15 Lesser Known Ways to Collect Avios / Miles: Beginner’s Guide To Traveling Better For Less

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15 Lesser Known Ways to Collect Avios / Virgin Flying Club Miles

This is part of a series of simple, practical posts designed to help beginners travel better for less by using Airline Miles and Hotel Points

Travel Better For Less: Introduction

Earn Avios / Virgin Flying Club Miles With Tesco Clubcard

12,000+ Avios / Virgin Flying Club Miles With TopCashback

3,350+ Free Avios / Virgin Flying Club Miles


Putting aside credit card sign-up offers (which I will be writing about soon), most people will usually get the majority of their Avios and Virgin Flying Club Miles from the methods already covered in this series, but there are other ways too!

I explained in the last post how you can collect Avios into a British Airways Executive Club (BAEC) account and into an avios.com account, which gives you more opportunities to earn Avios. Now it’s time to mention the third and final type of account that you can collect Avios with: Iberia Plus.

iberia plus sale

Iberia Plus is the loyalty programme for British Airway’s spanish sister airline, Iberia. Both airlines are owned by parent company IAG, and both use Avios as their loyalty currency.

You can sign up for an Iberia Plus account on this page.

It is possible to transfer Avios between Iberia Plus, avios.com and BAEC, but your Iberia account must be at least 90 days old. Also, it is worth pointing out that if you want to transfer Avios from BAEC or avios.com into your Iberia Plus account, you must have first collected at least one Avios in your Iberia Plus account. There is no similar restriction for transferring  from your Iberia Plus account.

The reason I mention Iberia Plus now is because it opens up even more ways to collect Avios.

This list below is by no means exhaustive (I seem to come across new ways to earn Avios / Virgin FC Miles all the time!), but should provide a good overview of the sorts opportunities available.

  1. Shopping Portals

BAEC, avios.com, Iberia Plus, and Virgin Flying Club all offer their own online shopping portals. These work just like the cashback sites TopCashback and Quidco that I wrote about earlier in this series, but allow you to collect Avios or Flying Club Miles rather than cash.

ba e store gate 365

Most of the time you will be better off going through TopCashback instead and transferring your credit to Tesco Clubcard or even directly to Avios if you have used up your £50.00 transfer allowance. There are times though when one of the airline portals has the best offer, or where a retailer isn’t available on TopCashback, so it’s definitely worth checking.

      2. Other Shopping

chic outlet shopping


Chic Outlet Shopping – Outlet Stores: 1.25 Avios per £1.00

Love Theatre – Theatre Tickets: 3 Avios per £1.00 (500 bonus Avios on first purchase over £50.00 too)

British Airways Executive Club:

Chic Outlet Shopping – Outlet Stores: 1.25 Avios per £1.00

Love Theatre – Theatre Tickets: 3 Avios per £1.00 (500 bonus Avios on first purchase over £50.00 too)

High Life – pre-order duty free: 2 Avios per £1.00

Iberia Plus:

Tienda a Bordo – 15 Avios for every 12 Euros spent onboard international Iberia flights

Osborne Shop – Spanish hams, wine etc: 10 Avios per Euro

Virgin Flying Club: love theatre

Chic Outlet Shopping – Outlet stores: 1 Virgin FC Mile per £1.00

Retail Therapy – Pre-order duty free: 4 Virgin FC Miles per £1.00

Love Theatre – Theatre tickets: 2 Virgin FC Miles per £1.00

        3. Heathrow Rewards

I briefly mentioned Heathrow Rewards earlier in this series. Essentially, you can earn 1 Rewards Point for every £1.00 you spend at the shops/bars/restaurants at Heathrow Airport. Those Rewards Points can then be transferred to Avios or Virgin FC Miles (or to Etihad, Emirates of Lufthansa Miles) at a 1:1 rate. If you’re going to buy Duty Free goods anyway, why not collect Avios / Miles for it?  Get 100 Rewards Points just for signing up.

        4. Holidays

The avios.com options here can be a great way to collect Avios. I booked a cruise with them a couple of years ago (when the earning rate was a more generous 10 Avios per £1.00) – the price was as good as anywhere else and the service was excellent.

