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James Hillier is to leave British Airways Executive Club

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James Hillier, the man whose signature has probably adorned over one billion British Airways Executive Club emails over the years, is leaving the company this month.

A lot of people don’t believe that James exists.  After all, his name has appeared on BAEC emails for so long that it started to feel unlikely that one person wouldn’t have changed job in that time.

James Hillier leaving British Airways

James is real, however, and I met him last year at a BAEC event.  He was a really nice guy, but to protect his identify he didn’t want to be photographed.  His LinkedIn profile is similarly blank, but if you search his name on social media it is linked to so many BA rants that I don’t blame him.  Being the ‘face’ of the Executive Club is probably not always a good thing.

James has been at BA for just short of 30 years and has spent 22 years working on Executive Club.  I wish him well for the future.

He will be replaced by Niall Rooney, who currently has the intriguing job title of ‘Interim Head of Ground Experience’.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

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. 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (169)

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

  • Doug M says:

    OT: Credit Card Spend. Do we agree the Platinum is a poor card to spend on once you’ve done the spend for the MR bonus. Better to spend on Gold for 10K MR at £15K, or SPG at 3 Bonvoy per £. Platinum good for benefits and referrals, poor to use? Am I missing something?

    • Michael says:

      I haven’t got the Platinum but it does seem very expensive for the earning rate you get.

      • The Original Nick says:

        Depends if you factor in PP lounge access, all hotel benefits, travel insurance etc etc. And that’s for 2 people.

        • Doug M says:

          Definitely has value. But wanted confirmation it’s a bad card to spend on.

      • Rob says:

        You don’t spend on it ….!

        • Doug M says:

          Got it.

        • xcalx says:

          We only use Plat for holiday bookings to get the insurance. All other spend is dependent on which sign up bonus we’re chasing.

        • Genghis says:

          Remember you just need to use any Amex, not necessary Plat, to get all insurance bens.

        • Tom1 says:

          If I booked flights on an Amex card (not plat) and then took out Plat AFTER I had booked but before I flew, would that be covered on plat insurance for the cancellation/etc/etc?

          (I’m assuming the medical is covered as soon as plat card is activated)

        • Nick Burch says:

          Online travel booking with Amex gets 2x MR points on the plat, so I use mine for that! Then anything with an offer to trigger too 🙂

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Speaking of – when requesting a supplementary for your Amex Plat you’re presented with three choices: Platinum, Gold or Green.

      So if you choose to issue a supplementary Gold – Does this card come with the typical Gold earning rate as in 2 points for every £1 spent directly with airlines or in a foreign currency, etc ?

    • illuminatus says:

      The earning rate on Platinum is indeed poor, so I put all my spending on BA card, but still keep my Platinum for other benefits (lounges, hotel programs, Fine Hotels and Resorts).

      Also, Amex offers on Platinum have saved me about £600 within the last 12 months alone – they were never that generous for me before but last year was great.

      Platinum events on the other hand have been very disappointing lately as virtually no availability.

      • Doug M says:

        Yes, the best offers are on the Plat card for me. I got tickets for the Amex sponsored Q and A with Chris Hughton next Tuesday in Brighton. Really pleased, Chris was a legend at Spurs, met him previously and he’s a good bloke.

  • Michael says:

    Any update on the new Marriot Bonvoy UK Card?

  • Grant says:

    Are points earned on balance transfers to Virgin Reward + card?

  • meta says:

    O/T Finally got my Lloyds Avios changes letter. Have until 13/10 to earn another voucher, but I already did this year, so haven’t got another chance there. My card year ends 12/10. Well, it was good while it lasted. This card is going to the bin. Onto the next opportunity! 😄

    • ADS says:

      surely it’s still good for 1.25 avios per gbp, and zero fx charges, for another 60 days ?

  • xcalx says:

    OT Tesco
    Any updates on the sim card deal, anyone got the CC points. Had a look on the original post but not much added lately.

    • Grant says:

      I’m still waiting on my SIM cards coming in the post. I ordered them the day after the article was published

      • jimA says:

        I’m also waiting for SIM card – you can buy them instore for 99p

        • Alex says:

          but that’s against HfP spirit, if you can get them for free elsewhere..

        • Mikeact says:

          Free Sims when I called in my local Tesco for my two Rocket packs

    • BJ says:

      I had CS fix issues with one of mine. Take lady said points will be applied with the May statement, not within 28 days as stated in T&C.

    • fivebobbill says:

      2 sim cards arrived today, nothing in the pack regards an “up to 2,000 clubcard bonus”, just the standard blurb of 1 point per £1 top up.
      Can anyone remember does the top-up last one month from purchase? or from first use?
      I only ask as I’m off to the UAE end of April and was gonna burn the sims on voice calls from there (no voip in UAE).
      So don’t want to trigger them too early…

      • meta says:

        I am still waiting even though I got an email on Friday that they’ve been sent 1st class. Anyone knows if any Tesco sim will do? My local Tesco only sells normal Pay as you go sims, so I am wondering if these will work.

