Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Deal updates: my TAP Star Alliance Gold status match and the Santander Cycles Amex bonus

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

I wanted to update you today on two of the deals we have covered in recent weeks which I have now seen through to completion:

Star Alliance Gold status match with TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal, a member of Star Alliance, is currently offering to status match British Airways Executive Club members, as well as various other airlines.

It is actually better than a match. As well as offering Star Alliance Gold to British Airways Executive Club Gold members, it is also offering Gold status to British Airways Executive Club Silver members.

(Arguably this is fair, because you need to be Star Gold to get airport lounge access across the entire alliance.)

This HfP article explains how the TAP Air Portugal status match works and how to apply.

The last time I wrote about this, TAP had confirmed that it had accepted my match. I was given 10 days to either buy 4,000+ Miles&Go miles or join Club Miles&Go at a range of prices which started at €99. This was cheaper than buying 4,000 miles so I went with that.

I paid my €99 and, 24 hours later, received an email confirming that my Gold match would be processed within 14 days. It has now gone through.

I currently have 3,200 Miles&Go miles. This comprises 200 for opening the account, 2000 as a bonus from Club Miles&Go and 1000 as my first months miles from my Club Miles&Go membership.

By the end of my Club Miles&Go subscription, I will have a total of 14,200 miles which should be good for something.

My Gold card is valid until 30th September 2021. My plan is to use my status to update our reviews of all of the Star Alliance lounges in Heathrow Terminal 2!

There is one extra titbit to note. One benefit of TAP Gold status is the ability to gift Gold status to a friend. According to the status match rules, this benefit is not available to matched Gold members. Looking at my account – and reading reports from others – this does not seem to be the case in practice …..

My 1,000 Membership Rewards points from Santander Cycles arrived

A few days ago we covered a new American Express Membership Rewards offer. Assuming you were targetted and opted in, you would receive 1,000 Membership Rewards points for making three transactions with Santander Cycles, the London bike here scheme.

I suspected this would work for anyone in the UK if they used the Santander Cycles app, and I was right. Whilst on holiday last week, I booked 3 x £2 day passes. These need to be bought 24 hours apart because each one is good for 24 hours.

It wasn’t fully clear that app transactions worked, and I was a little unsure when they posted to my American Express card as ‘Back Office’.

However, my 1,000 bonus points arrived just after the 3rd £2 transaction posted.

1,006 Membership Rewards points for £6 is a good deal in my book.

The middle transaction on the statement above is a £5 Shop Small credit 🙂

best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (25)

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

  • Dan says:

    Rob, what was the date when did you first initiated the status match. Interesting to note the almost 2 month lead time, if it was in July? Might be worth doing it now and get it properly activated in November to prolong the benefit.

  • Lady London says:

    If this was me I would sign up for all the emails in Portuguese. If TAP is like Iberia they may have a whole set of tasty offers that are never distributed abroad some of which might actually be usable

  • Simon Mills says:

    I have had nothing but problems trying to get this promotion. My TAP Miles&Go account has been opened but I have been unable to log into it to join a club or purchase miles. Repeated attempts to resolve the issue by telephone of email have been unsuccessful. I will feedback if I eventually get any further. I am well past the 10 day deadline.

  • Jannette westgate says:

    I have tried four times to register but every time it comes back with an error message and try later. I have been trying for three days.

  • Andreas says:

    Lots of patience required with TAP. Website is dodgy at best, difficult to login at times, can’t reset password… really frustrating. App seems to work when website is not…

  • Andrew says:

    If anyone was/is struggling with the TAP sign up at the tax number stage – for UK registrations it needs a NI format number to validate the form.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.