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phyre
15th January 2008, 14:11
I'd like to use my points to pay for flights but I notice there is

Airmiles
BA miles
Virgin Holidays
Cosmos holidays


Can you just pay for flights or does a hotel need to be included with virgin and cosmos?


Any advice would be great on which is best for miles per points and availability of flights etc.


thank you

Raffles
15th January 2008, 15:37
Unfortunately there is no good answer.

I'm assuming you're looking at going long haul somewhere.

Air Miles is pretty useless - you simply don't get good value for your points compared with paying cash. You'll get, at best, 1.5 x the face value of your Tesco vouchers unless you get very lucky. The upside, of course, is that you can book just a flight.

BA Miles is pretty useless for Economy flights, but excellent value for business class. This is because business class costs just 2 x as many miles as economy but is disproportionately better to fly in, given the fully flat bed. You also need the BA Amex and the '2 for 1' voucher you get when spending ?10,000 to get full benefit from the BA scheme. And, after all that, availability can be very tricky in school holidays unless you book 11 months ahead. And you need to pay the taxes in cash. I'm assuming this isn't great for you.

Virgin and Cosmos require you to book a package - flight and hotel. However ... remember that you get 4 x the face value of your vouchers. You might not want to stay in a specific hotel or spend a fixed 7 / 14 days etc away, but you need to trade off the fact that you are getting an exceptional deal. Remember that you don't actually need to turn up at the hotel, so you could book a Virgin package and then only use a couple of the hotel nights and spend the rest of the time elsewhere.

As an example ... assume you have ?400 of Tesco vouchers at face value and you're a family of 4.

?400 gets you 9,600 Air Miles. This will get you (almost) 4 flights, inc taxes, to anywhere as far as Athens or Croatia, but no further. I'm not sure how much EasyJet would want for 4 tickets to Athens, but probably not much more than ?600 - so hardly worth wasting ?400 of CC vouchers on.

?400 would also get you 96,000 BA Miles. This is enough to get you 4 economy tickets to Greece, Turkey, Algeria etc - however, you'd need to pay the taxes on the tickets which will be close to ?350 for 4. Terrible deal, all in all. (However, the same number of BA Miles would get you 2 x business class tickets to San Francisco if you also had an Amex 2-4-1 voucher, so you're getting around ?4,000 of value. Now THAT'S a deal.)

With Cosmos or Virgin, ?400 would get you ?1,600 of package holiday. I've no idea how far you'd get for that with a family of 4, but ?1,600 buys you a heck of a lot more than you'd get with Air Miles or BA Miles as you can see from the example above.

Basically .... if you've got kids and you're not a high earner, go with Virgin or Cosmos.

If you are travelling as a couple, can easily spend ?10,000 on the BA Amex card, generate a few hundred pounds of CC vouchers, don't mind booking 6-10 months ahead and fancy flying business class, then look at BA Miles.

If for some reason the maths doesn't work on either of these, then Air Miles may offer you a slightly better deal than booking the same flights for cash. However, you'll get nowhere near 4 x the face value.

phyre
15th January 2008, 15:44
Brilliant post Raffles, thank you for typing that.

It does look like Airmiles is a poor deal and BA miles are better especially for business class seats!

I'll have to look into virgin and cosmos more I think, obviously getting 4 times the voucher value is pretty good assuming they don't rip you off with hotel prices.

Anyway some good info for me to work with, thanks.

rach109
15th January 2008, 16:55
:clap2: fab post raffles
have repped you :)

nixieh
15th January 2008, 17:49
Great post Raffles, well done, just one little thing and that is that you can book Fly Drive with Cosmos so you don't need to book accomm with them it is only Virgin with whom you have to have accomm booked. :)

GemLou
15th January 2008, 18:00
Yes nixieh is right I was just going to add that. I have booked accommodation with Disney and flydrive with cosmos:plane: - only downside was flights went up ?1000 before I could book them, waiting for deals to come thru and had booked the accommodation.

Still never mind seeing :love:Mickey and Tinkerbell again in August can't wait. Now saving for my next holiday.:clap2::clap2::clap2:

missfendi
16th January 2008, 09:35
Unfortunately there is no good answer.

I'm assuming you're looking at going long haul somewhere.

Air Miles is pretty useless - you simply don't get good value for your points compared with paying cash. You'll get, at best, 1.5 x the face value of your Tesco vouchers unless you get very lucky. The upside, of course, is that you can book just a flight.

BA Miles is pretty useless for Economy flights, but excellent value for business class. This is because business class costs just 2 x as many miles as economy but is disproportionately better to fly in, given the fully flat bed. You also need the BA Amex and the '2 for 1' voucher you get when spending ?10,000 to get full benefit from the BA scheme. And, after all that, availability can be very tricky in school holidays unless you book 11 months ahead. And you need to pay the taxes in cash. I'm assuming this isn't great for you.

Virgin and Cosmos require you to book a package - flight and hotel. However ... remember that you get 4 x the face value of your vouchers. You might not want to stay in a specific hotel or spend a fixed 7 / 14 days etc away, but you need to trade off the fact that you are getting an exceptional deal. Remember that you don't actually need to turn up at the hotel, so you could book a Virgin package and then only use a couple of the hotel nights and spend the rest of the time elsewhere.

As an example ... assume you have ?400 of Tesco vouchers at face value and you're a family of 4.

?400 gets you 9,600 Air Miles. This will get you (almost) 4 flights, inc taxes, to anywhere as far as Athens or Croatia, but no further. I'm not sure how much EasyJet would want for 4 tickets to Athens, but probably not much more than ?600 - so hardly worth wasting ?400 of CC vouchers on.

?400 would also get you 96,000 BA Miles. This is enough to get you 4 economy tickets to Greece, Turkey, Algeria etc - however, you'd need to pay the taxes on the tickets which will be close to ?350 for 4. Terrible deal, all in all. (However, the same number of BA Miles would get you 2 x business class tickets to San Francisco if you also had an Amex 2-4-1 voucher, so you're getting around ?4,000 of value. Now THAT'S a deal.)

With Cosmos or Virgin, ?400 would get you ?1,600 of package holiday. I've no idea how far you'd get for that with a family of 4, but ?1,600 buys you a heck of a lot more than you'd get with Air Miles or BA Miles as you can see from the example above.

Basically .... if you've got kids and you're not a high earner, go with Virgin or Cosmos.

If you are travelling as a couple, can easily spend ?10,000 on the BA Amex card, generate a few hundred pounds of CC vouchers, don't mind booking 6-10 months ahead and fancy flying business class, then look at BA Miles.

If for some reason the maths doesn't work on either of these, then Air Miles may offer you a slightly better deal than booking the same flights for cash. However, you'll get nowhere near 4 x the face value.

repped you for such an informative post

bootsaholic
17th January 2008, 15:07
Great advice, Raffles. Very much appreciated, thanks

ooh to be a gooner!
20th January 2008, 08:34
Raffles you are the font of all knowledge! I now have 156,000 ba miles, thanks to all on this website and I racking up the spend on my BA Amex card to hopefully get a flight to Singapore or HK either in business or first class.

I have had to resort to becoming a ticket trader (dont like the word tout!) for concerts to make sure I spend ?10k on my CC this year or it would be impossible. The bad news is so far im losing money (disaster with take that tickets on new years eve), but I have tickets for westlife,eagles, foo fighters, kylie and katie melua so im sure I will make up my losses and cover the interest payments.

The beauty of this strategy is that if I break even. I havent actually spent anything and I get the free flight!