        • Mikeact says:

          Rocket packs are regarded as PAYG , you renew or not each month. And you can use your existing Tesco sum.

        • meta says:

          Thanks. I was confused about the fact that it states No Contract SIM on the Tesco page.

      • xcalx says:

        You may be out of luck

        What can’t I use my Rocket Pack data, minutes and texts on?
        Calls starting 08 and 05 to non-geographic and free device numbers
        Calls to 070 and 076 numbers
        Calls to numbers being used for call-forwarding services, onward-calling services or numbers that pay a revenue share
        Calls to any number starting with these codes 06, 07744, 0845, 079112, 070, 07755, 0870, 079118, 076, 078255, 0871, 079245, 0500, 078730, 077000, 079246, 0505, 07892, 07755, 079879, 0808 and 078930
        Premium rate calls and texts
        Making calls and sending texts while you’re abroad
        Calls and texts to international numbers from the UK
        UK to UK video calls
        Calls to our Customer Care team in the UK
        Calls to voicemail from the UK
        Picture messages (MMS) to UK mobiles

        • Shoestring says:

          not even 0845/ 0870 numbers?!!!

          package sounds a bit ‘thin’ to say the least

        • fivebobbill says:

          Jesus, is there any point even putting it into your phone!
          @xcalx – don’t see anything there about receiving calls abroad tho… 😉

        • Shoestring says:

          OTOH if you can make it work, the points are worth the money regardless of [email protected] Tesco mobile package

          I’m not bothering! Give me inks lol

        • Tom1 says:

          Shoestring – 0845 numbers have generally been replaced by 0345, and these are normally included within allowances.
          I find you can usually simply replace the 0845 with 0345 and the number works.

    • Grant says:

      My sim cards arrived today. For those still waiting, and not having used Tesco mobile in the past, you’d be wise to go in store and buy the top up voucher. First one has to be bought in store. Can’t be done online or over the phone which is annoying! You need to buy a top up voucher and then use this to credit your account. You can buy a rocket pack with the credit. Rocket packs last for 1 month if you are intending to make use of the data / texts / minutes

      They don’t make it easy!

  • Alex Sm says:

    OT but BA:

    I keep receiving FB ads from a company called SPG (sic!) Law offering to claim on my behalf for BA Data Breach:

    “BA travellers should complete their claim applications before 6th April 2019 to get the full 100% compensation. Complete your Data Breach claim now, it only takes 2 minutes.”

    I am not entitled to comp anywayt but just wanted to ask whether you can in theory claim for that yet? I remember it was discussed in detail here last year but have the things moved on since then at all? What is the legal ground for these claims in general?

  • Waddle says:

    OT Amex referrals.
    How long do points for referrals take to post? I decided to take the plunge and do a self-referral from my BAPP to a Platinum. I did pause my application and pick it up again from an email reminder a week later but in my experience that doesn’t prevent the application from being registered as ‘referred’.

    • Grant says:

      In my experience the points arrive in your account the day the new card arrives in the post

      • Michael says:

        I thought the person you refer had to make their first purchase before you get the points – or have i got that very wrong?

        • Grant says:

          No purchase necessary in my experience. Unless you are thinking about a specific targetted offer as opposed to the usual referral bonuses.

    • Doug M says:

      I find it varies a bit. But I have points already from a referral from which I’m told the card has not yet arrived. Previously it’s a few days after card received.

      • Anna says:

        My last 3 lots of referral points have appeared the day the card has arrived (the latest one being today) – it’s quite spooky as the post is anything but reliable!

  • illuminatus says:

    OT – 1) Do PriorityPass lounges check the passengers boarding pass? I do not think it has ever happened to me, but I am considering issuing a new Supplementary card to my Platinum in my dad’s name, but want my wife to continue using the PriorityPass card that comes with it.

    2) If I move from HSBC Premier card to HSBC WE card, do I still get the sign-up bonus?


    • Alex says:

      they do check most of the time IME, but not always. I wouldn’t count on it.

    • xcalx says:

      Get the Plat supplementary card made out to Surname only if it matches you dad and wife. No need for initials or title, priority card will come printed exactly the same as the plat card.

    • Rob says:

      As PP’s have your full name on, at least mine does, I think even the slowest lounge check-in person may twig that one.

    • Alan says:

      I’ve found they almost always scan the boarding pass and then the Priority Pass.

      • Bonglim says:

        It may be besides the point, but why would they (the lounge) care.
        I agree that it is not right overall.
        And I suspect it will be against their terms and conditions.

        But I imagine for every occasion a ‘mistake’ is made and the let in Mr Bloggs on Mrs Simms PP card, that the lounge still gets paid.

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      Answer re: HSBC. Yes, if upgrading card you get the same bonuses as if applying for the W.E. from scratch. However, in my case it took several weeks for them to actually make the upgrade happen, and that resulted in generous compensation.

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

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