Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Credit cards with frequent flyer reward points
Among the various different types of credit card available are those that reward spending with points that can be redeemed on international flights as well as other benefits like hotel rooms.
If you can be sure you’ll keep up with monthly repayments, and that you’ll spend enough each month to take advantage of the associated reward schemes then one of these cards could be perfect for you.
In This Guide:
- How do frequent flyer reward points work?
- Virgin flying club miles
- Other kinds of reward cards
How do frequent flyer reward points work?
There are two main frequent flyer reward card schemes available in the UK:
- Avios (previously known as Airmiles), and
- Virgin Flying Club Miles
Both of these schemes work in similar ways – you earn points for money spent on the card which you can then redeem in return for flights, as well as various other benefits like upgrades on existing flights or ‘companion vouchers’, allowing you to take a friend with you on any flight you book using your reward points.
These kinds of reward card tend to come with relatively high annual percentage rates (APR), meaning that if you do fail to keep up with monthly payments, you can expect to pay quite a lot in interest.
If your priority is lower interest rates then you’d be better off with a low APR credit card or one with 0% on purchases. If, however, you’re confident in your ability to pay off your balance each month, then read on to find out how you could benefit from a frequent flyer reward credit card.
Previously known as Airmiles, Avios points are available on a variety of cards and can be redeemed on flights from the following airlines:
- Air Malta
- British Airways
According to British Airways’ estimates, you’ll need around 9-15,000 Avios points in order to get return flights to more or less anywhere in Europe. 20-30,000+ Avios points will get you return flights to most destinations outside of Europe served by the above airlines.
One of the most popular and best credit cards that can earn you Avios points is the Avios British Airways American Express Card that comes with a credit limit of £1,200 and a representative variable APR of 15.9%.
This card will earn you 1 Avios point for every £1 you spend and you will earn a further 3,000 points if you spend £500 within three months of owning the card.
You will also be rewarded with a companion voucher redeemable on any flight you claim with your reward points if you spend £20,000 on the card within a year.
Other benefits include access to the British Airways Executive Club, which offers various perks like priority boarding when you fly.
In order to qualify for the Avios British Airways American Express Card you’ll need an income of at least £20,000 a year and a good credit rating.
Virgin flying club miles
Virgin Flying Club Miles are redeemable on flights with Virgin Atlantic only, and will get you to destinations like Hong Kong, Dubai and the USA, as well as various other cities around the world, although they do not currently offer flights to destinations within Europe.
One of the most popular accounts offering these reward points is the Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card account, with a representative variable APR of 17.9% and a credit limit of £1,200.
When you open up this account, you’ll receive two cards: one provided by Visa and one by American Express.
You’ll earn 1 Virgin Flying Club Mile per £2 spent using the Visa card, or for £1 spent on the American Express card, although all points earned will end up in the same account. You’ll earn a bonus of 3,000 Virgin Flying Club Miles if you make any purchase within the first 90 days of the account being opened.
You’ll also earn a companion voucher if you spend £15,000 a year on the American Express card.
These points work in much the same way as Avios points, offering similar benefits.
Other kinds of reward cards
As well as those offering frequent flyer points, there other reward based credit cards available offering perks like cash back. If you don’t think you’ll take full advantage of the flight based rewards, then one of these other reward credit cards might be for you.
Compare reward based credit cards of any kind with Money Expert to see what kind of rates and bonuses you could be enjoying. Our credit card comparison service is free and easy to use so don’t waste time, compare today and you could start borrowing and being rewarded for every pound you spend right away.