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The best way to Accumulate Air Miles if You are From the UK


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There are many U.S based mostly bloggers on the market who write about how one can fly free of charge with just a little little bit of journey hacking, however these posts are normally geared in direction of Individuals. I began to develop bored with studying about frequent flyers amassing hundreds of bonus join factors, free flights and free upgrades whereas I’ve zilch!

Final 12 months I took over 30 flights and folks usually stated to me ‘it’s essential to have so many air miles with all of the journey you do’. In actuality, barring a number of Emirates air miles from a visit to Australia, and some on Delta from my journeys to the States…I had nothing to indicate for all my journey. This was because of a mix of causes…flying price range airways with no frequent flyer schemes, not proudly owning an air miles bank card and simply being fully uneducated about amassing air miles the appropriate approach.

So, since I’m at all times into discovering new life hacks, I made a decision to do a ton of Web analysis into amassing air miles when you’re from the UK. The result’s this weblog submit and I’ll endeavour to maintain it up to date as and when new info arrises. For critiques on all UK air miles bank cards you may need to try the likes of Head for Factors or Flights and Factors, that are full of details about Avios and different schemes.

Flying Business Class- how to collect air miles in the UK
Need to be flying Biz Class on air miles?

Journey Hacking for Newbies

To place it merely, journey hacking normally entails amassing air miles to redeem towards future flights, motels and different journey advantages. The additional you fly, the extra miles you get.

Main airways normally have their very own frequent flyer program and most, however not all, are a part of one of many three main alliances- Star Alliance, oneworld and Skyteam. Being a member of an alliance permits the airline to supply extra seamless journey and supply a bigger route community to extra locations with its companion airways. Alliances profit frequent flyers as a result of they’ll accumulate air miles with any of the member airways on one single account and spend them on flights with any member airline.

Right here’s the place I acquired it fully unsuitable at first. Each time I flew with a unique airline I’d join their frequent flyer scheme and accumulate the air miles for that flight. The issue with that is that every one my air miles have been unfold throughout totally different airline accounts, making it laborious to construct up sufficient miles to make use of them for something worthwhile.

What I ought to have accomplished is signed as much as the frequent flyer scheme of 1 member airline in every of the three alliances. For instance British Airways in oneworld, Delta Air Traces in Skyteam and Lufthansa in Star Alliance. If I fly with any of the companion airways inside that very same alliance, I can accumulate miles on the one frequent flyer account, enabling me to accrue miles a lot sooner. So as an illustration, if I’ve a British Airways account I might fly American Airways or Qantas and nonetheless earn the air miles on the one BA account.

Typically airways run air miles offers the place you possibly can accumulate double air miles if you buy a flight inside a sure interval. Join the newsletters of those airways so you understand once they’re operating these air miles gross sales.

Nevertheless, it’s not really easy amassing air miles in Europe when you’re continuously flying with price range airways resembling Ryanair, Easyjet (though Emirates will allow you to spend Emirates air miles on Easyjet), Wizz Air and Vueling as they aren’t a part of any alliances. That’s the place bank cards can actually provide help to earn miles quick.

Utilizing Air Miles Credit score Playing cards

Air Miles bank cards may help you rating air miles a lot sooner. As an alternative of incomes miles each time you fly, you earn them each time you spend on the cardboard. Usually you will get hundreds of bonus factors if you join, though this depends upon the cardboard you’re making use of for. When you earn sufficient miles you should use them to get free flights, though you continue to must pay the taxes and costs.

Air miles bank cards are good when you:

  • Spend lots– the extra you spend the extra factors you get.
  • Fly lots– If you happen to’re a daily traveller then it’s value signing up for an air miles bank card, however when you don’t want the flights there are higher bank cards available on the market for you, resembling cashback bank cards and steadiness switch bank cards.
  • Are versatile– Availability of flights is extra restricted when redeeming miles versus paying out of your personal pocket. You’ll have to be versatile and out there to journey on the times/instances which are out there.
  • Aren’t Seeking to Borrow– You ought to be paying these bank cards off in full each month. Spend on the cardboard to get the miles, then use the cash out of your present account to pay it off in full. If you happen to’re seeking to borrow cash, there are 0% spending playing cards and steadiness switch playing cards. It might make rather more sense money-wise to get a card with a low rate of interest than to get the journey perks.

