Beat The Travel Agent

Beat The Travel Agent

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Published in Destinations


From the cobblestones to the sweet smell of sugar on every street corner, Brussels is a brilliant city to visit. As the capital of the Belgium it holds the countries love for food and drink, with the great French fry, praline chocolate, waffles and amazing beers. But it isn’t all food and drink.
Best Time to Visit

July and august are very popular- and busy with temperatures averaging 23°C (73°F), the city is very lively but popular spots can feel overcrowded. In august, many locals take their annual holidays so many shops and restaurants may be closed. Although the Grand’ Place Flower carpet is on every august we would advise the best time to visit is April/may time or September/October.
russels Transportation
Brussels is compact, so walking or renting bikes to make use of the great bike lanes is easy. Yet public transport (trams, metros, and buses) also is excellent. Brussels integrated public transport network is operated by STIB and you have options to pay by single journeys (€2.10) or by a jump card for 24/48/72 hours (€7.50/€14.00/€18.00).
Brussels Weather
July/ August is the hottest month, with an average high of 23°C (73°F) and the coldest is December where mild temperatures hover around 5°C (42°F) but don’t let that deter you as festive markets and sparking decorations make December particularly magical .
Know Before Visiting
Some attractions get very busy, especially in summer, so booking a ticket and time to visit in advance. The city is generally safe, but pickpockets operate widely. Most museums are closed on Mondays and most restaurants are closed Sunday so make sure to check each one out separately.
Dutch, French and German.

Type E two-prong plug

Euro (€)

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Things to do

The Atomium is a 102m tall piece of art designed by architect André and Jean Polak, which was built for the World’s Fair 1958 in Brussels. It is one a kind attraction and is a must see when visiting Brussels weather you go inside it and up to the top or stop for a few pictures it is a must see. There is also a restaurant inside the Atomium see our food and drink section.
Opening Times: 10am – 6pm.
Admission Fees: yes, adult €12, Student €8, Child- €6 under 6 – free.
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes- free access for disabled.
Address: Avenue de l'Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
Transport: Heysel / Heizel metro station (line 6) / or there is a Villo! Bike rack at the Atomium.
More info: Click Here

Grand- Place
The centre of the Brussels which opens up from the narrow cobbled streets into a large square. Inside the square we have the Hôtel de ville de Bruxelles (town hall) and opposite the Brussels city museum (Maison du Roi). Every two years in august an enormous flower carpet is set up in the Grand place and is a must to see if you are over during august.     
Opening Times: Daily 24 hours.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Address: Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium
Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Wander through the Les Galeries Saint Hubert, a glass roofed arcade in the center of Brussels. Lined with cafes, theaters and luxury stores, the Les Galeries Saint Hubert also has the distinction of being the first covered shopping arcade in Europe.
Opening Times: Daily 24 hours.
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: Galerie du Roi 5, Brussels 1000, Belgium
Chinese and Japanese tower
Just across the road from each other you have the Chinese far east museum tower and the Japanese tower inside the beautiful park van Laken. The Japanese tower is a surprising sight in the Brussels landscape and like the nearby chinese far east museum they were built at the beginning of the 20th century. We would advise to stop of at these for a quick photo on your way to the Atomium as they are quite close and always good to see on your perfect trip in Brussels.
Opening Times: Closed for entrance but can still be viewed.
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: Avenue Van Praet 44, 1020 Ville de Bruxelles  & Parc de Laeken, Brussels, Belgium.

With Brussels known as the capital of the European Union no trip would be complete with seen the European Union for yourself. At this free visitor centre you can discover interactively the journey of European integration in all 24 official languages of the EU.
Opening Times: 9am – 6pm
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: Esplanade Solidarnosc | Off Rue Belliard,Brussels 1047 , Belgium
Transport: Brussels Luxembourg is at the parlamentarium – accessed directly by SNCB from Brussels midi, central and Nord.
More info: Click Here
Cantillon Brewery
At the museum of Gueuze discover the fabulous family brewery of the Cantillon Brewery, where some of the best Belgian beers are handcrafted. Take a self-guided tour around the brewery and finish off with tasting the many different types of beer (tasting included in the price).
Opening Times: 9am – 5pm, closed Wednesday/Sunday/ public holidays.
Admission Fees: yes  - €7
Address: 56 rue Gheude ,1070 Brussels
Transport: Metro line 2 – Clemenceau or Brussels midi.
More info: Click Here

