How to do it

Credit cards to collect air miles

I love to get something for no effort at all – or hardly any effort. When that something is cheaper holidays, I’m an even bigger fan.

I use cashback sites when I shop online, for example, getting a little bonus cash for purchases I was going to make anyway. But I’ve also been looking at reward credit cards, where boring everyday bills can help collect air miles.


Basically you’ll earn miles for every pound spent, sometimes with bonuses when you sign up, although the usual credit card rules apply so you need to clear the debt to avoid interest and charges.

You still pay flight taxes and some fees but use the card for a regular supermarket shop or monthly train ticket, and it can add up to bargain fares.

It’s worth sticking to miles for your favourite airline or something like Avios which is used by British Airways, Flybe and Monarch, plus you can combine them with miles earned flying and from supermarket reward cards.

Credit card background

TSB Avios
What? An American Express and Mastercard, plus a Premium option (with annual charge)
Points? 1 Avios on almost every £1 you spend with Amex and 1 for every £5 of eligible spend on the Mastercard. There’s also double points on eligible spend abroad, and 0% on balance transfers within six months (terms/fee applies).
APR? 17.95% variable

British Airways American Express
What? A BA Amex, plus a Premium Plus version
Points? 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent, plus 3,000 bonus points if you spend £500 within the first three months. Supplementary cards mean family and friends can boost your total, plus bonuses if you’re a big spender (£20,000 in a year).
APR? 15.9% variable

Virgin Atlantic credit cards
What? White Visa card, plus Black premium version.
Points? 1 Flying Club mile for every £1 spent, doubled for certain purchases with Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Holidays. Bonus of up to 10,000 miles if you apply by March 31, 2015 (based on purchases within 90 days). More bonuses if you spend £10k+ per year and 0% balance transfers (fees/terms apply).
APR? 17.9% variable

Disclaimer: I am not a finance adviser but I do like finding life’s little bonuses

Compiled in association with TSB Avios*


Images: ierdnall/Flickr; Natloans/Flickr