I was delighted to learn today that British Airways Executive Club and Avios.com have both brought back an excellent Heathrow Rewards offer for 2018.
If scaled up, this promotion can be extremely lucrative as I will explain momentarily.
However, before I elaborate on how to get the most out of this offer, here’s a brief explanation of the Heathrow Rewards scheme:
What is Heathrow Rewards?
Heathrow Rewards is a free loyalty scheme that allows you to earn points whenever you “shop, eat, drink or park at Heathrow”. That includes changing currency, parking, duty-free shopping and the Heathrow Express.
How many points will I earn?
Members begin by earning 1 Heathrow Rewards point per £1 spent.
Upon spending £750 in a calendar year, you will receive an upgrade to the Premium tier.
Here is a comparison of the two membership tiers:
How to spend your points
There a variety of ways to spend your Heathrow Rewards points including:
- Airline miles – Transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to airline miles including Aer Club, Avios, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Miles and More and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
- Shopping vouchers – Convert your points into vouchers that you can use to shop at Heathrow. 500 points = £5 shopping voucher
- Heathrow Parking vouchers –Redeem 500 points for a £10 parking voucher.
- Heathrow Express – Exchange 500 points for a £5 discount voucher.
You can find more info & full Heathrow Rewards T&C’s on their website here.
How to earn 3,000 Avios at no ‘cost’
While it’s good to be able to earn 1 Avios per £1 on your duty-free shopping etc, the Heathrow Rewards scheme can and should be far more lucrative.
You will receive 3,000 Heathrow Rewards points (worth 3,000 Avios) when you sign-up to Heathrow Rewards and spend £150 before 31st December 2018.
In order to receive the bonus you need to:
- Make sure you enter the code – BAECAO18 – on the registration page
- Spend £150 in qualifying transactions on a single day before 31st December 2018 (the only major non-qualifying transactions seems to be currency purchases).
Note: There are actually 2 versions of the same bonus that have been launched. You can also access the 3,000 points bonus via this page on the Avios.com website. Simply use code – AVIOSAO18 – instead of the British Airways code above.
Can your bonus be worth even more?
There is also currently a 50% transfer bonus when you convert Heathrow Rewards points to Aer Club, Avios or British Airways Executive Club before the 31st January 2018.
An enhanced 100% bonus is available for Premium members. This improved bonus for Premium members is part of a revamp of the Premium tier for 2018.
Unless you are passing through Heathrow in the next couple of days, the relaunch of the 3,000 points sign-up bonus for 2018 has come slightly too late to take advantage of this particular transfer bonus. But it’s worth being aware that these promotions are offered from time to time.
If you were to convert your points during a 50% bonus period, that makes the sign-up bonus worth 4,500 Avios – a great deal!
How to easily spend £150 at Heathrow
If you are scratching your head wondering what you can possibly buy at Heathrow that will bring you up to the required £150 spend, consider gift cards. WH Smith and other retailers stock numerous gift cards which you can use to bring spending that you would have done anyway, forward slightly.
For example, say you need to buy some items from John Lewis in the next couple of months, simply stock up on John Lewis gift cards while at Heathrow – and have the added benefit of triggering your Heathrow Rewards sign-up bonus.
Purchases made at landside shops also count and if you live/work near Heathrow you could choose to meet the spend requirement that way – I’ve used this option a number of times in the past.
Maximising the deal
It’s worth noting that Heathrow Rewards allows a number of free points transfers between members, with no requirement that they are related/residing at the same address. This means there is nothing to stop you getting a card(s) in your partner/child/parent name and simply transferring the points across.
Additionally, you don’t need to present the physical Heathrow Rewards card at Heathrow. You can download the app/print a paper copy of your card and have the points added that way.
If you forget to present a Heathrow Rewards card at the time of payment you can also send Customer Services with a copy of your receipt(s) and they’ll add them retrospectively. You can do this with receipts that are up to 3 months old. When I’ve done this previously I’ve been very impressed with how quickly these were added.
Intriguingly, transfer bonuses to Avios from other ‘currencies’ such as Amex Membership Rewards, Tesco Clubcard and HSBC Premier Rewards have been few and far between in recent years. Heathrow Rewards, however, have been running fairly regular promotions offering either a 50%/100% bonus – which is a big positive.
This particular sign-up bonus is as good as Heathrow Rewards have ever offered. I will probably trigger at least a couple of these myself this year and then sit on the points waiting for a good transfer bonus to materialise.
Even if Avios or airline miles, in general, aren’t your thing – you should jump on this. 3,000 Heathrow Rewards points are worth £60 in Heathrow Parking vouchers or at least £30 in shopping vouchers.