Want to travel to all your favourite destinations more frequently? Or perhaps you prefer to travel in business or first class? Whichever your travel style is, having tons of British Airways Avios will get you there faster and without breaking the bank!

In this blog post, I lay out a strategy for you on how to build massive amount of British Airways Avios within a one year time period.

Step 1: Know how your credit score works

If you’re afraid to apply for multiple credit cards, it might be because you are not sure how your credit score works. Don’t worry, I got you covered! Read this article first to get a full understand of how your credit score works. Here is a summarized breakdown of how your credit score is calculated:

  • Payment History 35% – Are you paying your bills on time?
  • Credit Utilization 30% – Are you using more than 30% of your available credit? If so, your credit score may decrease as a result.
  • Length of Credit History – 15% – Average age of your accounts.
  • New Credit 10% – When you apply for a new credit card or other form of loans.
  • Type of Credit Used 10% – Are you using a variety of credit?

As you can see from the list above, applying for a new credit only affects 10% of your credit score. And, if you are utilizing payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and type of credit used properly, you can actually expect your credit score to go up!

Step 2: Start applying for credit cards

Disclaimer: Some of the links below contain referral links where I will earn referral bonus points should you decide to use them. Some of the referral links below contain extra welcome bonus points not found on the American Express main website. If you decide to use them, it will be a win-win situation for us: extra bonus points for you and referral bonus points for me. 

No annual fee for the first year credit cards

American Express Gold (Perkopolis) – 25,000 AMEX points transferable to British Airways Avios 1:1. During the annual promotional period, you can get 25% more points when you transfer your AMEX points to British Airways Avios. This means you can earn a total of 31,250 Avios. Use the RSVP code: AMEXPERK14. Link to the card is available here. Minimum spend requirements is $500 within the first 90 days of being approved.

 

British Airways Avios

 

American Express Business Gold – 40,000 AMEX points using this special referral link (normally 30,000 points on the main American Express website). Points are transferable to British Airways Avios 1:1. During the annual promotional period, you can get 25% more points when you transfer your AMEX points to British Airways Avios. This means you can earn a total of 50,000 Avios. Minimum spend requirements is $5000 within the first 90 days of being approved.

 

British Airways Avios

 

RBC Avion – 25,000 Avion Points. First year annual fee waived. Transferable to British Airways Avios 1:1; however, during promotional period, you can get anywhere between 30-50% transfer bonus points. This means you can potentially earn 32,500-37,500 British Airways Avios.

 

British Airways Avios

 

Despite the annual fee, you will earn a massive amounts of signup bonus with these cards below

American Express Platinum – 60,000 AMEX points using this special referral link (normally 50,000 points on the main American Express website). Points are transferable to British Airways Avios 1:1. During the annual promotional period, you can get 25% more points when you transfer your AMEX points to British Airways Avios. This means you can earn a total of 75,000 Avios. Minimum spend requirements is $3000 within the first 90 days of being approved. The annual fee is $699; however, if you use the $200 travel credit (replenishes every January 1st), then you can reduce the annual fee by $400. This makes your annual fee $299.

 

British Airways Avios

 

American Express Business Platinum – 75,000 AMEX points using this special referral link (normally 40,000 points on the main American Express website). Points are transferable to British Airways Avios 1:1. During the annual promotional period, you can get 25% more points when you transfer your AMEX points to British Airways Avios. This means you can earn a total of 93,750 Avios. Minimum spend requirements is $5000 within the first 90 days of being approved. The annual fee is $499.

 

British Airways Avios

 

RBC British Airways VISA –  Earn 15,000 signup bonus. Hit the minimum spend requirements of $5000 within the first 60 days of being approved to earn an additional 25,000 British Airways Avios. Finally, earn another 10,000 British Airways Avios when you renew your card after the first year (apparently, they pro-rate annual fee if you decide to cancel the card on your second year). The annual fee is $165.

