Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

LATAM drop its flat-bed Frankfurt to Madrid flight …. not that it matters now

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If you wanted to earn some easy British Airways Executive Club tier points in comfort, LATAM offers a great opportunity.

LATAM runs a Boeing 787 between Frankfurt and Madrid, which continues on to Santiago.  You can buy tickets separately for Frankfurt to Madrid (or vice versa) and they are usually under £100 each way.  Given that the trip gets you 40 BA tier points each way plus a flat bed seat for the trip, you can see why it was a popular option for aviation enthusiasts keen to try something different.

Anika reviewed the LATAM Frankfurt to Madrid service for us three years ago – see here.

LATAM 787 business class

LATAM is leaving the oneworld alliance on 30th March.  This means that you won’t be able to earn tier points (and potentially not Avios, although LATAM may retain a BA partnership) from April.

This means that it doesn’t matter much that LATAM is ending its Frankfurt-Madrid service on 30th June.  There is a good reason for this.  LATAM has decided that it can now justify running a direct ‘three times per week’ service from Frankfurt to Santiago as well as from Madrid to Santiago.

It’s a shame to see the service go as these ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights are becoming an endangered species.

If you want to learn more, this article looks at ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights in Europe plus other intra-Europe flights which use long-haul aircraft.  It is 18 months old so please double-check the information.

If you want to book this LATAM flight before it ends (and preferably before 30th March whilst it still earns tier points) you can do so 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 (133)

  • BJ says:

    My RbyD status still showing platinum despite signing up just after Harry posted.

    • Shoestring says:

      and my wife got lucky in her D/P lounge passes – which have 18 months’ validity (not 12)

      somebody said she won’t be able to access them after 12 months if her D/P membership ends – but I’m thinking D/P might send them to me in email format, they have done this for me before when I had just signed up to the old Barclays Travel Plus Pack and needed them urgently, they actually emailed me all 6

      anybody else get 18 months?

      • BJ says:

        Good result. I have no experience with DP CS but I found the Lounge Buddy staff super friendly and helpful when I had cause to cancel or change passes with them on several occasions.

      • Lady London says:

        Not sure a PDF of the qcode might not continue to work Harry

  • memesweeper says:

    OT: Paris hotel recommendation? Not looking to spend silly money — at or under €275/night for a May midweek. I’ve got the usual collection of HfP chain hotel baubles: IHG Spire Elite; Hilton & Mariott Gold. I spend a reasonable amount of time in dull Holiday Inns etc for work so something with some character for a change would be nice. Niepce Paris (Hilton Curio) has made the shortlist so far. Doesn’t need to be a chain at all though.

    • MD says:

      Hilton Paris Opera is very nice, although pushing your price limit. Fabulous bar. See Rob’s review. Lots of people suggest the IC as a good choice, although I’m not sure if the renovations are complete. Will be trying that out myself this May if so!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I believe the renovations continue through to 2021 because they a doing it while remaining open. Worth keeping an eye on the Flyertalk thread for more up to date news.

        • MD says:

          Ah ok. Always forget about Flyertalk for some reason, I’ll check it out. Thanks TGL.

        • MD says:

          Latest updates is that the renovations are going on until the end of 2020 according to a Royal Ambassador who seems in the know. Might give it a miss then. The temporary club lounge doesn’t sound great.

          • David D says:

            Assuming the renovations are complete, the Melia La Défense in a Level room or higher will both be under the budget and an excellent option with Metro line 1 right outside. If you have the Melia Rewards Gold from the Amex Platinum then you could use one of your 20% off codes too.

          • meta says:

            Stayed at Melia La Défense (Grand Level Room or whatever again) once last year and never again. My room wasn’t ready at check in and had to wait until 6pm. There were many people waiting for their rooms to be ready and complaining. I had to nudge them several times. They basically tell you to sit and wait in the lounge and then forget about you! At breakfast it was a zoo even at 7am! Had to wait 15 minutes to be seated. I used a coffee machine to make myself a double latte as the portions were tiny and a very rude waiter pressed the stop button in the middle of the dispensing and said to me I can only have one portion as there are too many guests. On second night the room was not cleaned. As as a Gold member you have 4pm late checkout if the hotel is full. They lied that the hotel is full and when I showed it isn’t, they said that they won’t have time to clean the room. After saying I will call Melia customer service there and then to complain, they reluctantly gave me 4pm checkout. Then it dawned upon me that the hotel obviously has maintenance/cleaning issues and that’s why rooms are not ready on time. So yeah, to be avoided!

