How to fly Business Class for less than £500

How to fly Business Class for less than £500

How to fly Business Class for less than £500!!!

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I’d heard the term ‘air miles’ before but never paid any attention to it, thinking it was merely for old business men who travelled a lot. But one day en route to work, my ears suddenly perked up listening to a Podcast about a guy who became an air mile millionaire ( having over 100000 air miles) and travelling the globe for free – almost! Maybe it was the cold weather and me dreaming of a hot sunny beach somewhere afar, but I really began to listen.

How to fly Business Class for less than £500

British Airways Club World

First of all what are Air Miles?

Air miles, according to the dictionary are points equivalent to miles of free air travel, accumulated by buyers of airline tickets and other products and redeemable against the cost of air travel with a particular airline.

I went home and told Janine all about it and told her that we were going to travel somewhere for free in the near future! The guy on the Podcast I was listening to (Zero to Travel) described in detail how he earned all his airmiles, how he makes a living out of doing this and how many air miles you needed to go to x, y and z countries. On the podcast it mentioned many different ways to earn and spend the air miles.

But just as I started to conjure up the many ways I could rack up the miles, he started to describe which credit cards he used and what amazing benefits came with them, that’s when I realised I had a problem. He was American, and none of this game changing information I had just acquired was applicable to me.

How to fly Business Class for less than £500

So being from the UK, I started trying to find information about the equivalent UK scheme. There wasn’t much out there in terms of information but I did come across an amazing website headforpoints. This is when the fun started! On the website it breaks down what credit cards get you the best deals – I was hooked!

I also read that if you have a credit card and you don’t get rewarded for using it, then you need to cut it up ASAP! This is very true, why spend if there’s nothing in it for you? So go ahead and rip them up! You’ll soon be thanking me and booking flights for free – almost!

How to fly Business Class for less than £500!!!

So heres what I learnt and what you need to know about Air Miles and how it can benefit you.

There are two main air mile schemes in the UK to avail of;

Avios – British Airways

Flying Club – Virgin Atlantic

For every one pound you spend you receive one air mile. It’s very simple! Take a look below showing you how many air miles you would need to fly from UK to particular destinations.

London – New York  (Off Peak = 26,000 + Taxes)  Peak Season = 40,000 + taxes

London – Nice, France (Off Peak = 8,000 + Taxes) Peak Season = 9000 + taxes

However there are many ways to speed the process up and accrue many miles. You don’t need to spend 40,000 pounds to have 40,000 airmiles and travel to New York.

This is where it gets interesting!!

Here are many ways to get the air miles quickly and in bulk.

1.Credit Cards

Credit Cards are a great way for earning many air miles as the majority of them have sign up bonuses when you make a particular spend, usually over 1-3 months. However they do have high interest rates so they must be paid off in full each month for them to be considered worthwhile.

I usually apply for a few every 3 months and it doesn’t have that much of an effect on your credit score, it actually improved mine! But it is important to apply for more than one on the same day so that all the credit checks are being completed on the same day.

Here are some examples to get you started.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You receive 20,000 Membership Reward Points that can be converted to Avios or Flying Club miles + £140 annual fee is wavered in first year.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

You receive 25,000 Sign up Avios Points. Annual fee is £195.

British Airways American Express

Sign up Avios bonus of 9,000 points.

Virgin Atlantic Black & White American Express & Visa

Free White card – 10,000 Sign up bonus. Black Card – 25,000 bonus, annual fee is £140

American Express Platinum

30,000 Membership Rewards Points than can be converted into Avios or Flying Clum Miles. £450 annual fee but receive a pro-rata refund when you cancel card and still receive the rewards.

Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express & Mastercard

No sign up rewards, but if I refer you, you will receive 4,500 avios. Annual fee is £24. This is a great card as there is no transaction fees when spending abroad and when you spend more than £7000 in one year you get a free reward flight upgrade by one class.

Obviously there are terms and conditions associated with all these cards and most require spends of a particular amount to reach the rewards bonuses, so read them carefully!