 

British Airways Avios

Annual fee and points transferable to British Airways Avios

American Express Starwood – 20,000 Starpoints earned after meeting the minimum spend of $1,500 within the first 90 days of being approved. You will earn 25% bonus points transfer to British Airways Avios if you transfer at 20,000 Starpoints increment. $120 annual fee. If it’s your first time getting the card, I highly recommend applying with Great Canadian Rebates so you can get a $30 cash back rebate. However, if it is your second time getting the card, then use this link instead. (Feel free to email me why that is)

 

British Airways Avios

 

American Express Starwood Business – 20,000 Starpoints earned after meeting the minimum spend of $1,500 within the first 90 days of being approved. You will earn 25% bonus points transfer to British Airways Avios if you transfer at 20,000 Starpoints increment. $150 annual fee.

 

British Airways Avios

 

American Express Cobalt – 30,000 Cobalt points (2,500 Cobalt points earned every month after spending $500) which is transferable to Starwood at 2:1 ratio. The annual fee is $10 a month ($120 total for the entire year). Signup with Great Canadian Rebates and get $50 of the annual fee back. After transferring your points to Starwood, you can then transfer your points to British Airways Avios.

 

British Airways Avios

 

Strategy: Pool together your Starwood points from the Personal Starwood card, Business Starwood card, and Cobalt card then do one big points transfer to British Airways Avios.

You can maximize your points transfer and earn 68,750 British Airways Avios ( (20,000 Starpoints + 20,000 Starpoints + 15,000 Starpoints) x 1.25 = 68,750 British Airways Avios)

Total British Airways Avios earned if you get all the cards above and transfer your AMEX points during promotional periods:

AMEX Gold Perkopolis – 31,250 British Airways Avios

+

AMEX Business Gold – 50,000 British Airways Avios

+

RBC Avion VISA – 32,500-37,500 (during promotional period) British Airways Avios

+

AMEX Platinum – 75,000 British Airways Avios

+

RBC British Airways VISA – 50,000 British Airways Avios

+

AMEX Business Platinum – 93,750 British Airways Avios

+

AMEX Starwood + AMEX Starwood Business + AMEX Cobalt – 68,750 British Airways Avios

=

401,250 British Airways Avios

+

British Airways Avios earned from hitting the minimum spend – 27,500 British Airways Avios

=

428,750 British Airways Avios

Total annual fee paid if you get all the card – $1,323 (roughly the cost of one round-trip international flight)

How to hit minimum spend requirements

The best way to hit the minimum spend requirements is to pay your upcoming expenses ahead of time. Here are some examples:

  • Lump sum pay your car insurance for one year
  • Buy grocery gift cards
  • Lump sum pay your MSP for one year
  • Buy prepaid gas gift cards
  • Pay your taxes
  • Lump sum pay for your gym membership

You can also use pre-paid credit cards to hit your minimum spend requirements. Beware, use at your own risk. My girlfriend tried doing this method and it was a painful process to get her money out of the pre-paid cards. Use at your own risk. This was back in 2015 and what we did was we went to 7-11 and purchased several MyVanilla prepaid Mastercards. We loaded the cards using her American Express Business credit card. So far so good and she was able to hit her minimum spend requirements. However, unloading the money out of the prepaid MyVanilla cards turned out to be a nightmare. It took several long phone calls with MyVanilla reps until my girlfriend finally managed to get her money out of those cards. I would personally not use this route but it’s definitely a viable option. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Here are some services that allow you to pay bills that you normally cannot pay with a credit card:

Unusual ways to hit minimum spend requirements:

  • Invest in Kiva loans
  • Buying cryptocurrency

Finally, when you are eating out with friends and family, offer to pay for the bill with your credit card and just have everyone give you cash.

Verdict

If you like the British Airways Avios program, then I highly recommend you follow the strategy above to maximize your miles earnings. However, from my own personal experience, I still prefer Aeroplan Miles (read this article on how to earn 300,000+ Aeroplan Miles in one year) above Avios. Mainly, this is because I find that Aeroplan has more routing availability.

Where British Airways Avios shines is in South America, Australia or Asia. South America has very expensive international flights between their neighbouring countries. With that being said, if you redeem Avios miles in South America, LATAM airline does a very good job flying you between South American countries for very cheap. Just make sure you book ahead of time because Avios is not very good for last minute bookings.

I also found Qantas in Australia and Cathay Dragon in Asia to be quite reliable at flying between countries.

And of course, British Airways Avios is a distance based frequent flyer program making it a great choice for flying short distances.

In future articles, I will go into detail on how to book your British Airways miles. Stay tuned for that.

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