Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

‘The Travel Brief’, the weekly Head for Points travel trade newsletter

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Welcome to The Travel Brief, your weekly trade round-up of UK business travel and travel loyalty news as well as our latest reviews and features.

If you are not a subscriber, you can sign up here to receive this free newsletter in your inbox every Monday. Please forward it to any colleagues who you think may be interested.

The Travel Brief is the successor to Malcolm Ginsberg’s Business Travel News. Malcolm’s new monthly forward-looking Travel News Update is available at

Collins Maya seat

Special report:

What will the business class seats of the future look like? Two new launches give us a clue

BA Cityflyer

The latest UK business travel news:

BA Cityflyer’s first densified Embraer E190 (image above) started flying this week with a new seat and less legroom

Virgin Atlantic relaunches flights to Toronto

Off to The London Palladium? You can use the new free Cathay lounge is to close down in September

One Key will replace Rewards and Expedia Rewards from 8th July

Lufthansa announces more routes with the new Allegris seat

Hilton unveils the benefits its members will get at Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties

The Marriott Glasgow hotel is being refurbished with the public areas now complete

Virgin Hotels comes to London as Mondrian Shoreditch rebrands

Holiday Inn Winchester rebrands and refurbishes

Get discounted tickets for the Qatar Airways (Rugby) Cup at Twickenham next weekend

Stories we recommend from other sites:

Resident Hotels to open Farringdon property (Business Traveller)

The 40-year-old Virgin: How Richard Branson’s revolutionary airline made its fifth decade (TTG)

Former Airbus Broughton head awarded OBE in King’s Birthday Honours (UK Aviation News)

Tui urges minimum of three hours for Birmingham airport check-in (Travel Weekly)

Heathrow’s 12-month passenger traffic reaches 81.5 million (Business Traveller)

Our latest reviews:

Rhys reviews the Arts Hotel Porto, in Portugal, part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection. Image above.

Katie heads to Poland to review the Sheraton Grand Krakow hotel.

The latest UK travel loyalty news:

Avios CEO talks about expanding the currency to more airlines and even hotels …. and devaluation

EL AL flights will be bookable with Virgin Points from next week

Get 5,000 Virgin Points for activating Tesco Clubcard auto-convert

Can you cancel the return leg of an Avios ticket if you have flown the outbound leg?

British Airways First Class Avios redemptions are cheaper than mixed Club/First flights! Honestly.

Why the Marriott Bonvoy 60,000 points sign-up bonus is a great way to (re)start with Amex

How to redeem Virgin Points at Greggs!

How to earn Avios, miles and points from Europcar rentals

Our series of UK travel rewards credit cards continues:

Get a 30,000 points bonus (converts to 30,000 Avios) with 'free for a year' Amex Gold

STILL RUNNING: Get a 30,000 points bonus (converts to 30,000 Avios) with ‘free for a year’ Amex Gold

American Express is running a special sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – apply here. The bonus is increased from 20,000 to 30,000 Membership Rewards points which converts to:

  • 30,000 Avios
  • 30,000 Virgin Points
  • 30,000 Emirates, Etihad, Flying Blue, Asia Miles, Delta, Finnair, Qantas or SAS miles
  • 20,000 Singapore Airlines miles
  • 60,000 Hilton Honors points
  • 45,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • 90,000 Radisson Rewards points
  • 2,000 Club Eurostar points

….. and many other non-travel rewards.

You receive 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £3,000 in three months. You will receive a further 5,000 points if you keep the card for 15 months.

Even better, you get:

  • four passes for any airport lounge in the Priority Pass network
  • 24 x £5 credits to spend at Deliveroo (max one per order and two per month)
  • up to 12,500 bonus Membership Rewards points each year based on your spending (2,500 points per £5,000 spent)

The card is free for the first year. If you keep it beyond the first year there is an annual fee of £195. You receive a further four airport lounge passes and more Deliveroo credits on renewal.

Our main article on the 30,000 points bonus is here. Make sure you read the bit about whether or not you qualify for the bonus.

You can apply for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold with the special bonus on this page of the Amex website.

The representative APR is 88.8% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases, and in the first year which has no fee, is 31.0% variable.

Head for Points receives a commission if you are accepted via our link – thank you.

Thank you for reading

Please drop me a note at with any feedback. See you next Monday.

Rob, Rhys and Katie @ Head for Points

PS. If you were forwarded ‘The Travel Brief’ by a colleague, you can sign up for a free subscription by filling in the form here

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