- Some Amex and Barclaycard credit cards come with sign up bonuses
- You can boost Avios points by up to 300% with Avios Balance Boost
Who doesn’t like the thought of flying Business Class at economy prices – or even getting a trip for free?
British Airways’ Avios points offer frequent flyers the opportunity to do both, but the best rewards will usually require diligent saving.
There are tricks you can use to boost your balance outside of booking flight tickets, though – whether that means using particular credit card, getting points on in-store shopping or buying Avios from British Airways direct.
With the help of Rob Burgess, founder of frequent flyer website Head for Points, we explain five easy ways to supercharge your Avios points.
Lift off: Simple measures like converting your Amex points to Avios can help you on the way to free or discounted travel
1. Convert other points into Avios
When someone signs up to an American Express Gold card, they can earn 20,000 Amex points if they spend £3,000 in the first three months.
What is less well-known is that customers also have the option to convert them into 20,000 Avios.
Other points currencies which can convert to Avios points are American Express Membership Rewards points, BPme points, Nectar points, Heathrow Rewards points, HSBC Premier credit card points, NatWest credit card points and various hotel points currencies.
Burgess advises checking out what the points could get you in their original form before converting to Avios, however.
‘Not all conversions are necessarily good value, so look carefully at what you are giving up,’ he says.
It is also worth noting that, after the first year, the card comes with a £195 annual fee.
2. Use the Avios shopping portal
The Avios shopping portal allows you to collect points for day-to-day online shopping with selected retailers.
However, many people don’t know that you can use it for in-store shopping, too.
You can register your credit card number on the portal, and Avios is then sent details of any purchases that qualify.
Burgess says: ‘I earned over 5,000 Avios this month when my wife went crazy in the Harvey Nichols sale.’
3. Double your points with Avios Balance Boost
This is a new feature which launched in 2023.
It lets you buy cheap ‘add-on’ Avios points direct from British Airways, in order to boost points balances already collected in the previous 30 days.
You can do this on British Airways’ website by selecting the transactions you want to boost.
Customers can buy a lump sum of Avios equivalent to 100 per cent, 200 per cent or 300 per cent of the Avios they have earned in the last 30 days.
4. Get the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
You can get 25,000 Avois points as a sign-up bonus with the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard, and spend £3,000 within the first three months.
Burgess says: ‘The new and little-known Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard has a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios.
‘It also comes with an annual voucher letting you upgrade an Avios flight to the next available class – this means you will need fewer Avios for the flight you want.’
5. Look for secret Avios partners
Spend some time looking at British Airways’ website for obscure Avios partners which are not widely publicised.
For example, Burgess says: ‘Airbnb gives three Avios per £1 if you book via a special link, whilst Uber gives one Avios per £1 spent in the UK if you link your Uber and Avios account.’