Big news – ‘small print’ of the Avios sale bargains revealed, including the £1 RFS destinations!

The avios.com and ba.com January sales are continuing.  Hopefully the upcoming offers will be more exciting than the half-price World Traveller redemptions to the US and Canada we had on Monday.

(This offer is still valid until noon today – 50% off the Avios needed for economy flights to Boston, Chicago, Dubai, Denver, Shanghai, New York, Toronto and Washington.  Full details here.)

I now know the ‘small print’ of four of the remaining five offers.

25% off car hire – noon Wednesday 8 January to noon Friday 10 January

This deal will go live today at noon at avios.com and ba.com.  You must book with Avis – paying with Avios points – for any destination.  It is valid for bookings up to 30th September.  I discuss this further below.

50% off hotel bookings – noon Friday 10 January to noon Monday 13 January

This offer is actually slightly better than I expected.  It is valid for hotels in Vienna, Dubrovnik, Prague, Copenhagen, Berlin, Budapest, Istanbul and Algarve, for bookings up to 30th September. There is a special booking website you need to use, but the selection of properties seems decent.

Here is the key thing.  You normally get 0.57p per Avios when using your points for a hotel redemption as I showed here.  Via this deal, you will getting 1.14p per Avios.  That is a very decent offer.

Reward Flight Saver tickets reduced to £1 – noon Monday 13 January to noon Wednesday 15 January

This deal is not the ‘free for all’ we were hoping to see.  It is restricted to the following routes only: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Jersey, Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Nice.

That said, being able to book a flight to these places for just £1 instead of the usual £35 is certainly a good saving.

You will need to fly between 31 January and 31 May.  Economy only.

50% off hotel bookings – noon Wednesday 15 January to noon Friday 17 January

The same offer as before, but with a different set of cities – London, Venice, Edinburgh, Guernsey, Florence and Milan. There are 103 hotels available across the 6 cities, to give you an idea of the scale.

Again, you can book a stay at any hotel on the special website for stays up to 30th September.

40% off Eurostar – noon Friday 17 January to noon Monday 20 January

This offer will only run on avios.com.  I do not have the ‘small print’ for this one!  As ba.com does not offer Eurostar redemptions, their sale will simply finish three days earlier.

Today’s new offer

The offer to be launched today offers 25% off the cost of an Avis car rental when you pay with Avios.  This will be live from noon.

You can book for any destination, with the only proviso being that you pick up the car before 30th September 2014.

This may be an OK deal.  As car hire prices vary so wildly, it is difficult to make a broad judgement.  With just a 25% discount, I doubt that you will be able to get more than 1p per Avios of value compared to a pre-paid cash booking however.

If you are interested, you should price up the car on BOTH ba.com and avios.com.  For odd reasons, it has been shown in the past that the sites often throw up different prices for the same set of dates.

The ba.com link to book an Avis car is here.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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Comments

  1. ankomonkey says:

    What a shame the RFS cities are not the same as the 50%-off-hotel cities…

  2. Nice to tie in the RFS £1 with IHG Reward Nights. Some good value redemptions to be had in Madrid, Lisbon and Rome, so could have a look weekend away for £1 per person and a load of avios/IHG points used up.

    • Madrid hotel prices are low these days anyway.

      If you’re doing the IHG Big Win this may be a cheap way of picking up overseas nights.

  3. pazza2000 says:

    I suspected a very limited list of ‘near by’ destinations, sad to be proved correct. Will check out the Hotel Sale, could be interesting…

  4. Eastwood says:

    Hi Raffles,

    I tried to post this in the 50,000 air miles back for old 1st class but the comments were closed. Just wanted to say thanks for the heads up. Last night on the flight from SA to London, we were in the old cabin. Phoned customer services this morning and we have got 100,000 back. You have started my year off to a great start.