The trick is to:

  • Use the cardboard for ALL your spending. Use it for all of your day-to-day purchases as an alternative of money or debit playing cards.
  • Be sure to pay it off in full each month, in any other case the rates of interest on the cardboard fully undermine the  journey advantages you get.
  • Add one other card holder to extend your spending on the cardboard and due to this fact your air miles.
  • Redeem the miles on long-haul flights or enterprise class flights, because the taxes and costs on short-haul European flights are sometimes greater than the worth of a flight on a price range airline.
  • Reap the benefits of promotions and bonus gives on sign-up.
  • Don’t withdraw money on the cardboard, as you’ll be charged a price for doing so.
  • If you happen to don’t fairly have sufficient miles, you should buy miles to high them up.

However I can’t get an air miles bank card?

To get an air miles bank card it is advisable to have an honest credit score rating. However what if that’s not you?

The issue is, how will you get an air miles bank card, when you can’t even get a bank card within the first place? Journey hackers make it sound as straightforward as ABC; ‘get your self an air miles bank card and journey the world free of charge’ however acquiring one will be the laborious half. I ought to know- I’ve been rejected for these playing cards earlier than. The chances are you’ll have to do certainly one of two issues:

  1. Get your first bank card and construct up a credit standing
  2. Enhance your credit score rating

Let’s cope with the primary one.

Getting a bank card when you don’t have credit score historical past

You is perhaps somebody who has by no means had a bank card, notably when you’re simply out of college. This can be a predicament as a result of when you don’t have a bank card, you possibly can’t construct a credit standing, however you want a credit standing with the intention to apply for a bank card.

  • Get your self on the electoral roll– If you happen to’re not on the electoral roll will probably be very laborious so that you can get credit score. You may register to vote on About My Vote.
  • Apply for the appropriate bank card– Let’s face it, when you’ve by no means had a bank card, you’re going to must show your self first. Some banks supply bank cards for ‘preliminary’ bank cards for first timers or playing cards to enhance your credit standing. They may provide you with a low restrict and the rate of interest could also be excessive, however when you can sustain the month-to-month funds, you’ll quickly construct up an excellent credit score historical past. Search Cash Grocery store for Credit score Builder playing cards and take a look at Cash Saving Knowledgeable’s record of horrible credit bank cards.
  • Area out purposes in order that it doesn’t harm your credit score rating– If you happen to make a number of purposes inside a interval of 6 months, banks might even see you as determined for credit score and reject you.

Enhancing your credit score rating

When you have a credit score historical past however you might be getting rejected for bank cards, it may be for quite a few causes and totally different banks have totally different standards. The very best factor to do is deal with enhancing your credit score rating.

  • Get a duplicate of your credit score report and rating from Experian or Equifax, or each. You may get your first 30 days membership free after which after that they’ll cost you a month-to-month price by direct debit, so be sure you shut your account as quickly as you’ve seen your credit score report.  Verify any incorrect particulars and see a number of the destructive components contributing to your credit score rating. If you happen to don’t need to do that, you may also order your statutory recordsdata for simply £2 on-line.
  • All the time make funds on time– any missed funds can harm your rating. If there are any missed funds in your credit score file, it’s value contacting your financial institution, lender or cell phone supplier to see in the event that they’ll take away them. In the event that they received’t do that then you possibly can contact Equifax or Experian to place a ‘Discover of Correction’ in your file. That is principally a observe written by you that explains your model of occasions and explains why the data might be deceptive.
  • Shut unused playing cards– When you have a number of totally different bank cards out there to you then banks may assume you could have entry to an excessive amount of credit score and will blow it unexpectedly. On this case, it might be a good suggestion to shut any unused playing cards you could have. Having stated that, proof of long-term relationships along with your financial institution generally is a good factor, so keep away from closing your oldest bank cards.
  • Repay money owed– If you happen to’re utilizing ALL of the credit score out there to you and solely making the minimal funds, then this could make you a much less enticing buyer. Work on paying off your money owed and purpose to solely be utilizing round 20% of your out there credit score.
  • Keep away from the rejection spiral– You apply for credit score and get rejected, so that you apply for credit score once more and get rejected. This hurts your credit score rating and places a number of searches in your file. Concentrate on the issues talked about above and apply to your air miles bank card if you really feel you’ll have an excellent probability of being accepted.