Manneken Pis
The Manneken Pis is a small broze sculpture in the city centre of Brussels of a little boy urinating into a fountain. It is a symbol of Brussels self-mockery and has been there since 1660’s. A couple of times a year on special occasions they dress the Manneken Pis in different outfits so check out their site to see the calendar.
Opening Times: Daily 24 hours.
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: No
Address: Rue de l'Etuve, Brussels, Belgium
More info: Click Here
 More than 250 vehicles cover the story of the automobile history since its early days. One zone is dedicated to sports and racing cars, while "Belgium at Autoworld" tells the love story between Belgium and the automobile industry. A different themed temporary exhibition is organized every 2-3 months.
Opening Times: 10am – 6pm April – September/ weekends. 10am – 5pm October- markh.
Admission Fees: yes  - €9 adults, €5 children, under 6 free.
Address: Parc du Cinquantenaire 11, Brussels 1000,Belgium
Transport: Metro line 1 &5 station – Merode, Train NMBS – Merode station.
More info: Click Here

Every day is market day in Brussels. Among the best is the flower market, Tuesday to Sunday at Grand-Place, also the site of the Sunday morning bird market. Antiques are sold at the market on Place du Grand Sablon, Saturday and Sunday morning, while the flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle, in the Marolles district, is open every morning.

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Food & Drink
Peck 47
Nice quirky café in the city centre that serves breakfast/ brunch until late and has some of the best healthy options we found in Brussels. Defiantly a must to get you started for the day.
Address: Rue Marche Aux Poulets 47, Brussels 1000, Belgium
More info: Click Here
Delirium Monasterium
The Delirium Café is a must when travelling to Brussels it holds the world record for the most beer at one time and it doesn’t disappoint from banana, toffee and chocolate to some of the best Belgium beers home brewed. This place has everything, with its three storey beer house check out the basement bar.
Address: Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
More info: Click Here

One of the nicest true authentic Belgian restaurants that serve great food and beer, although you may need to be patient and wait as it is quite a small but cosy place with only 10 -12 tables and they don’t take bookings but is defiantly worth it. Check out the Fish Waterzooi, well worth the wait.
Address: 25 rue du Lombard, Brussels 1000, Belgium
More info: Click here
A la Becasse   
La Becasse, "The Lark", is hidden away at the end of a narrow passage, just near the Grand Place. The bar is famous all over the city for its "jeune lambic blanche", a refreshing white beer served in a stone jug. The waiters wear monastic-style uniforms and prepare the house speciality - delicious open sandwiches of sourdough bread with Ardennes ham or smoked herrings.
Address: rue de Tabora, 11, Brussels 1000, Belgium
More info: Click Here
Yes everybody calls them French fries but the origin of the fry is said to come from Belgium and at Fritland you can get some the tastiest fries in many different forms. The most popular being in a baguette with many different options of sauce. Sit outside or indoors this is a perfect cheap place to have before or after a couple of Belgian beers.
Address: 49 Rue Henri Maus, Brussels 1000, Belgium
More info: Click Here


For us Mokafe serves one of the nicest Belgian waffles in Brussels, yes there is no fruit or chocolate sauce or all the wacky things you can get elsewhere on the street for half the price. The simplistic feel of Mokafe has won the hearts of the Belgians for years right in the middle of the Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert it is a perfect stop for a waffle/tart and a cup of coffee or tea.
Address: Galerie du Roi 9, Brussels 1000, Belgium
More info: Click Here
Bia Mara
Taking its name from the Irish for ‘seafood’ Bia Mara combines quality fish with fresh cut potatoes to give their own take on the classic fish and chips. The menu changes depending on what is available so you know your fish isn’t long out of the water.
Address: Rue du Marche aux Poulets 41, 1000 Brussels,Belgium
More info: Click Here

Yes unfortunately there is to many great chocolatiers in Brussels it needs its own section.
The original of Belgium chocolate and the home of the pralines made here in 1912 as well as the ballotin (a little box to bring your chocolates home) were created. Today this has not changed and is still a must stop to taste their sweet confectionary with recipes going back over a hundred years.
Address: 25 Galerie de la Reine, 1000 Bruxelles

