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Why you should ignore the new Avios / Economist subscription offer – despite the headline

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We have seen a lot of promotions for The Economist magazine over the last couple of years.  These generally involve buying a one-year subscription with up to 13,200 Avios points thrown in as a bonus.

Last Autumn there was an even better offer.  For £12, you could get a 12 issue trial subscription to The Economist, plus 1,050 Avios.  At 1.16p per Avios, plus 12 issues of the magazine, it was a good deal.

A new Economist offer has just launched on  In theory it looks even better than before – but it stinks.

This is how it looks on (click to enlarge):

Economist Avios offer

Let’s look at what it says above:

“12 weeks for £12 with The Economist and collect 1,200 Avios”

A great offer, yes?  Er, no.

Because, when you click through – click here – there is some cunning small print:

“In order to qualify for the Avios in this 12 week offer, the Eligible Customer must maintain a subscription for at least six months (26 weeks).”

You are NOT getting 1,200 Avios for spending £12.  You actually need to remain a customer for 26 weeks, which will cost you:

  • £12 for the first 12 weeks
  • £44 for the next 13 weeks
  • £44 for the next 13 weeks (to get you over the 26 week threshold)

This is a total cost of £100 for which you will receive just 1,200 Avios.  This is a terrible incentive, especially compared to normal Economist offers for buying a full year subscription.

Economist Avios special offer

Part of me thinks that The Economist has made an error here, but I doubt it.  This is because the BA website has its own set of rules, and they say the same thing:

  1. To be eligible for this offer, new customers must subscribe to a 12 week subscription with The Economist Newspaper and be a member of the British Airways Executive Club
  2. Eligible members will collect 1,200 Avios for a Print, Digital OR Print AND Digital subscription when they choose the 12 week quarterly option.
  3. The 12 week quarterly Avios offer from 1 February 2019 until 31 March 2019 will only be available in the UK.
  4. To sign up, Eligible Customers must visit the dedicated webpage and click on ‘Subscribe now’, choose the subscription type (digital and/or print) and enter the 8 digit, British Airways Executive Club membership account number.
  5. Avios will be awarded to your account within 28 days.
  6. In order to qualify for the Avios in this 12 week offer, the Eligible Customer must maintain a subscription for at least six months (26 weeks). This subscription is non-refundable, except if the customer is a resident in the EU, in which case the customer may cancel the subscription in the first 14 days and get a refund for any part of your subscription that has not already been delivered (for the print element) or published (for any digital element) before it is cancelled.

Do read the small print here and give this offer a miss.  If it does turn out to be a mistake, and the 26 week restriction quietly disappears, I will let you know.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also 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

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 (69)

  • Lady London says:

    It’s inertia selling. They rely on you not getting around to cancel as soon as terms allow you to. Remember the Readers Digest and all the offers on that? Similar model different audience.

  • Waddle says:

    OT: Amex Platinum
    I plan on getting the Amex Platinum in the next few months (pending approval of course). I will be getting a Plat supp for Mrs Waddle. Am I able to get an additional card for myself? I’ve read online that Amex Aus have something called an “Account Card” which is effectively a second Plat for the cardmember and doesn’t count as a supp. Does that exist here? If not can I add myself as a supplementary cardholder and get a Gold/Green?

    • Alan says:

      Yes Amex UK offer this too. Just apply online and put relationship as ‘other’. Card will have A.C. after your name and will be Plat too (but at no extra cost and not counting as you free 2nd supp Plat card)

    • BJ says:

      Just to add, do not add the supps during your application or you miss out on potential bonus MR points.. Wait until your card is open, log into your account and select add card there. If you are lucky you will get an extra 5k points.

  • Clive says:

    I am going to try and ask nicely again as it’s a quiet day. Please if anyone can explain the process to transfer Accor to Iberia in a step by step method, as I have tried reading previous posts, I would be most grateful if of course it is still possible to do. Thank you

    • BJ says:

      Clive, as Rob points out the problem with accor is variable pages which depend on your device and selected view. Hopefully the following will work for you directly or help guide you in right direction if pages you get are different..
      sign in top right
      menu top left
      loyalty programmes
      select use points
      use points with partners
      (this page has a lot of info on it. Scroll down until you see a dark band titled use points with partners again. At this point you will see a small airplane on left amongst other icons. Click airplane and it highlights in a different colour. Just below is a big button, forget what it’s called but press it.)
      Next page is dropdown menu with a list of all airline partners, select Iberia.
      This is where it gets odd and counterintuitivr. ..
      Click the button that says ‘book’
      You are then on final page that allows you to transfer the points to Iberia.

      Good luck.

      • BJ says:

        The above is to transfer a fixed amount of points at one time. If you want to set up autoconvert then try Rob’s link. It wouldn’t load for me right now. If you have similar problem just leave a message and I’ll post step by step for auto convert tomorrow.

  • Keith says:

    O/T any idea best email to enquire about missing avios via Avis car hire?

    • Lady London says:

      I would appreciate an Avios email if anyone knows one, for this same reason too.

  • brigette says:

    OT- Is there any way to use my Amazon GC Balance for Amazon Pay on non Amazon website?

    • Shoestring says:

      not directly

      indirectly, just find something cheap on Amazon, sell it on Ebay to get your money back and use the cash instead – eg it’s £1 selling fees on Ebay this weekend,you could buy this Patriot Memory PV416G300C6K VIPER 4 Series 3000 MHz 16 GB Dual Channel DDR4 Memory Kit – Black/Red £93.59 – and easily get your money back after fees, P&P

  • paulm says:

    OT – not seen it mentioned, but just seen BA redemption finder site has changed name ( and now can check VS also.

  • Alan says:

    It’s not WordPress doing it (at least I’ve never ever seen it change one of my comments) – isn’t it just autocorrect on your phone before you submit the comment? 😉

    • Mark2 says:

      I always assume that they are using an iPhone. The main reason that I gacve mine away was the random word changes.

  • _nate says:

    If anyone takes them up on this offer and the points post then please do leave a message here… I recall there being some strange wording on parts of the offer last time, but everything was as expected, and I’d be really surprised if it has changed.

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