How You Can Earn 332,000 AVIOS Without Taking Any Flights

AVIOS Update

It’s been a while since I provided an update on my AVIOS points earning to help motivate and inspire you. As 2017 gets underway, it seems fitting therefore to consider exactly how many points I earned in 2016.

WARNING: if you are American you won’t be impressed by these numbers as it is not as easy to earn airmiles in the UK. However, if you are British and think that it is impossible to earn enough AVIOS to fly business class without being a frequent flyer, then you should be pleasantly surprised.

2016 Avios

Here’s a breakdown of the points my husband and I earned in 2016.

Detail AA Avios Lufthansa 
AMEX Referral Bonus 30,000
AVIOS Bonus 1,000
AVIOS store 78,432
Car hire 1000
Credit card 158,672 18243
Flights 3260
Holiday Inn 139
Kaligo 2500 9,300
Marriott 2,904
Other 500
Surveys 5,000
Tesco 4,080
Top Cashback 43,190
Rocketmiles 1,000
Grand Total 3,500 332,747 23,003

That is a grand total of 359,250 for the year. That’s by far my best year for earning airmiles although I clearly won’t be flying business on Lufthansa anytime soon!

Source of airmiles

As you can see our earnings come mainly from credit cards, the AVIOS shop (mainly hotels and trains) and Top Cashback. Hotels are another favourite source of rewards, and we managed to bag a bunch of referrals from credit cards!

Fly business class by managing travel credit cards
Source: Pixabay

As you can see, we earned a measly 3,260 miles from actual flights, around 1% of our total. Those were actually from Lufthansa flights so I’ve banked them in my Miles and More account. You definitely can earn a ton of miles without being a frequent flyer!

How to earn more miles

If you want to find out tons more ways to earn more AVIOS, then check out the #From Miles To Smiles 14 Week Guide. It provides you with step by step guidance to get you started. Don’t worry, it’s totally free.

So where’s my next trip?

That’s a damn good question and one I can’t yet answer. I would like to go to China at Christmas to try out their ski slopes or alternatively, I may save my points and fly to South Africa for our tenth wedding anniversary. First class, of course!

Mountains in china
Source: Pixabay

What do you think I should do?

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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. Wow! This is just incredible! I had no idea you could earn so many credits without actually flying. I really need to get on this and start collecting points!

  2. French shops don’t like Amex much and apart from flying I don’t see many other ways to earn many avios for me. Did you manage to go to China for Christmas?

  3. I’ve never really wanted to do the recycling of credit cards thing because it just seems like too much of a hassle, but it does net quite a few points. I like to see the other route you use too because those are things I mostly wasn’t aware of yet. I need to check out the store.

  4. Great work earning so many miles! I always have a hard time earning miles – even though I’m from the United States. I have no patience, haha.

  5. Wow–nice job! We are definitely lucky in the US with the credit card bonuses. I’ve been slacking a bit on collecting points lately though, so your Avios balance seems like a ton of miles to me! Definitely makes me want to start prioritize collecting miles again!

  6. You did earn a lot of avios in 2016. Apart from credit cards I like earning points from Tesco as well.

  7. So cool! You must go to China! It’s an amazing place to go! We just went and we loved it! We’re going to have to add this to our to-do list and see how we can collect some points too!

  8. Good job earning so many points. I do various things to earn points with Delta and I like that they have a feature called pay with miles. So even if you didn’t earn enough for an entire ticket, you can cash points in for money off the ticket you’re purchasing.

  9. Megan Jerrard

    Congrats on earning a new record for your miles! Americans do have it good – I’m in Australia where it’s equally as difficult to earn as in Britain, so I’m pretty impressed by your hacking results 🙂

  10. Very informative post, I wasn’t aware of this program. Something I’d like to share with my U.K. readers. thank you!

  11. I really need to start doing this. I do collect Avois – and I am in the UK. It’s just getting organised! Some great tips here though

  12. I hadn’t really thought about how difficult it would be to gain points in the UK… but yeah.. dang! Although, now that I’ve lived in Asia for ten years, even flying in the US is unimpressive points wise because we obviously get hte most from the long-haul flights over the ocean each year. I have found that we can really maximize the points by using our AMEX gold card to get more points while shopping too. Last year we were able to get one roundtrip flight from Seoul, Korea to Dayton, Ohio US comped with points. That was amazing to us and saved us about $1,500. We were stoked! Love the point goals. Keep it up!

  13. It is interesting to see how you have leveraged airmiles. It is indeed a good option, however regrettably we have not yet used the same, owing to different airlines all the time, the airmiles have not really accumulated to substantial levels.

  14. I’d never thought about earning points for flights, i don’t purchase much online as I’m travelling long term & never know where i’ll be. But if its that easy to get points then maybe I should make the effort! !

  15. That’s great that you were able to earn so many points. I am American so I don’t know much about the UK way of earning points. I admit that I’m not an expert on earning points even in the US! But I do understand that points make it easier to travel!

  16. I don’t know why I don’t do more with miles. I’ve just recently gotten into credit card points! I’m so behind on the times, but this is a small load of inspiration for me to look into it some more! Cheers!

  17. Really useful post! I get so envious of the USA and all of the points they can earn. I have managed to build up quite a bit with Tesco over the years. Thanks for the information I’m going to look into a AMEX card.

  18. People don’t seem to believe me that it’s worth it to keep my US credit card even when I’m living abroad, but this is proof. Airport lounge access, travel insurance, and purchase insurance make it worth it before I even get to the cash back and travel discounts. I know most people don’t take advantage of the perks as much as I do, but it’s really worth it to have a US card instead of the ones they offer in Canada, the UK, and Germany.

  19. I’ve heard so many people collecting these miles, but I wonder if it worth the effort if I fly only twice/three times per year. I prefer to travel for longer periods, so in this case I fly less, I travel more, and usually with different companies, so …. the question still remains.

    • As you can see the bulk of my points are not from flights but when I earn the points I redeem them to fly business, and pay less than economy. On that basis, I would sa it is absolutely worth it.

  20. Wow, you really know how to get your miles worth! I must travel A LOT because I have achieved a high level senator on lufthansa with a ton of miles, though the fact you can do that without traveling is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see where you decide to spend all those miles, they both sound like great options!

  21. How do you feel about purchasing miles? I have an American Airline card and get emails about purchasing miles. I haven’t done enough research to know whether it is really worth it.

    • I did some research on buying Avios Which will give you an idea. It’s not something I’ve ever found attractive but it’s possible I would if the right offer came along

  22. On the card spend 152K. how much of this are one-time bonuses and how much is spend?

    • I’ve just checked my spreadsheet and have received 30000 credit card referral bonuses s (2 x 9,000 and 1 x 12,000). I’ve actually had a few already for this year too so they can make a big difference. Regarding sign up bonuses, they account the for the bulk of my credit card points. I’ve had six (between my husband and I) based on regular recycling of credit cards and they account for 119,000 of the points. Obviously I need to satisfy minimum spend to bag them but it is the recycling which is so lucrative, beware though you need to leave six months between closing an account and applying for the same card again. These are just the AVIOS points and as you can see I’ve earned a bunch more for the Miles and More card but nowhere near as lucrative.

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