    • memesweeper says:

      Not considered Melia, and you are correct I have Gold and some unused benefits! good shout, thanks

      • meta says:

        See my post above. I’d avoid it if I were you.

      • 1967stuart says:

        Have stayed in Paris a lot for business (and occasionally for holiday with the family)

        For work I tend to use the main business hotels (Melia, Marriott, Hilton) to rank up points but when i have travelled for holiday have used either of the following two hotels

        Holiday Inn Notre dame – great metro link / good vibe and resturants / good location

        Hotel Idol – not part of a business chain and whilst not your classical type of hotel it is very funky and my family loved it. It was (or used) to be part of a boutique chain called “Elegancia which are also worth a look at

        • Genghis says:

          +1 for Idol. That’s where I stay when I go to Paris for work as it’s decent, clean and tidy and a short walk from our Paris office. Cash cost around £150 or so.

  • Vit says:

    Re: RED/Dragon Pass: strange mine still shown as Platinum (member since 6 Jan).

    Question though, I have not bought any pass as I read that I can be turned away if the lounge is busy etc. I will be at EDI end of this month. Can I just buy the pass at the airport after making sure I can get access into the lounge? I assume you will get the pass instantly in your app after payment?

    Understand it is refundable, I just cant be bother to call customer support for cancellation. Hope the question above makes sense.

    Cheers,
    Vit

  • Steveo_UK says:

    Shame this competition is still being pushed. Blackout dates make it a pretty crappy prize. Bit embarrassing to see it being given this much editorial. And I know, I don’t have to enter it if I don’t want to. And I know, I don’t pay a ‘subscription’ to read hfp. But that’s the rub – I don’t have to read the articles if I don’t want to. An over-promoted weak offer makes me less likely to read as much and as often. That’s the point.

    • MD says:

      We’ll really miss such penetrating insights when you’re gone. 🙄

    • BJ says:

      Well, I’m hardly the biggest fan of Qatar but I think it’s a fantastic prize, I’d love to win it and therefore I plan on entering. Can only praise both HFP and Qatar for making it happen, and I see no problem with either plugging it for all it’s worth.

      • MD says:

        Indeed. The enormous sense of entitlement of some readers of this website beggars belief at times.

        • Doug M says:

          Give over, this whole site is about entitlement. Q Suites, what champagne, £200 port. I don’t see many articles about how a family of 6 can get a week in Spain for £200. Not exactly awash in comments about Ryanair or Jet2, anyone reviewed the Hotel F1 1 outside Lille?

          • Anna says:

            If you follow all the tips about using avios and hotel points, you are quite likely to get a week in Spain for £200! (Ask Shoestring who uses avios to take a family of 5 to those parts several times a year). I paid £140 in RFS fees to fly 4 of us from Manchester to Nice last summer on Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Our Eurocamp accommodation was £600 for the week, but that’s because families get fleeced in the school holidays, not because of any shortcoming with HFP. But £26 pp per night in half term week isn’t bad.

          • Nick says:

            Harry’s ‘place in the sun’ is not in Spain… (Hint: in winter it’s not very warm at all!))

      • Alex Sm says:

        Sadly, many people keep forgetting (if they ever knew it) the famous saying: “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”…

    • Doug M says:

      I get your point, and content is key. But if the dates work for you then the prize is fabulous. Qatar offer a prize like this they’re going to want a bit of coverage, not unreasonably.
      Without having any understanding of the cost of something like this, I am somewhat bemused by excluding lounge access and not offering wider date range, but that’s clearly on Qatar and not HfP.

      • Rob says:

        Lounge access is a Qatar thing. Press / review flights, oddly, do not include it by default either.

        When I did Oman Air I was thrown out of the premium check in area because my ticket was not paid for. Airlines have odd rules.

        • meta says:

          Can you not buy Qatar lounge access in Doha though? I remember reading somewhere that you can buy First Class lounge access in Doha for $100.

    • ChrisC says:

      Not every competition or offer is going to suit every HfP reader each and every time there is one.

      As I write this there are just under 18,000 entries so it’s obviously appealing to lots of people.

      The next one may suit you down to the ground but not some other people.

      This completion like the Dufry / Dragon Pass offer isn’t for me either but good luck to those that can benefit.

      Or would you prefer the other alternative of their being no competitions or offers at all?

      • Anna says:

        I’ll agree with you again today, ChrisC. I wouldn’t be able to use this prize but I hope whoever does win has an amazing trip!

    • Rob says:

      In what sense is it over-promoted?! One article so far plus a 1-para teaser. I reckon the Virgin card bonus will have had 6 articles by the end of Feb.

