Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Malaysia Airlines ‘drops’ First Class by calling it Business Suite – and you can’t use Avios

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

Malaysia Airlines – a oneworld partner of British Airways – has made a marketing decision to rename its First Class product as ‘Business Suite’.

The airline has stated that it made the move as a result of many corporates now refusing to pay for First Class.  The Business Suite – which is available from London Heathrow on Malaysia’s A350-900 and A380 fleet – will be offered at a premium over a standard Business Class seat and will be cheaper than it previously cost to book First Class directly.

As you can see in the photo below, it is a very nice product.  The A350-900 version pictured has fully enclose suites with doors.

Malaysia Airlines A350-900 First

Nothing else is changing.  Business Suite customers will still, it seems, get the old First Class food, First Class amenity kits etc.

Here’s the bad news.  It seems that Avios customers are going to lose out.

When I looked last week, it seemed that the new ‘Business Suite’ could not be booked using Avios.  I tried to double-check this yesterday and could not find ANY Malaysia Airlines Avios availability from London, in ANY class, for ANY date, so I am guessing there was some sort of IT issue.

Even when it returns, however, I doubt ‘Business Suite’ will be bookable.  The only way of getting into the ‘Business Suite’ would appear to be if Malaysia allows you to pay a supplement.  It looks like I will need to cross this one off my bucket list ….

You can find out more on the Malaysia Airlines website here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (129)

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

  • JPV says:

    OT: Accidentally did a 6th referral from my plat card before end of the year.

    No bonus has posted (to be expected). Anything I can do in this situation, or should I just suck it up as a mistake?

  • NYC123 says:

    OFF TOPIC, I’ve got 80k+ SPG points, was looking to transfer these to Avios or Virgin had previously read that there was a 5k bonus on each 20k transfered but when i log in and try its giving me a conversion rate of 3:1??

    • Shoestring says:

      You still get a 5K bonus Avios points on 20,000 SPG (old money) —> BAEC, I did it last week.

      That’d be 60K new money SPG/ Marriott points, though, it’s still only 5K bonus

      So do you have 80K old money or new money SPG? Because the difference is getting just 5K bonus or 20K

      • NYC123 says:

        ive only earned the points recently (last month through two cards wifes, and then she referred me, have just moved her points to my account)))

        • Shoestring says:

          New money, then. You might want to just move 60K and wait until you earn the other 40K to get another 5K bonus.

          SPG is quite a valuable currency in many ways, the main reason I’m not interested in keeping them there is that we don’t book that many hotels, don’t go on 1 week hotel stays etc. And worried I might let them die through inactivity.

        • NYC123 says:

          Did you do it via website? (which one?) I’ve logged in and get the following:

          Transfer your points to your frequent-flyer program, and as a bonus, we’ll add 5,000 miles for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles.
          Transfer points to miles* at 3 to 1 ratio with most programs (which is what i see when i look up BA or Virgin)

        • Shoestring says:

          I just did it on the new SPG portal, so you’ll get 20K Avios etc + 5K bonus, took a day or 2 no more

  • Benylin says:

    OT: Think people mentioned the 2-4-1 BAPP voucher is sometimes bad value. I have enough (220k avios in mix of MR and Avios) to book something in Business now for 2 people return somewhere in Asia or Cape Town for January.

    For 2 people, what should I look in terms of better value booking using a One World partner, but obviously won’t be able to use my 2-4-1

    • Anna says:

      I’m not sure 220k avios would get you 2 returns to South Africa or Asia in business class unless you use the 2 4 1.

  • Crafty says:

    OT: New Hilton promo is 2,000 per stay. Can anyone recall if these trigger for points stays?

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.