For those who are allergic to gluten, diabetic or just love organic fair-trade products, Belvas is the place to go. Not only is this the first organic chocolatier in Northern Europe but, Belvas is self-sufficient for 50% of its energy needs and the chocolate is melted in a system that collects the heat produced by the air-conditioning and tranforms it into hot water. Overall though it isn’t just natural but also very tasty and they don’t use any hydrogenated fat just butter.
Address: 48 rue Rollebeek 1000 Bruxelles
Good enough for the Belgium Royal family then it should be good enough for you. Wittamer is a classic chocolatier that has been around for over a hundred years starting out as a modern bakery and having designed the wedding cake of the Belgium King and Queen they strive themselves in a superior taste. But it isn’t all old fashion chocolates, Wittamer make some strange yet wonderful chocolates such as an insect cricket praline and many different flavours from pepper pralines to delicious cakes and ice creams.
Address: 6-12-13 Place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Bruxelles
Pierre Marcolini
Pierre Marcolini the most famous Belgian chocolate makers holds his shop in the Sablon neighbourhood and is a necessity for any chocolate connoisseur. Prided in the fresh and perfect bean bought directly then treated in his shop Pierre Marcolini makes some the richest chocolate in Brussels. Please remember although his products are very tasty some of Marcolini’s products have a very strong flavour, especially the dark chocolate. PS remember to check his store out around winter to indulge in his perfect hot chocolate.
Address: 1 rue des Minimes, 1000 Bruxelles (boutique)
39 Place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Bruxelles (manufacture)

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rock_classic_brussels_beatthetravelagentRock Classic Bar
A dim lit bar that plays old school rock and live bands, with pinball machines, darts and air hockey. what else could you ask for? this was probably our favourite spot in Brussels and we would advice to give it a go.
Address: Rue marché aux charbons 55, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Opening Times: Everyday 20:00 - 06:00
more info: Click Here
Le Bazaar
An underground Belgian club with a nice dark atmosphere that plays mainly deep house/minimal music.
Address: Kapucijnenstraat 63 Rue des Capucins, Brussels
Opening Times: Fr-Sa: 23:00-06:00
more info: Click Here
The Music Village
A casual and relaxed jazz bar just south of the grand Place that serves brilliant beer and food and is always buzzing with talent.
Address: 50 Rue des Pierres, Brussels, Belgium
more info: Click Here
Spirito Martini
Nothing says nightclub like an old church, this high-end trendy club is guaranteed to give you a good night with its gothic walls and chandeliers.
Rue de Stassartstraat 18, Brussels
Opening times:
Fr-Sa: 23:00-05:00
More info: Click Here

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Airlines offering flights to Brussels from the UK include British Airways, Brussels Airlines and easyJet. Brussels Airlines, Delta, Jet Airways and United operate direct flights from the USA. The cheapest time to fly to Brussels is in the winter between November and March.
Flight times:
From London - 1 hour 10 minutes; New York - 7 hours 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 13 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 7 hours 20 minutes; Sydney - 25 hours (including stopover).

Getting around
Public transport:
The integrated public transport network in Brussels is operated by Société des Transports Intercommunaux Bruxellois – STIB.
Many metro stations display the works of local artists. With comfortable seats, the service is pleasant even during rush hour.
The underground prémétro is a fast way to travel between Gare du Nord, place de Brouckère, Bourse and the Bruxelles-Midi Eurostar terminal.
Tram and bus stops are indicated by red and white signs respectively. The route number and destination are displayed on the front of the vehicle and all stops are request stops. Passengers get on at the front of buses and off at the rear. Brussels' bright yellow and blue trams serve the city centre and suburbs.
MOBIB preloadable smart cards are valid for all STIB public transport in Brussels. You can buy these and charge them up at metro stations, bus and tram stops, or at metro station kiosks, BOOTIK agencies, supermarkets and newsagents. You can also top them up online.
In addition to the STIB network, Belgian National Railways' local trains depart from Bruxelles-Chapelle, Bruxelles-Quartier Léopold, Bruxelles-Schuman and Bruxelles-Congrès, linking the inner city to the suburbs.

