Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine has closed

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The Sunday Times Travel Magazine has been closed down by News UK, presumably following a collapse in advertising revenue, according to Press Gazette.

The magazine will always have a place in the heart of Head for Points readers. This is because, back in 2016, it decided to offer 4,500 Avios to everyone who took out a £30 subscription. What could possible go wrong ….?

I often use this example when talking to companies who want to use loyalty points as incentives. The magazine thought it made sense to pay (at least) £45 for 4,500 Avios in return for a £30 subscription. Why? Because their modelling showed that the average subscriber stayed with the magazine for (I’m guessing now) five years.

There were many, many thousands of sign-ups from amongst the Head for Points readership, and I am pretty sure that the average subscription length was nearer 1.0 years ……


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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 (67)

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

  • Stu N says:

    +1. I subscribed to get the 4,500 Avios, cancelled, bought on news at sands, subscribed to get a travel wallet, cancelled etc. No probs with cancelling though I did get Times Literary Supplement for a while which was presumably connected….

    Will be sad to see it go.

    • Neil Murray says:

      I subbed to it for the Avios, but then discovered I liked it and kept the sub running (thereby justifying the ST’s claim!). Always thought it much better than the ST’s newspaper travel coverage. And I had the same issue with the TLS – getting that stopped, even though it was free, took some time.
      I will be interested to see if they forget to cancel the DD sub.

  • mark2 says:

    If they have just direct debited you for next year’s subscription when the magazine is now closed can you not claim from your bank under the Direct Debit Guarantee?

    • Dr Lee says:

      I have literally just done that (after not receiving a copy for months).

  • Andrew MS says:

    6 months after they took my annual subscription, they took the same amount for a second time. When I queried this , they blamed a new distributer.

  • Jenni says:

    I also had £30 taken from my account this week. I haven’t even received the magazine for a good 6 months for some reason, I had assumed it already was finished with!

    Phoned the customer service and lady said they had mistakenly cancelled my subscription earlier in the year and will now send me a £30 once they’ve ‘got to the bottom of this’. So I’m not holding my breath.

  • Sam says:

    I’ve heard that the spa at the Berkeley is good and has been on my list to go, any way in which I can try that and trigger the offer too?

    • Rhys says:

      Only if you reach the spend on the room!

    • Rob says:

      Rules imply it needs to be linked to a room. I would guess a spa charge goes through as a different code.

  • VINZ says:

    I was one of those subscribers… cancelled after a year but I still have some copies I received back then as I thought they were very well done.

    • Neil Murray says:

      I’ve just cancelled the DD and got Barclays to reverse the £30 they took from my account yesterday. The Barclays lady said she thought they were being naughty. Damn right.

    • Nick says:

      I did that offer too. Because back then, I’d hoover up any under-priced avios regardless of the admin involved. It is this logic that saw me hunting for very small cabbages in Tescos. Anyway – they continued to send the magazine long after I cancelled my subscription. It was a good read!

  • Andy says:

    I usually get my Mum an annual subscription to Sunday Times travel mag for her birthday (the first time was for thr 4500 avios offer, but she liked it so we kept going).

    Any recommendations for a magazine for a couple in their 60s that typically only stay in 5 star properties?

    • Jerrry Butler says:

      Womens weekly, good food magazine, Conde Nast traveller for her, Viz, Readers wives and Golf Monthly for him.

      • Anna says:

        +1 for Conde Nast Traveller, it’s very similar to Sunday Times Travel and there are usually good offers on subscriptions.
        I miss Viz.

      • BS says:

        Isn’t Readers wives an, erm, Richard Desmond publication?

  • BS says:

    Wow – looked at the Berkeley.
    Despite VAT being 5%, the cheapest room is £420/night, room only. This IS cancellable.
    Even with £100 off, this is still £320/night. Even with an enforced £75 credit (which let’s be honest will just cover breakfast), this is an astounding rate for when there is a lull in bookings. For hotels at this cost there are far better ones available in London, which Emyr may well be able to get room credits on as well.

    • Andy says:

      Isn’t breakfast included and the £75 credit is a separate thing?

      • BS says:

        You are quite right on re-reading it. Fine – it will pay for a pair of cocktails in the bar on arrival.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          £300 for a luxury hotel in london on Harrods doorstep. I think you’ll do well to find something comparable for less.

      • Rob says:

        Yes

    • ken says:

      £320 seems like a nice weekend treat if breakfast & £75 bar credit thrown in.

      Where would you suggest ?

    • Harry T says:

      £320 a night for a luxury hotel in London sounds pretty good, no? The Connaught is pricing even higher.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Stayed a night a while back. The grill is very nice and the breakfast wasn’t too bad either.

        At the time I had both a spend £300 get £150 so half price room, money off at the grill and a spend £100 at the restaurants/bar and get £30 back.

        I’d go back and if you like a good Martini it doesn’t get much better than here

    • Lady London says:

      These are very nice hotels. The Berkeley has IMO been the preferred hotel in London to stay in for a number of people I’ve known who could afford anything.

      For The Berkekey, I believe that price and this offer is indeed a discreet reflection of these times.

      Ditto The Connaught, in other ways.

      Unless anyone who’s stayed at these believes Accor ownership has ruined them?

      • Andrew says:

        For Platinum cardholders, both hotels are on FHR so get slightly higher credit of £85 (and the breakfast) and guaranteed 4pm checkout (rather than subject to availability) early checkin and upgrade are still subject to availability.

        • old bob says:

          I find this idea/policy of charging for breakfast quite ridiculous, if one is spending £400+ a night surely breakfast should be included. I remember the first time I came across this was in the late 80’s on my honeymoon with the first Mrs Old bob ( I can’t remember the name of the hotel, but it was in Causeway Bay and had a couple of beturbaned doormen) but I do remember going out locally for brekkie as the cost in the hotel was astronomical.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        i don’t think Accor has anything to do with them

        They were separated from the savoy a while back.

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