Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
Page 2
  • JJJBBB
    Roger1:

    Yes, I agree that British airlines in general a far more stingy with their airmiles than US airlines. I gave up trying to accrue miles on BA because almost every ticket I ever bought was ineligible. By contrast, I don't think I've ever had a flight ineligible for airmile accrual on American, United or Delta, no matter how discounted the ticket was.

    If you have any tips on how to spend BMI airmiles I'd be very grateful. I have heard that they're good for business-class travel, but I'm not really interested in that. Also, I'll rarely have enough miles, as I only accrue BMI miles through credit card spend. Any Star Alliance flights I take, I have the miles posted to my United MileagePlus account, because United miles are easy to spend and they don't add on fuel surcharges.

    So far my only successful BMI redemption was for a one-way from London-Istanbul (on Turkish), where I ended up paying about GBP 49 in taxes and surcharges, which represented a small saving over the price of a one-way flight. At the time, BMI was generous in allowing redemption for one-way flights. But now all the US airmiles schemes allow this too.

    Every other time I've tried, BMI's taxes and surcharges have either exceeded the total cost of buying a similar ticket on a different airline (or even, in the Vienna case, of buying the same ticket on BMI), or else the saving has been so small it didn't seem worth wasting the miles.
  • JJJBBB
    Roger1:

    Also, thanks for the tip on the American Airlines credit card. Maybe I'll switch to that. Their miles are very easy to spend.

    I think perhaps you're right that European schemes are only really good value for those interested in business-class travel. US schemes, on the other hand, are better value for those who travel a fair amount, but not weekly, and appreciate being able to get an economy-class round-trip award ticket every year or so.
  • powerone
    If you are already a member of a scheme with miles/points. For example virgin and you dont necessary fly that often. Its often handy to have a card so you can keep topping up the miles without them being lost.
    • Roger1
    • By Roger1 9th Dec 10, 11:16 AM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    Roger1
    It depends. Miles are typically transferred from the cards to miles accounts once a month. Each miles scheme has different terms and conditions, some more favourable, others less so.

    For example, BA and Virgin miles last 3 years but are extended each time that another transaction (flight, hotel, card transaction, etc) is made so you can colect over a longer period. American Airlines and most US schemes have a shorter limit of 18 months.

    Airmiles now last two years unless a credit of at least one Airmile is made every two years, and a £30 surcharge per booking is made if a credit has not been made for just 12 months.

    A useful by-the-way, American Express Membership Rewards points have no time limit and can be transferred into a number of airline accounts as and when, including BA, Virgin and bmi (but not American Airlines).
    • Roger1
    • By Roger1 9th Dec 10, 11:23 AM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    Roger1
    If you have any tips on how to spend BMI airmiles I'd be very grateful.
    Originally posted by JJJBBB
    Sorry, I missed your question.

    There's a wealth of advice at FlyerTalk - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/bmi-diamond-club-486/ - which would be difficult to summarise in a short response. Have a look, it's not too daunting!

    Best value seems to be miles+cash, especially in business or first class. I have a booking to Cape Town in biz on South African Airways using miles+cash. See http://www.flybmi.com/bmi/en-gb/loyalty-programmes/diamond-club/ways-to-spend-miles/bmi-and-star-alliance-flights.aspx to see what miles+cash costs.
    • insurgente
    • By insurgente 11th Dec 10, 2:39 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    insurgente
    Sorry, I missed your question.

    There's a wealth of advice at FlyerTalk - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/bmi-diamond-club-486/ - which would be difficult to summarise in a short response. Have a look, it's not too daunting!