      Winner has 13 weeks across March to June in which they can travel. That’s not hugely restrictive either. Not ideal if you have kids but it’s only 2 seats anyway.

      Prize is easily worth £6k if you go to Oz.

      • Alex Sm says:

        Rob, I would focus on 18K who do want to win rather on a handful of those who do not… and thanks once again for all the prize draws you run regularly!

      • Mikeact says:

        Exactly.

    • TripRep says:

      Goodbye Grumpy Steve.

    • Steve says:

      Why the hell are people moaning so much about the Qatar competition? If you don’t like it, don’t enter. It’s free FFS!

  • Munch says:

    OT Anyone had any luck receiving the bonus Marriott points from the last Amex Rewards transfer promotion at the end of last year who didn’t receive the offer email? I did have confirmation on chat that I did qualify but no email.
    Bizarrely during the last Hilton transfer promotion, chat confirmed I didn’t qualify but I still received the promo bonus points??

    • Freddy says:

      I’m in a similar camp, no email but screenshot live chat confirming I’m eligible. Got told the rewards team would get back to me in 7 days. If no response I’ll push it through to a complaint

      • Harry T says:

        I’m in the same boat. I have the screenshots from a chat agent emphatically promising I was eligible. Haven’t had the time to chase it up but I’ve heard people haven’t had much luck.

    • BJ says:

      People are reporting that they didn’t get them if they weren’t targeted, and some are then getting into an dispute with amex claiming they should.

    • Grant says:

      I am in the same boat. I have been back and forth to Marriot who have, most recently, told me I am getting them after a back office query was raised on my account. Currently on day 6 of ‘between 7-10 working days’ and no points yet.

      There is a thread on FT. Just yesterday someone posted that they had now received the bonus points even although they didn’t get the email. It did require some back and forth with their Ambassador contact though so perhaps an exception given the status.

      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-marriott-bonvoy/1994301-uk-amex-mr-transfer-bonus-50-until-31-dec-2019-a-3.html#post32046688

  • Craig says:

    Mrs S can’t seem to enter for some reason, the entry form resets when she clicks the +1?

  • MD says:

    OT @BJ/other Monese users. Reluctantly looking at Monese and PayPoint top ups, now that Revolut seem to have destroyed their main function (reluctant because it took Monese > 6weeks to even set up my account, which doesn’t fill me with confidence).

    All Amex top ups at Co-op would attract a 3.5% fee on the Simple plan, and Classic only allows £900/month free, right? So to actually use this thing you have to go Premium, unless I’m missing something? Having done the maths, still worth it, just wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing a trick. Thanks.

    • Grant says:

      Have you tried PREMIMUMPLEASE in the promotions code section? Might still work for 3 months premium for free.

      • Grant says:

        Obviously ignore the typo in the code! It should be PREMIUMPLEASE

        • Shoestring says:

          & 1MONTHFREE

          • The Original Nick says:

            @ Harry. Do you know how long it took for your Tesco CC points to hit your account once you had taken out insurance for your cat?

          • Tom1 says:

            I have done it a couple of weeks ago but not got the points yet. From memory I think it said 35 days (?) so was expecting 1-2 payments.

      • MD says:

        PREMIUMPLEASE worked, 3 months free. That’s great, many thanks Grant. Harry, I’m not sure if 1MONTHFREE would stack, or be wasted by running concurrently so I’ll try that one in three months. Cheers.

  • TripRep says:

    Bits… just confirming a £100 Revolut top up via Hilton Platinum now seems to incur a £2.99 fee. Yet to query this with Revolut.

    Bit of a shame, especially as I was using it respectfully/appropriately.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yep that’s your 2.99% cash advance fee.

      Creation then paying off balance on card is your only low cost route.

      • MD says:

        HSBC PWE should work like Creation as well. I’ve just received my latest statement and I’ve been charged interest for a cash advance on a Revolut top up but no flat cash advance fee (which is why I hoped I’d gotten away with it, when no fee appeared at the time). So in theory you could also top up with HSBC and immediately pay it off. I’ll experiment. And I’m pursuing Revolut for the interest charge.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Good luck with the query with Revolut, everyone’s been hit with this & its now in their terms.

      • Lady London says:

        Too bad but you are still entitled to written personal notice before ant revision in terms can take effect. And after you receive such notice then for the notice period you are entitled to have Revolut put you in the same position as you would have been without the revised term.

        Anyone who doesn’t insist on Revolut paying you the value of any interest or other charges you have incurred from anyone, until correct notice has been given and notice period has elapsed, is a pussy.

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