Official Brussels taxis have a taxi light with a blue and yellow plaque on the roof, and can be hailed in the street or picked up at a rank; in the city centre, there are ranks at the major railway stations and at the Bourse, place de Brouckère and Porte de Namur. You can also pre-book taxis by phone from Taxis Autolux (tel: +32 2 411 4142), Taxis Bleus (tel: +32 2 268 0000) or Taxis Verts (tel: +32 2 349 4949). Fares are metered and include service; tipping is optional.
Uber is also available in and around Brussels and is a great alternative than Taxi’s. Click here for your first journey free.
Although commuter traffic is heavy on the outskirts of Brussels during rush hour, the centre is relatively easy to negotiate, once you've mastered the one-way system. In addition to car parks located in the city centre, there is pay-and-display parking in certain streets. There is also a large public car park under the Novotel Hotel, rue de la Montagne. Free street parking is available on Sundays and holidays.
Bike hire
Brussels also has its own bikeshare scheme called Villo! (tel: +32 78 051 110; You can buy a one-day or seven-day ticket and bikes are available 24 hours a day.
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-Brugge is only 50 minutes away on a train and trains leave regularly from Brussels midi, central and nord stations and is defiantly worth a day trip if you have time.
-You can bring your frites into the bars, no one will mind!
-When travelling around Belgium (i.e Antwerp or bruge) get a go-pass one which is a one way ticket to anywhere for 6 euro. Only for people aged 26 or under.  
-Keep your eyes open for street art by Bonom (map)
-Try the Jupiler and Vedett beers – cheap & easy Belgian beers available at most places.
-Most museums are closed on Mondays
-Most restaurants are closed Sunday
-Arsene 50 is a great place to pick up half price tickets for concerts, movies, theatres and events from and online (only French or dutch but we have translated the site)

Bonom street art in Brussels

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Start Here Featured

Start Here

Published in Start Here

Planning your next adventure?

It can be difficult to know where to begin when planning your dream trip. What’s the first step? The second? The third? Travelling can seem like an overwhelming topic with so much information available and the longer you travel It seems the more you have to think about. I want to try and make planning your couple getaway/family trip/solo travel/gap year/abroad festival simple and stress-free.
So to get you started and to get that perfect trip booked I will use a simple step by step guide on how to make travelling that little bit less overwhelming.

Step 1 – Plan the length of your trip
This may seem like a simple step but knowing the length of your travel is key in understanding what is available for your choice of holiday. As it would be difficult and time-consuming if you were to travel to say Asia from the UK for a three-day trip as you would spend most of your trip travelling and it just wouldn't be very cost-effective. A quick breakdown would be;
1- 4 days – same country/ city break/ short getaway.
5-12 days – beach holiday/ long getaway/multi-city travel/ festival.
12+ - Interrailing/ whole country/ across America/ Southeast Asia/ gap year/ backpacking.
This obviously isn’t gospel, but a rough guide to understanding what is both cost effective and possible with the time available.

Step 2- Decide where to go
Deciding where to go is half the battle and should be researched to know what your goals are and how you can work towards the perfect trip. It’s a lot easier to then plan when you know ‘I am going to new york’ rather than I want to go to America. This will give you drive and will be overall easier to figure out how much you need and what you need to make this dream become reality.
Get some inspiration
Step 3 –Research costs
Once you have your location and you know how long you are travelling the next step is to work out how much you need and figure this out with the style of travelling you want. Is it going to be a hostel trip or a luxury hotel you need to budget for and how much will it cost for food/drink, attractions and transportation.

Step 4 – Save
Once you have a rough guide of what you need for your travel the next step is saving for that goal. Whether it be cutting back on the Starbucks or just putting money away each month this can be very easily achieved once you budget prior to your trip.

Step 5 – Get your passport and book those flights.
Make sure you obviously have a valid passport and put this into the equation of how long this will take as during busy periods passports could take up to 2 months. Or if travelling further afield make sure your passport will be valid for more than 6 months of your trip as countries like America and Asia can be strict with close expiring passports.
Check the passport guidelines
Once your passport is ready its time to book your flights. When getting cheap flights I advise the perfect time to book is 6-8 weeks before you go as this is when airlines normally lower fares based on demand. Although if travelling at peak time I would advice 3 months in advance.
When you know when you want to travel you should use flight comparison sites to have a look at the price on the dates you are going and pick the location based on the flight prices. The three major costs involved in a holiday are flights, accommodation and spending money and the only one then that is slightly hard to self-adjust is flight prices, so I advise if you are trying to get away for cheap, you need to be flexible with both your dates and location.
Favourite sites for finding cheap fares:
-Google flights
- Check the flight companies direct
Remember you can always use reward miles to fly for less, read this blog post.

