After a proper, day-long shopping spree your feet are sore, your bank balance is severely depleted and buyer’s remorse may just be creeping in. Enter The Reward Scheme. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as buying something for only a fraction of the original price. And with Christmas holidays around the corner, there’s no reward scheme more enticing than Avios Miles.
Air Miles were recently rebranded as Avios and with it has come a bit of confusion about their service offerings. To make sure that you can make the most of your points on your next holiday, I've explored all the dos and don'ts of earning and spending Avios Miles.
We'd love to hear about your experience of using Avios, so comment in the box below or on the Essential Travel facebook page.
Use Your Credit Card
You can earn Avios points simply by using your British Airways American Express Credit Card or Lloyds TSB Avios Credit Card. If you've dreamt about taking your family to Spain for an inexpensive holiday, then this is the way to do it. You can jet off abroad almost for free, just by using your credit card for everyday purchases. Remember to settle your account at the end of every month though, or else the savings may be in vain.
Use Reward Flight Saver To Save On Taxes
When it comes to flights, the taxes and surcharges can add up pretty quickly. Luckily, Avios brings us the Reward Flight Saver - you just pay a small (in comparison to what it would usually cost you) fee per flight of £30 for Economy Class or £40 for Business Class and in return your taxes, fees and surcharges are taken care of for all British Airways and Iberia flights. What's the catch? You just need to have collected at least one Avios over the last year.
Be A Frequent Flyer
The beauty of collecting Avios is that it all becomes one lovely travelling cycle. The more you fly, the more points you earn and the more affordable flying becomes.
If you book a flight with Iberia or British Airways, you will earn one point for every mile you fly. You may just be taking the next sunny holiday even sooner than you think.
Phone A Friend
Avios is so keen to give you points to help you reach your destination faster that they keep finding new ways to give you bonus points. If you already have a card, why not introduce a friend to it so that you can take a Reward trip together? If you have a British Airways American Express Card, you will get 4,000 bonus points simply by telling a friend about it. Holders of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card get a whopping 9,000 points.
Get A Tesco Clubcard
If you don’t already have one, make sure to get yourself a Tesco Clubcard. It’s free of charge and very rewarding. Tesco and Avios have joined up so that you can use your clubcard reward vouchers to earn Avios. One Tesco voucher worth £2.50 earns you 600 Avios - that’s a lot of points for just buying your groceries! Please note, unfortunately there are a few things excluded from the list of what earns you Avios. For example, you don’t earn points buying tobacco products or fuel.
Estimate your Earnings by doing a Budget
If you work out your average monthly budget, you can plan your next holiday a whole year from now. Avios offers a great calculator tool that allows you to enter the amount you spend on groceries, fuel, credit cards and flights. Then you simply press “Calculate” and voila, you can see the destinations you can fly to using your points in a year from now. This definitely comes in handy if you feel like taking the family on a big holiday and need a lot of time to plan it.
Recycle Your Old Gadgets
Have any old mobiles or MP3 players lying about? You can earn Avios while playing your part in saving the environment. Just a few clicks online can get you up to 7,500 points! All you have to do is login to your account and follow the steps to recycle, then send your gadget via post. Another great aspect of this service? The postage is free, so you don’t have to spend a penny while you earn more miles and help save our planet.
Use Your Extra Avios For Your Hotel Stay
Have you ever felt like just splurging on a night or two in a luxurious hotel? Avios may just be your ticket. By using the calculator tool on the Avios website, you can see that an average monthly budget on food, credit cards and fuel can earn you an annual stay at a lovely three star hotel.
Fill Up At Shell or RUBiS Service Stations
Get yourself a Shell Drivers' Clubcard and earn Avios just by filling up your car. All it takes is a simple, free, swipe of the card every time you fill up. With Shell, you can earn yourself 10 Avios for every 25 litres of fuel that you buy. Or if you have a RUBiS card, you can earn 40 points per 25 litres. This means you can practically drive yourself to cheaper flights.
Wait Until The Last Minute To Book
Although bookings can be made up to 24 hours before a flight that issues e-tickets (and 10 days before Reward travel that only issues paper tickets), seats for Reward bookings are limited and cannot be waitlisted. With the option to book from 355 days before your desired departure and the Avios calculator to help you plan ahead, there is no point holding off and risking missing out.
Last Updated: December 2012