    You should have a little bar on the side of this page where we can put our air mile totals in on how you have saved or allowed us to earn. Just a counter from people to show a grand total. From me you would be at 220,000

    • Excellent result, glad it worked out. To be honest, I doubt you were inconvenienced much on an overnight from SA anyway!

      • Eastwood says:

        No we were not. But since 100,000 is a enough for a business class trip back to SA on a 241. I wasn’t about to let the opportunity slip away.

        • Hi Eastwood – how did you frame the conversation with BA customer service – did you flat out ask for 50k of Avios per person, or were you more subtle?

          Also wondering if anyone had any luck getting compensation (either Avios or £) for flying in F with faulty IFE? The first 3 or 4 hours of my flight back from GIG was without any entertainment.

          • Yes, they normally compensate for faulty IFE – 10,000 I think.

          • i had 10k for flight to dubai with faulty so would imagine a little more if it is in f

          • Newbie question here, and a bit off topic…. but I’m always lost when people use codes for ticket types. For example, what is “flying in F”? I’ve googled it and can find some sites that set out the ticket types generally, but is there a guide for BA-specific codes?

            Thanks!

          • Sorry, I do work hard to keep acronyms out of posts but they do creep in to comments.

            F- First
            J – Business Class
            W – Premium Economy
            Y – Economy

            These are generally the fare codes for fully flexible tickets in those classes, but are generally used on Flyertalk etc to describe any ticket in that class.

            Technically, a cheap sale ticket in Club World will be I or R, not J. I think cheap sale First Class books into A?

  5. I wasn’t very keen on this car rental but it actually works very well for me. AVIS price on Avios gives me £220 for a rental of luxury car in UAE instead of the £830. Quite a saving

    Quite happy with this. I wish the rest of the offers were as good!

    • Have you compared the car hire rates you can get at a car hire aggregator, like carhire3000.com? That will show you the “best in market” prices you could get (might be non-Avis) and is a better judge of value.

  6. the problem with this car rental is that you can only book in some locations (presumably where BA fly) not on all AVIS locations!!

    by the way, i am not jumping on any of this “offers”…
    People do not forget that the smart redeemers are just a niche of the market. there are LOTS of people who occasionally or regularly earn and that are not avios conscious and for them anyoffer could look good.

    the USA sales are no good for me, I prefere paying a cash economy tickets
    RFS: the places i want to go are not on the RFS 1£ except Dublin for a combination with a potential Airlingus-Boston redemption (but I do not know the dates so I prefere paying whenever it will be)
    car hire…i need it now but the location i need is not on the list…so what’s the point…

    i am glad i kept my Tesco CC safe and MR too! and looking forward for a bigger bonus or till I have gathered enough for a nice First intercontinental flight!

  7. creampuff says:

    Hmmmm. Could book a RFS ticket to Amsterdam and get the cheapie ex-AMS J tickets on offer.

  8. Recieved my Twinnings Tea hamper today from the BiG Christmas Giveaway.
    Did anyone else win anything?

  9. trickster says:

    Really disappointed by this. I was hoping to use the RFS sale to book something. I find RFS really good travelling from Manchester without status. I’m less enthused about traveling via LHR in economy without lounge access.

  10. Anyone else having problems to check availability beyond May? It was ok in the morning now all the system seems down.

  11. Hi,
    How long does it take for tesco points to transfer to BAEC or Avios.com accounts? Also can you transfer points to someone else’s account in another name (If they are on your tesco club card account (My wife in this case)?

    • They normally go across in 1-2 days.

      If the surname and address match, you may get away with a transfer to a different BA account. It won’t work with avios.com, though, as the transfer form does NOT ask for your account – it automatically searches the database and tries to find a match.

      • Ah ok. Thanks for your help. My wife is short about 600 Avios. I’ll try and transfer to BAEC and hope it works. I guess if it doesn’t they will just bounce back and I won’t lose the vouchers?