Step 6 – Book your Accommodation
Once you have a set schedule and you know how long you holiday is going to be the next step is to book your accommodation. Here you have many options whether you want an apartment, hotel, private room, hostel or a couch.
If you are looking at hotels I would advise to first type in your location into narrow the search to your price and look at reviews and work out what the best option for your budget. Once you have a couple of options of hotels, then narrow down by price and location of where you will be travelling from there
Sites I use to book and compare.
-Booking (great for being able to book now pay later so you could book a backup hotel then look for another at a different stage and not pay any fees and cancel)
-Agoda  (great for south-east Asia)
-hostelworld (amazing for hostels and cheap accommodation)
 -Remember to check the hotel directly to see on their site if the price is cheaper. – for apartments either a private room or entire apartment and is a great way to save money.  
Alternatively contact people on hospitality websites like Couchsurfing or be welcome and ask if they would be willing to host you.

Step 7- Plan Activities
Draft up the major activities and attractions you want to enjoy and how much this will cost and add this to your budget. Figure out if you need to make reservations for your chosen activities In advance of your trip.

travel_card_beatthetravelagentStep 8- Get cash/card
When travelling you have many options for getting the best rate. If you don’t consider your options and go and get currency over the counter it could be costing you up to £100. For example, if we were to spend 1000 euro.
Speciality credit card repaid in Full- £781
Cash, via UK Cheapest exchange- 798
Cash from the post office – 802
Using a debit card with fees (Halifax) - 829
Change at airport (Heathrow not pre-ordered)- £864
The best option normally is a non-sterling transaction fee credit or debit card meaning that you don’t get charged to use your card abroad for card payment and in some cases ATM’s (see our section on fee-free cards). With these cards, you get to look into the best rates at the time of purchase, which is normally better than the exchange rate at a bureau change.
The next option you have is a prepaid travel card or ordering currency to be delivered online, which can work out cheaper than getting physical currency at the airport or from a high street bank. But be careful to follow our steps here.

suitcase_beatthetravelagentStep 9- Pack & Print
Before getting ready to pack work out what you are eligible to bring on the plane considering both weight and baggage if it is hand luggage or checked. Then from there consider how you are going to distribute it into your suitcases or bags. Then make a list trying to be as minimalist as possible. Have a look at our ideal planning lists. Once you have all your items ready its time to pack. I would advise to put all your stuff out on your bed or floor and narrow down are you actually going to use this item, if the reason follows with I might, or what if… it more than likely isn’t a necessity and doesn’t need to waste weight and space. I Would also advise unless you are backpacking or have a lot of free space to not bring toiletries as 90% of the stuff you bring with you could be bought where ever you are going. Especially when only bringing hand luggage toiletries and liquids alike can not only take up a lot of room but can cause a lot of issues when going through security.
Once you backed its ready to print all your necessary documents, I would recommend having a copy of your travel insurance, a copy of your flight tickets, hotel accommodation, any tours booked, a small A4 map if needed and a sheet with contact numbers.

Step 10 – Have fun
Once you’ve done all that all there is now to do is to get on that plane and go have fun and make sure to take lots of pictures.




Essential Travel Tips

Published in Essentials

Essential tips to ensure you arrive at your destination fresh and ready

Feel comfortable by wearing loose clothing such as sweats or gym bottoms and take a jumper with you to keep out the cold.

If possible book your flights so your flight time coincides with your body clock.

Avoid alcohol, which has a stimulating effect, try Chamomile tea and water instead.

Eastbound journeys produce the worst type of jet lag because you lose time across zones so be aware when booking a trip.

Light exposure regulates your body clock so try wearing sunglasses during and after your flight until you are ready to face the light.

Unwind with listening to music or watch film to help you drop off.

Keep tiredness at bay by having a strategic 45-minute nap at the time you would normally be asleep at home.

Change your watch or phone to local time at your destination as soon as you board your flight to keep your mind on track.

If possible gradually adjust your sleep times towards those at your destination a few days ahead of long haul travel.


