If you’re saving up for a trip have you thought about using reward credit cards? They can be very useful – as long as (listen up, this is very important) you always do this:
Pay the balance in full every month so that you don’t incur any interest charges.
TSB have commissioned me to write this post about reward cards, including their Avios Credit Card. Reward card providers make money both from the interest which they charge the cardholders and from the retailers who accept payments with the cards. Some credit cards offer you cash back on your spending and others offer points such as Avios. Avios replaced the Airmiles scheme in 2011. Avios are points which you collect as you spend and which you can then use towards flights with British Airways, Air Malta, Aurigny, Flybe, Iberia and Monarch. Taxes and charges still need to be paid using actual money and you can also use Avios for things like hotels and Eurostar tickets.
My husband travels a lot for business. The only good thing about this for me and for the kids is that he amasses Avios which we can then use for family trips. We used Avios for our flights to Athens last year and also for our flights to Florida the year before – although we did have to divide the family between two planes for that trip because there were only two Avios seats available per BA flight to the US. When we look at using our Avios I always compare the cost of the taxes and other charges for Avios flights to the cost of flying with a budget airline – sometimes the latter option is actually better.
As long as you pay your credit reward card balance off every month you won’t pay any interest but you will still receive the relevant rewards for your spending. Once you have a rewards card it’s good to use it for all of your day-to-day spending to maximise the rewards which you can earn.
Choosing a reward card
If you want to sign up for a card like this it’s worth shopping around to find the one which suits you best. Some cards charge a fee so you need to work out whether or not the rewards you will receive on your spending are worth paying the fee for. Also think about whether or not the rewards you’re collecting are useful to you – there’s no point collecting Avios, for example, if you’re not planning to travel anywhere.
Here are just a few of the credit cards on offer in the UK with rewards which can be used for travel. The details are correct at the time of writing.
- TSB Avios American Express Credit Card – This card has no annual fee and gives you one Avios on nearly every £1 which you spend.
- BA American Express Credit Card – This card has no annual fee and offers one Avios for virtually every £1 which you spend. There’s a 3,000 Avios welcome bonus for new cardholders.
- Virgin Atlantic American Express Credit Card – There’s no annual fee for this card and you’ll receive one Virgin Flying Club mile for every £1 spent.
If you shop at Tesco you can also use your Tesco Clubcard points to buy vouchers for Avios, Virgin Flying Club miles or Monarch flight tokens.
Do you use reward cards to earn points which you can use for travelling?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by TSB.