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Why you should ignore the new Avios / Economist 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Roberto says:

    Another OT…
    I had a couple of Curve topups that were pending on my amex that have now just disappeared and are no longer pending nor charged.

    • Assuming that Curve haven’t actually received the funds as a result of the fall out, and that you’ve now spent the contents of your AMEX wallet, it’ll be interesting to see if Curve try and recharge this to one of your other registered cards.

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      Well spotted, I’ve just noticed my £200 top up that was pending has also disappeared. Looks like Amex have marked all these transactions as fraudulent and will leave Curve to foot the bill. Dangerous game

      • Got to feel a bit for curve here. I can understand the decision to pull Amex functionality, but the transactions clearly aren’t fraudulent, and it seems customers aren’t being asked to confirm they are.

        We’re in for some fireworks if Amex decide to cancel all £500k(?) + transactions since the live beta launched.

      • Lady London says:

        Very nasty if that’s what they are doing.

      • Nate1309 says:

        Amex rang me to confirm the curve transaction totalling about £12k.
        Still gutted about this scenario.

    • +1, and one was for a fab three figure sum 🙂

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        They have a valid authorization code that predates the termination so I expect them to be honoured (and if not they can just charge another card we have, though I’d expect them to give warning first.)

    • Charlieface says:

      What nobody seems to realise is that the merchant’s authorisation usually lasts for 30 days, but banks don’t hold it against your balance for more than 7-10 days so it disappears. So theoretically (and in practice it’s happened to me with other merchants, Amex Travel a prime example) you may find the charge popping up as settled 2-3 weeks later.

  2. Shoestring says:

    O/T DT:
    THE future of Airbus’s A380 is once again in serious doubt as Emirates holds talks on an order that granted the poorly selling “superjumbo” a stay of execution.
    Airbus confirmed it was in discussions with the airline – the biggest customer for the A380 with 105 in service – about the contract following reports it wanted to switch 20 of the jets for smaller A350 airliners.
    Airbus looked to have secured the A380’s future for several years when Emirates ordered 36 more last year, taking its backlog to 53 out of the 87 on Airbus’s order book.
    However, there have been problems with Rolls-royce struggling to deliver engines that meet the performance required by Emirates for the plane, entailing work which would cost the FTSE 100 engineer several hundred million pounds, delaying orders.
    Analysts believe that Emirates reducing its order could kill off the A380.
    Sandy Morris, an analyst at Jefferies, said just 56 orders for A380s – 53 from Emirates and three from Japan’s ANA – were “robust”, with the rest likely to be cancelled.
    He added that capacity constraints faced by Emirates at Dubai airport were likely to ease with the opening of a new facility by 2024, meaning the airline could operate more flights. This would ease its reliance on the giant A380, which can carry up to 600 passengers.
    “If a significant portion of the Emirates order is cancelled, we believe the A380 programme must end,” Mr Morris said.
    Analysts at Berenberg said the development “raises fresh doubts about A380’s viability”. They added: “The Emirates order is widely seen as absolutely crucial to sustaining the programme due to lacklustre orders.”
    Airbus has cut production of the double-decker, four-engine aircraft to just six a year, down from a peak of 27, as customers increasingly opt for smaller twin-engined aircraft that are cheaper to operate.
    The A380 entered service just 11 years ago and Airbus takes a loss on each of the superjumbos it makes once development costs are factored in.
    The planes have a list price of $445m (£341m), though customers typically pay far less after discounts.
    Ending production of the A380 would free up Airbus to focus resources on its more popular smaller models, but it would also mean a big financial hit.
    European governments provided “repayable launch aid” to help support development of the superjumbo, with repayments coming as aircraft sell profitably.
    Mr Morris put a rough estimate on the hit Airbus could take at €1bn (£880m) from costs related to such support.

    • Rob suggested yesterday that this might help BA get them cheap. Hope they don’t kill it off but even if they do it could yet make a future return as a neo variant if projected growth in airline traffic and airport congestion are reliable.

  3. OT: 8 per cent back at Hilton and Doubletree worldwide up to £75, one time only, on my Halifax so likely on other Lloyds group too. Excludes ME, Africa and Turkey which has a separate similar deal so ptential £150 in total.

    • Shoestring says:

      12% on Hilton for me (Hilton and Doubletree), also separate 12% on Middle East, Africa or Turkey.

      • Was total benefit still £75, or greater? And I think you had co-op too? Halifax gone down for me lately, I guess I best start using it more.

        • Shoestring says:

          max £75, as you say

          my wife & I have different Halifax online a/cs (same joint current a/c, though) and so we get different offers – we both used Co-Op’s £30 off £300 council tax offer last week or so, plus I used it once mid 2018 – for £90 off £900 council tax

  4. I think Singapore airlines does the Economist offer sometimes through its shopping portal. Another way to pick up Krisflyer points.

  5. Lady London says:

    Sneaky sneaky. Especially when The Economist as a matter of course offers free 12 weeks subscriptions to groups I ‘ve been part of.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

    • 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)

    • 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.

  8. 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

    • Basically, there is a page on the Accor site to authorise auto-conversion of future stays. Some variants of the page will convert your existing points – if it doesn’t work your existing points, if under 4000, stay where they are.

      Try this then check back in 48 hours and see if your existing points balance has gone to zero.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

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