Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • Garethh 3 posts

    I am trying to decide which is the better route to go down at the moment.

    The aim is long term for flights to the US/Australia for a family of four, being two adults and two children under 16.

    I have had an AMEX cashback card so wouldn’t be able to claim any bonuses on these cards at the moment.

    Overall which scheme is better for both long term planning and for family flights?

    Thanks in advance

    NorthernLass 5,842 posts

    You probably need to have a look at Rob’s excellent series of articles on here about how a couple can earn a decent amount of avios as you’ll need quite a lot for 4 of you, at least in a premium cabin. Most people find it easier to earn avios than Virgin points so that would be my personal recommendation, but a lot of people also much prefer Virgin over BA so it depends on what your priorities are!

    I’d need to double check, but I don’t think having a cash back card would bar you from getting the BAPP or Platinum Amex sub. There’s also the avios Barclaycard and the Virgin Mastercard (which might have a sign up bonus at the moment). Have a trawl through the recent credit card articles here as well.

    VerdantBacon 144 posts

    Redemption to Australia is very difficult, US is easier depending on where you want to go

    Avios is better because you’ll have more choice, and given you’re a family of 4, I’m going to assume the 241 from the BAPP will help you massively in being able to get enough points to make a redemption to Australia

    I fly to Australia around twice a year, am actually currently here on a two month stay right now. And I’ll say, it really is not easy at all to get redemption flights here. It’s a nice aspirational goal and if you really want to give it a go, go with Avios to keep your options of US or Aus open and the ability to use a 241

    NorthernLass 5,842 posts

    The 241 opens up more CW reward seats, especially from the regions. IIRC Rob ran an article a few months ago about a lot of avios seats to SYD becoming available for this winter. OP would need to aim for 2 x BAPP vouchers and keep checking availability though, which can be restrictive given that you can only find these by searching with a voucher.

    degsy 126 posts

    We’ve been in both schemes for 10 years+ – of the two we’ve had much more use and enjoyment out of VS.

    Similar to you, family of 4 (both kids were teenagers for a large proportion of this). Never had a problem accruing enough points to do a North America trip every couple of years with us all in Upper (with 2-4-1 vouchers).

    Also never had much of a problem finding availability – as already advised, the key is being flexible and to plan well in advance.

    ChasP 146 posts

    If you are are at the lower end of the salary range then Virgin may be better
    1) you need fewer miles – but more cash per redemption
    2) some places dont take AMEX eg my water rates
    3) cant use AMEX with Curve. My £2k council tax (no ccs but not fronted on Curve at the moment) makes a large dent in the £10k annual spend to get a voucher
    4) historically Virgin have given extra vouchers – I’ve had 3 – one for spending £800 on Virgin flights, one because of COVID and one I have no idea why – but I didnt complain 🙂
    5) AMEX now has a higher salary requirement eg £35k for BAPP
    6) Only a 6 month fallow period between SUB compared to 2 years on AMEX

    HertsSam 15 posts

    You need to look at partner airlines and their route maps.
    Flying BA might be convenient because you may not need to change plane but that is not always the case, Australia being an example.
    With the Delta partnership with Virgin, does give you many destinations in the Americas.
    For example I tried a dummmy booking with Virgin to fly from LHR to Seoul. At the time I tried, the Virgin website did not find any suitable flights. I then split up the journey by 1st flying to LAX on Virgin then flying from LAX to Seoul on Delta, and these 2 journeys were possible ib points. Seoul is not a great example because Korean Airlines is part of SkyTeam along with Virgin. I was making the point that I can’t always find an indirect flight on one airline’s website so need to use maybe 2 or more airline websites.
    But then I am a newbie at all this and maybe doing it all wrong.
    Edited to add, as of time of writing, Virgin’s website is showing flights to ICN.

    HertsSam 15 posts

    Hmm can’t edit my earlie post. There must be a time limit on edits.
    What I was trying to say was that in tying to find flights to ICN from LHR, at the time I looked, there were no fligts on the Virgin website.
    Nor were there flights on the Delta website, despite the fact Delta flies from LHR to LAX and LAX to ICN.
    But I was looking either a few weeks ago or a few months ago. Can’t remember exactly when.

    Garethh 3 posts

    Thanks for the thoughts on this, my initial thought is to get the Barclaycard plus card and build avios then consider virgin points in the future.

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