Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points – a handy resource for maximising your frequent flyer miles

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One of the things that is so fascinating about the frequent flyer space is that there are always tools popping up which fill a small but useful niche.

I often get emails from Head for Points readers asking about the best place to credit a particular flight when they do not want to open an account with that airline directly.

In theory it should be simple – just pick an airline in the same alliance (SkyTeam, Star Alliance, oneworld) where you do have an account.  If you are flying Finnair, you could credit it to your British Airways account as both are oneworld alliance members.

In reality, it isn’t that simple:

  • Most airlines have additional partnerships with airlines on top of their main alliance partners
  • Not all alliance partners treat other members equally.  Airline A may only give 100% of miles flown for a business class ticket on airline Z whilst Airline B may give 200%.
  • In the worse case scenarios, some airlines will give no credit at all for certain heavily discounted partner tickets – in which case you might as well credit elsewhere.  This is often an issue with heavily discount Lufthansa business class tickets, for example, which are issued in ‘P’ class and often earn nothing with partners.

What is

There is a website which can guide you around all this –

For ease of use it couldn’t be simpler.  Tell it which airline you are flying and, if known, the exact ticketing class (this should be on your eticket) and it will show you where you will get the best return for the flight.

Take a look at this example for an ‘H’ class economy ticket on Finnair:

Finnair credit flight to different frequent flyer schemes

The first thing to say is that this chart is not completely accurate. Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance and so all of the oneworld members should be listed, but Iberia and a couple of others are missing. You should also double check the data you get.

In British Airways Executive Club, you earn 70% of miles flown.  However, credit the flight to Qatar Privilege Club and you will also earn Avios – at 100% of miles flown. You could transfer those Avios to British Airways Executive Club and be better off than if you had credited the flight to BA directly – although you miss out on BA tier points this way.

Finnair Plus, it turns out, will be even more generous.  You will receive 150% of miles flown.  Will you be able to use those miles though?  And does 1 Finnair Plus mile buy you as much as 1 Avios?

One thing to remember, of course, is that miles have no value if you can’t use them.  wheretocredit also doesn’t help with telling you where you will earn status most easily.

You may earn twice as many miles crediting an ‘H’ class Finnair flight to Finnair Plus instead of British Airways, but if you never spend those Finnair miles then you have wasted the lot.  You will also have lost out on the Britsh Airways tier points.  Bear this in mind before you pick an obscure partner.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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

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

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 a huge range of valuable 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (17)

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

  • ADS says:

    It’s a great site – especially useful when deciding where to credit Aer Lingus flights to 🙂

  • mkyni says:

    Sorry to ask what is probably a stupid question but….

    What does RDM and the Tiers 1 – 4 mean?

    It’s not explained on the wheretocredit website or in this article and I would have thought that’s pretty essential information to know.

    I’m assuming it’s related to earning rate if you have status within the airlines (e.g. so a top tier Finnair member would earn 188% rather than 150%, and a Gold AA member would earn 140% of the miles), but I’m not 100% sure (excuse the pun).

    Can anyone kindly explain please?

    • AJA says:

      RDM stands for Redeemable Miles so as you state it is the earning rate. I think the tiers relate to the different cabins eg economy, premium economy, business and first class.

    • David says:

      They are the status levels in the respective schemes.

      If you hover your mouse over the row for each loyalty scheme listed, the headings will change to what the respective scheme uses to name their their status tiers.

      RDM is the base level.

      So if you hover on BA it will show: RDM, Bronze, Silver, Gold.

      Or it will show RDM, Frequent Traveller, Senator, HON Circle for Lufthansa Miles and More, etc.

      They can’t label the heading at the top as schemes are very inconsistant in what is ‘Gold’ level etc, its at the top of BA, but at the bottom of American Airlines, etc.

  • Jim Lovejoy says:

    RDM is redeemable miles with membership in the program and no elite status. Tier 1 is lowest elite status and Tier 3 or Tier 4 is highest.
    The ticket Class (H in the example) shows not only the cabin, but whether it is a discount ticket in that cabin or a full fare refundable ticket. For example a Business Class ticket on BA could earn 250% to 350% of miles travelled on Alaska Airlines for a member with no status.

  • mkyni says:

    Thanks for the answers – makes much more sense now!

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

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