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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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 American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios 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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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 (133)

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

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Can you have both IHG Black & White cards within one account online like Amex?

    • Grant says:

      Not in my experience. I received my free card today and it made me register a separate account from the premimum one.

  • Bs says:

    I still appear to be Platinum on Red app. It’s definitely been more than a month…

  • Hugo says:

    Anyone know how Lloyd’s are treating curve withdrawals – no fees? Avios given? Thanks

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      ATM withdrawals don’t appear to be effected like top ups, or atleast not with IHG.

  • Alex Sm says:

    Is it 10 euro or 10 dollars – the headline and the text say different things
    Seems that HfP proofing has gone out of the window recently…

  • Mikeact says:

    Today’s Bits.
    With all these airline cancellations to, from and around the Far East ….what do airlines do with all the surplus aircraft that are not used. ? I guess it’s not that easy to double up on other routes …. just park them up somewhere?

    • Rob says:

      Given ongoing 787 issues the flexibility may be welcome.

    • Peter K says:

      No real idea but maybe do some maintenance that they’ve been holding off on doing until the appropriate time.

    • Bagoly says:

      They don’t want to destroy the economics of their existing routes.
      Maybe they could copy that Qantas idea from last year and run some all-redemption flights to reduce their outstanding points liabilities, on routes where redemptions are difficult to get, E.g. London to Mauritius/Seychelles/Maldives.

  • Harry T says:

    I’ve been thinking recently about the value of hotel status for leisure travellers, and I’d appreciate some discussion on it.

    It seems to me like a lot of the benefits such as late check out and “free” breakfast can be obtained by using a travel agent such as Amex FHR or Virtuoso. Similarly you can pay extra for a room with club lounge access etc. Does anyone who travels a few times a year for pleasure find value in chasing status with hotel chains? It seems you can acquire most of the benefits by using a travel agent, which also gives you the flexibility to stay at different hotels outside of a certain chain, depending on your preferences.

    • Genghis says:

      Most things can be got with cash. I prefer to get them free.

      • Harry T says:

        I see your point but doesn’t it require a significant amount of expenditure to achieve, say, Marriott Platinum or Hilton Diamond?

        • memesweeper says:

          Many of us are spending the money anyway, on business travel. It’s a small but appreciated benefit that when you go on holiday you might actually get some recognition of your loyalty.

    • Peter K says:

      Status can make a big difference. Even just free breakfast can save a fortune. I looked at the Sheraton on Tenerife for example and it was €25 per person for breakfast, the Hotel Indigo in Rome was the same a few years ago.

      If I stay at a Hilton though I get it free, so that’s €50 a day saved straight away (or the effort of going elsewhere for brekkie).

      For the sake of putting 10k through a Hilton card I’d want that status. On the other hand, I’d not pay to stay several unnecessary nights to get a status in a hotel brand.

      • Harry T says:

        @Peter K
        You make a good point. I guess it depends how much it costs to acquire that status? If you get it through a credit card then that is probably better value than doing it the “hard way”, although there’s the opportunity cost related to where else you could direct that 10k expenditure (wish I had the Hilton card!).

  • xcalx says:

    OT Received the free IHG card this morning. Can this card be used to pay Brighton, fee free.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    How do people keep their rewards alive without staying somewhere?

    Wasn’t the trick to book somewhere in Kathmandu for £3 or something like that

    • meta says:

      Yes, that’s the way. Also if you need to reduce the value of free nights as you can only use them for room cost without tax.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Recently booked a £4 hostel bed for 1 person in Cambodia worked perfectly. Though I probably left it too late in case it didn’t work so will try earlier if there is a better next time.

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

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