Part one: Dipping your toes in

This post was originally published in 2016 and refreshed first in 2019. It is up to date as of January 2022

I love travel, and when I can’t travel I love to talk about it – so you can be sure that I was delighted when a colleague wanted to know more about the miles and points game. I was reminded that this was somewhat out of date, so have taken the opportunity to refresh it for 2022.

There are a number of strategies for accruing Avios and it really does depend on what you want to achieve as to which approach to take. This first option is what I would suggest someone do if they were starting out and didn’t want to put too much time and effort into it, or to pay for a credit card that they might not value – but it is not necessarily the most lucrative.

Step 1:  Click on this link to get referred for AmEx Gold and apply for the card. You get a bonus for being referred, and I get some miles too, which are always appreciated! It will take you to a link for the Platinum card, but you can click in the top left where it says “View all Cards with a Referral Offer” and you can see what it available. If you would like any help with a referral, please do get in touch.

Step 2:  Spend £2,000 on the Gold Card in first 3 months and get 22,000 bonus Membership Reward points. MR points can be converted 1:1 into Avios. The Gold card is fee-free for the first year; you also get 2 free airport lounge passes with it and earn 1 point per £ spent.

Step 3: Once you have got the bonus points, refer your partner for the card and once the bonus points come through for referral cancel yours.

So, by following these three steps, you can your partner would have a total of 57,000 MR points in just 6 month from:

  • 44,000 points from sign up bonuses
  • 9,000 points from the referral bonus
  • 4,000 points from the £4,000 spend

At this point you could redeem these for 3 return trips each to Nice in EuroTraveller on peak dates, a return for both to New York on off-peak dates in WorldTraveller or a one way trip for one of you to Dubai in Business class. You would only have to pay the taxes on each.

In the next post, I will be looking at how you can take this a step further with credit cards, to maximise the British Airways American Express 2for1 voucher opportunities which is probably a better place to start if you are very keen.

Note that AmEx have changed their rules for being awarded bonuses in recent years such that you have to not have had an MR-earning card in the previous 24 months to be eligible for the bonus; luckily you can have an Avios card as well, so the BAPP and the Gold or Platinum is ok!

Part 2: Taking the next step with credit cards

Part 3: Shopping to fly

Part 4: Flying to fly

Part 5: Flying on miles

Part 6: Flying solo

Please note:
I would only be considering this if I have a good credit rating and paid off my card each month; if I was not in that category, then I would be looking at cards with long 0% interest fees. This post is not meant to be financial advice, just my opinion on collecting miles and points.

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