  12. What this promotions, lack of conversion bonuses etc say to me is that BA is confident both that the market is looking up and that they are reliably pedicting and meeting demand. This redemption sale simply doesn’t compare to that last winter, the latest MR redemptiin bonus was relatively poor and we nearly cannot recall the last tesco bonus. Added to that retiring744s mean fewer premium seats and is not helped by most aircraft on order being 787s and a350s. All points towards a fortcoming relatively lean era for premium redemptions on BA at least. Fortunately, effects in some markets offset by benefits of Qatar, MAS and Sri Lankan joining OW. I fear the biggest disappointmebt is yet to come in the shape of devaluation. However, it is interesting to note that those have so far affected *A and ST and not OW. While carriers of the former have been catching up and in cases surpassing OW carriers it would be nice if OW carriers could get one over *A and ST by resisting devaluations.

  13. I have a question. A family member of mine has few MR points that needs to move before he closes the account. Now he is part of my BA household but his Amex home address is different. Can he transfer the points or does he need to change his address first?

    • Unlikely to work. However, you can move Amex MR points to Nectar with a minimum transfer of just 1 point – easiest thing to do is move them to that. Name does not need to match with Nectar as I have proved in the past, not sure about address.

  14. per Raffles comment about car hire, the Avios and BA websites do throw up different values, for a 3 week car hire the difference was circa 30k points cheaper on BA – including the 25% difference.

    I managed to get 1.09p per avios plus whatever a free additional driver is worth for being Gold. As I am Avios rich and cash poor this represents value for me. YMMV

    • Seems as though Andy(12:20) has done OK.

      Best I could come up with on the car hire front for our trip was 0.7p per avios-so decided to hang on to some of our(?) Avios for the moment.

      So far Avios have had zero bookings from me during their “Unmissable” Sale:

      Flights booked with Easyjet -from whom we’ve always had great service.

      Car Hire booked-Europcar who we’ve used before and had great service.

      Just the hotel to sort out now-lets see what tomorrow holds! :) .

      Regards to all<

      • @Worzel – I also priced up an additional car hire rental later in the year, same location (LHR) for 7 less days and it was more Avios!! I gave that a pass…

    • just a quick note andy. you dont need to be gold to get the extra driver. i am silver and i get it . i seem to remember i even had it at bronze. possibly even as a blue???

      • You can read on avisba.com:

        “As an Executive Club Member you will enjoy competitive prices, experience preferential service and clock up Avios with Avis […] Free additional driver with every rental, worldwide”

        No mention of elite status requirement.

  15. Raffles> Sorry – with all the comments above, my question might get lost – assuming you have seen the “bigger detail” of the various sales – would you be able to “list” the Prague hotels that will be available in the 50% off sale please?

    Thanks

  16. Sounds intriguing? Was it in a brown paper bag on the corner of the street with a man in a hat?

  17. Maybe I’m doing something wrong – but the Avis deal look extremely poor. Booking the smallest car from 2 to 4 March pickup/drop-off at LHR.
    BA.com: Price is 9,100
    Avios.com: Price is 9,100 Avios or cash price of GBP 67.85
    Avis.com: Price is GBP 57 to GBP 58 for small, compact and economy! (go figure).

    So the value of the point on Avios.com and Ba.com (presuming they are getting the rates from the same source) is 0.745pence?

    Given that for 12,500 points + 13GBP I can fly from Abu Dhabi to Berlin (cash flight is GBP 338), the Avis 25% deal looks horrible.

    Have I missed something / done something wrong?

    • You mean 0.745p. Which, oddly enough, is the ‘floor’ valuation I use for Avios points (since I have a lot them) as I have mentioned numerous times on here.

      Whilst you can get outside value on certain redemptions, as you found, unless you want to fly from Berlin to Abu Dhabi in economy on a regular basis you will end up using some for less worthwhile redemptions!

      You will see tomorrow that the hotel sale should get you 1.14p per Avios which is very good in my book.