Reward Credit Cards

Published in Travel Tips & Tricks

Reward credit cards

There is nothing more promising than free travel and many large banks and credit card companies know this and maximise this opportunity for new customers in the promise air mile incentives and hotel Program points both in spending and in opening new accounts with them. The main sectors we see this is in travel credit cards. These cards that I will explain in more detail offer joining bonuses in air miles, which could jet you off to New York or Dubai for free or upgrade your flight for free is used correctly.
The type of card you can get differ from location of where you are based as the currency of the card plays a large part in if you eligible i.e someone in the UK would find it hard to apply for a reward travel card in the US and vice versa. But we will discuss the options available below;

Top charge card
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card

This card unlike the others is a charge card and not a credit card, so you have to pay your balance off in full at the end of each month but there is no spending limits or interest charges. It also comes with a very hefty 20,000 bonus Reward points when you spend 2,000 in your first three months, which could take you too many locations on them miles alone. But it again does have a annual fee of £140 but is £0 in the first year.
Need to knows

  • Transfer your points to 15 major frequent flyer and hotel programmes.
  • Two complimentary Lounge visits per year to use at over 350 airport lounges globally.
  • 10% off Hertz base car rental rates, plus a one car class upgrade and additional driver fee waived (Upgrades are subject to availability)
  • $75 USD hotel credit and room upgrade where available at over 350 hotels globally including Hilton, InterContinental and Sofitel.
  • Earn one Membership Rewards Point for virtually every £1 spent on your Card and two additional points for virtually every £1 spent with American Express Travel.

Overview- this card is one of the best on the market for avios points or to be exchanged for the many hotel programs such as Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest. This card has the most generous point scheme and with no fee in Year one you could use it then cancel before the renewal date. Also with AMEX policy you could open both the BA Amex and the Gold card to receive the Maximum air miles.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 5/5
Apply online

Top credit cards for UK residence
Airline cards (Avios and Virgin Flying Club)

British Airways American express premium plus card

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a jet setter then the BA Premium PlusAmex* card can reward you with free flights. Plus, if you're accepted you can get 18,000 bonus Avios points. But you need to be quite flexible with your dates as seats can be limited. You can also get a 'free' companion ticket if you spend £10,000/yr on the card.
Need to knows
•    18,000 bonus Avios welcome offer
•    This card does have an annual fee of £150 (but if accepted you can keep for 3 months and downgrade to the standard BA Amex credit card – see bellow. )
•    Companion Voucher each year when you spend £10,000
•    Automatic enrolment to the British Airways Executive Club.
•    Travel and shopping protection – this card gives you Travel Inconvenience insurance covering flight cancellations, delays and delayed baggage when flights are purchased on your Card. This is very convenient if you travel frequently.
•    This card also gives you 1.5 Avios points per pound spend and 3 avios points spend with British Airways which can certainly build up.

Overview – this card is very good for air miles and to put into perspective 15,000 airmiles could get you from London to Rome or many other great locations in Europe return. Or you could upgrade a flight from economy to business for 12,000 miles. I recently used this offer to travel from London to LA return on Air miles alone. The great feature of this card also is the travel inconvenience insurance whereby if your flight is delayed you're entitled to compensation through AMEX themselves but it does come at a cost of the annual fee.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 4/5
Apply online

British airways American Express credit card

Like the British Airways express premium plus card credit card this card offers a joining bonus of 3,000 points when you spend £500 within the first 3 months but doesn't have a joining fee so holding this card is completely free. Although you will only earn 1 Avios point per £1 spent on this card it is a great card to start saving if your not expecting to travel for a while and are going to use this card for your day to day spend.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1 Avios point per £1 spent on the card.
•    Spend £500 within the first three months and you'll get the bonus 3,000 Avios points.
•    Spend £20,000/year, and you get one free 'companion ticket' when booking a flight. The free ticket can be used to get the same ticket type as the cardholder (if you go first class, so do they), though only on BA. But you'll still need to pay taxes and charges on top.

Overview – This card defiantly is good but we would advise to join the Platinum card first for the joining miles then downgrade to this card once you have received your joining fee and pay the annual fee of the Platinum card pro rata (i.e only the months you used it)
Beatthetravelagent review score of 3/5
Apply online

Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express and MasterCard

This Credit Card comes with both an Amex card and a MasterCard offering 1.25 Avios per £1 on the Amex and 0.25 Avios points per £1 on the Mastercard. This card does not have any sign-up bonus but does offer 5,500 Avios if you are referred before the 31st March- email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1.25 Avios point per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.25 Avios points per £1 on the MasterCard.
•    Double miles on the Amex card for the first Six months and no foreign Transaction fees on using the card abroad.
•    Voucher to upgrade a reward flight by one class when you spend £7000 in the first year.
•    0% on balance transfers for 30 months and purchases for 12 months
•    £24 annual fee