    Best value seems to be miles+cash, especially in business or first class. I have a booking to Cape Town in biz on South African Airways using miles+cash. See http://www.flybmi.com/bmi/en-gb/loyalty-programmes/diamond-club/ways-to-spend-miles/bmi-and-star-alliance-flights.aspx to see what miles+cash costs.
    Originally posted by Roger1

    So just to confirm, you can use BMI diamond club miles on partner airlines right? I'm hoping I might be able to use mine towards a flight to Brazil with TAM at some stage

    I'm looking at buying some BMI miles as I'm not using the credit card that much. The site claims there is a special offer til december 12th where you get a 'bonus' of 50% more miles. Has anyone found this worth while? Getting another 3,000 miles would get me close to where I want to be (which would cost £39). But I'm sure I looked at the site a couple of months ago and 3,000 miles would've cost about the same
    • Roger1
    • By Roger1 12th Dec 10, 3:34 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    Roger1
    So just to confirm, you can use BMI diamond club miles on partner airlines right?
    Originally posted by insurgente
    Yes. You will need to speak to the call centre to do this. Be aware that flights are subject to availability. They may or may not have flights on the dates you need so you may need to be flexible. TAM is not the only possibility. I haven't checked, but you may be able to get there with another airline, for example Lufthansa, United, Swiss etc (Personally, I'd avoid United because of the need to suffer the TSA 'security' indignities and the longer flight times.)

    If you're thinking of buying miles, hurry! The 50% extra offer ends today. I have bought some miles for Mrs Roger. As for value, that depends on you and whether you think it's worthwhile. Just a data point, the price includes a £15 fee, no matter how many miles you buy. This means that higher amounts work out better value, provided of course that they meet your purpose.
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 12th Dec 10, 4:07 PM
    • 10,864 Posts
    • 7,093 Thanks
    Caz3121
    So just to confirm, you can use BMI diamond club miles on partner airlines right? I'm hoping I might be able to use mine towards a flight to Brazil with TAM at some stage

    I'm looking at buying some BMI miles as I'm not using the credit card that much. The site claims there is a special offer til december 12th where you get a 'bonus' of 50% more miles. Has anyone found this worth while? Getting another 3,000 miles would get me close to where I want to be (which would cost £39). But I'm sure I looked at the site a couple of months ago and 3,000 miles would've cost about the same
    Originally posted by insurgente
    Miles are normally £12 per 1000 plus a £15 admin fee
    usual fee for 3000 miles = £12x3 + £15 = £51
    current offer pay for 2000 get 1000 free = £12x2 + £15 = £39

    and yes you can use bmi miles on *A airlines and partner airlines
    I have travelled First on Thai and Swiss and have Business bookings next year on Air New Zealand and Air Canada
    • insurgente
    • By insurgente 12th Dec 10, 6:50 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    insurgente
    thanks for the replies y'all

    I have a US passport so wouldn't worry too much about passing through there....except for the waaaaay longer journey times as well.

    Good point, if flying on those airlines is all the same price i'll go however. I can be flexible

    you're right though, I just used some BA/Airmiles and getting a flight was tough

    Maybe I'll just buy these miles then. I'm just trying to nudge myself over 25,000 miles, as I believe a flight to Brazil is then about £375. At the rate I'm using this card, that may take forever...may be easier to just spend the £39 and get the miles
    Last edited by insurgente; 12-12-2010 at 6:54 PM.
  • ljasmin65
    Again, not a very well documented article. Virgin Atlantic American Express Credit Card (white) also gives a free companion ticket (for travel by Virgin), no annual fee, and their need to spend less than £ 15 000. An upgrade to premium economy available to spend £ 10,000 a year. Better than the BA Amex Black card board is similar to the Virgin the best map of BA, is a cheaper rate annual BA, with £ 115, against 150 pounds for BA, and you get the companion ticket with an annual expenditure £ 7.500.
    • Roger1
    • By Roger1 13th Dec 10, 7:59 AM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    Roger1
    Apples and oranges!

    After qualifying expenditure, Virgin cardholders can get a companion ticket when s/he BUYS a ticket, and only in the higher fare classes, plus the 'taxes' on both tickets.

    The BA companion ticket is awarded after qualifying expenditure and is offered when the cardholder REDEEMS miles for one ticket, plus the 'taxes' on both tickets.

    That's a huge difference. Everybody's situation is different, of course, but for my money, the BA scheme is superior for this reason, and also because BA has a far, far wider network than Virgin.