The principle Air Miles Credit score Playing cards on Supply

I’ve at all times been below the impression that air miles bank cards are a lot simpler to get within the U.S and that there’s rather more alternative. I’m unsure whether or not that is really the case or not, however at one level there have been only a few choices for individuals from the UK. That is slowly altering and there are a variety of airline bank cards now out there, in addition to the Avios playing cards. If you happen to’re fascinated with making use of I like to recommend utilizing the Cash Saving Knowledgeable eligibility checker tool- one thing I’ve at all times discovered helpful. Yow will discover out your proportion probability of getting one of many main air miles bank cards, with out placing a search in your credit score file.

Air Miles Credit score Playing cards

The principle level scheme within the UK is Avios, which can be utilized on flights with British Airways, Are Lingus, Iberia and now Vueling. You may earn Avios factors with air miles bank cards or via Tesco Clubcard and even gas. Click on right here for info on how one can accumulate Avios.

American Categorical Most popular Rewards Gold Card

UK_American_Express_Preferred_Rewards_Gold_Card

The primary card I’d suggest you join is the American Categorical Most popular Rewards Gold Card.

This card has an annual price however it’s free in your first 12 months. If you happen to spend £2000 in your first three months you get 20,000 Membership Rewards factors, which is sufficient for a return ticket someplace good! That is the largest join supply you will get and when you join your British Airways Govt Membership account, you possibly can convert the factors over to Avios.

Get this card

British Airways American Categorical

  • No annual price
  • Consultant 15.9% APR variable based mostly on borrowing £1,200. Rate of interest for purchases: 15.9% p.a. variable.
  • Accumulate one Avios for just about each £1 you spend.
  • 9,000 bonus Avios if you spend £1000 throughout the first 3 months (supply expires 21 Might 2014)
  • Complimentary supplementary playing cards for household and buddies
  • Redeem your Avios for a British Airways flight and when you’ve spent £20,000 in your Card inside a Card anniversary 12 months you’ll obtain one other ticket for a companion, for a similar flight and cabin.

Get the cardboard right here

BA Premium Plus Amex

  • Annual price of £150
  • Consultant 56.4% APR variable based mostly on borrowing £1,200. Rate of interest for purchases: 19.9% p.a. variable
  • Accumulate 1.5 Avios for each £1 you spend and three avios for each £1 spent on British Airways flights and holidays
  • 25,000 bonus avios if you spend £3,000 throughout the first 3 months
  • Complimentary supplementary playing cards for household and buddies
  • Redeem your Avios for a British Airways flight and when you’ve spent £10,000 in your Card inside a Card anniversary 12 months you’ll obtain one other ticket for a companion, for a similar flight and cabin.

Get the cardboard right here

Lloyds Financial institution Avios Rewards Credit score Card

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and Mastercard
  • Annual price of £24
  • Consultant 22.7% APR based mostly on £1,200 borrowing. Buy fee: 17.95% p.a.
  • 1.25 Avios for each £1 spend on the American Categorical card
  • 1.25 Avios for each £5 spend on the Mastercard
  • Accumulate a flight improve voucher if you spend £7000 in a single 12 months
  • No overseas transaction charges
  • Accumulate double Avios on eligible spend for the primary 6 months in your American Categorical Card