Overview – This card is very good for the non-sterling transaction fees and is defiantly an all-rounder with both the Avios points and interest fee spending but does not offer the high joining miles we see with other cards, Although is defiantly a good card when using abroad.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 3/5
Apply online

Lloyds Premier Avios Rewards American Express and MasterCard

Like the Lloyds Avios rewards card the Premier Avios reward card offers air miles per spend but at a higher rate at 1.5 miles per £1 on the Amex and 0.3 miles per £1 on the MasterCard. This card also does not offer a sign-up bonus but unlike the Lloyds Avios reward card there is no referral bonus. This card does also have 0% fees on using the card abroad but does come with a hefty fee of £140 annually. But does offer the upgrade of a flight by one class when you spend £5,000 in a year.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1.5 Avios point per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.3 Avios points per £1 on the MasterCard.
•    Double miles on the Amex card for the first Six months and no foreign Transaction fees on using the card abroad.
•    Voucher to upgrade a reward flight by one class when you spend £5000 in the first year.
•    Worldwide Companion Ticket with annual spends of £12,000 on BA and Eurostar.
•    0% on balance transfers for 30 months and purchases for 12 months
•    £140 annual fee

Overview – This card is very good for the non-sterling transaction fees and is defiantly an all rounder with both the avios points and interest fee spending but does not offer the high joining miles we see with other cards and does not offer the referral option. It also have quite a high annual fee and for this reason alone you may be better with the standard Lloyds avios rewards account if air miles is what you are after.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 2/5
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Lloyds Choice Rewards American Express & MasterCard

This card offers 1 mile per £1 for Amex and 0.2 miles per £1 on the MasterCard and has a low annual fee of £24 like the Lloyds Avios Rewards card but does offer the feature of a choice if you want your points for flights, shopping vouchers, cash back or travel.  So it has that little bit of extra flexibility on what you want to spend your earning points on.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1 choice* point per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.2 choice points per £1 on the MasterCard.
•    Double miles on the Amex card for the first Six months
•    You also get 0.2 points per £1 balance transferring.
•    0% on balance transfers for 30 months and purchases for 12 months
•    £24 annual fee
Overview- This card is good if you aren’t sure how you want to spend your points and you can mix and match on travel and on shopping but does not offer the benefit of the 0% non sterling transaction fees.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 2/5
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Virgin Atlantic White American Express and Visa

This card offers 1 mile per £1 for Amex and 0.5 miles per £1 on the Visa and has no annual fee. It also offers a 3,000 virgin flying club miles (not to get mixed up with Avios miles) with your first purchase or 6,000 if you are referred by an existing card holder (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info). It also offers double miles for spend with Virgin and an upgrade after spending £10,000 a year.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1 flying club mile per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.2 flying club mile per £1 on the Visa.
•    Double miles for spending on Virgin.
•    0% on balance transfers for 6 months
•    Companion voucher when you spend 15,000 in a year.
•    NO annual fee

Overview- This card is good if you plan on flying Virgin and they offer a wide range of flights worldwide and with no fee is superior to other cards but doesn’t offer no worldwide transaction fees. It also requires 35,000 miles to get an economy return trip from London to New York which will take a bit of time of spending.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 2/5
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Virgin Atlantic Black American Express and Visa

This card offers 2 mile per £1 for Amex and 1 miles per £1 on the Visa but has a £140 annual fee. It also offers a massive sign up bonus of 18,500 virgin flying club miles (not to get mixed up with Avios miles) with your first purchase or 21,500 if you are referred by an existing card holder (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info). It also offers 4 miles per £1 for spend with Virgin and an upgrade after spending £5,000 a year.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 2 flying club mile per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 1 flying club mile per £1 on the Visa.
•    Double miles for spending on Virgin.
•    0% on balance transfers for 6 months
•    Companion voucher when you spend £7,500 in a year.
•    £140 annual fee
•    Receive a premium upgrade when you spend £5000.

