Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New Avios redemptions …. Finnair adds flights to Busan whilst Iberia adds Cairo

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Finnair announced yesterday that it is launching a new route to Busan in South Korea next year.

This will be the first direct flight to Busan from anywhere in Europe.  As Finnair is a British Airways partner in the oneworld alliance, you will be able to earn and spend Avios on this route, and earn British Airways Executive Club tier points.

The first flight will depart on 30th March.  Amazingly, this will be Finnair’s 20th Asian destination, capitalising on the fact that Helsinki is ‘on the way’ to Asia from many places in Europe and so a convenient place to connect.

There will be three services per week, using a brand new A350.  Connections will be available via Finnair’s existing UK routes from London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

My review of the impressive Finnair A350 is here.

Marriott Mena House hotel Cairo

…. and Iberia is launching Cairo

Iberia announced a new route to Cairo yesterday.  Flights from Madrid will start on 2nd March and operate four days per week.

It will be an almost five hour flight on a shorthaul A319 aircraft, so it isn’t a hugely attractive alternative to the British Airways direct flight which uses a long haul Boeing 787 aircraft.  There isn’t much arbitrage when looking at an Avios redemption either.

However, if you want to go to Cairo on Avios and there is no British Airways availability showing, you do now have a new option.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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 sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (163)

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

  • John says:

    Still nothing and Lloyds offers also running low since the Amex stopped working

    • BJ says:

      +1, a bit annoyed as this was what I predicted and cautioned against cancellation when amex changed churning rules. Looks like I will be spending only on Hilton and IHG cards for a few month to see if amex notices. No reward no spend!

      • Brighton Belle says:

        All my Amex cards are showing zero balance. There’s not much incentive to give my Amex cards an airing. A few months like this and they’ll be dumped.

        • BJ says:

          Hopefully better ones will be back soon. I agree though, aboutv30 offers on my BAPP and only one useful to me. So long as the cards are not costing me though I’m more inclined to hold the four I have instead of cancelling. Oĺflfesl like Trailfinders or airlines, if they come round again, are now more interesting given difficulty of collecting avios.

      • MDA says:

        The good offers have faded away. Have cancelled the plat now and kept the metal card as a souvenir

  • MDA says:

    Tip: threaten to leave amex and they will give you double MR points per £1 for 3 months

    Much better than the £6.6k in 1 month offer. Who they kiddin?!

    • PaulC says:

      I wasn’t offered any incentive when I cancelled my Plat last night.

  • Kenneth says:

    For me all I find is the usual collection of completely useless offers on my Platinum Card. Hard to justify keeping it really.

  • Ian M says:

    No offer on my Platinum card still, but I’m a pretty heavy spender on it so perhaps they don’t feel the need to offer one. Have any other heavy spenders received an offer?

    • Andy S says:

      The opposite. Nothing for me and I’m a very light spender, basically only got the plat for the lounge passes etc. Maybe they think I’m a lost cause..

      • Stephen C says:

        Nothing here either. I’m a moderate spender (£500-£1k per month) but as my last payment went through twice I’m in credit so maybe they figure I’ll have to spend anyway despite no offers

        • AJA says:

          Stephen, how did you manage to pay twice? Do you pay by Direct Debit? If so Amex is obliged to refund second payment taken in error as they have broken the Direct Debit Guarantee which is to notify you in advance that they will take a payment. Phone them and get it refunded, you might get extra MR as compensation for the error. Even if you generated the payment yourself you are entitled to get it back. It’s your money, not theirs.

          I don’t pay by DD but do set up payment by bank transfer as soon as I get my statement. My bank will only allow one payment to be arranged up to 30 days ahead so not possible to pay twice. Can do payment today and another tomorrow if that is needed.

    • JM says:

      I am usually 5-7k and got “Spend £5,000, get 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points”. A friend who spends around the same got nothing. Not sure how their targeting worked for this one.

  • Following on behind says:

    I’ve just come back from Busan.

    There’s a very nice Hilton there, 10 minute taxi from the main strip, Haeundae Beach.

    I didn’t want to spend much time in Haeundae as it’s too commercial. Three nights in the Hilton was good (make sure the adult only pool will be open to avoid the large number of under 5s).

    Would also recommend the 1 hour flight to Jeju island (done in a long haul plane).

    • Rob says:

      My wife went to Busan once to visit a shipyard – I think that is the main reason you’d get corporate traffic on the route.

  • Gin and Tonic Please says:

    OT: I just got back from a trip to Paris on Eurostar. Both the London and Paris lounges refused to accept my metal Amex Platinum card for entry. Fortunately I still had my old plastic one in my bag, which worked fine. I’m sure this will get sorted eventually, but for now suggest you hold onto the plastic card if you want to use the Eurostar lounges.

    • The Streets says:

      Thanks for this tip! Making a trip next week and now to hunt down the plastic version

      • MarkyUK says:

        Please give us an update when you go… I think I have ditched the old plastic one now (wife may have hers still, not sure!). Pls can you drop a note to confirm if this has been sorted. I’m travelling 31/7. Cheers. M

    • The Streets says:

      Did they check the name on the card against the name on the ticket?

      • Nick M says:

        I was also in Paris this weekend… barely glanced at the cards at Ebbsfleet, checked names in Paris

      • Gin and Tonic Please says:

        Yep. Checked names at both London and Paris lounges

    • Whizz68 says:

      I was also initially refused entry to the Lufthansa business class lounge in Frankfurt, due to the new metal platinum card. I then called the manger and explained this is the new metal platinum card, which replaced the plastic card.
      Just beware if you refused entry.

    • PaulC says:

      What do they do with the Platinum card? I mean will a cancelled account card work that’s still in date or do they swipe it? Asking for a friend…

      • Andrew says:

        Put it this way, they didn’t have anywhere to swipe it… (not saying they couldn’t take you and your card to a desk to check but they didn’t this morning)

  • Frankie says:

    I’ve got spend £335+ and get 10,000 bonus avios! This is on my BA Free blue card that I downgraded from premium so I wouldn’t risk losing my 2 for 1 voucher. I’ve never used the card in the three months I’ve had it. I will now!

    • sean says:

      Frankie check that offer as i think it is the buy 20k avious for 335 and get 10k free

    • reddot says:

      Watch out as this headline is misleading. If you got what I got, you have to spend £335 buying Avios, not on the things you actually want to buy.

    • AndyW says:

      If something appears too good to be true… in this case read it again

  • Andrew says:

    O/T reply to the lady travelling on Eurostar on Saturday and hoping to use the lounge at St Pancras with the Amex Plat… I’m in here now and can confirm that entry was easy and the lady on the door was perfectly ok with the metal card – just flipped it over to check it was a European-issued card.

    Also upstairs is much quieter: although still quite busy there are a few tables free.

    • MarkyUK says:

      Thank you! Our comments crossed in cyberspace – appreciate the update 🙂 Looking forward to using the lounge (for the first time!) in a few weeks time… and then every week for the rest of my working life as I have bought a place over there and will be commuting! From planes to trains for the bulk of my travel from now on…!

      • Andrew says:

        Shouldn’t be too long before you’re Carte Blanche and can get in sans Amex if you’re doing the journey weekly then I guess. Enjoy!

    • Anne says:

      Thanks Andrew, much appreciated – we’ll definitely be popping into the lounge on our way to Amsterdam on Saturday in that case. Agree about upstairs as well, was much quieter there last time we visited and also better magazine selection than downstairs – actually publications you might want to read as well, BA lounges take note!

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

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