How to boost your Avios points
There are a variety of ways of boosting your points, so it's worth understanding your options.
The rewards available include days out, experiences, Eurostar travel, Disneyland Paris trips, travel insurance and car hire. But the points can also be used to cut the price of flights and flight upgrades, which can be booked with seven leading airlines including Flybe, American Airlines, Air Malta, Iberia, Monarch, Aurigny and British Airways.
Avios divides the world into nine geographical zones with each costing a specific number of points. You need between 9,000 and 30,000 to get around the globe.
So let's take a look at how you can rack up the points to make it happen.
Exchange Tesco Clubcard vouchersYour Tesco Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for Avios points, and you can get 600 Avios for every £2.50 in Clubcard vouchers you receive. So to get 9,000 Avios, which is enough to get you a return flight to over 40 destinations in Europe, you will need to exchange 15 £2.50 Clubcard vouchers. You can do this manually or get your vouchers automatically exchanged when your statement is produced.
Refuel at ShellAnother loyalty scheme you can use to build up your Avios pot is the Shell Drivers' Club. Motorists can get an Avios points boost if they refuel at Shell garages with their Shell loyalty card.
Registering the card online and opting into the Avios rewards can get you 50 bonus Avios. Then each time you refuel just swipe and collect points which can be converted into Avios every three months.
You get one Shell point per litre of Shell Regular fuel and two points for every litre of Shell V-Power fuel. Every 20 litres you will have enough Shell points for ten Avios points and until the 3rd of July you can get double points.
Recycle old gadgetsYou can get extra points if you recycle your old gadgets with Avios Recycling. My old iPhone 4 16GB mobile is currently worth 11,000 Avios if it's in good working order or 5,000 if it has a fault.
As well as phones you can recycle games consoles, digital cameras, laptops, tablets, MP3 players and satnavs. You get a freepost address label and a jiffy bag to post your goods if you're happy with what the site can offer. The Avios points get added to the account within 30 days of the company receiving the device.
Shop via the eStoreThe Avios eStore enables you to rack up points when you use it to shop online. It works just like a cashback site. You just click through to a retailer and make purchases as normal, but get rewarded with Avios instead of cash.
The Avios eStore has hundreds of retailers to choose from like John Lewis, Whistles, Argos, Selfridges, B&Q, Sky, BT, Ticketmaster, Topps Tiles and House of Fraser. Purchases are tracked when you click through to the retailer's website and go through with a transaction. Avios are normally paid into your account within 35 days.
Each retailer will offer a certain number of Avios per £1 spent or a lump sum. At the moment you can get eight Avios for every £1 you spend with Groupon, Harrods, Interflora, Selfridges and Charles Tyrwhitt.But shopping at O2 via the eStore will get you 5,000 Avios while using the Carphone Warehouse to purchase a deal will give you 1,000.
Give your opinionYou can earn Opinion Points by completing surveys, which you can turn into Avios. But to become an e-Rewards member you have to be invited. To be in with a chance you need to register an interest first and get on the waiting list. Invitations for surveys are sent out every three months. The number of surveys you complete and the number of Opinion Points you receive depends on the size of each survey.
Use air mile credit cardsA great way to boost your Avios points balance is to take advantage of air mile credit cards. These usually have great introductory offers that can provide a big points boost.
There are four credit cards offering Avios points at the moment. Lloyds TSB has two Avios credit accounts, which each come with an American Express and a MasterCard to collect points. Both these accounts are linked with the central Avios scheme.
Elsewhere there are two American Express British Airways cards, which earn Avios via the British Airways Executive Club. This is a seperate scheme for frequent flyers but the Avios accrued here can be transferred to the central scheme later.
Earn on travellingYou can pick up extra Avios if you are a frequent flyer with British Airways or Iberia and their partners. It's a bit confusing but these airlines have separate programmes where members can earn Avios when flights or products from other partners are purchased.
The frequent flyer programmes are good for those who are likely to travel a lot, while the central Avios scheme is better for those that don't regularly travel and can collect points in other ways. But if you sign up to the frequent flyer programmes associated with these airlines you can benefit from more Avios that you can combine with the central scheme later on.