up the spend). I know I have option of BA & Emirates through pooling, is there anything else, hotel or airlines? Thanks

    • Hilton allows free transfers (which they call pooling) but best not to do it on a brand new account

    • All 3 hotel partners let you transfer or pool points for free so no problem there. BA is quite rare in offering family accounts unfortunately.

  4. OT – I’m seeing lots of posts on other articles suggesting ‘cross referral’, i.e. referring from BAPP to Gold, but I am having trouble doing this. I’ve already done BAPP and my wife is also now a BAPP holder having been referred by me – that was easy enough. I want to use my wife’s BAPP account to refer myself to Gold but am only getting an option to refer for BAPP. What am I doing wrong?


    • Try another browser

      • Thanks but makes no difference.

        For clarity I am doing – Amex Homepage > Rewards > Refer friends. Get rewarded > login to wife’s account.

        From there I am only presented with an option to refer for a BAPP.

        • That should be fine. When you send the referral link you should then be able to choose a different card.

        • Bingo, thanks Sean. Just needed to scroll down the page a bit!

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