'We used Avios points to fly first-class to California for the price of economy'

edited 20 February 2017 at 1:37PM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
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Former_MSE_SallyFormer_MSE_Sally Former MSE
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A MoneySaving couple used Avios points to buy two first-class returns to San Diego over Christmas...
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'We used Avios points to fly first-class to California for the price of economy'
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  • edited 20 February 2017 at 1:53PM
    blindmanblindman Forumite
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    edited 20 February 2017 at 1:53PM
    Lots of subscribers to Flyertalk and the relative newbie HeadForpoints (created by a FT member) have been doing this for years.

    They cover the topic in far more detail IMHO.

    But well done to these two for a good use of AVIOS

    In 2011 Mrs B and I flew First\Business class to NZ over the festive period using the BMI Star Alliance miles.
    For two adults cost about £1000 in taxes and fees + IIRC 120,000 FF miles each

    Posted here at MSE in 2013

    That also contains a link to another trip I did and posted on MSE in 2006

    A trip to Hawaii with stops in Chicago, Las Vegas,Denver (and LA though we did not stay here).
    LHR-ORD-LAS-DEN-HON-OGG-LAX-LHR.

    Total cost was about £110.00 for two.
    I nested a One Way trip (20K Star Alliance miles) inside an Open Jaw AA reward flight (40K American Airline miles)
    Sadly those days have gone (as has BMI).
  • JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
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    So... how much did the people in the article spend on their Amex cards over what period of time?

    Because something tells me that this is going to be well out of the reach of most people.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    I save them for internal flights on my S America trips, I recently booked a return flight for £11.50 and 9000 avios, cash price £276, no other airline on the route.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    So... how much did the people in the article spend on their Amex cards over what period of time?

    Because something tells me that this is going to be well out of the reach of most people.

    I looked it up. Even on Amex's premium BA card, they would be earning 1.5 Avios per full pound of spend. Thus, at least, they spent £133k on the card in order to get their flights. At most, £200k. That's over eight times the average yearly salary. It's still a good rate of return (about 7.4%), but it's hardly typical or even achievable for 99% of people.

    So in other words, the sort of people who can afford to spend £200k over a few years and are therefore much better off than the average can get free-ish flights. Pardon me if I don't get too cheerful about how savvy they are.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    .... Thus, at least, they spent £133k on the card in order to get their flights. ... That's over eight times the average yearly salary....it's hardly typical or even achievable for 99% of people....

    Sounds like a classic MSE non news story.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • GangaGanga Forumite
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    I looked it up. Even on Amex's premium BA card, they would be earning 1.5 Avios per full pound of spend. Thus, at least, they spent £133k on the card in order to get their flights. At most, £200k. That's over eight times the average yearly salary. It's still a good rate of return (about 7.4%), but it's hardly typical or even achievable for 99% of people.

    So in other words, the sort of people who can afford to spend £200k over a few years and are therefore much better off than the average can get free-ish flights. Pardon me if I don't get too cheerful about how savvy they are.

    I think it said they bought a new car and new windows for their home as well as general spending on food and fuel,as you state not avarage spending for the man in the street ( well not in my street! ):rotfl:
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
  • edited 21 February 2017 at 8:39AM
    blindmanblindman Forumite
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    edited 21 February 2017 at 8:39AM
    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    I looked it up. Even on Amex's premium BA card, they would be earning 1.5 Avios per full pound of spend. Thus, at least, they spent £133k on the card in order to get their flights. At most, £200k. That's over eight times the average yearly salary. It's still a good rate of return (about 7.4%), but it's hardly typical or even achievable for 99% of people.

    So in other words, the sort of people who can afford to spend £200k over a few years and are therefore much better off than the average can get free-ish flights. Pardon me if I don't get too cheerful about how savvy they are.

    it doesn't say so in their article but in the MSE one it mentions how to Burn and churn various credit cards to get sign up bonuses.

    This IMHO is the only way to collect AVIOS quickly and doesn't need an overly extravagant spend.

    Amex Platinum charge card is the best (funnily not mentioned in the article) despite the huge £450 fee if you can churn quickly.

    I've just closed mine after 2 months-hit the £2K spend-got 32000 reward points that I can convert to lots of programs (Chose Avios this time).

    Got a £394 refund of the fee and as I applied through Quidco am waiting for the £38 cashback so effectively cost me £16 :)
    I also used the Priority pass that came with it for Lounge access in Norway and also the Car Hire insurance cover.

    Just before I closed it I referred Mrs B-She gets 32000 and I got 18000.
    So for my £16 I got 50000 points, two airline lounge stays and car excess insurance for 5 days :)


    I agree with Richardw though-a Non story
  • JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
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    Ganga wrote: »
    I think it said they bought a new car and new windows for their home as well as general spending on food and fuel,as you state not avarage spending for the man in the street ( well not in my street! ):rotfl:

    Well done to them finding a car dealership willing to pay Amex's interchange fees! :rotfl:
    it doesn't say so in their article but in the MSE one it mentions how to Burn and churn various credit cards to get sign up bonuses.

    This IMHO is the only way to collect AVIOS quickly and doesn't need an overly extravagant spend.

    Amex Platinum charge card is the best (funnily not mentioned in the article) despite the huge £450 fee.

    Unfortunately the article doesn't really specify that they burned and churned at all - the most we got is that they spent money on the cards to get their flights. I'm going to assume that they're just obscenely wealthy (or repeatedly consolidating debt...?) until proven otherwise.

    Jesus wept the main site of this place is crap sometimes.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • malkie76malkie76 Forumite
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    Well done to them finding a car dealership willing to pay Amex's interchange fees! :rotfl:



    Unfortunately the article doesn't really specify that they burned and churned at all - the most we got is that they spent money on the cards to get their flights. I'm going to assume that they're just obscenely wealthy (or repeatedly consolidating debt...?) until proven otherwise.

    Jesus wept the main site of this place is crap sometimes.

    The article does state they earn Avios via actually flying, and a host of other well known conversions. I very much doubt the majority of their Avois came from AMEX spend.

    However, a common approach is to put business spend on your personal AMEX, and have it reimbursed by your employer or client (assuming they are happy to operate in that way).

    The majority of my avois come from flying, and the bonuses which come from flying with status in premium cabins. I do hold a PP AMEX which has been great for 2-4-1s over the years.
    Legal team on standby
  • GangaGanga Forumite
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    arran applied for a British Airways Amex Premium Plus credit card a few years ago. It comes with a pretty hefty annual fee but allows you to earn points as you spend, and more when spending with BA (see full details below). He used it for normal everyday spending and big purchases such as a new car and windows for his home - in about 18 months he collected just under half of the 200,000 points.
    malkie76 wrote: »
    The article does state they earn Avios via actually flying, and a host of other well known conversions. I very much doubt the majority of their Avois came from AMEX spend.

    However, a common approach is to put business spend on your personal AMEX, and have it reimbursed by your employer or client (assuming they are happy to operate in that way).

    The majority of my avois come from flying, and the bonuses which come from flying with status in premium cabins. I do hold a PP AMEX which has been great for 2-4-1s over the years.

    Have tried to highlite part of the original where it says he bought a car and windows
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
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