All you need to know about Airmiles and how they work… tips, tricks and the best loyalty schemes
FLYING can be expensive – but collecting Airmiles can make taking a trip that bit more bearable money-wise.
Airmiles, which is now known as Avios, can be a great tool for those looking to save on flights as they spend – here’s the lowdown.
How do Airmiles work?
Airline miles, also known as frequent flyer miles, travel points or Airmiles, are part of a loyalty program offered by certain airlines and credit card companies.
Those signed up to the schemes usually accumulate a set amount of miles based on how far they fly or how much they spend on their credit card.
The miles accumulated via this flying or spending can then be used as payment towards future tickets.
Is it worth getting an Airmiles card?
Air miles credit cards are good for those who:
- Spend a lot
- Are a regular traveller
- Are flexible (availability of flights is more restricted when redeeming miles)
- If you fit the bill, then there are a few tricks you can employ to help rack up those miles.
Are there any tips when it comes to collecting Airmiles?
A few simple tricks can help you get the most out of your Airmiles scheme:
- Make your Airmiles card the one you use for all of your spending
- Add another card holder to increase the spending on the card
- Use your miles for long-haul flights or when you want to fly Business Class – the taxes and fees on short-haul flights can me more than if you were to fly with a budget airline.
- Pay off the card in full each month – or the interest charged may negate any travel benefits
- Don’t withdraw cash on the card – you’ll be charged
- You can combine miles earned from spending with those earned from flying – and points collected via Tesco Clubcard can also be converted.
What are the best schemes and what’s happening to Avios?
Numerous businesses offer Airmiles cards and the main points schemes are Avios and Virgin Miles.
Avios is perhaps the most widely known, and can be used on airlines including Air Malta, Aurigny, British Airways, Flybe, Iberia and Monarch.
At the end of July the scheme will be closing and all Avios customers will be transferred onto the BA executive club scheme.
Don’t worry, your avios points are protected and you will now be able to use your points in even more places than before.
Virgin Miles is a separate reward scheme – and its points can only be used on Virgin Atlantic flights.
Norwegian Airways also recently launched their own rewards scheme.
The new addition to Norwegian’s loyalty scheme is similar to Avios where customers can also earn points for spending online.
Popular Airmiles credit cards include the British Airways American Express card, American Express The Platinum Card and the Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card account.
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Each account comes with its own perks and fees – so shoppers can decide which might suit their lifestyle best.
Holidaymakers and those who don’t travel too frequently will likely find Avios to be the best fit – as they are one of the most flexible schemes.
For heavy flyers, such as those who frequently travel for business, a dedicated airline credit card will probably be more rewarding.
The best way to collect the points always comes down to the individual, their spending habits and the suitability of the rewards that the scheme is able to earn.