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Avios: it's getting easier to get a free flight!

Rebecca Rutt
(Image © Fotolia)

The British Airways American Express credit card has upped the number of Avios points you can earn when you sign up, allowing you to claim a free flight if you spend £1,000 on the card in three months.

This means you can boost your points allowance and move closer to rewarding yourself with anything from a return flight to Prague to a train journey to Paris.

Until the end of the month, Avios is also giving its members double points when they buy anything through the Avios e-store.

The deal

Avios points are available on a few different cards but right now there’s a competitive deal on offer with the British Airways American Express credit card. If you spend £1,000 in the first three months of opening the card, you’ll be rewarded with 9,000 Avios points.

On the website you can find out exactly what your points can be redeemed for, but as an example, 9,000 can be exchanged for a return flight to somewhere like Berlin, Zurich, Edinburgh or Dublin.

If you carry on collecting, with 15,000 points you’ll get a return flight to Rome, for example, and with 20,000 a flight to Moscow.

How much can you make?

The Avios scheme, which replaced Airmiles last year, allows you to collect points across a range of different retailers.

The number of points you can earn varies depending on the retailer. Normally with Tesco Clubcard for example, you’ll get 600 Avios points for every £2.50 in Clubcard vouchers.

If you have the Lloyds TSB Avios Duo cards you’ll get one Avios point per £1 spent using the Duo American Express Card and one point per £5 when using the Lloyds Duo MasterCard.

Double points in October

There's also an extra chance to up your points balance until the end of the month as you’ll be able to get twice as many points when shopping through the Avios e-store. Where you spend the money is totally up to you but it needs to be through one of the company’s 200 partnering retailers, such as John Lewis or Tesco.

The amount of Avios points you can earn depends on the retailer in question but at 13 selected brands such as Blacks and Ernest Jones the double points scheme means you can earn 24 points per £1 spent.

Reward credit cards

Instead of just using a credit card to pay for things, reward cards let you earn points or vouchers every time you use the card. This can be redeemed for anything from a free flight, such as with the Avios points, to M&S or Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

When you choose one it’s best to go for those with the highest amount of points on offer and also one which offers rewards you’ll actually use.

To use the card efficiently you need to make sure you pay it off each month to avoid paying a hefty interest fee. Setting up a direct debit from your current account to clear the card is an easy way to do this.

Here's a table with our five favourite reward cards:

Five best reward cards




Tesco Clubcard Credit Card

One point for every £4 spent, five points when you spend £4 in a Tesco shop


Barclaycard Freedom Rewards card

One point for every £1 spent, two points for every £1 spent in UK supermarkets and petrol stations, three points spend at Freedom partners. An extra £30 bonus points if you spend £500 or more in the first three months.


Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar credit card

Two points for every £1 spent in store, one point for every £5 spent elsewhere. In the first three months you’ll get an extra six points per £1 spent in Sainsbury’s stores for the first £1,000 each month. Triple points with eBay until 28 October.


British Airways American Express card

If you spend £1,000 of more in the first three months you’ll receive 9,000 Avios points. If you spend £20,000 in the first 12 months and use the Avios points to book a British Airways flight you’ll get another ticket free.


NatWest Your Points MasterCard

One point earned for every £1 you spend. Points can be redeemed at a wide range of retailers or on events such as spa days. You also receive 2,500 bonus points when you open the 1card and each year.


Compare credit cards