Earn Airmiles Smarter, Travel Better

Maximise your point earning and holiday for free or travel in luxury on a budget Let The Point Guru show you all the hidden hacks, tips and tricks!

Beginners Point Boost

This is where it can all start. We all board a plane or take a trip and look longingly up the aisle and see Business Class and First Class in front. Cash wise it looks an impossible dream (New York First Class is on average £6,000-£10,000 return) but there is another way – points and rewards.

Almost all major airlines, and some hotel chains, run Point and Miles programs. You know that or you wouldn’t be here but understanding how they work – and with some insider tips and tricks from The Points Guru – can mean you can build up enough points for that Business Class, or even First Class, reward flight or upgrade!

I’ll show you the Ten Best Miles and Point Booster ways to help you maximise your reward points and help you start travelling in style on a budget!

 

 

Start by Joining ALL Programmes

Join all points programmes

You have to be in it to win it! Don’t just join one airline loyalty programme, join them all plus hotel programmes. Just joining one or two can mean missed points and miles, plus some points can be exchanged between programmes.

For example if you build points with Marriott BonVoy, you could exchange them in to Avios points and put them towards a flight and upgrade.

Next Step: Here are the main programmes to go join right now:

 

 

 

Credit Cards – Free Flights and Extra Rewards

BA Credit Cards

A credit card from one of the airlines is one sure way to now only free flights but also turbo boosting your points out of the stratosphere!

Note: Of course, it goes without saying the main purpose of such cards is to boost your points and miles, plus earn free reward companion flights – not to build up interest charges and debt! By managing your credit card wisely, you can earn these rewards spending no extra money that you are now.

 

Compare Credit Cards:

Here we will look at a few

  • BA American Express Credit Card:
    • No Annual Fee;
    • Earn 5,000 Avios if you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months;
    • Free Companion Flight if you spend £20,000 in the first year;
    • Earn 1 Avios point for every £1 spent;
    • Representative APR: 22.9% variable;
    • Purchase Rate: 22.9% variable;
  • BA American Express Premium Credit Card;
    • £195 Annual Fee;
    • Earn 25,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months;
    • Free Companion Flight if you spend £10,000 in the first year;
    • Earn 1.5 Avios points for every £1 spent;
    • Representative APR: 76% variable;
    • Purchase Rate: 22.9% variable;
  • Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card:
    • No Annual Fee;
    • Earn 5,000 Miles just for making a purchase on your card in the first 3 months;
    • Unlock bonuses such as free companion flights when you spend £20,000 in the first year;
    • Earn 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent;
    • Representative APR: 22.9% variable;
    • Purchase Rate: 22.9% variable;
  • Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card:
    • £160 Annual Fee;
    • Earn 15,000 Flying Club miles just for making a purchase on your card in the first 3 months;
    • Unlock bonuses such as free companion flights when you spend £10,000 in the first year;
    • Earn 1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent;
    • Representative APR: 63.9% variable;
    • Purchase Rate: 22.9% variable;

 

Free Companion Flights

This is the single biggest cost saving reason to have an airlines credit card. The Free Companion Flight is like the bonus ball in the lottery which can magically take 5 matching numbers from a nice win to a mega win.

A free companion reward fight means with the booking of one flight (in any class) using Avios points a second companion ticket for the same flight in the same class is given free. Although the ticket is free the taxes and surcharges still need to be paid. This though is still considerably cheaper than buying a second ticket especially in Business or First Class where things get interesting.

So, for example if you purchase a Business Class return ticket to New York for 75,000 miles (plus taxes and fees) you’ll be given a second Business Class ticket on the same New York flight for friend or family (just pay taxes and fees).

 

 

 

Stay Alert for Deals

Travel Deals

From time to time there are ways – usually time limited or flash sales – the airlines offer cut price ticket fares, or reduced miles needed to purchase flights.

At times these deals can be indirect, but can count towards points that can be exchanged for BA Avios, or Virgin Flying Club miles. For example a recent promotion from The Economist saw a bonus of 18,000 Avios on offer! That’s huge!

Next Step: Join The Points Guru newsletter and we will let you know as soon as these offers and deals come up!

 

 

 

Join Tesco Clubcard and Set AutoConvert On

Tesco Clubcard to Avios

Tesco Clubcard is the points rewarding program by Tesco in which you earn Clubcard points for every day spending at Tesco whether this is at the supermarket, petrol station or Tesco Mobile.

Tesco Clubcard is one of the best ways to increase your BA Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles. For every £2.50 in Clubcard you can exchange these for either 600 BA Avios or 625 Virgin miles.

By picking up bonuses along the way it’s relatively easy to earn 10,000-15,000 miles or more simply by using your Clubcard and Tesco to make purchases you already do

Next Step: Join Tesco Clubcard and within your My Account section turn on the ‘Convert to Avios automatically’ or ‘Convert to Virgin Flying Club miles automatically’. This way you’ll never miss out on an miles or points!

 

 

 

Shopping Portals – Never Spend Direct Again

BA Shopping Portal

A little hidden gem most people haven’t found, and not always (surprisingly) widely publicised by the airlines are the Shopping Portals

The Shopping Portal is a way of earning extra points and miles by making purchases you already do. We’ll use the British Airways Shopping Portal in this example.

Here is a very simple explanation on how it works. You log in to your British Airways Executive Club account and following the links to ‘Earn Points’ section where you’ll find the shopping portal with links to many different big brand shops, utilities, telecoms, entertainment and travel companies.

By clicking through the links to the stores and making a purchase online, the airline will make a commission from the store for your purchase. The airline will then reward you for the commission they have earnt by giving you airmiles and points. It’s a simple as that.

Here is an example of some of the stores within the British Airways Shopping Portal and how many points you could (at time of writing this) you could earn:

  • JustEat – 2 Avios for every £1 spent;
  • Argos – 10 Avios for every £1 spent;
  • Gap – 12 Avios for every £1 spent;
  • M&S – 2 Avios for every £1 spent;
  • Trainline – 3 Avios for every £1 spent;
  • Selfridges – 12 Avios for every £1 spent;
  • B&Q – 3 Avios for every £1 spent;

 

 

Stay Away and Boost YOUR Points

Hotels.com

It’s possible to compound points and earnings in different ways, but one of the best is through a hotel partner such as Hotels.com

Hotels.com have their own reward scheme. For every 10 nights you stay in a hotel booked through Hotels.com you are rewarded a free night. The value of your free night is the average cost per night of the 10 nights already booked and stayed. So if for example you spent £890 over the 10 nights, you’re reward free night is worth up to the value of £89.

This is great alone, but a little-known trick is as well as earning free night rewards through the Hotels.com programme, you can ALSO earn Avios for every booking!

Use the special link – www.hotels.com/britishairways and search for hotels in the usual way. Make a reservation and in the payment screen you will find a new space to add your Avios British Airways Executive Club account number.

You will earn 6 Avios for every £1 spent through your Hotels.com Rewards account. If you really want to maximise your points you can make the purchase as a Guest (rather than earning a reward night) and earn 12 Avios for every £1 spent.

Next Step: Join the Hotels.com Reward Programme

 

 

Summary

As you can see there are many ways of boosting and earning points and miles. Points and miles can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades and cash + points bookings.

To find out more read our guide how many Avios points the average traveller can realistically earn – it’s an insightful way of really getting in to the numbers and finding out how an average traveller can earn 130,000 miles a year, and get a companion flight, which is enough for two return flights to the US in Business Class!

"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted."

Bill Bryson

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