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

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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.

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 – 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

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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 (129)

  • 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?

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