    It's in business and first class that the differences really show, especially with Virgin where you have to spend ££££ on a ticket to get a 'free' companion ticket. Generally speaking, awards in economy class are poor value.
    • Roger1
    • By Roger1 13th Dec 10, 8:11 AM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    Roger1
    I have a US passport so wouldn't worry too much about passing through there....except for the waaaaay longer journey times as well.
    Originally posted by insurgente
    Yes, the US passport will help, but you would still have to go through immigration and customs, collect your baggage and recheck it for the onward flight. The concept of transit is almost unknown to US authorities.

    And go through the disgusting 'security' checks. They enhanced these recently, and many US and non-US travellers are shocked by the new personally invasive procedures. Much discussion at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security-222/

    Much as I love the US and its citizens, my feelings don't extend to the TSA and its procedures.
  • Bluebell74
    BA Amex v Virgin White Amex
    I've noticed that Martin's article doesn't mention the Virgin White card at all? Does anyone know why this is and how the 2 cards compare? From the research we've done it looks as though the Virgin White card might be better? Apologies if you've covered this before but any advice would be gratefully received.
  • xycom1
    It is a major oversight IMO that the article doesn't mention the VS cards, or Amex Membership Rewards which provides great flexibility if you are a member of multiple FF schemes.

    Also, a handy hint - MBNA discontinued the bmi Mastercard a while ago. But you can still apply for it by telephone, just not online. Most of the good reward cards are Amex - so having a mastercard is useful for other merchants who don't take Amex. It only accrues at 1 mile per £ spent, but it's better than nothing and there is an introductory rate and IIRC 12000miles bonus when you spend your first £250.
  • barkinghere
    Visa card for air miles?
    Is there a VISA card for air miles? Not many businesses take Amex and I would love to use a VISA card to get as many air miles as I can. Any suggestions?
    • jen245
    • By jen245 3rd Mar 12, 9:57 PM
    • 1,571 Posts
    • 683 Thanks
    jen245
    Is there a VISA card for air miles? Not many businesses take Amex and I would love to use a VISA card to get as many air miles as I can. Any suggestions?
    Originally posted by barkinghere
    MBNA do some Amex/Visa duo airline card accounts, where you have 2 cards on one account. I have the BMI Amex/Visa duo


    http://www.mbna.co.uk/choose-credit-card/index.php
    Debt free and staying that way!
  • post-it
    I've had a BMI Amex card for a while, and have amassed a load of airmiles. But the airmiles turn out to be practically useless! Every time I've tried to use them, the "taxes and fees" that BMI tacks on top (which consist of far more than just taxes), amount to more than the total fare available on other airlines, or even on BMI itself!

    Example: I've just tried to book a roundtrip from London to Vienna. As well as the 9000 airmiles, BMI were going to charge me GBP 113 for "taxes and fees." Of course, taxes aren't anything like that much: I clicked on the link for an explanation and I found that almost have of that charge was a "fuel and insurance surcharge." Meanwhile, going through Expedia, I found the very same BMI flights - same date & time - selling for GBP 103 (total price, taxes and fees included). So paying the fare turns out to be cheaper than not paying the fare!!

    This is an extreme example, but in several other cases I've found that BMI's "taxes and fees" are more expensive than the entire cost of a similar flight on a different airline.

    Has anyone managed to use the points in such a way that it actually represents a real saving? If so, please tell me how!
    Originally posted by JJJBBB

    Good for business class flights though, try booking moscow and compare it with a pure cash booking
  • Jabrul
    Just noticed the BMI credit card offer, where spend £250 and you'll get 20,000 destination miles. Is that offer only one per customer per lifetime?
    I took advantage from a similar offer last year but its up again, would I not be allowed?
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 17th Mar 12, 11:45 AM
    • 6,440 Posts
    • 3,395 Thanks
    chattychappy
    Just noticed the BMI credit card offer, where spend £250 and you'll get 20,000 destination miles. Is that offer only one per customer per lifetime?
    I took advantage from a similar offer last year but its up again, would I not be allowed?
    Originally posted by Jabrul
    Yep, you can only do it once.