Email me at to get a referral link and earn even more miles when applying for the credit cards.

2.Online Shopping Portals

If you love online shopping, or have a wife who loves online shopping (as I do in my case) then this is perfect for you to gain extra air miles. The reason they are so good is because they have lots of rewards. Particular stores online offer deals, such as 4 or 6 air miles per 1 pound spent, going right up to 12 air miles per pound??? (check this out).
For example I recently bought a bike online and got it delivered to my local bike shop.

I could have went straight into the store and bought the bike outright using my debit card. But then I’d get zero rewards! Instead I found a bike store on British Airways online shopping portal (365gate), where the deal was 8 air miles per every 1 pound spent.Therefore I received 4400 air miles which equates to a one way flight to Europe. So for purchasing something I was going to purchase anyway, I bagged a free flight to Europe as well. There are hundreds of online stores and deals to choose from, you just have to change the way you spend!

3.Hotel Stays

Hotel bookings are another way to rack up the milage quickly. Look out for deals on, I booked a hotel last year to the Philippines for one week and received 15,000 air miles for a one week stay! You literally earn miles while you sleep! This was also via British Airways website.

4.Care Hire

Booking rental cars through your membership can also equate to points. So next hire car you’re booking, make sure and book it through the correct portal and earn points when you drive!

Collecting Air Miles is not an excuse to spend unwisely though. Only use the credit cards for everyday spending or things that you can afford and pay the card off immediately.

There are extra bonuses with particular credit cards too 🙂

For example, The BA Premium Amex gives you a companion ticket, valid for 2 years if you spend 10,000 over the course of one year. This means that every time you use your air miles to book a flight, your other half gets the flight for free (both are subject to tax).

How to fly Business Class for less than £500

How to fly Business Class for less than £500!!!

This year we had a major event in our lives which was our wedding.  If you’ve recently got married or are planning to you will agree that you spend a lot of cash planning for and leading up to a wedding.  Weather it’s dresses, shoes, suits, flowers, cars, hotels, flights, food, venues, etc etc  oh and don’t forget the honeymoon!   The great thing about spending such large amounts of money is that you can avail of the bonus miles from credit card companies on all your spending.

Getting married soon??  Spend Big ~ Gain Big!!

This goes for all other major events you may have coming up as well as everyday spending.  Think smarter, spend smarter and get free air miles to plan your next “free” trip!

How to fly Business Class for less than £500

So with all that information you’ve just acquired….

How did we manage to book Business Class seats with BA from Belfast – Seoul!?!?

Here’s the breakdown…

With the wedding spends and 8 credit cards later, we managed to save 75,000 air miles.

The flights I looked at on August 31st were considered OFF-PEAK, which meant I didn’t need as many air miles if you booked in PEAK Season. The amount of air miles needed for business class seats was 150,000 one way for 2 people, plus the tax.

But because I had earned a free companion ticket (Spending £10,000 per year) with British Airways American Express Premium Plus card, it meant that Janine didn’t have to pay any air miles. Meaning this figure was halved immediately to 75,000 air miles instead of 150,000.

Lucky for us we only needed 75,000 air miles to fly Business Class from Belfast to Seoul, with a stop over in London Heathrow.

We used all of our air miles plus £400 tax per person, costing us a total of £800 to fly long haul Business Class to Seoul from Belfast, UK.

I priced this particular flight the week before we boarded and it was £5000 per person.

They say you’ve moved up in the world once you turn left on an air plane…..I hope this includes bagging cheap business class flights through airline air miles too!!  Get saving your air miles today and you’ll soon be taking advantage of all the great rewards for simple everyday spending- it’s a no brainer!

Flying Business Class is definitely an experience you do not want to miss out on!

Any questions or info, drop us a line at

Happy Flying!!

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Flying Business Class


Janine & Janice | Irish Travel Bloggers | Portugal Based Work Smart | Travel Often | Explore More Two Ladies on a mission to life an Unconventional Life, full of Love & Adventure.

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