Get your card right here

Lloyds Financial institution Premier Rewards

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and a Mastercard
  • Annual price of £140
  • Consultant 50.8% APR based mostly on borrowing £1,200 Buy fee: 17.95%
  • Accumulate 1.5 Avios for each £1 eligible spend on American Categorical
  • Accumulate 1.5 Avios for each £5 eligible spend on the Mastercard
  • Accumulate double Avios on eligible spend for the primary 6 months in your American Categorical card
  • Companion Ticket with £12,000 of eligible spending in a single 12 months
  • Accumulate a flight improve voucher if you spend £5,000 in a single 12 months
  • No overseas transaction charges

Get the cardboard right here

TSB Avios Credit score Account

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and a Visa bank card
  • No annual price
  • 1 Avios for each £1 spend on the American Categorical card and 1 Avios for each £5 spend on the visa card.
  • Consultant 17.9% APR based mostly on a restrict of £1,200. Buy fee: 17.95% p.a.
  • 0% for six months on balances transferred throughout the first 90 days (3% price applies). You’ll additionally accumulate 1,500 bonus Avios  for each complete £1,000 steadiness you switch from a single supplier
  • As much as 56 days’ interest-free interval on purchases (from the date of transaction) when you pay your steadiness in full and on time every month.

Get the cardboard right here

TSB Premier Avios Credit score Account

  • Comes with an American Categorical Card and a Mastercard
  • £50 annual price
  • Consultant 23.7% APR based mostly on a restrict of £1,200. Buy fee: 13.95% p.a.
  • Accumulate 1.25 Avios for each £1 of eligible spend on the Premier Avios American Categorical Card and 1.25 Avios for each £5 of eligible spend on the Premier Avios MasterCard.
  • Companion Ticket with £15,000 of eligible spend in a single 12 months
  • 0% for the primary 6 months on balances transferred throughout the first 90 days (3% price applies). You’ll additionally accumulate 1,500 bonus Avios for each complete £1,000 steadiness you switch from a single supplier.
  • As much as 56 days’ interest-free interval on purchases (from the date of transaction) when you pay your steadiness in full and on time every month.

Get the cardboard right here

Different in style methods of increase Avios factors

Tesco Clubcard- Each time you buy your on a regular basis groceries or gas at Tesco you possibly can earn clubcard factors when you join the Tesco clubcard. These factors will be transformed into Avios, which means your weekly journey to the grocery store can add as much as flight rewards. You get 600 Avios for each £2.50 in Clubcard vouchers.

Tesco Clubcard Credit score Playing cards- With a Tesco Clubcard bank card you possibly can accumulate much more clubcard factors if you spend. Extra clubcard factors means extra Clubcard vouchers, which implies extra Avios. That is excellent when you store repeatedly at Tesco.

Gas- You may earn Tesco Clubcard factors if you buy gas at a Tesco filling station, which will be transformed into Avios. You may as well get hold of a Shell Driver’s Membership card and accumulate 10 Avios for each 20 litres of Shell gas.

Different Airline Credit score Playing cards

Virgin Atlantic White Credit score Card (spend on Virgin Atlantic flights and companions)

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and Visa bank card
  • No anual price
  • 17.9% APR based mostly on a credit score restrict of £1,200. 17.9% p.a. on card purchases.
  • 3,000 bonus miles in your first card buy with both card inside 90 days of your account opening
  • An additional 7,000 bonus miles if you spend a complete of £1,000 inside 90 days of your account opening and apply by 30 June 2014
  • 0% on steadiness transfers for as much as 6 months from the date of opening (2% dealing with price)
  • Earn 1 flying membership mile for each £1 spent on on a regular basis purchases on the Amex card, 1 Flying Membership mile for each £2 spent on on a regular basis card purchases on the Visa card
  • Earn 2 Flying Membership miles for each £1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic and through phone with Virgin Holidays on the American Categorical Card (Excludes Virgin Flightstore)
  • Earn 1 Flying Membership mile for each £1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic and through phone with Virgin Holidays on the Visa card. (Excludes Virgin Flightstore)
  • Improve from Financial system to Premium Financial system if you spend £10,000 in a 12 months on the American Categorical card. (As much as 2 upgrades per 12 months)
  • Obtain a companion reward flight if you spend £15,000 in your American Categorical card in a 12 months and you purchase a qualifying fare flight