    If you look at the flyertalk.com forum, you will see that a few years ago people were repeatedly opening and closing accounts and banking 20,000 miles each time. It really did get ridiculous. So now it's a once off offer. (It's somewhere in the T+Cs.)
    • kittykat23uk
    • By kittykat23uk 28th Apr 12, 9:55 AM
    • 109 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    kittykat23uk
    For those planning to get the BMI card
    Hi all,

    I've had the BMI card for a while and have been trying to accrue as many miles as I can. But having heard their partnership with Star Alliance is coming to an end and having a trip planned I thought I would spend my miles and top it up with cash. The flight I was looking at was over £1000 economy. But when I called them I was initially told that the flight I wanted wasn't avaiable. However they offered another option with similar timings with a different airline. But then I was told, "oh we have only business class on the return leg". Oh dear! I though, I expect with the taxes and cash to top up the miles I won't be making a saving at all (I had checked the tax and top up amount on the original flight option and it was coming to over £700). But to my surprise, even with the return leg on business class it's costing me less than £600! The same flight in economy both ways is currently at over £1100. So it really does show I made a good saving

    I got this from them so might be useful info for those looking to take out the card:

    I'm writing to advise you of some important changes to the Diamond Club programme following the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways, on 20 April 2012.

    As a result, there are some key changes to your Diamond Club membership, which I would like to outline below, which also includes an invitation from British Airways.

    Announcement of bmi's exit from Star Alliance
    A new partnership with British Airways
    Business as usual for Diamond Club

    1. bmi's exit from Star Alliance

    I'd firstly like to advise that from 20 April bmi will no longer be a member of Star Alliance.

    However, you will still be able to enjoy the following Star Alliance benefits associated with your membership tier level until 31 May 2012.

    You will continue to earn membership status miles and earn and spend destinations miles on bmi and Star Alliance carriers (excluding Lufthansa Group airlines) until 31 May 2012
    For all Star Alliance carriers you will also be able to take advantage of your bmi and Star Alliance status benefits, including lounge access, priority check-in and priority boarding until 31 May 2012
    From 1 June 2012 any benefits associated with your tier membership and the ability to earn status miles and earn and spend destinations miles on Star Alliance airlines will end
    Star Alliance award bookings made before 31 May 2012 will be honoured

    For further information including changes to award bookings, retrospective claims and award flight bookings please visit flybmi.com

    2. A new partnership with British Airways

    We're pleased to announce that Diamond Club members will benefit from a new partnership with British Airways from 20 April 2012.

    All members will be able to earn destinations miles on BA, for flights taken from 20 April 2012, and we will shortly introduce the option to spend your destinations miles on BA award flights
    From today, Diamond Club Gold and Silver members will be able to access the British Airways lounges at London Heathrow and London Gatwick, when flying with bmi or British Airways - please present your Diamond Club Gold or Silver card on arrival to gain access

    As part of the transition of bmi into British Airways, from 1 May 2012 British Airways is inviting you, as a Diamond Club member, to also join the Executive Club at your equivalent tier status level. Diamond Club Gold customers will be invited to become Gold members of the Executive Club and Silver members to become Silver, which will be in addition to your Diamond Club membership. Further details will follow shortly.

    You will also be able to transfer your destinations miles to Executive Club Avios points at a rate of 1:1. British Airways will also be offering Executive Club customers the ability to transfer from Executive Club Avios points into destinations miles at a rate of 1:1. For example 100 destinations miles could be transferred into 100 Avios points and vice versa.

    We are creating an online tool that will allow Diamond Club and Executive Club customers to undertake transfers, which will be available from 3 July 2012. We will contact you nearer that date to explain how the tool will work and how to access it.

    3. Business as usual for Diamond Club

    Although today we are announcing a number of changes to the programme, we would like to assure you that it is business as usual for Diamond Club, including members who have a bmi Credit Card Account with MBNA.

    We very much appreciate your loyalty to bmi and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of Diamond Club membership.

    For more information on the changes please visit flybmi.com

    All the best

    JO
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,041Posts Today

7,529Users online

Martin's Twitter