Avios Holidays – they can book packages with a large range of partners – everything from Airtours and Butlins to Cox & Kings and ITC Luxury Travel: 5 Avios per £1.00

cunardAvios Cruises – excellent range of partners (Cunard, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Silversea etc) : 5 Avios per £1.00

British Airways Holidays – 2 Avios per £1.00

Virgin Holidays – 1 FC Mile per £1.00

       5. Currency Conversion

BAEC ‘Multi-currency Passport’ – 1 Avios per £1.00 loaded to card

avios.com ‘Multi-currency Passport’ – 1 Avios per £1.00 loaded to card

Virgin Flying Club Foreign Exchange – 1 FC Mile per £1.00 exchanged

       6. Airport Parking

BAEC Airport Parking – 5 Avios per £1.00

avios.com Airport Parking 5 Avios per £1.00

Virgin Flying Club – ‘Purple Parking’: 250-850 FC Miles

No1 Traveller Lounge
No1 Traveller Lounge Birmingham Airport

     7. Lounge Access

avios.com – No.1 Traveller Lounges – discounted rates (from £20.00) and get 500-750 Avios per visit.

Virgin Flying Club – No.1 Traveller Lounge, £22.50 and get 250 FC Miles per visit

      8. Transport


Heathrow Express – 100-200 Avios per Single ticket

TrainGenius – book train tickets: 2 Avios per £1.00

Direct Ferries – book form over 130 ferry companies: 4 Avios per £1.00

Tristar Chauffeur Service – 2 Avios per £1.00


Hailo Taxis – 1 Avios per £1.00 + 100 bonus for Airport transfers (1,000 Avios bonus for first journey before end of March 2016)

Virgin Flying Club:virgin trains

Virgin Trains – 2 FC Miles per £1.00 

Tristar Chauffeur Service – 2 FC Miles per £1.00

      9. Wine

Laithwaites through avios.com: 1,000 Avios on first case, 250 after

Laithwaites through BAEC1,000 Avios on first case, 250 after

Virgin Wine: 3,000 FC Miles on first order, 750 after

     10. Utilities

avios.com Utility Warehouse – up to 2,250 Avios

     11. Magazine Subscriptions

BAEC – Business Traveller Magazine400-2,000 Avios The Economist

Iberia Plus – The Economist4,000 Avios

Virgin Flying Club – Business Traveler Magazine400-2,000 Avios

    12. Travel Insurance

avios.com – 5 Avios per £1.00

    13. Car Hire


Avis – 3 Avios per £1.00


Avis – 3 Avios per £1.00, 500 Avios minimum

Iberia Plus:avis2

Budget – 250 Avios per day

Avis – 3 Avios per £1.00, 500 minimum

Virgin Flying Club:

Alamo – 1,000 FC Miles per rental

Sixt – 500 FC Miles per rental

Avis – 500 FC Miles per rental (1,000 FC Miles for rentals of 7+ days)

Hertz – 1,000 FC Miles per rental

     14. Motoring

Shell Petrol – 10-20 Avios per 20 litres SHELLdriversclub

RAC Cover – 1,500-4,500 Avios depending on level of cover

Zip Car  – 2,000 Avios for signing up and 50 Avios per booking

     15. Hotel Stays

There is a huge variety of options available here, but in most cases you will usually be better off collecting Hotel Points in the hotel group’s own loyalty programme, so I’m just going to provide the links rather than go into detail. If you find yourself staying at a lesser known chain it would definitely make sense to see if they are listed as a partner on any of the pages below.

St. Ermin's Hotel, London - Marriott Autograph Collection
St. Ermin’s Hotel, London – Marriott Autograph Collection

Not all the ideas listed above will be useful for everyone of course (and you should always make sure you’re getting the best price for anything, with the Avios/Miles being a genuine bonus on top), but it does highlight just how many ways there at to earn Avios/Miles these days!

If you have any personal favourites that I haven’t covered, please share them in the comments or on the forum!

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