Get the cardboard right here

Virgin Atlantic Black Card

  •  Comes with an American Categorical and Visa bank card
  • £140 annual price
  • 52.1% APR based mostly on a restrict of £1,200. 18.9% p.a. on card purchases
  • 18,500 bonus miles in your first card buy with both card inside 90 days of your account opening
  • An additional 11,500 bonus miles if you spend a complete of £3,000 inside 90 days of your account opening and apply by 30 June 2014
  • Earn 2 Flying Membership miles for each £1 spent on on a regular basis card purchases on the American Categorical bank card and 1 Flying Membership Mile for each £1 spent on the Visa bank card.
  • Earn 4 Flying Membership miles for each £1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic, and through phone with Virgin Holidays (excludes Virgin Flightstore) on the American Categorical card
  • Earn 2 Flying Membership miles for each £1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic, and through phone with Virgin Holidays (excludes Virgin Flightstore) on the Visa card
  • Improve from Financial system to Premium Financial system if you spend £5,000 in a 12 months on the Amex. (As much as two upgrades per 12 months)
  • Companion reward flight (simply pay taxes and fees) if you spend £7,500 in your Amex card in a 12 months and you purchase a qualifying fare flight

Get the cardboard right here

Lufthansa Miles and Extra Card from MBNA (spend on Lufthansa flights and companion airways)

  • No annual price
  • Comes with American Categorical card and a Visa card
  • Consultant 16.9% APR based mostly on a credit score restrict of £1,200. Buy fee: 16.9% p.a.
  • 0% for as much as 3 months on card purchases from the date your account is opened
  • 0% on steadiness transfers for as much as 12 months,from the date your account is opened (3% dealing with price). This supply solely applies to transfers made throughout the first 90 days from account opening.
  • 2 award miles for each £1 spent throughout the first 6 months  on the Amex. 1.5 award miles per £1 spent thereafter
  • 1 award mile for each £1 spent throughout the first 6 months on the Visa. 1.5 award miles per £2 spent thereafter.
  • Earn 1,500 award miles along with your first buy (supply open until Might thirtieth 2014)
  • Earn 10,000 further award miles when you spend £1,000 throughout the first 90 days of your account open date (supply open until Might thirtieth 2014)

Get this card

MileagePlus bank card from MBNA (for United Airways and companions)

  • No annual price
  • Comes with an American Categorical card and a Visa bank card
  • 2.5 miles for each £2 you spend on the American Categorical card
  • 1.25 miles for each £2 you spend on the Visa card
  • Consultant 18.9% APR based mostly on a restrict of £1,200. 18.9% p.a. on card purchases
  • 0% for six months from the date your account is opened on Stability Transfers made inside 90 days of account opening (2% dealing with price).
  • 0% for six months from the date your account is opened on Cash Transfers made inside 90 days of account opening (2% dealing with price).
  • 0% on United Airways transactions for 12 months from the date your account is opened.6
  • Add as much as 3 further cardholders at no further value

Get this card

Flybe Credit score Card

  • Consultant 18.9% APR based mostly on a restrict of £1,200. Customary purchases 18.9% p.a. variable
  • 0% for 12 months on Stability Transfers made inside 90 days of account opening1
  • No curiosity to pay on Purchases for as much as 50 days
  • Free further card to your companion or member of the family
  • 1 Rewards4all level for each £250 you spend, plus factors each time you fly on Flybe, Stobart Air and Loganair operated flights. Earn sufficient factors for a Bonus Simply Fly Return Flight (the place you simply pay taxes and fees) or VIP lounge entry
  • Automobile rent – Unique 10% off Avis automotive rental worldwide
  • Parking – Extra reductions on airport parking
  • Fee free journey cash delivered direct to your door

Get this card

Etihad Visitor Credit score Card (for Etihad and companions)