Overview- This card has one the highest joining incentives about and could almost get you a free trip just from opening the account, the down side is the annual fee and it can not be cancelled or downgraded pro-rata which has to be weighed up with the white card but overall a very good card with a lot of incentives if you feel you will be flying with virgin more than once. You also can exchange tesco clubcard points for virgin miles or exchange amex miles at a rate of 1:1 so the white card might be better for a first timer.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 4/5
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Other Airline cards (excluding Avios and Virgin Flying Club)
American Airlines AAdvantage American Express and Visa

American airlines AAdvasntage American express and visa account issued by MBNA has No annual fee and you earn 1.5 miles per £1 amex and 0.75 miles per £1 visa. With a sign- up bonus of 5,000 miles with the first purchase this could go towards a trip or upgrade on an American Airlines. They also offer 0% interest for 12 months on all American Airlines card purchases.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1.5 miles per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.75 miles per £1 on the Visa.
•    0% interest for 12 months on card purchases with American Airlines
•    0% on transferring money from this card to your current account for 6 months.
•    0% on transferring balances for 6 months.
•    NO  annual fee

Overview- The 5,000 joining miles is a start but isn’t no where near enough to get a flight and most of the flights with American airways are US or Asia based, but once in a while AA offer a joining bonus of 15,000 which just ended and I will post info once this happens. But overall this is an ok offer especially with no fee and interest free on bookings for 12 months but isn’t ideal for UK customers.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 2/5
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Emirates Skywards American Express and Visa

The Emirates skywards American express and visa card is issued by MBNA have no annual fee and you earn 1 skyward mile per £1 Amex and 0.5 skyward miles per £1 on the Visa card. It comes with a decent 5,000 Emirates Skyward miles with your first purchase. It also comes with 0% interest on purchases for the first year.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1 skyward mile per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.5 miles per £1 on the Visa.
•    0% interest for 12 months on card purchases with
•    0% on transferring balances for 6 months.
•    10% discount on Emirates Holidays
•    25% off purchases of Skywards miles.
•    NO  annual fee

Overview- The Emirates Skyward account does have no fee but 5,000 Emirate miles isn't an awful lot of miles on its own when compared with over cards and unless you where going to use this card for your spend on the Amex to earn miles it might not be too helpful but with no fee applying can't hurt to start you off and the 0% interest for 12 months on purchases with is a good way to book a flight 0% interest and gain points on that flight plus the welcome bonus and the spend.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 3/5
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Emirates Skywards Elite American Express and Visa

Like the Emirates Skywards American express and Visa card this card is issued by MBNA and earns skyward miles for every pound you spend at a rate of 2 miles per £1 Amex and 1 mile per £1 on the Visa. This card has an annual fee of £150 which is quite large but does come with a sign up bonus of 10,000 skyward miles.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 2 skyward miles per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 1 miles per £1 on the Visa.
•    0% interest for 12 months on card purchases with
•    0% on transferring balances for 6 months.
•    10% discount on Emirates Holidays
•    25% off purchases of Skywards miles.
•    £150  annual fee
•    An Emirates Skywards Companion Reward Saver Business Class or Saver Economy Class ticket when you spend more than GBP 15,000 in a year
•    150 discount on an Emirates First Class or Business Class ticket
•    Emirates Business Class Check-in for Economy Class

Overview- The Emirates elite Skyward account does have a large £150 annual fee but you get this directly from a business or first class ticket, it also has quite a high rate of earning but 10,000 skyward miles isn’t an awful lot when you consider the annual fee so unless you are expecting to travel more than a one-off journey with Emirates I would compare this card with other offers about or wait until the rate changes, sometimes Emirates up the signup bonus to around 20,000-25,000 points. So keep an eye out and I will give any updates.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 2/5
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United Airlines MileagePlus American Express and Visa

The United airlines mileage plus American express and visa is issued by MBNA. You earn 1.25 miles per £1 on the Amex and 0.625 miles per £1 on the Visa. It has no fee but does not have any sign- up bonus.
Need to knows
•    You'll earn 1.25 mile per £1 spent on the card on Amex and 0.625 miles per £1 on the Visa.
•    0% interest for 12 months on card purchases with United
•    0% on transferring balances for 6 months.
•    NO  annual fee

Overview- This card overall as a credit card is good but with no sign-up bonus and with quite a low earning rate you aren't going to get much benefit out of this card unless you already have some miles with United.
Beatthetravelagent review score of 1/5
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Beatthetravelagent is not a credit broker – although we are giving our personal advice on the credit cards above we are in no way taking any fee or service from the lenders. We also advice to make sure you are reasonable borrowing and understand the financial risks of borrowing. We advice to seek advice from the bank or building society if you have any questions about the cards and there rates.


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