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Our aim at InsideFlyer is clear: we want you to travel better for less. However, that “mission statement” encompasses an enormous range of possible subject and, of course, our readership is equally diverse in its knowledge and experience.
With that in mind, it’s very important not to forget that not only is not everyone out there a travel expert, a lot of our readers will be total novices. That’s fine, and we are here for you! Accordingly, when I received an email yesterday from the excellent Heathrow Rewards loyalty scheme, telling me that they were “surprised to learn that 32% of our members didn’t know they could earn points at Heathrow’s bars and restaurants“, I thought to myself – and how many people in general knew you could earn points at all at Heathrow airport?
So, as a basic guide to the Heathrow Rewards loyalty scheme, this post is unashamedly aimed at the novice “value traveller”: someone who is looking to boost their stash of airline miles and points but is a bit clueless as to how best to do it.
With its 1 point per £1 spend pretty much everywhere at Heathrow airport (including on the Heathrow Express train), the ability to convert those points to airline miles on a 1:1 basis, and indeed regular bonuses on such conversions, Heathrow Rewards is a fantastically easy way to boost any airline points balance.
So how does it work?
Heathrow Rewards is extremely easy to sign up to and earn points with. Registration is here, and once you’re a member, you will earn Heathrow Rewards points as follows:
- 1 point per £1 spent at shops, bars, restaurants, cafés, Heathrow Parking and Heathrow Express.
- 1 point per £10 spent at Heathrow airport bureaux de change.
You’ll also get 100 bonus points when you reach 250 standard points.
Interestingly, Heathrow Rewards is offering a sign-up bonus of up to 2,500 points if you sign up via this link and meet the spend requirements: 2,500 bonus Heathrow Rewards points will be awarded you spend £150+ in a single day, or 1,000 bonus Heathrow Rewards points will be awarded when you spend £75+ in a single day, in both cases before 31 December, 2016.
One of the great things about Heathrow Rewards is just how easy it is to claim points if you forget your card too. You simply send an email attaching your receipts to email@example.com and, provided the receipt is less than 3 months old, they’ll add the points without fuss.
Premium membership starts as soon as you reach 500 standard points in any calendar year (you’ll also get another 100 points bonus), continues throughout the following year and for every subsequent year if you continue to collect 500 standard points per year.
Heathrow Rewards points can be redeemed for airline miles with the following programmes on a 1:1 basis:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Lufthansa Miles&More
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
However, the 1:1 rate is boosted by regular transfer bonuses, with 100% bonuses on transfers from Heathrow Rewards to airline miles appearing pretty regularly.
It’s also important not to forget your options outside of simply transferring Heathrow Rewards points to airline miles. In addition to the transfers noted above, the following transfer options are available:
- Airport shopping vouchers (at certain shops these are “instant” via your card, rather than you needing to convert to a voucher): 500 points = £5 voucher
- Heathrow Parking: 500 points = £10 voucher
- Heathrow Express: 500 points = £5 reward value
In particular in the absence of any available bonus on transfers to airline miles, these additional options should be given some serious thought, otherwise you are effectively “paying” 1 pence per airline mile (because that transfer of 250 Heathrow Rewards points to airline miles would otherwise have netted you a £2.50 Heathrow airport voucher).
Your points balance is valid for 3 years from the date of your last transaction. What this means is that all your points will refresh to a further 3 years’ validity when you earn a point (or more) with Heathrow Rewards.
Buying and transferring points
You cannot buy Heathrow Rewards points, but you can transfer them to another member’s account by contacting them. There is a limit of 4 transfers per member per year.
Heathrow Rewards is a really straightforward, well-run scheme that allows you to earn some easy, free airline miles (or vouchers) on your Heathrow airport spend. While you’re unlikely to rack up vast amounts of points from it, it’s a great example of a simple way to add to your airline mile balances, on “everyday travel spend”.
If you can combine this very straightforward way of earning Heathrow Rewards points with a sign-up bonus (when you join), or a redemption bonus (when you redeem your points for, for example, miles) then Heathrow Rewards can be a surprisingly useful tool for the “value traveller”.