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and Visa card
  • No annual price
  • 18.9% APR consultant based mostly on a restrict of £1,200. Buy fee 18.9% p.a. (variable)
  • 1.5 Etihad Visitor Miles for each £1 you spend on card purchases along with your American Categorical Credit score Card
  • 1.5 Etihad Visitor Miles for each £2 you spendon card purchases along with your Visa Credit score Card
  • Welcome bonus of 5,000 Etihad Visitor Mileswhen you spend £250 throughout the first 90 days of account opening
  • Quick monitor to Etihad Visitor Silver Tier upon the completion of 1 paid for return flight with Etihad Airways within the first 12 months of account opening
  • Double Etihad Visitor Miles on Etihad Airways operated flights taken in Pearl Enterprise Class throughout the first three months of account opening
  • Triple Etihad Visitor Miles on Etihad Airways operated flights taken in Diamond First Class throughout the first three months of account opening
  • 250 further Etihad Visitor Miles on each automotive rental reserving made at Funds.
  • 300 further Etihad Visitor Miles on each automotive rental reserving with Avis.
  • 0% on all Etihad transactionsfor 12 months from the date your account is opened
  • 0% on steadiness transfers for six months from the date your account is opened (2% dealing with price). Your steadiness must be transferred throughout the first 90 days of your account opening
  • 0% on cash transfersfor 6 months from the date your account is opened (2% dealing with price). Your steadiness must be transferred throughout the first 90 days of your account opening.

Get this card

Emirates Skyward

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and a Visa Card
  • Earn 1 mile for each £1 you spend on the American Categorical card and 1 mile for each £2 you spend on the Visa card
  • Earn 2 miles for each £1 you spend immediately with Emirates airline on the American Categorical card and a couple of miles for each £2 you spend immediately with Emirates on the Visa card.
  • 25% low cost on buy of Skywards Miles with the Amex card
  • 10% low cost on Emirates Holidays with the Amex card
  • 0% on Stability Transfers for six months from account opening (2% dealing with price). Stability transfers should be made throughout the first 90 days to obtain this supply.
  • 0% on Cash Transfers for six months from account opening (2% dealing with price). Cash transfers should be made throughout the first 90 days to obtain this supply.
  • Consultant instance: 17.9% p.a. (variable) on card purchases. That is equal to 17.9% APR consultant (variable) based mostly on a credit score restrict of £1200.
  • As much as 3 further cardholders at no further value.

Get this card

American Airways AAdvantage

  • Comes with an American Categorical card and a Visa card
  • No annual price
  • Earn 1.5 AAdvantage miles for each £1 spent on the American Categorical card
  • Earn 1.5 AAdvantage miles for each £2 spent on the Visa Credit score Card
  • 17.9% p.a. (variable) on card purchases. That is equal to 17.9% APR consultant (variable) based mostly on a credit score restrict of £1200.
  • Welcome Bonus – 5,000 AAdvantage bonus miles if you make a card buy inside 90 days of the account opening
  • Obtain a further 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles when you spend a minimal of £1,500 on card purchases between each playing cards inside 90 days of the account opening
  • 0% on all American Airways flightsfor 12 months from the date your account is opened
  • 0% steadiness transfers for six months from account opening (2% dealing with price). This supply applies to steadiness transfers made throughout the first 90 days.
  • 0% cash transfers for six months from account opening (2% dealing with price). This supply applies to cash transfers made throughout the first 90 days.

Get this card

Ryanair Credit score Card

  • Earn as much as 5 bonus flights
  • 0% p.a. on steadiness transfers for 12 month (2.99% price applies)
  • Unique cardholder gives resembling free digital photograph prints
  • Extra card for member of the family over the age of 18
  • If you happen to pay your steadiness in full and on time, you possibly can profit from as much as 56 days curiosity free credit score in your purchases.

Get the cardboard right here

I’m not from the UK, I’m based mostly within the US…

For my U.S readers, I recommend you get began with journey hacking by studying Nomadic Matt’s information to selecting a journey bank card and a number of the different frequent flyer websites like The Factors Man.

Did you could have any extra suggestions you’d like so as to add to this web page on tips on how to accumulate air miles when you’re from the UK? Go to my contact web page and ship me an e-mail. If you happen to’re to be taught extra about how one can lower your expenses on airfare, try my information to discovering low cost flights.

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