100,000 miles sounds like a lifetime, but with the right advice it can be a breeze, most of which can be earned without even taking a step, let alone a flight. Once you’ve mastered earning the miles, maximizing them is the call of order, extracting the best value for your precious miles…
Earning British Airways Miles
The Credit Card One, Two Punch (US + UK)
Want to earn tons of miles just for making the same every day purchases you do with your debit card and pay no interest? Grab the British Airways card, which in the US offers 50,000 miles as a sign up bonus or in the UK, 25,000 miles. As you can see, in the US you’re already half way to the 100k target! Next, in the US, grab either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the American Express Premier Rewards Gold. Either will get you the other 50k, and you’re done. In the UK, your next best option is the American Express Premier Rewards Gold, scoring you another 20,000 points and some great benefits, bringing you up to 45,000.
Gate 365 Shopping On Your Favorite Stores
The best trick to earning miles from home is no trick at all. It’s just an extra click from British Airways Gate 365, their online retailer platform, to the store you plan to shop at online. It’s a referral program, so you get the same prices, but for clicking through British Airways, you’re rewarded with BONUS MILES for every dollar you spend. During the holidays, top retailers can offer up to 20 miles per dollar. In the UK, if you were to buy a Macbook at holiday time, you could earn 20,000 Avios (miles) from a single purchase. That’d put a UK earner at 65,000 miles without leaving home and a US earner at 120,000 miles with similarly little effort…
Cheap Business Class Fares, Partner Flights And Promos…
People don’t believe that “cheap” business class fares are real until they buy one for less than they were prepared to pay for coach. It happens all the time. You can earn British Airways miles when flying on American, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, Qatar and more. If you scored a business deal, you’ll earn tons of extra bonus points. Sometimes there are even bonuses where you can score up to 25,000 bonus points just for taking a business class round trip. For a flight from London to New York in business, which has been as low as £400 or $484, that would mean earning 35,000 miles. In case you have lost count, that would bring a UK earner to 100,000 and a US earner to 155,000.
Maximizing Your Avios
Low Tax Partners
British Airways adds an extortionate amount of “surcharge” (whatever that really is?) to their tickets using miles. On partners, however, it can be a totally different proposition. You can use your British Airways miles (Avios) on all the airlines listed above and you can do so for as little as $5.60 (£4) one way, compared to an average £500 on British Airways.
Short Haul Flights + Medium Flights Up Front…
British Airways offers one of the best values on short flights, which in Europe and places outside of the US start at 4,500 miles one way. In the US you’ll find short flights starting at 7,500 one way. Tickets on many short flights (under three hours) can be prohibitively expensive, yet using miles are an extremely good value. This is an excellent way to cash in your miles for high reward with low taxes.
The Companion Voucher
If flying on British Airways is your game and you don’t mind shelling out a bit of cash with your miles, the companion voucher (available to cardmembers in the US + UK) is your player. The voucher, which can be earned from the British Airways Premium Amex in the UK or the Chase Visa in the US, offers half the miles (Avios) usually required for two people to travel. It’s essentially buy one get one free with miles, where you just pay taxes for the second person. That presents an awesome opportunity to save up a big stash and take them farther! It’s worth noting that in general, the best practice is to use the companion voucher on First or Business Class tickets to help justify the surcharges….